Gene Cooley

Relic Hunter Extraordinaire


Gene Cooley, now in his 90's, relic hunts every chance he gets. Born in 1920 in Springfield, Ohio, his family eventually moved to and settled in New Boston, Ohio where his father was a railroad engineer. Gene kept in shape as a teenager by becoming a Golden Glove boxer. By World War II, he was in the US Army and had been stationed with his engineering unit just east of Richmond, Va. at Byrd Field (now Richmond International Airport). Two decades later, with a birthday approaching, Gene jokingly expressed to his family his desire to obtain a metal detector. The family didn't think it was a joke, so to his surprise, he was given a "Jetco" metal detector. Gene laughingly admitted that it did its intended job, that it was quite good at finding metal, but mainly metal on TOP OF THE GROUND! After a while he upgraded to a MetroTech, then a Double Eagle, and on and on to the next level of detector that would find those items deeper and deeper in the ground with all the bells and whistles that come with the latest model. The year was 1967 when his passion for unearthing relics began to grow and when time permitted, from his career in the automobile business, he would pack up the detector and digging tool and head for the fields and woods. Using his head, and his business connections, he discovered that one of his automobile clients just happened to be the owner of several thousand acres situated along the banks of the mighty James River. This acreage just happened to also be where General George B. McClellan's troops were camped after re-treating from the Battle of Malvern Hill. Gene began to dig, and dig and dig, and he is still digging.


More of Gene's story is coming..............