Tilson treasure hunter and son find rare colonial-era clay pipe

Ian Mills, of Tilson, was searching the shore of the Rondout Creek on Sunday outside of Kingston with his son when they found a clay pipe made in England.

News 12 Staff

Jul 8, 2021, 7:48 PM

Updated 1,015 days ago

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An Ulster County treasure hunter and his son found a rare colonial artifact last week on Independence Day.
Ian Mills, of Tilson, was searching the shore of the Rondout Creek on Sunday outside of Kingston with his son when they found a clay pipe made in England.
The pipe has 13 stars for the 13 original colonies.
Mills traced it back to a company called Thomas and Davidson, which made the pipe between 1750 and 1780.
Mills says his 4-year-old son was actually the one who made the discovery.
"I wasn't even paying any mind, and he was the one who was tuned in this time. And he just kind of reached down in the mud and pulled it out and said, 'Look at this,' and sure enough, I picked it and didn't think much of it until I flipped it over," he says.
Mills has found numerous local artifacts over the years, including a Civil War-era militia belt, a luxury steam ship room key and coins.


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