Monthly Archives: March 2012

Celt Found at Hollstein Site – Amherst

A new archaeological site has been located and documented by the New Indian Ridge Museum.  Currently agricultural land, this property is slated for development in the near future.  We have gained permission from the landowners to conduct an archaeological survey of this property and work to preserve any evidence of prehistoric inhabitance.

Agricultural land owned by the Hollstein family, contiguous to the Historic Shupe Homestead in Amherst, along Cooper Foster Park Road, has been identified as a prehistoric site.  The topography of the immediate area is characterized as gently rolling with a few steep valleys, especially closer to tributaries feeding Beaver Creek. Beaver Creek is located nearby and would have been an important source of water and nourishment for prehistoric peoples.  High cliffs along the Creek would have also aided in protection and fortification as well.

Through surface hunting operations and archaeological surveys, museum staff has been able to locate several artifacts indicating prehistoric inhabitance.  These include: 100+ flint flakes from the production process; a nutting stone/hammerstone multi-purpose tool; 2 fragments of Archaic Pentagonal projectile points; fire cracked rock; a multi-purpose stone tool; a green banded slate celt, and part of a stone mortar.

Archaic Pentagonal Point.

The farm field has not been plowed for several years, and a no-till crop planting technique has been employed most recently.  At an estate sale in April 2011 at the Hollstein farmstead, seven celts and an un-fluted Paleo projectile point were offered for sale. This old farm collection was probably assembled by either Mr. George Hollstein or his father, many years ago.  The artifacts were found on the family’s farmland during farming operations.  The New Indian Ridge Museum was fortunate enough to be able to purchase and secure these artifacts and keep them preserved in the area, not far from where they were made thousands of years ago.

The artifacts found by both the Hollstein family and the New Indian Ridge Museum indicate the site was inhabited by people of the Paleo and Archaic cultures.  By finding these different artifacts indicating a range of prehistoric cultures, it is very possible this area was used as an important “pass through” spot by the prehistoric people over the years, heading to other areas.  The presence of so many flint flakes makes us postulate that this area was an important campsite spot where tools were manufactured.

Portion of worked flint piece in situ at the site.

An assortment of flint flakes from the site.

On March 27, a celt (ungrooved axe stone tool) of local green banded slate material – seen below – was found in the field, further underscoring the importance of documenting this prehistoric site before it is developed.

The slate celt is seen here "in situ" at the site.

Side view of the bit end of the celt.

A portion of an Archaic Pentagonal point shown here "in situ" at the Hollstein Field Site in Amherst, found by Col. Nahorn April 3, 2012. This piece further confirms it was used by the Archaic prehistoric peoples.

Another view of the celt.

Clearing Out Invasive Plants

We are once again at that time of year when it is necessary to go into the woods and wildlife preserve at the Historic Shupe Homestead in order to continue our work to clear out non-native invasive plant species.  One of the plants we have been working to eradicate from the property along the Beaver Creek in Amherst, Ohio, is the Garlic Mustard plant.  It can quickly take over a large patch of ground in the woods and crowd out native wildflowers, consuming sunlight and nutrients.

Pictured here are a few May Apples, a native plant that usually comes out of the ground closer to the month of May; however, with this unseasonably warm weather, we have been seeing them sprout from the ground much earlier – the end of March.

May Apple plants, a native wildflower located in a bottomland floodplain forest at the Historic Shupe Homestead Wildlife Preserve.

Watershed Open House

On Saturday, March 24, 2012, Col. Matthew W. Nahorn participated in the annual Vermilion River Watershed Open House at the Vermilion-on-the-Lake Clubhouse along Lake Erie in Vermilion, OH.  He represented the Beaver Creek Watershed Protection Group as Watershed Coordinator.  A display highlighting and explaining the Beaver Creek Watershed was accompanied by a display of early prehistoric tools from the region.  These tools, from the collection of the New Indian Ridge Museum, were presented to demonstrate tools that were used by early prehistoric inhabitants of Northern Ohio.  The open house was well-attended, and many interesting conversations took place.

Col. Nahorn at his display at the annual Vermilion River Watershed Open House where he represented the Beaver Creek Watershed. Photo courtesy Jean Rounds, NIRM official photographer.

Barn Addition

An addition to an existing barn on the Shupe Homestead property will be constructed.  Groundbreaking took place March 15, 2012 as shown in the photo below.  The barn will serve to hold tractors and other machinery required in maintaing the property, conserving its natural resources, and storage space for historic materials that are planned for use in the restoration of the Historic Shupe House, among other items.  We are pleased and excited to begin this new project.

Col. Nahorn at the groundbreaking ceremony for a barn addition to be constructed at the Historic Shupe Homestead.