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Thread: Help ID this (yard find)

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Help ID this (yard find)

    So last night I started digging a hole in which to plant my hydrangea. Along with an incredible assortment of broken bottles, window panes, metal objects, parts of toys, and other debris, eventually I dug this out.


    The handle broke off underground; it was about 12" deep. Concrete part is about 24" wide and 18" thick.


    Here's it's shown with the two metal anchor roots facing up (inverted from its buried position).

    When I moved in, there was something similar (a metal loop) embedded in the concrete near the corner of the garage, near the door. (It's long gone, as I didn't need a tripping hazard.) Locations scribbled in yellow.


    House was built in the 1890s, the garage later. Going by the two handles, the installation would have been no earlier than 1970. The guys who cut the first one off at the cement suggested that this was used to hold a pulley or jack, and that someone had been lifting engines out.

    Any other ideas? (I know that this will go to whimsey pretty soon; I would appreciate real-life guesses first.)

  2. #2
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    my guess is that they may have been used as tie-downs for a portable storage building or pre-fab carport before the garage was added.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  3. #3
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    land mine?

  4. #4
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    You mentioned a metal hoop? Might there have been a greenhouse in front of the garage at one point and these were anchors for that?
    "The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism." - George Washington

  5. #5
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Suburb Repairman View post
    my guess is that they may have been used as tie-downs for a portable storage building or pre-fab carport before the garage was added.
    That's what I was going to say. A predecessor to hurricane straps.

  6. #6
    Those are the turn-down ends of rebar for concrete bollards that once protected the garage from being struck by a wayward driver. Probably amateurs and way, way over-engineered. Wash down the concrete and I wouldn't be surprised to see the ghost footprint of the bollard.
    Batter up!

  7. #7
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker View post
    Those are the turn-down ends of rebar for concrete bollards that once protected the garage from being struck by a wayward driver. Probably amateurs and way, way over-engineered. Wash down the concrete and I wouldn't be surprised to see the ghost footprint of the bollard.
    This is a good guess! I'll agree with Gedunker for a diagonal win, Peter.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  8. #8
    Quote Originally posted by wahday View post
    This is a good guess! I'll agree with Gedunker for a diagonal win, Peter.
    I really thought that the other possibility was that they were tie-downs for personal blimp service, but decided to go a different way
    Batter up!

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker View post
    Those are the turn-down ends of rebar for concrete bollards that once protected the garage from being struck by a wayward driver. Probably amateurs and way, way over-engineered. Wash down the concrete and I wouldn't be surprised to see the ghost footprint of the bollard.
    Hmmm. The one mounted in the driveway was aluminium, shiny, and a long drawer pull-shape.

    Hard to tell from the photo of the buried one, but the handle ends were both attached to the concrete part. More smooth metal, and I know rebar as a serrated/ridged item.

    (It didn't work; the garage door edge is a right mess.)

  10. #10
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Well....

    That first photo looks like a lid to an old septic tank. Maybe there was an old tank on the property that was filled in and you just found the entrance Are the plants growing really well above that spot?
    “The way of acquiescence leads to moral and spiritual suicide. The way of violence leads to bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers. But, the way of non-violence leads to redemption and the creation of the beloved community.”
    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
    - See more at: http://www.thekingcenter.org/king-ph....r7W02j3S.dpuf

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by The One View post
    That first photo looks like a lid to an old septic tank. Maybe there was an old tank on the property that was filled in and you just found the entrance Are the plants growing really well above that spot?
    Can't be. I'm on a 50' x 54' city lot, no room for a septic tank. And it took an hour of digging to extract the concrete blob from the ground.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Someone on Facebook guessed this:

    "If the garage is old enough those could have been there to stop the double doors from swinging to far or to latch them open."

    I think that's most likely!

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Veloise View post
    House was built in the 1890s, the garage later. Going by the two handles, the installation would have been no earlier than 1970. The guys who cut the first one off at the cement suggested that this was used to hold a pulley or jack, and that someone had been lifting engines out.

    Any other ideas? (I know that this will go to whimsey pretty soon; I would appreciate real-life guesses first.)
    Having grown up in a rural area where farmers and backyard mechanics worked on car/truck/tractor engines all the time, I think this is a valid explanation. The car/truck would have been backed into the garage (or most of it). The hoist to hold the engine would likely have been a tripod, possibly made of wood, set up over the engine block. That would have been outside the garage itself because the garage isn't tall enough to allow for the engine to be raised. There would have been two lines, one on each side, to secure the engine, either to work on it or move it elsewhere.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
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    That seems like some serious overkill just to keep a couple doors from swinging (or to hold them open). I vote for blimp tiedowns.

  15. #15
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Rygor View post
    I vote for blimp tiedowns.
    Indeed, I agree!
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Rygor View post
    That seems like some serious overkill just to keep a couple doors from swinging (or to hold them open). I vote for blimp tiedowns.
    I disagree. Those are yard anchors. In Appalachia, they use the old cars, washing machines, etc. to for that purpose. In the Midwest, people are too concerned with maintaining a low key, modest appearance for that kind of public attention so they discretely bury concrete and rebar structures to ensure that their yards don't float away. Here in Texas, we'd have have big friggin' stars or state monuments to do that. In Canada, the yards are all frozen tundra so they don't have the problem with fly-away real estate.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Hey, I have a star. (local Menard's Xmas product)

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Ran an ad for this on Craigslist. http://grandrapids.craigslist.org/grd/1273837635.html

    My one respondent made some funny comments, and included a sigline...zoning administrator for a nearby Twp.

    Networking can be found anywhere. If this thing lands me a planning gig, I'll reposition it to the front yard!

  19. #19
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Drag them suckers off to the "Antiques Roadshow" next time its around! Make them tell you what they are!
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  20. #20
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Ha....

    Quote Originally posted by Veloise View post
    Can't be. I'm on a 50' x 54' city lot, no room for a septic tank. And it took an hour of digging to extract the concrete blob from the ground.
    There is ALWAYS room for a septic tank.....at least here and on smaller lots Ok, maybe its the cap to an old hand dug well
    “The way of acquiescence leads to moral and spiritual suicide. The way of violence leads to bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers. But, the way of non-violence leads to redemption and the creation of the beloved community.”
    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
    - See more at: http://www.thekingcenter.org/king-ph....r7W02j3S.dpuf

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    ^^My sister the doctor dropped by last week. She noticed holes indicating hinges for the former garage carriage doors.

    Maybe I should add a price on its ugly head...

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