The year, 1979. The place, Trader’s Village In Grand Prairie. The occasion was the 1st International Treasure Hunting Society (ITHS) meeting. Which was a five day metal detecting convention. There were over 2000 participants in attendance, with some from as far away as Australia. Also in attendance were local avid metal detectorists Dennis Wynne and Joe Maenner. Both had come to the ITHS meeting to help Charles Garrett and company put on what was to be the largest gathering of treasure hunters in the world!
After the first day’s hunt, while sitting around a campfire, conversations roamed from military relics to caches of hidden money. They spoke of the great people who were gathered, pursuing knowledge of our great hobby and sharing the joy of detecting with like minded folks from all over the world! Other people came and went from the campfire that day, but Dennis and Joe stayed up late into the night, comparing stories and tales of buried treasures they had found.
Talk eventually turned to local clubs... which, at the time, were few and far between. Dennis came up with the idea of “Why don’t we start a club in Fort Worth!”…But How!? They spoke of things like word of mouth, mailing postcards and finally, a plan was hatched...
Dennis had recently discovered a Wells Fargo Strong Box hidden beneath a house. The local paper had heard of this and had been pursuing him to do an interview. It was decided that the story would be told and Dennis and Joe would use that article, as well as a classified ad to invite other treasure hunters to join in a new club.
That article was published in the local paper along with several classified ads. Numerous people responded to the call. At the first meeting, held at Ft. Worth’s Police and Fire Training Academy, a total of five people were in attendance. The original name of the club was "Cowtown Treasure Hunting Club". Joe Maenner served as our first President. Gary Ritter, a court reporter in Tarrant County, was the Vice President and Dennis Wynne was our first Treasurer.
Both Joe and Gary have passed on, but Dennis is still with us. From that “fateful” night around a campfire, to this very day, Cowtown Treasure Hunters Club has grown and prospered and has built a reputation among our peers as one of the top clubs in Texas!