According to Rev. Ball, the pioneers were also interested in archaeology. Ball wrote in 1884: "The finest collection of American antiquities in this county has been made by W.W. Cheshire, an enthusiastic archaeologist and member of the Indiana Archaeological Society. In the department of arrow and spear heads Dr. Ball has a fine collection, and in purely human remains he has probably the best in the county. Of fossil shells the finest are probably in the possession of T.H. Ball. In the cabinet of W.W. Cheshire are some three hundred specimens of stone implements collected in the county, some having been obtained in every township. Among the stone axes are some very fine specimens, one weighting six and three fourths pounds, and one being only two inches long and one inch and a half broad, a miniature or toy axe. Of the axes there are, collected in the county, about two dozen. Of the arrow heads there are about one hundred. Some of these are remarkable for their beauty and regularity. One is of chalcedony, of the variety called agate, one and five eighths of an inch wide, and two and six eighths inches long. One is of copper, apparently molded, four and three eighths inches long, and one inch and one fourth wide, with three small notches on each side of the shaft. This was found in St. John Township. There is in this cabinet a piece of copper found near Lowell. One stone arrowhead is worked with a twist as though designed to give it a whirling motion in the air. There is also the breast bone of a wild goose shot on the Kankakee marsh some years ago through which is the arrowhead which was then in the breast of the live goose. This is of bone, nicely made. Is considered by some of us to be of Esquimaux workmanship and is nine inches long, a half inch wide, slightly curved, and has four sides or faces. The shaft that was evidently inserted in the arrow is about one inch long and is finely wrought to a point. This is a relic or curiosity that money would not buy. In this cabinet is also a remarkable stone with a pebbly appearance, very nicely worked, convex and egg shaped on one side, with a crease cut in the convexity, the under surface concave. The size is about that of a hen's egg, although not so long for its thickness. The stone has been pronounced by the archaeologist of the Smithsonian Institute unique. This also money would not purchase. There are here also specimens from near Hebron, just out of our county, of mastodon or mammoth bones with teeth; and zeuglodon bones, brought by T.H. Ball from South Alabama. On the farm owned by J.P. Spalding, near the northwest corner of 33, range 8 west, are the remains of two mounds. They have been plowed over for more than forty years, but human skeletons, arrow heads and pottery are still unearthed, as the plowshare goes deeper year by year. The larger one was about forty feet in diameter. The pottery found is of two varieties. The location was originally a ridge or headland of the grove [Orchard Grove] running into the marshland. In the fall of 1883 two young men of Creston dug out a skeleton, probably from an Indian, from the north mound at the south end of Cedar Lake. The skeleton was found in a sitting posture and was only about six inches under the surface of the ground."
Decades later there are many fine collections of arrowheads in the area which have been passed down through families and generations. Mrs. John Driscoll wrote in her memoirs of being afraid to go down the trail to the spring past where the Indians lived. That area was known as Driscoll Woods. The Old Timer bought a home there in 1958 and still lives there. He found arrow heads at that time in the yard. Years before he and a chum found many arrowheads in the nearby area. That collection was donated to Fremond McCarty for his famous collection which was displayed in the corner barbershop for years.
There is a fine collection of hammerheads and tomahawk stones proudly displayed at the Halsted House Museum. The collection was donated by Chester Rieke who found them while plowing the family fields on Fuller Island (203rd Ave. near Indiana 55).
On this seventh year of the Collier Lodge dig, they are still finding pieces of history from the same era Ball found, in addition to ones left by the settlers of his time. While he left copious notes about the time, way of life and the area history, the finds at Collier give us a larger picture. We can only imagine what future archaeologists will make of our 21st century way of life. Many of the Collier artifacts will be available for viewing at the Aukiki River Festival on August 22nd at Baums Bridge.
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