Pascagoula police volunteer to dig up history at a landmark

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Have you ever wondered what lies under the ground you live and work on everyday? Over at the historic Brumfield site in Pascagoula, police and a few citizens are now digging up the past. The landmark was knocked down earlier this year.

Armed with metal detectors and shovels, Pascagoula police and folks from the community spent hours digging up history on Sunday.

Detective Darren Versiga was the leader in this hunt. He said he took on the assignment after finding a 1900s nickel near the historic site.

"Of course, the old Brumfield building was here and when it was torn down, we knew that the older part of Pascagoula was here. There is no red dirt underground, so that typically means it was the older ground from when Scranton was here, Scranton, Mississippi. It burned down, I think in 1907," Versiga said.

Officer Shannon Massey is also inquisitive, so he didn't mind getting his hands dirty to help.

"We are sifting. It is like a needle in a haystack, but we enjoy doing it," Massey said.

It didn't take long for the squad to find some unique artifacts.

"This is copper left from the harmonica," Versiga said.

They also collected coins.

"This is another Indian Head penny. We have two, Wheat pennies, which are probably from 1909 to 1940s, I believe,"  Versiga added.

Marbles were also buried on the site.

"This is clay, ceramic marble that would be homemade and this is another one. Then we have a glass one here," Versiga said.

And some findings are still a mystery.

"It is probably where they put the corner stone of a building. We are not sure what building that is, so it will take some research to determine that," said Versiga.

The team members are not only preserving history, but also learning in the process.

"There is a lot of stuff around here. When they put another building here. What is here is gone forever until we find it," Versiga said.

"As law enforcement officers, we preserve crime scenes. If we work with cold cases and or any type of crime scene where we have to sift through dirt, it gives us extra training, and we are doing it for free," Massey said.

The owners of the Brumfield site plan to take the artifacts and build a display for visitors and locals.

Copyright 2013 WLOX. All rights reserved