Thursday, May 1st, 2014
Fort museum to kick off season
Prehistoric artifact show slated Sunday
By William Kincaid
FORT RECOVERY - The 2014 season of the Fort Recovery State Museum kicks off Sunday with a prehistoric artifact show.
Also, four renowned experts from as far away as Oklahoma have been secured for the summer speaker series, all of whom will focus on this year's theme of the Native American experience.
From noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, representatives from the Archaeological Society of Ohio organizations will display artifact collections on the lawn behind the museum, located at 1 Fortsite Street.
The annual display show was formerly held in October as part of Ohio Archaeology Month.
"We decided to do that this year as part of our kickoff Sunday because it draws people in quite well," museum director Nancy Knapke said.
The museum began working with the ASO several years ago when it partnered with Ball State University, Muncie, Ind.
"At this time I think we have 33 tables of exhibits that we have planned and it is possible that there may be others show up that day," she said.
Artifacts dating to 14,000 B.C. - including a pristine 1793 pistol and gold coin recently unearthed near Fort Loramie - will be shown.
Ball State students, led by BSU archaeologist and Fort Recovery native Chris Keller, will explain their work in the village locating the original wall of Fort Recovery, the grounds of the seminal battles of 1791 and 1794 and other investigations.
The Fort Recovery documentary, "Forgotten Histories," an exploration of a series of cornerstone battles responsible for the westward expansion of the United States, will be shown at 1 and 3 p.m.
A showing of paintings and illustrations by artist and museum contributor Hal Sherman, who died of a heart attack on April 3, will be played throughout the afternoon.
"He was a true gentleman who possessed unbelievable talent and knowledge and had an insatiable appetite to learn more and to share his knowledge and ideas with friends," Knapke wrote in a recent newsletter.
The summer Sunday speaker series, which for the last two years focused on the War of 1812, will be about Native Americans involved in local battles. All presentations are at 3 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is free of charge.
"There are many tribes who are active today but these are just representative tribes," Knapke said, adding the speakers want to emphasize that Native Americans are still an active people living in America today.
The following are scheduled to speak in the museum basement:
• June 8 - Ben Barnes, Shawnee native from Miami, Okla., speaking about Shawnee tribal history; significant leaders (Blue Jacket, Tecumseh, The Prophet); Battles on the Wabash and post treaty of Greenville History.
• July 27 -Steve Littleton, Ottawa researcher/expert speaking about Ottawa tribal history; Battles on the Wabash and post treaty of Greenville.
• Aug. 17 - Jeremy Turner, Native American from Indianapolis, Ind., speaking about the Delaware Nation.
• Sept. 21 - George Ironstrack, Miami Native from Miami University, Oxford, speaking about Miami tribal history; Chief Little Turtle; and Battles on the Wabash.
The Ohio Historical Society handed over control and management of the museum to local officials in 1984. Museum staff and trustees work in collaboration with the Fort Recovery Historical Society in managing and generating funds for the museum.
Proceeds from admission, group tours and souvenir sales go directly into the museum account. The museum also receives money from fundraisers organized by the historical society and about $7,000 each year from the state.
Knapke estimates about 500 people visit the museum each month during the summer.
The museum will be open May weekends and noon-5 p.m. Memorial Day. It will be open daily between noon and 5 p.m. in June, July and August. In September, the museum will be open on weekends and noon-5 p.m. on Labor Day.
Guided tours are available by appointment through November.
For more information about the museum, visit www.fortrecoverymuseum.com.