Treasure Found in the Mud


The other day The Deer Hunter brought me home a present. He found it while working between Marble and Andrews. A new building is under construction and someone using a backhoe accidentally broke the sewer line…not once but twice. The Deer Hunter was sent to fix the mess.

As the backhoe operator tried to widen the hole so that the line could be seen better, The Deer Hunter saw the bottle turn over in the dirt. He ran and grabbed it because he knew I’d want it.


It’s an old milk bottle, that miraculous only has one crack in the top portion of the jar. The name on the front made me even happier. It’s from a local farm, the Ed Wood Farm in Andrews NC.

A quick google told me one of Ed’s grandson’s is Keith Wood who is a Cherokee County Extension Agent and his brother, another Ed, still runs the farm today. They no longer have a dairy, but if you’ve ever driven between Murphy and Andrews and noticed the massive fields on each side of the highway you’ve seen part of their operation.

Did I care the bottle had been laying near a sewer all these years? Nope that’s what Clorox is for. And The Deer Hunter cleaned it up good for me so I didn’t have to worry about it anyway.


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  • Reply
    Leon Estes
    January 28, 2018 at 9:25 pm

    I think you named the wrong thing a treasure. sounds like “Deer Hunter” is the treasure!

  • Reply
    Kerry in GA
    January 26, 2018 at 8:47 am

    We’ve always been ones to dig in old trash piles. Below where my Papaw grew up is a ditch line where “trash” got dumped. Mama always goes to Granny’s on Saturday mornings and lots of times she’ll walk if the weather is fair. One Friday night it had come a hard rain and she decided she would walk by the ditch and see if anything had washed up. When she got down there 2 half pint milk bottles were just laying on top the ground like they were waiting on her. One of them is plain with nothing on it and the other has Noland Wells Murphy, NC in raised letters. She gave them to me because she knew I would want them. That find has always struck us as odd because 99.9% of everything we’ve ever found down there is always broke or cracked but these were in perfect condition. 🙂

  • Reply
    W. Hip.
    January 24, 2018 at 7:56 pm

    Found an old milk bottle under my parents’ house in Hopewell, Va. The house sat on blocks at each corner with no foundation. The bottle is from Wood’s Dairy which is the dairy that provided our milk. Don’t know if the name is just coincidental or if the folks who operated Wood’s Dairy in Va, may be related to the Woods family in your area.

  • Reply
    Robert Wasmer
    January 23, 2018 at 8:22 pm

    Your reminded me that we have box of old bottles, including some old medicine bottles, and several milk bottles from older colleges that had dairies. I’ll have to go out the storage in the garage to dig them out.

  • Reply
    January 23, 2018 at 7:02 pm

    I use to live in New Jersey.

    I remember when my brother and sister and I would hear the clinking and tinkling of the glass bottles as the milkman would walk up the stairs, then the creaking of an old hing, followed by the dull thud of a lid being closed on the old milk box outside grandma’s kitchen door. We would race over to the milk box door in the kitchen crying out to grandma that the milkman made his delivery and we waited for grandma to amble over to retrieve 4 quarts of milk, pound of butter, 2 pints of cream and a receipt from the milkman. There was a door inside her kitchen that you could open and retrieve your delivery without having to go outside or opening the kitchen door. As kids we thought it was really cool to see it in use.

    I remember one winter day grandma forgot to collect the milk as soon as it was delivered. It wasn’t until noon that she remembered to collect the milk. She reached inside the milk box and discovered that the milk had frozen solid. She took the milk to the sink to let it sit in cool water. As she set it down on the counter the glass exploded leaving a perfect outline of the bottle by the frozen milk. Grandma had grandpa come into the kitchen and see what had happened. He told her to put the milk in a large bowl and let the milk thaw out. Grandma didn’t like that idea. She said that there might be glass shards in the milk. Grandpa said that if she let the milk thaw in the bowl any glass shards would sink to the bottom and the milk would be good to use. I remember because it was the first time I had ever heard them argue, especially over milk. Grandma did as grandpa suggested. Grandpa then took an empty milk bottle and pour the milk from the bowl into it leaving about a quarter inch of milk left in the bowl. Grandpa then said something like, “there you go” and put the milk into the refrigerator. Then grandma went over to the refrigerator, pulled out the milk and poured it down the sink and turned to grandpa and said, “There You Go!” No one messes with grandma.

    • Reply
      Ed Ammons
      January 23, 2018 at 10:28 pm

      I’m with Grandma! She shoulda told Grandpa he could drink it if he wanted but that she wudden gonna give it to any of her offspring. I love this story!!

  • Reply
    January 23, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    A few days ago you Posted a song by Tompall and the Glaser Brothers Medley. You said Pap really liked them, the way Jim could reach the higher notes. Well, when I clicked on the arrow underneath, it wouldn’t do anything. So I filled out the line exactly like what was underneath in my insertion blank and it took me to YouTube. I love their sound. The one on the left is Jim, Chuck is in the middle, and Tompall is on the Right. I remember listening to them when I was a
    little thing, before we ever got a Snowy TV. …Ken

  • Reply
    Dee Parks
    January 23, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    Enjoyed seeing the milk bottle, Tipper, Brought back memories from my childhood when milk was delivered to our home in those glass bottles. Also, remember staying all night at my Aunt’s house in Kenosha, Wisconsin when i was really little and hearing the clip clop of the horses’s hoofs on brick pavement in front of her house. The milkman was delivering milk. I won’t ever forget that sound.

  • Reply
    Lee Mears
    January 23, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    Am wondering how many milk bottles you now have Tip?? Years ago I tried collecting milk bottles for and looked and looked for a Pet Dairy bottle and an amber Biltmore Dairy bottle, which was what our milk was delivered in when we lived in Highland Park in Canton. I didn’t live in NC when collecting then so of course I didn’t find them. Also, I had three sizes of old Clorox bottles, the amber color , a gal, half-gallon and a quart. They aren’t rare but you do have to find them. Two were broken moving here so there’s now only one. I lost all the milk bottles somewhere in moving around the south. Lots of my things would just disappear. Some spouses have different opinions of the worth of things.
    I have abt 15 Civil War pottery-ink-bottles that will be thrown out when I’m no longer here. Most of them came from Kennesaw, GA.

    Referring back to a previous post regarding walking, I can most def confirm Cindy and I walked to school, year round no matter which school we were attending, in the rain, snow or heat; in dresses and skirts.. We didn’t know there was any other way to reach school except meandering there on foot. We were glad to arrive at the old Penn Ave School in winter where the hissing, banging radiators provided a lot of heat in the old gym in the mornings..
    My grandsons don’t really believe me.

    • Reply
      January 23, 2018 at 1:26 pm

      Lee-that is my first milk bottle!

  • Reply
    January 23, 2018 at 12:24 pm

    I never knew Mr. Wood, but I know both his boys. They sure have a beautiful place with an airport running thru it. When I was in the first grade, I remember getting our milk at dinnertime in re-usable glass bottles. …Ken

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    January 23, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    I look to my kitchen window and see three milk bottles shaped like yours…but with different dairies labeled on them in raised letters…I absolutely love these old milk bottles…I change them out with some of the others I have acquired thru the years…I noticed that Biltmore Dairy was mentioned…I have searched high and low for one with their name on it like yours…The only one I have found was screen printed on that was later and a square bottle…I got it…while I am still looking for the memory bottle. My Aunt and Uncle would stop at the little drive-in at Canton which served the best Biltmore Ice Cream you ever did taste….at least it tasted good to a child in fifth grade visiting in the summertime…
    What a treasure you have…more ways than one..
    Right now I have cut off the end of a celery stalk a couple of weeks ago…when it was so cold! I put a teeny bit of water in the bottle of one of my milk bottles…I dropped the stalk to the bottom of the bottle…and I’ve been waiting…This week it has one inch sprouts…Spring in a milk bottle green house…NO it won’t last forever…but now it supplies me with green the color of hope…
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    January 23, 2018 at 12:07 pm

    Treasure hunting certainly is a great pastime, and it adds a little extra to life free. We went on a jaunt yesterday, and it was visiting in three old family cemeteries. We talked and reminisced about all the folks and their lives. We even stopped on one curvy remote road where a very old chimney still stands today. During the course of the conversation about the chimney somebody mentioned that an old doctor had a smaller cabin near that chimney site in the fifties. This doc was known to indulge in intoxicating beverages, so when and if that old cabin site is located there may be a treasure trove of old liquor bottles nearby. They did in the past find a very old spoon and what they said was a homemade nail at the one site with the old chimney. We can dream and talk about it, and wish we were carefree enough to spend a day exploring the area. It has always been said that the best things in life are free!

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    January 23, 2018 at 11:07 am

    i love this! My husband operates heavy machinery and has found many treasures. Some are medicine bottles and we have two ink bottles that are like brown pottery. Also a pale aqua ‘cathedral” bottle that I discovered was a pepper sauce bottle from the civil war era. I think it is my favorite but also love the mineral water bottles he found–from Saratoga Springs. If I can draft my son to show me how, i will send you some pictures.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    January 23, 2018 at 10:58 am

    Our “milkman” was a girl. She only had four “bottles”. We didn’t even have to pay for the milk neither. We’d swap her food and water for milk, butter and buttermilk.

  • Reply
    January 23, 2018 at 10:11 am

    You have to wonder how the bottle got there. I’m glad it was found by someone who cared to save it.

  • Reply
    Eleanor Loos
    January 23, 2018 at 8:58 am

    What a fun thing to find, Tipper! You seldom see those round bottles anymore. When I was a child our “milkman” delivered those round bottles and picked them up to be used again….and again….and again. I’m not sure a milkman would still deliver to your home. I’ve not seen smaller milk trucks for home delivery recently in our area. It’s just the square cardboard boxes in the “dairy department”! It’s nice to read about memories!

  • Reply
    Ed Karshner
    January 23, 2018 at 8:30 am

    I’m laughing do hard right now over the Clorox remark. That is absolutely right! Now, I’ll sound like my mom: I hope the Deer Hunter washed his hands after he picked it up!

    I’m at the point where I’m slowly becoming my parents. A slow and frightening transformation.

  • Reply
    a.w. griff
    January 23, 2018 at 8:22 am

    What a wonderful find!

    My wife and I found a lot of the old whiskey bottles at an abandoned log cabin . We carried out wht we could and buried the rest. We didn’t go back for about a year. Everything was buried under tons of rock and dirt. Strip mined.

  • Reply
    January 23, 2018 at 8:06 am

    What a treasure! What a guy!

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    January 23, 2018 at 8:03 am

    Always satisfying and a delight to find an artifact of particular local interest. I remember the old glass milk bottles in the metal crates with the hand bail. When I was very small we had milk delivered to the doorstep. The milkman came very early, about daylight, and if I were awake I could hear the jingle of the bottles. One day a week I got chocolate milk!

    In the 40’s and 50’s there were lots of those local dairies. The Biltmore Estate had a dairy at one time. The little guys, like the little soda bottlers, gradually went out of business as the big guys consolidated them and state regulation raised requirements.

  • Reply
    Patricia Page
    January 23, 2018 at 8:02 am

    ON the “old road” a little ways before you get to the railroad track at the Coalville Rd (and before Marble), there is a “smallish” stone building (built of marble, of course) that has either E.J. or E.L. Woods chiseled in the lintel over the door. My dad told me as a boy he and his brother would get chocolate milk in there. Could this have been their creamery? This would have been in the middle 30’s

    • Reply
      January 24, 2018 at 3:02 pm

      Patricia-I don’t know, but it seems possible that the building was part of the dairy. Maybe someone who knows will chime in with the answer. Thank you for the comment!

  • Reply
    Melissa P (Misplaced Southerner)
    January 23, 2018 at 7:55 am

    Some of the best finds for archeologists are in old privies. Sounds terrible, but good jewelry has been found as well as other real treasures. Think about it…if your home is about to be pillaged, do you think they are going to go looking in the privy? People also used them as regular “dumping grounds” (no pun intended) for items no longer of value to them.

  • Reply
    Sheryl PaulI
    January 23, 2018 at 6:23 am

    How wonderful, I love finds like that.

  • Reply
    January 23, 2018 at 6:12 am

    My roots are in Tennessee and North Carolina. I love your blog and all the wonderful memories you bring back to me. Thank you, Tipper

    • Reply
      January 23, 2018 at 11:05 am

      Thank you Roberta!!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    January 23, 2018 at 6:03 am

    A treasure, indeed, Tip. It’s an oddity to see a reusable bottle in this throw away age we are now in. I remember when milk came in returnable/reusable glass bottles, that was certainly a time different from now!
    Congratulations on your treasure find….good job Deer Hunter!

    • Reply
      January 23, 2018 at 10:04 am

      I read Miss Cindy’s comment as—– your treasure find is the Deer Hunter!!!

  • Reply
    January 23, 2018 at 5:51 am

    Nice, and what a good find, bet there’s not many of those around anymore.

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