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Three Rivers Archaeological Society

Chapter Report (2005-2006)

The Three Rivers Archaeological Society Chapter of the IAAA (TRAS) is finally on firm ground. After six years, we have established a firm relationship with the Logan Museum of Anthropology at Beloit College and the Macktown History and Living Education Center in Rockton, Illinois. We currently have 17 paid members including one at sustaining and one at institutional. Attendance at our meetings averages at 20; usually at least one or two Beloit College students sit in on the meetings. Most importantly, we held elections last year for the first time in about three years and elected officers (Sara Pfannkuche as President, Bill Green as Vice President, and Cathy Crawford as Secretary-Treasurer). Our goal for next year is additional board members.

Membership at monthly events (we meet the second Monday of every month except July and August) has increased we believe due to our monthly newsletters, which we started last year. The newsletter includes a calendar of upcoming events, a summary of our last meeting, a reminder for our next meeting, and additional information about paying dues, fund raising events, and any archaeological field opportunities. Half of the newsletters are mailed while the other half are sent electronically, saving us some postage. Included on the electronic mailing are past speakers, local politicians, and contacts for the other IAAA chapters. Let us know if you would like to be added to our email mailings.

The last year has been filled with great lectures for our group. Since the last IAAA annual meeting, TRAS speakers in 2005 included: Pat Richards of University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee who spoke on "Unknown Man No. 198: The Archaeology of the Milwaukee County Poor Farm Cemetery;" Dick Newsome of Beloit College who led a discussion and walking tour of the Beloit area natural environment; Ernie Boszhardt of the University Wisconsin- LaCrosse who presented "Deep Cave Rock Art in Wisconsin" in conjunction with a rock art exhibit by Geri Schrab at the Wright Museum of Art, Beloit College; Bob Sasso of the University Wisconsin-Parkside who presented "Potawatomis in Southeast Wisconsin;"; and Bill Green and Sara Pfannkuche who gave a behind- the-scenes tour of the Logan Museum of Anthropology.

So far in 2006, TRAS speakers included: Rochelle Lurie of MARS, Inc., who presented a projectile point workshop; Phillip Millhouse of the University of Illinois who presented The John Chapman Site and Its Importance for Understanding Native American History in the Upper Midwest; Dave Thomas, director of the Eastern Woodland Education Center in Janesville, who presented Natural Environments and the Use of Agriculture by Woodland Indians; and Beloit students Patrick Johnson and Rebecca Bober, who presented their recent research on Virginia and North African archaeology. The best thing we did for meetings this year was add a social time after the speaker that includes snacks and drinks provided by TRAS. I think everyone has enjoyed this portion of the meeting. We also had a December program in 2005, beginning it with a Holiday potluck dinner. It was a great time, especially since the Macktown Living History and Education Center allowed us to have the dinner at the historic Mack House, built circa 1838. We even had the ambience right, eating by oil lamp. Afterward, Rochelle Lurie gave a lecture on Mississippian Pottery: Marking & Maintaining Boundaries Without Fences. This lecture augmented the traveling Smithsonian exhibit Between Fences housed at Macktown during December.

Last year TRAS stole a good idea from other groups and held our own garage sale, bringing in $200. We were very lucky to have most of our items donated by faculty and staff of Beloit College. We conducted our sale the same weekend as SALEing 75, a county-wide organized garage sale that includes eight communities along Illinois Route 75. Although a sudden cloudburst dampened some of our inventory, we were ecstatic in the end to find out how easy it was to raise money. This year we our going to send in the registration fee and "officially" join the garage sale. This will mean that our sale is included in the flier mailed out to individuals and handed out by businesses, so we hope to raise even more money this year. We spent a portion of the money we raised last year byto sponsoring a reception at the 29th Annual Midwest Conference on Mesoamerican Archaeology and Ethnohistory held at Beloit College. TRAS enjoyed being able to help out this professional organization.

TRAS members also participated in two summer field trips, held instead of lectures. The main part of our July trip was a private tour of the Aztalan State Park Mississippian site in Jefferson County, Wisconsin. On the way to the tour we, stopped at the Jefferson County Indian Mounds and Trail Park and the Fort Atkinson Intaglio Mound. It was a hot day, but our attendees thought the tour was worth it. In August, the stateline area was the focus of our tour, with stops at Beattie Mound Park in Rockford, Macktown Historic Site, and the Nygren Wetlands in Rockton, and Beloit sites including the 1835 Blodgett/Turtle Creek Millrace, Totem Park Mound Group, Oakwood Cemetery Mound Group, and Big Hill Park Site. Members thought it was nice to know were happy to learn that it is not always necessary to travel far to see well documented, important archaeological resources. This year we are planning one field trip, an overnighter into the Driftless Region of Wisconsin.

TRAS is still working on formalizing a chapter relationship with the Wisconsin Archeological Society (WAS). To do this, we need to alter parts of our constitution to be in standing with both IAAA and WAS. We hope to model our connection with Wisconsin in the same way that the Quad Cities society is connected with Iowa, and will submit any constitutional changes to the IAAA board. By being a member of both groups, TRAS will be able to meet its goal of fulfilling the needs of avocational and professional archaeologists, as well as the general public, on both sides of the state line. The relationship between TRAS and WAS should be formalized by the time of the next WAS board meeting in October. To celebrate this new association, TRAS has volunteered to host the WAS Annual Business Meeting for 2007 next April. Why is this important? We will be hosting it in conjunction with the 2007 IAAA annual meeting over the weekend of April 19 and 21. Our plan is to have a reception Friday night at the Logan Museum, conduct both groups' business meetings and chapter reports Saturday morning, give tours and presentations of archaeology of the stateline area Saturday afternoon, host another reception Saturday night, and give tours of stateline sites in Wisconsin and Illinois on Sunday. Please mark your calendars for this meeting. It is the first time that WAS and IAAA will have a joint meetingmet at the same time and it should be an interesting time for all.

To conclude, we would like to thank the Logan Museum, Beloit College, and the Macktown Living Historic and Education Center for the support they have given us.