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Alumni Connection: CHS Grad Recovers Relics on School Grounds

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With the recent renovations of the sidewalks along Main Street this fall, Dustin Atnip, Cassville High School graduate, class of 1998, has been hard at work!

Two years ago, Atnip ventured into the hobby of relic recovery. During the past couple of months, he has focused his recovery efforts along Main Street while the sidewalks are being replaced.

In particular, he has spent a lot of time searching the grounds in front of the JC Duncan Gymnasium at Cassville R-IV School District and has found many objects that tell a story of events that happened on that soil more than a hundred years ago.

On the Cassville R-IV campus, Atnip has recovered countless old coins and many items dating back to the Civil War.

“I spend a few hours a couple of afternoons a week looking,” said Atnip. “At the school, I have found several bullets from the Civil War, a pocket watch hanger, coins, including an Indian Head penny dated 1907, a Civil War coat button and a Grand Army of the Republic button.”

After searching and recovering the buried treasures, Atnip uses online forums and clubs to identify the objects as well as reaches out to other historians.

“Aftern finding an item, I do research to confirm what I have found then clean it up and display it in a plaque or shadow box at my house,” said Atnip.

At this time, Atnip enjoys having his treasures at home to look at and enjoy but says one day he may consider donating them to a museum or library so others can enjoy them as well.

Atnip uses a metal detector that can detect a coin size object that is buried up to 12 inches below the ground. He spends his time searching mostly in Barry County, but has been involved in recovery efforts in the Springfield area as well.