second annual Native American series

Chautauqua-Wawasee and Syracuse-Wawasee Historical Museum are collaborating to offer the second annual Native American series, which consists of three programs that explore the history of Native Americans in northeastern Indiana.  Each of the three one-hour programs will be presented over a three-day period, September 3-5, at the Syracuse Community Center, offered free of charge.  Each program will feature presenters with expert knowledge, and provide an interactive environment for discussion.  Masks are required; social distancing will be provided.

Erik Vosteen will present the first program titled “Elm Bark Dugout Canoe Construction”.  Dugout canoes have been historically reported in many lakes in northeastern Indiana, and the bark of a large elm tree can be used to build a serviceable canoe in less than a day. Erik will show how historic watercraft were built from natural materials gathered right from the forests, and built on the shores of lakes and rivers for thousands of years.  Erik Vosteen has been building and teaching about watercraft of the prehistoric Great Lakes region for over a decade.  He has built numerous   elm   bark   and dugout canoes over the past 15 years.  This program is on September 3, 6:30- 7:30, at the Syracuse Community Center.  This program is also available using the ZOOM application link  See the Museum’s website for more details by clicking HERE.

Jim Bickel and Michelle Edington are teaming to present the second program titled “Prehistoric weapons, tools and adornments of Native Americans”.  Michelle and Jim will bring back to the Wawasee area remnants of the inhabitants of this area from centuries ago. With over 100 years of combined studies of prehistory, they will discuss and exhibit a collection of over two hundred Native American artifacts. The identification and function of these relics will be the topic of their presentation. A short presentation identifying raw flint that is indigenous to this area will be included. Many of the artifacts will be their personal finds from thousands of hours of fieldwork.  Jim developed an interest in hunting for arrowheads as a young boy. While on fishing trips with his father, he would frequently hunt for artifacts as well. He continued to surface hunt for more than 50 years, with his most memorable day occurring on March 1, 1985 when he and his daughter Michelle discovered a cache of 70 hornstone willowleaf blades, which can be seen in Who’s Who in Indian Relics, Volume 7.  This program is on September 4, 6:30- 7:30, at the Syracuse Community Center.  This program is also available using the ZOOM application link

Trevor Tipton will lead the third program titled “Legends, Lore and Legacies of Northeast Indiana Natives”.  Trevor will discuss and display his Indian artifact collection acquired from Noble County and weave the local history of the Native Americans into this presentation. From the pre-historic cultures, including the Mound Builders, to the historical tribes of the Miami and the Pottawatomie, Tipton will share the history, folk stories and legends of these native peoples. His personal collection accumulated over the past 40 years will be on display.  This program is on September 5, 10:30- 11:30a.m., at the Syracuse Community Center.  This program is also available using the ZOOM application link  Following this program Jeff Mesaros will demonstrate Flintknapping to show how Indian artifacts were made by hand.  This technology was used in historic times to manufacture gun flints and in prehistoric times to make spear and dart points, arrow heads, knives, scrapers, blades, gravers, perforators, and many other tools.  As you watch Jeff, think about this quote from the book Sapiens: “the average ancient forager could turn a flint stone into a spear point within minutes.”