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Central Wabash Archaeological Society

Chapter Report (2006-2007)

The Central Wabash chapter officers for 2006-2007 are: President - Lynn Stephens; Vice President - Rob Byrley; Treasurer - Vicki Stephens; Secretary - Dolly Lowry; Librarian/Editor--- Jennefer Burk; Advisor - Ed Brannon; and Directors - Melinda Brannon, Tom Wiseman, Mel Mefford, and Marty Tracy, and Bob Lowry. Paid memberships for 2007 are16 Family, 6 Active and 1 Life, for a total of 22 paid memberships.


The chapter held 12 regular meetings; meeting the third Tuesday of each month at the Schmidt Building located at 408 South Cross St. Robinson, IL. Business issues are addressed at each meeting. The chapter continues to publish a monthly newsletter The Artifactual. The minutes of each meeting are included in the letter so all paid members are aware of chapter activities and of approved or pending business, and social or educational activities. We continued our work at the Phillips site, recovering and recording features and materials associated with the French fur trade period. Distribution and concentration patterns are also being evaluated. Our members are searching old records and archives that may give definitive information on the Lamotte name assigned to the trading post in historical writings. The Lamotte name is also assigned to the creek, prairie and an 1812 fort, with no verifiable written records on the name source.

The Chapter Archaeological Museum was moved from the Lincoln Trail College Campus to the Schmidt Building in Robinson, IL. Many hours of cleaning, painting, constructing new displays, revising lighting etc. and moving were experienced by our members. This same building also houses the Crawford County Historical museum and is open for public viewing.


Pat Munson PhD, Cheryl Munson M.A. and Jocelyn Turner PhD from Indiana University visited the Phillips site in October, giving impromptu discussion on the materials being recovered from the site, as well some excellent ideas on researching materials to find their sources and chronology. Jocelyn also volunteered to process and analyze a flotation sample from a posthole (more likely a smudge pit) that contained many charred corncobs.

Programs on the Phillips site were presented at the meeting of the USDA Soil and Water Conservation conference. They are now more aware of our goals to collect and preserve any of the early history of county and will report any activities they are aware of that may expose or disturb sites. A presentation was given to the "Pioneer Families" on the Fur Trade Era of the Wabash valley. This group is actively collecting and publishing the early recorded history of the county and surrounding area. They have assembled many documents, pictures and records of historical value and are publishing many of them.


The chapter is working with the Palestine Development Association and the Fort Lamotte Rangers in reconstruction of an 1812 era blockhouse in the Palestine, IL Park. The location is very near the original location of Fort Lamotte. The Fort Lamotte Rangers is a re-enactment and shooting club of the 1812 era. Long-range plans are to construct a complete fortification with a reception area and museum in one of the block houses. The French fur trade materials were presented for public viewing at "Pioneer Days" during Labor Day at Palestine. Chapter members were there to discuss the materials, and to involve the public in preservation and record keeping of Native American and early settler activities in the community. We also served buffalo burgers and sold books to raise funds for the chapter. Displays of early settler and French trade items with short talks were presented in September at the annual Hudson Cabins 1812 encampment. Grade school students viewed the displays with questions being answered when possible.


In 2007 we plan to assist in construction of the 1812 era block house and palisade, to continue research and work at the Phillips site, to help purchase and install a security and fire alert system in the museum building, and to publish a limited edition of the Phillips site works