to speak on prehistoric Indians
presentation is part of groups annual seminar
(November 2007) Imagine a lifestyle that included
hunting a 10-foot-tall elephant weighing around six tons. Thats
exactly what prehistoric nomadic people throughout the local area did
in order to survive. And amateur archaeologist Franklin Everman of North
Vernon, Ind., for nearly 45 years has collected evidence of that lifestyle.
Everman will display some of those artifacts and discuss them at the
sixth annual Jefferson Proving Ground History Seminar, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
on Saturday, Nov. 3 at the Jennings County Public Library, 2375 N. Hwy.
3, in North Vernon.
The seminar is hosted by the JPG Heritage Partnership and Historic Hoosier
Hills Resource, Conservation & Development Inc. and will feature
several other presentations on a variety of topics, a catered lunch,
exhibits and an opportunity to bid on special sales items.
The event costs $20 for early registration through Oct. 31 and $25 thereafter.
It is open to the public, and anyone interested in local history is
encouraged to attend. We have something of interest for everyone,
said Ken Knouf, site manager for JPG. Our topics are aimed at
regional and local history of the JPG.
Everman is a member of several archaeology societies, including the
White Water Archaeology Society and Brookville Archaeology Society,
both in Indiana. He has written numerous articles for archaeology periodicals
and said he loves to attend artifact shows.
I go out to the field every chance I get to look for items,
he said. I just love doing this.
Evermans passion for artifact collecting began in the early 1960s
during his teen years because of longtime friend James L. Theler, who
is now a professor of anthropology at Wisconsin University at La Crosse.
James father was an avid collector since the 1930s, and
he got us hooked on hunting for prehistoric artifacts, said Everman,
Over the years, he has collected knives, spears, scrapers, banner stones
and other artifacts from the prehistoric Indians that roamed throughout
the region thousands of years ago.
We know these Indians were hunters and gatherers who did not settle
in one spot, said Everman, who retired from Muscatatuck State
Hospital. They came through the Bering Strait and followed the
Mastodon elephants; spear points from these people have been found in
He said most of the artifacts of prehistoric Indians are found along
main water sources, but scattered items can be found almost anywhere.
There are still a lot to be discovered in this area. However,
many of the prehistoric artifacts are difficult to find because they
run deep in the ground.
He plans to bring to the seminar a chart and what he calls a basic
tool kit and give an explanation for each piece.
In addition to Everman, there will be three other historians that will
speak during the seminar. Chris Asher, director of the Jennings County
Historical Society, will discuss the controversial issue of whether
quilters used their craft during the Civil War era to signal to fugitives
slaves on the Underground Railroad. That is a huge topic of interest
in this area, which was known for its Underground Railroad activity,
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services Brian Winters will discuss the
importance of why his agency conducts controlled burns at Big Oaks National
Wildlife Refuge, an overlay refuge situated on the former JPG grounds.
Professional historian Glory-June Greiff will speak about the significance
and culture of the JPG during 1930s. There were many smaller communities
that no longer exist in this area, said Knouf. They have
an interesting history.
The JPG Heritage Partnership was formed to make sure the entire story
about the creation, support and history of the Jefferson Proving Ground,
an ammunition testing ground for the U.S. Army, is told.
The purpose of the non-profit organization is to gather oral histories,
photographs, documents and artifacts about the 55,000-acre area that
occupies parts of Jefferson, Jennings and Ripley counties in Indiana.
For more information about the JPG History Seminar
or the JPG Heritage Partnership, call Ken Knouf at (812) 273-2551 or
Lilian Carmer at (812) 873-6494 or the Historic Hoosier Hills office
at (812) 689-6410, ext. 5.
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