Scouring an old farmhouse in Flowery Branch with a metal detector, Cheryl Collins unearthed a piece of Hall County, GA, history that was almost a century old.

Collins, of Cumming, found a Hall County Police badge roughly 3-4 inches deep in the ground, the Gainesville TImes reports.

After contacting the Hall County Sheriff’s Office to find out information, Collins was eventually connected to retired Gainesville Police Capt. Chad White, the department’s de facto historian.

“When I saw his email and how much information he had and a love for the history of the department … there is absolutely no way I can keep this in my house,” Collins said of her decision to donate the badge to Gainesville Police.

White, who recently published his history of the Gainesville Police, learned of the short-lived Hall County Police during his research. Working as a supplement to the sheriff’s office in a growing county, Hall County Police only existed between April 1920 and April 1922.

“There was an increase in illegal liquor being hauled throughout the county, so these guys were almost kind of like revenue officers, too,” White said.

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