Brampton's Turn-of-the-century Dump Volume 2
An unbelievable pile of earth and debris all moved by hand.For all of the spring and summer of 2001 I dug alone. Yes I know, I broke the # 1 rule “never dig alone” Darren’s interest in the dump had waned and the responsibilities at the home front kept him occupied. I may have dug alone, but often there was visitors. On three occasions different local residents with their children came to gather up cast-offs. There were startled students who stumbled upon me when taking short cuts, people losing patience with their dogs for leaving their side to bark in a hole (not knowing I was even there), two guys looking for a secluded place to smoke up (And generously gave me bottles they had found years earlier), an old timer with time to nostalgically reminisce, concerned joggers making sure I was not burying bodies and Russians harvesting tree mushrooms, who always made a point of asking me if “I was digging for buried Treasure.”

I was often re-digging through past diggers cast offs, yet I knew my patience would pay off. In the spring I had found and kept the following: “W.A. Drummond”-on bottom milk bottle quart, “P & S trade mark Price” (amethyst) pint, small “Daddies Favourite Sauce” (aqua/shear top), “Dr A Flowers Extracts” (aqua),some nice aqua & green olive oil & food bottles, “Whittemores Polish Boston U.S.A.” (aqua/round & square styles), “G.H. Wood & Co Boston U.S.A.” (aqua), “Dr Pierce’s Golden Medical Discovery R.V. Pierce M.D. Buffalo N.Y.” (clear), “Pompeian Massage cream” (clear), “F-stearns & Co”-on bottom (amber), “Rubifoam for the teeth put up by E.W. Hoyt & Co. Lowell Mass” (clear), “Metholatum Co. Mentholatum trade mark Bridgeburg Ont” (milk glass). “Pinex” (aqua), “Fellows & Co Chemists St John N.B.” (aqua), “Ozone Is Life The Ozone Co. Of Toronto Limited” (clear), “Salt or Pepper shaker (blue milk glass/ground lip), “no name tan pottery screw top fruit jar, “Crown Imperial” (aqua/small opening) pint, “ Imperial Pint Belfast” (aqua), “JNO Wyeth & Bro Liq Ext Malt Philadelphia” (amber), “J.J. McLaughlin Toronto” (amethyst) quart, and “J. Robertson Orangeville Ont” (clear/top smashed off).

My digging had now brought me to the edge of the dump that was not visible and past diggers appeared to have stopped because of the depth and amount of clay cap that covered it. My next batch of finds got me digging with more vigor: “Hyceia Water J.J. McLaughlin Chemist Toronto” (aqua/crown top), three “Okeefe Toronto” (amber), two “The O'Keefe Brewery Co of Toronto limited” (dark amber/Maurice looking back along the dried up holes of the dump. applied crown top & light amber crown top), “Giroux Mfc Co. A Hair Tonic Purisian Sage Buffalo Fort Erie” (aqua), “Newbro’s Herpicide kills Dandruff Germ” (clear), “P. Q & Co.” poison (amber), “Stafford’s Inks Made In The U.S.A.” master ink (clear), A Toronto Pottery jug handle intact, “One Ounce Success Alloy Refiners Of  Cold & Silver & Co Treated For Contraction The Wilkinson Co Toronto” (clear), “R.R.R. Radway & Co New York Entd Accr c To Act Of Congress” (aqua), and “The T. Eaton Drug Co. Limited Toronto” (clear/16cm).

It was now September, my favourite digging month (cool weather/less mosquitoes) and I decide to dig past where I had found the red ware spittoon in 2000. What discouraged me from this area was the rusted sheet metal and melted glass. My hope was that if I dug through this difficult section I would find more bottles on the periphery. I went at it for three hours straight through every kind of metal wire, spring, coil, and unrecognizable rusted caked together globs of metal. My body was sore from digging stuff that resisted every tug & pull I mustered against it. The ground was now sloping up to my dismay (meaning the dump was getting more shallow rather than deeper) and I had not a found a single bottle. My mind had agreed with my body that it was time to call it quits, but I continued to claw away at ash and brick now that I was past the metal. Then it happen, I suddenly saw a crude pottery mouth. At first I thought it might be a stone bottle, but I quickly began to see it was a jug with the handle still attached. The age of this jug was going to be a first for me. My strength was back and the bricks and concrete like ash fell away in no time. To my amazement the tan jug had no damage and the cobalt debossed writing said, “John Clarke Groceries, Wines, Liquors etc Brampton.” This home town boy was on cloud nine and called it a day.

I was back in that hole the next day and found a great “H Kuntz Hamilton” blob top beer that had taken shelter under three bricks. I knew this was the vein of lucky unbroken bottles. I dug a large dark green case gin, rectangle cobalt poison, an English pot lid “Calvert’s Carbolic Tooth Paste trade mark, six pence,” “Dr Pierce’s Favourite Prescription R.V. Pierce M.D. Buffalo N.Y.” (aqua), “Chamberlains Couch Remedy Chamberlain MED Co Des Moines & Toronto” (aqua), “The Maltine MFC Co Chemists New York” (amber), “CKC”-in monogram (amber/with contents?), the small 3iv size of “Jack Drug Co The Rexall store Phone 200 Brampton” (clear), and a perfect condition “John Verner Toronto” ginger beer (new maple leaf variant.)

I brought these finds to Darren to coax him out of retirement and suggested he return to a glass pane filled hole he understandably gave up on. This bottle vein lead directly in front of Darren’s old hole and with mild fall & winter we could dig at least 1/3 of this area. Darren liked my finds and his enthusiasm grew even though he had doubts about my theory of a bottle vein, rather than a lucky pocket.

My next dig I had a partner and as diggers know it’s nice to show your stuff as you find it. I branched off to the right which took me six feet down in depth where I found the “John Verner Toronto” Hutchison soda (with beaver/aqua), a few minutes later a beautiful “Ayers Hair Vigor” in blue teal and next to it a “Beaver Soda Water Works A & W  Burns 422 Young St Toronto” blob top squat soda (aqua), I had three directions I could now dig and they were all producing. I finished the day with a “Dr Heggie Brampton Ont” (clear) Wow!

Large sections of the cap were falling over and this ended up determining the direction of my remaining digs. In the collapsed material I pulled out two “R.H. Hodgson Druggist Brampton Ont” (aqua/1875-1902), unbelievable this stuff was getting old. An 1875-79 “T. & W. Gully Hamilton” Hutchison soda (aqua) was next. I found another “F. C. Hagyard Chemist” (aqua.) The hole was getting deeper and it produced the following:  “Lactopertine  Elixir The New York Pharmacal Association” (cobalt), “D & O Co”-on bottom of round cobalt bottle, “T. Eaton Co limited 190 Young St  Toronto” (clear/round), three “Lalexandre 58 west Bourne grove London W” (amber), “Holloway’s Corn Cure” (aqua), “Turling Tons Balsam” (aqua), “KDC For Dyspepsia” (aqua), “Mrs Winslows Soothing Syrup The Anglo American Drug Co Successors to Cutis & Perkins Proprietors” (aqua), “Dr T. A. Slocum Limited Toronto Hope is the Anchor of the Soul Psychine” (aqua/small size), two “Armbrechts Tonic coca wine London Eng” (dark & light green variants), small rectangle cobalt poison, a little “Doulton Lambeth”-stamped dark brown pottery ink , three honey pots (cream), two jugs with handles (cream sides & brown tops/one marked M.F.), two older unmarked jugs with handles (white and small brown one), two small mustard crocks , one pink crock, “Ry 60”-on bottom of ceramic bottle, “Bixby Patented Mch , 83” (blue teal), “St Jakobs Oel A. Voceller & Co Baltimore MD” (aqua), and would you believe my first 20 “Bromo Seltzer Emerson Drug Co” (from Baltimore and Toronto in 3 different sizes with narrow and wide openings.)

Global warming struck hard in the winter of 2002; the ground was often barely frozen. My instinct  was right about Darren's hole. He was well rewarded in 2002 and I did ok too. So stay tuned for all the pictures and details that will be in "Brampton's turn of the century dump volume #3.

Brampton's Turn-of-the-century Dump Volume #2 © COPYRIGHT Maurice Kenny
This story also appears in the Canadian Bottle and Stoneware Collector magazine volume 8, issue 4 - February 2004