Stone Mountain Treasure Hunters Metal Detecting Club of Atlanta, Georgia.


Stone Mountain Treasure Hunters Remembers
Stan Funk

 

May 11, 2009
We regret to inform everyone that Stan Funk passed away this past weekend.  Stan had been a member of the SMTH metal detecting club since 1995.  Stan had held several of the club’s officer positions over the years and had currently been the club’s contact person and program coordinator.  Stan was recently honored for his dedication to the club.

 


August 2003

   
Stan Not only liked to metal detect, but also to explore history and search for historic glass bottles and other objects of antiquity.


January 2005

   
Stan Funk is awarded for his contributions and efforts for growing and promoting the Stone Mountain Treasure Hunters club.  Stan has been an ethical advocate of the hobby for may years.  He has helped teach new hobbyist the best ways to both find good stuff and gain trust and permission from the land owners under who's ground the treasures lie.


April 2009

   
He was a great ambassador to the metal detecting hobby and fine example for people to follow. He will be greatly missed by the club and it’s members.


May 2008



Lawrenceville man unearths treasures rare, mundane for fun.

By Jackie Watson
Gwinnett Daily Post/Anthony Stalcup


Stan Funk displays some of the treasures which range from coins to Civil War relics that he has found with the help of his metal detectors.

LAWRENCEVILLE — Indiana Jones never had this much fun. Treasure hunter Stan Funk has scoured the Southeast in search of valuable relics and artifacts. And he has found some, much like his Temple of Doom colleague.

The Lawrenceville resident has been actively involved in unearthing old artifacts, coins, jewelry and bottles for more than a decade with his metal detectors. Flipping through a magazine at a bookstore 14 years ago, Funk read about treasure hunters who found a cache of coins under the front porch of an abandoned house in New Jersey. After asking his wife for a metal detector as an anniversary gift not long after that, he got hooked on the hobby.

A former history teacher and current stay-at-home dad, Funk usually goes out hunting twice a week. His trusted partners, metal detectors that beep when metal is located underground, guide him as he searches for remnants of the past.

“It’s absolutely addictive. It’s very exciting for me. I’m not sure if it has to do with me being a historian, but I look at myself as a short Indiana Jones,” he said laughing. “You never know what’s going to come up — it could be junk or it could be really good stuff.”

A hunt last week in Danielsville, a town north of Athens, netted a 174-year-old button. The 54-year-old has also found silver coins, cannonball fragments, Civil War relics, old coins, and gold jewelry. He doesn’t limit his searches to Georgia. He’s gone on hunts to Texas, Florida and Virginia. So far, the elusive pot of gold is still not in his elaborate and lengthy collection of treasures.

“I’ve never found a pot of gold,” said Funk, adding that he has been hired several times to find alleged gold treasures people believe are buried on their property.  Preferring to hunt on the property of 1900s farmhouses or other older buildings, Funk carefully plans his hunting trips around historical areas. His most prized find? A Confederate Medal of Honor once belonging to John S. Heard.

“It’s actually his medal,” said Funk excitedly, adding that Heard County is named after the war hero. “He was in the 9th Georgia Battalion. I found it in a trash area.”  A majority of the hunting is conducted on older home fronts that are still being lived in. When that’s the case, he simply knocks on the door, presents a sample of artifacts he has found, and asks if he can poke around in the yard. The responses vary as much as his finds. “Most people say, ‘Sure, go ahead and have fun.’ But I have had someone call the cops on me in Jefferson, Georgia and one guy sic'ed his dog after me. That was kind of scary,” he said.

When it comes to movies, his hobby is likened to Indiana Jones. But his get-up is more like something out of “Ghostbusters.” Donning kneepads, boots, leather gloves, hat, glasses and a fully loaded digging belt, he admits he might appear strange, but it’s all required gear to get the job done. Although he has dug up some valuable finds, he has also come across some unusual objects. He discovered a cat’s skull one time, and even unearthed a toilet during one bottle-hunting trip.

As the vice president of the Stone Mountain Treasure Hunters Club, Funk gets to see what fellow hunters have discovered. The metal detector club meets once a month to display and judge the best finds — from jewelry to artifacts, to coins and relics. “It’s a friendly competition to see who has found the best stuff,” he said.   The 40-member club meets the last Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Lilburn Five Forks Library. Each year, the group engages in club hunts. But treasure hunting is primarily a solo pastime. It’s one that requires diligence and a heaping dose of patience. “It takes a long time to metal detect. It takes lots and lots of patience. One yard will take about six hours to scour,” said Funk.

Even when he just finds change that has fallen from people’s wallets, it is still exciting to him. His wife recently bought him a little treasure chest. He puts all the change he finds in there and converts them into dollars at Kroger’s Coin Star machines. The money is then used to begin a treasure chest for his daughters, ages 11 and 13. “I buy silver dollars and I keep those for my two girls so that when they get old enough, I’ll give it to them,” he said.

As for his other finds, and the valuable Confederate Medal of Honor, he keeps those safely tucked in his treasure stash. “There’s a congressman Heard who wants me to give the medal up. But you only find one in a lifetime,” said Funk. “That’s the most valuable thing I’ve found.”

For more information on the Stone Mountain Treasure Hunters visit their Web page at www.stonemountaindiggers.com.

Gwinnett Pastimes appears in the Saturday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Staff Correspondent Jackie Watson can be reached by e-mail at jkw12071@cs.com.




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