Chautauqua-Wawasee and Syracuse-Wawasee Historical Museum are collaborating to offer the third annual series of three programs that explore the history of Native Americans in northeastern Indiana. The three programs are presented over a three-day period, September 2-4, with the first two one-hour programs held at the Syracuse Community Center; the third program will be held from 9:00AM to noon on Saturday, September 4, at the Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation pavilion. All programs are offered free of charge and open to the public. Each program features presenters with expert knowledge and provides an interactive environment for discussion and hands-on examination of artifacts.
This year’s programs are:
Thursday, September 2, 6:30 – 7:30 at the Syracuse Community Center
Dr. Jeff Pyle will discuss and display a portion of the renowned Fred Bartol Collection of Prehistoric Indian Artifacts. This is one of the finest collections of mid-west pre-historic Indian relics. It was compiled by Warsaw’s Fred Bartol, who began collecting at a young age and collected his entire life. Upon his death in 1972, the collection was packed up and put away until Dr. Jeff Pyle acquired it in 2019.
Friday, September 3, 6:30 – 7:30 at the Syracuse Community Center
Notre Dame professors and researchers, Dr. Mark Schurr and Dr. Madeleine McLeester will be speaking about what archaeologists know about northern Indiana from the very first humans to settle here over 10,000 years ago through the historic occupations of the Potawatomi and Miami, with a special focus on Kosciusko County. The speakers will also present some new results from their ongoing research, the Kankakee Protohistory Project, which investigates how past societies used the Kankakee Marsh environment as well as changes to the marsh itself through time. Join us as for an evening filled with everything from woolly mammoths to sprawling mound centers, and uncover Indiana’s unique and rich archaeological past.
Saturday, September 4, 9:00 – Noon at the Wawasee Area Conservancy Ruddell Pavilion
Five individual programs are being offered:
Myaamia (Miami Native American) Plant Traditions 9:00 – 10:30
Led by Dani Tippmann at WACF Amphitheater
Follow Myaamia history as we look at the lives of the plants who accompany us on our journey through time. [See insert for more details]
French Influence in the Area 10:30 – Noon
Led by Joe Zdziebko
Joe Zdziebko, dressed as a 1750s French Marine will display and discuss his equipment, uniform, musket, furs, maps, etc. He will also talk about old sayings that are still used today. [See insert for more details]
Flintknapping Hands-on 10:30 – Noon
Led by Jeff Mesaros
Want to know how native American artifacts were made by hand? Jeff Mesaros will show you how. And here’s your chance to try making one!
Kayak Display 10:30 – Noon
Led by Mike Smith
Mike will display and describe his hand-built 17-foot sea kayak.
Archaeological Dig for Children 10:30 – Noon
Led by Jamie Clemons
Through this hands-on activity, students will “dig” for artifacts, documenting findings through drawings and notes.