COON RAPIDS, Iowa – An idea by some former Coon Rapids residents brought out a show and tell for collectors of arrowheads, and stone tools in Iowa. The idea came from former area residents Bruce Hall and Steve Wetzel, who had collected various artifacts while growing up. Now though living in other states the two were bringing some of their collections back to White Rock Conservancy to be displayed.
On Saturday an event was held which encouraged local residents to bring in their collections to have some experts take a look. The event was called Archaeology Road Show after the popular PBS series “Antique Road Show.”
“We had a gentleman who grew up around here, who lives in Seattle, came to us and said he has some nice artifacts he found on the land here,” said Conrad Kramer, Director of White Rock Conservancy. “He thought it was a shame they were just sitting in closets.” Some of those items will be displayed at White Rock on loan.
People brought in boxes and trays of arrowheads, and other artifacts found at places around the state for two archaeologists to look at. Joe Artz of Earthview Environmental, and Cherie Haury-Artz. of the Office of the State Archaeologist came in to examine items people had. There was no actual pricing of items, but owners of the items were given advice as to how old the objects might be.
Jackie Kasey of Coon Rapids came in because she had a collection she was curious about. “I’d just like to know about history that there’s somebody there before us, that we didn’t get to know, but we still have a piece of their history as well.” said Kasey.
Israel Wiles of Coon Rapids said he was told the age of his collection. “We do have a couple of arrowheads that are two to three thousand years old,” said Wiles. He said the oldest one in the collection could be four thousand years old.
The first ever event held by White Rock Conservancy drew a standing room only crowd at the shelter house where the event was held.
White Rock Conservancy along the Raccoon River also has a number of archaeological sites on the nature reserve. A new trail system will be constructed next summer at White Rock. Kramer said the trails had to be snaked around White Rock in order to avoid disturbing the archaeological sites.