Those of you who get the National Geographic channel will want to be tuning in next Tuesday, March 25th at 10 pm EST. On that date and time a new episode of the metal detecting show “Diggers” will be premiering. The name of the episode is called “Lincoln’s Assassin” and the show will highlight the exploits of metal detecting duo “King” George Wyant and Tim “Ringy” Saylor as they search for long lost artifacts in places related to John Wilkes Booth.
Over the course of the production, the Diggers dug for Booth relics at his childhood home of Tudor Hall, Bryantown Tavern, Thomas Jones’ Huckleberry, down by the edge of the Potomac, and at Mrs. Quesenberry’s house in Virginia. “KG” and “Ringy” are unique treasure hunters, making jokes all along the way and making bets over who can uncover the best “nectar” (find). At the end of the episode the pair will show their “nectar” to an archaeologist and assassination author Michael Kauffman to see if they found a Booth artifact that will change our understanding of history.
This episode will not only be an entertaining look at metal detecting, but also highlight several sites related to the life and escape of John Wilkes Booth.
On a personal note, I had the good fortune of being present at Huckleberry back in August on the day that the crew was shooting there. I had unknowingly shown up at the Loyola Retreat House to take some pictures of the water’s edge, when I saw a large number of vehicles outside of Huckleberry. After approaching the Diggers group and learning that they were shooting an episode about Booth, I was graciously invited to remain and watch the production. It was an entertaining afternoon to say the least. “KG” and “Ringy” are quite funny and Michael Kauffman was an excellent foil to their exuberant declarations of finding Booth’s “this” or “that”. Here are a few pictures I took while the guys were shooting their scenes:
Here’s a shot of Michael Kauffman providing some background information about the different places the Diggers visited and Booth’s escape route:
I was also allowed inside of Huckleberry where some of the production assistants were working. Huckleberry is used to house visiting priests to Loyola and is therefore furnished like a typical house today. Nevertheless here is a short video I shot from inside the house. Michael Kauffman makes a brief appearance to answer a couple of my questions:
In the midst of shooting there was a huge down pouring of rain and so there was a mad dash to protect the cameras and other equipment. I helped the best I could by grabbing hold of the tent awning they had set up to prevent it from blowing away in the strong winds. Michael Kauffman made the wiser choice of rushing into Huckleberry with his camera and microphone. Within a half an hour the rain had stopped and there was only one more scene to shoot. After they shot the scene I took this picture of Mike Kauffman and the guys:
Why is “Ringy” covered in mud? You’ll just have to watch Diggers on Tuesday, March 25th at 10 pm EST to find out!