History Center hosts the largest artifact show in the region.
The Steele County Historical Society will host the annual Gopher State Archeological Society show on Saturday, March 30. This is the fifth year for the show at the SCHS and it has grown to become the largest artifact show in the region. This event is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and offers a fantastic opportunity to see many of the region’s largest and most complete private collections.
Many collections will feature personally found artifacts from Steele County and around the state. There will displays covering all time periods and a wide range of items from Arrowheads to Native American Beadwork and Fur Trade artifacts.
This year one of the largest private copper artifact collections will be on display. The abundance of raw copper in northern Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota was harvested by natives over thousands of years and fashioned into a wide variety of finely crafted items. These artifacts are some of the oldest metalwork in the world dating back over 8,000 years. There will be copper knives, fish hooks, harpoons, spear-points, beads, bracelets and more.
Our local archeological record spans 11,000 thousand years and items dating back to the Paleo time will be on display at the show. Collectors from around the region will feature items such as stone arrowheads and knives, stone axes, copper tools and bone tools. More recent historical items such as fur trade artifacts, beadwork, baskets and Native American art will also be on display.
“Minnesota has always been a cross-roads of sorts with our lakes, rivers and resources drawing people to the region for over 10,000 years” says Tom Amble of the Gopher State Archeological Society. “We have sites where one day we might find a 5,000-year-old stone point and the next day we might find a 200-year-old trade bead.”
The intent of the show is to encourage communication and education among collectors, professional archeologists and the public. “We want to raise awareness among collectors so they know how important it is to share these finds.” Amble explains that other topics such as responsible and legal collecting and identifying fakes are discussed at every show.
Anyone interested in artifacts or local history will find the event to be a great way to spend an hour or the whole day. There will be items for sale or trade. If there are items you have found or that have been passed along in your family, bring them to the show. There will be a number of knowledgeable people on hand to give you some opinions as to what you have – is it 10,000 years old, 300 years old or possibly a modern replica?