In the past, I have stumbled across a number of pre-1860 Native American and European artifacts while walking through the woods. I know a lot of people in Spring Grove who have found arrow heads, axe heads, rock walls, unmapped gravestones, unmapped caves, etc. In one field, which was not on my parents’ land, I found an old gravestone of a Smith who was buried about 1862. I wish that I had written down all the information, because when I went back to make a tracing of the tombstone, I discovered that the field had been rented and apparently the renter had unknowingly plowed the tombstone into bits. I couldn’t even find the burial spot. Now, with GPS coordinates and Google Earth, it is easy to document the exact location of an artifact so that others can return to that site and preserve it with photography or other appropriate analysis.
In some instances, I know I would not want to tell just anyone about these artifacts, because they might either walk off with them, or destroy them by artlessly digging them up. At the same time, I want to document them professionally with pictures, videos, microscopic analysis, and perhaps DNA analyses before the forces of nature, or the plow and disc, totally destroy them, because these are part of this land’s heritage that our children and grandchildren deserve to be able to know about.
Because we should be careful who we share the information with, I suggest that the Giants of the Earth Heritage Center be a repository for such GPS coordinates and a description of the site and that those who submit the information be given the option of how secret to keep it. Further, I believe that, where possible, we should either assist or seek outside assistance so that we can document and preserve the site as professionally as is appropriate for its potential historical significance.
For example, here are some options you could choose from when you send in your information about the Spring Grove area artifact you are aware of.
I wish to make these coordinates:
__available to the general public
__available to members of the Giants of the Earth Heritage Center only
__available to Giants members that have passed Giants esoteric initiation tests
__available to the board members of Giants of the Earth only
__available to Giants board and professional archaelogists
__unavailable to anyone aside from the Giants’ webmaster for X number of years
__It is okay/not okay for images/videos of the artifacts to be placed on the Giants of the Earth Heritage Center website
__I wish to donate the artifact to the Spring Grove Heritage Center museum.
Until I get the artifact submission webpage up and running, I suggest that you acquire the GPS coordinates for those significant pre-1860 artifacts that you know of, and then go and document the site with a good digital camera during bright daylight hours. Do not tear apart what you find, but simply document what you can without tearing it apart.
If you want to share the information before the site is officially up an running, you can email me, the webmaster, Dr. Johnathan Storlie, the images, coordinates where you found the artifact, and the level at which you feel comfortable sharing this information. firstname.lastname@example.org
For artifacts that are post-1860, for which you know the original settler owner, I suggest that you document them by affixing images of them to the person/people associated with that artifact on the Spring Grove Bygdebok ancestry.com family tree. For example, I might have a special folding windmill prototype model that my third great grandfather attempted to patent or a special hammer that my great grandfather made to reduce fatigue, since he was a carpenter. I would take a picture of the hammer, for example, and affix it to my great grandfather’s profile on ancestry.com with a description of how this artifact was important to him. If you need assistance, Spring Grove Heritage Center will be able to assist you. Please set up an appointment so that we can ensure staffing resources are available at the time you arrive.