Central States Archaeological Societies
Central States Archaeological Societies


Robert Whitehead

Central States Archaeological Societies 1999 January Journal
Kentwood, Michigan


Birdstone found by Robert Whitehead in Randolph County, Indiana. Shown actual size.

In 1964 at Thanksgiving I took my family from Grand Rapids, Michigan, to Randolph County, Indiana, to visit my elderly father and mother. They lived on a farm with a four- or five-acre pond near the middle of the east 49 acres. The pond had a high ridge on the east side and a lower ridge on the north side. Since childhood, when we moved to this farm, I had found artifacts in every field. As a grown man I still continued to search the best areas. The best area was the east ridge. Second best was the north ridge.

Thanksgiving day was cold and blustery, and other visiting family members kept me busy. I couldn't get away to find arrowheads. Since I was running out of time, I decided to get up early on Friday morning. I awakened as daylight was breaking in the east. It was cold and raining, but I decided to put on extra clothes and my dad's warm hunting cap and venture out to the east ridge. With wind blowing a gale and the cold and rain, it was very uncomfortable. My eyes watered so badly all I accomplished was to wipe away the tears. I thought to myself, "What am I doing out here at dawn with icicles forming on the bill of my cap? Only a nut arrowhead hunter like me would be here!" I began to head east over the ridge towards the house. I took about three steps and could not believe what I saw. It was a greenish banded Huronian slate birdstone. It was drilled at both ends, but had a chip gone from one side. I almost felt like pinching myself. It seemed like a dream. I grabbed the birdstone from the soybean row and with my heart singing headed for the warm house. I was on a high that lasted for days. The moral of the story - sometimes it pays to be a nut arrowhead hunter.

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