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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Arrowheads and Artifacts

My maternal grandfather, Earl Henderson, spent most of his adult life building a collection of arrowheads and other Cherokee artifacts. He lived near Spring Place, one of the big centers of Cherokee life in north Georgia. Any time a field was plowed, Granddad would walk up and down the rows looking for arrowheads.  And over many years he amassed quite the collection.  When my grandparents passed away, my mother inherited the collection. She recently donated them to the Chief Vann House, which is located in Spring Place.

 Once home to the influential Cherokee Vann family, it is a museum which showcases a way of life that disappeared with the Trail of Tears.   Our family wanted to see Granddad's legacy live on and we also wanted others to see his collection in its entirety.  This weekend Granddad's collection made its debut at Spring Place Days.


We were all pretty proud of this display!

My mother and her younger sister, Rachel, were on hand to view it. Other members of our family were there through out the day. I know this honor would have made my Granddad very happy.

As a little girl I can remember walking along with him, looking for "rocks" as he called them.  Of course most of the time all we found were pieces of quartz that were pretty common in our area.  He had a keen eye for arrowheads and I think he passed his interest on to my Daddy, his son in law. Daddy also had a collection of arrowheads that he found in many places.  A law passed in 1979 made it illegal to collect arrowheads as they are considered an archeological find. You must have a permit issued by the government.  I am glad our family has allowed others to see these great pieces of the past.

13 comments:

Sandy said...

His collection is amazing. That was a great idea to give it to the museum. Y'all have the picture to remember by and everyone gets to enjoy them. He amassed quite a collection.

Arlene Grimm said...

Sandy, we considered it an honor. Now other people will remember my Granddad when they see his collection.

Jedidja said...

Great! How old are these arrow heads?

Susan Graben said...

Impressive! Will it be on permanent display? We need to do a road trip to see them.

Arlene Grimm said...

Jedidja, the Cherokee were in that area until driven out in the early 1800s. ( President Andrew Jackson moved them to Oklahoma in order to get the gold found in the area and to allow white settlers to take over that good land!) This was called The Trail of Tears if you are interested in reading about it. So all that to say, I am not sure how old they are but as they were made by the Cherokee, they are old. Susan, we will do that when the little house is done! They will not be on display all the time, due to their value but I will find out when they are on display.

Terri D said...

How absolutely wonderful!! This is a great legacy to pass down through the generations. He won't be forgotten, that's for sure!! Thanks for sharing this extensive collection with us!

Mildred said...

The first date John and I went on was to this area and we visited the Vann House. How very nice that others will enjoy your grandfather's collection now.

Barbara said...

I didn't realize you couldn't collect arrowheads anymore. I can partly understand but so many will be left unfound in the fields if collectors like your Grand Dad and Father aren't allowed to wander and find them. The collection is fantastic and I think you made the right decision donating them to a place where they will be viewed and admired.

Mari said...

That is so cool! He really collected a lot and I think it was great that your family donated him. He will be appreciated and remembered by all who see this.
I agree with Barbara that making it illegal to collect them will mean more will just be left in the dirt.

Arlene Grimm said...

Ladies I totally agree about that law...but I guess most of the arrowheads in our area have probably been found. Land near creeks were a treasure trove for collectors as the Indians often camped by water. One of the stones my Granddad found was a stone used in games and it was worn where the fingers would have gripped it. So interesting! Thanks for your appreciation for this collection. It means a lot to me. I have asked my mom for a few of my Daddy's arrowheads so I can frame them in a shadow box and display them at the little house.

Arlene Grimm said...

Oh and Mildred, you and John need to come back and see me when I get moved in!!

Linda said...

How fascinating!!! Louis Dean is a card carrying Native American - Cherokee!
He is on the roll at Clinton, Missouri.

Arlene Grimm said...

Linda, you and Louis Dean need to visit north Georgia and see this part of the Cherokee nation...lots of sites to visit.