You --- each and every one --- are invited to join us Monday evening at the Pin Oak Marsh Lodge, just south of Chariton along Highway 14, for the annual membership meeting of the Lucas County Historical Society. Admission is free and "membership" is not required, although of course we'd be delighted if you forked over the $5 ($10 for a family) it takes and joined up if you haven't already.
We'll begin at 6:30 p.m. with a brief business meeting, followed by the program at 7 p.m. Pie and coffee will conclude the evening.
We're delighted that Wayne County-based archaeologist and local historian Dale Clark has agreed to be our presenter this year. Dale probably knows more about the prehistoric people of south central Iowa and the artifacts they left behind than anyone else you'll meet.
Dale has roamed the river and creek valleys, hills and prairies of the region as a collector of artifacts for 30 years, serves on the board of the Iowa Archaeological Society and is certified as an archaeological site surveyor by the office of the State Archaeologist. In fact, he recently was nominated for the archaeological society's prestigious Keys-Orr Award, which recognizes excellence in the areas of research, reporting and preservation.
His related "hobby" is the recreation of contemporary versions of some of those artifacts, most recently pottery. He'll bring along a selection of artifacts, ancient and modern, for you to take a look at.
If you pay attention to regional history, you'll know that Lucas County's first EuroAmerican settlers occasionally encountered groups of native people here. These were the Pottawatomi, who hunted in this territory while headquartered in southwest Iowa. Before that, the Sauk and Meskwaki held title to Lucas and Wayne counties until 1845, when land west of the Red Rock Line was opened to EuroAmerican settlers. And even earlier, this was the land of the Ioway.
But the artifacts that turn up frequently, especially along White Breast Creek, the Chariton River and other streams were left behind by earlier people whose history is deduced largely from their artifacts because they had neither written language nor EuroAmerican scribes to write about them.
These are the people Dale will be talking about Monday evening --- and I'm looking forward to the program. Feel free to join us and listen, too.