Fort Loramie Artifact Show Brings Together Passionate Collectors

Bob Blindauer
Staff Writer


Fort Loramie historian and retired high school teacher Ken Sowards was about ready to pop his buttons Sunday, April 23, at the Fort Loramie Historical Association  Museum. The turnout for the Indian artifact show there this day, both in terms of the attendance as well as the number of exhibitors gave a real goose to the notion that people in the area are interested and engaged in discovering the historical roots and significance found, in many cases, right in their own backyard.

More than 20 exhibitors who have become enamored with the hunt for artifacts displayed all manner of arrowheads and primitive hand tools created from and by stone during the session which lasted from 1-4 p.m. Perusing their treasured finds were some 150 guests who seemed equally enamored by the large collection of artifacts exhibited. Thus Sowards and fellow organizer Ken Gigandet displayed their pleasure at the size of the gathering and the sharing of experiences and knowledge gleaned in understanding the meaning latent in the objects attesting to the early Indian presence in the area.

The show featured a wide variety of artifacts from the surrounding area including arrowheads, pottery, stone tools and more.

A common thread shared by the collectors seemed to be how their personal interest in hunting for these objects began in their youth, usually through a father or brother with a shared interest in collecting or on their own by happening to find a primitive artifact that looked unusual and seemed to have been hewn and not naturally formed. For many of them, finding that one object has since provoked a lifetime of curiosity in searching for the objects  and the quest for more and better understanding of their significance.

Sidney collector Chad Francis talked about his interest in experiencing the hunt for objects, “I just enjoy the walking. You never know what you’re going to find – a relic, coins, marbles – anything on top of the ground is fair game.”