Daniel Nytko was playing in the mud last week on the banks of Beaver Creek when he made a pretty amazing discovery.
Buried about six to eight inches down was a pipe.
When the Nytkos — visiting from Portland, Ore., to see their grandparents on Longbrook Drive — took it to the Amherst Historical Society for an expert opinion, local historian Matt Nahorn pegged the clay piece at possibly 200 years old.
“It’s what’s called a clay trade pipe. A lot of early settlers here in the area would have used them. Sometimes they were traded for different items with Native Americans, used for personal use for smoking, or used in taverns,” he said.
The “community” pipe often had a long stem and those are easy to find in the Amherst area, broken and left behind.
Nahorn said the piece young Nytko discovered is rare in that the whole bowl is intact.
This one likely dates to the mid-1800s. Such clay pipes were made for a couple hundred years and were often imported from Pennsylvania since there were no potteries in the area that made them, Nahorn said. There are also no designs on the bowl, making it the pipe’s origins even more anonymous.
Daniel’s mother, Jana, said there’s a lesson to be learned: “Go out, dig around, have fun… You never know what you’re going to find.”
Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.
Courtesy photo Christopher and Jana Nytko are seen here with their sons, Joshua and Daniel, who found a clay pipe dating back 200 or so years.