In December 2012, Col. Nahorn, director and founder of the New Indian Ridge Museum, completed studies at Oberlin College, receiving his B.A. in Environmental Studies. Jean and Jay Rounds and Bill and Diane Nahorn, trustees of the Museum and integral individuals in the Museum operations, decided to purchase and donate a very important artifact to the Museum, in honor of Col. Nahorn’s graduation milestone.
The Rattlesnake Effigy pipe from Arkansas was purchased from the Col. Ron Sauer collection and donated by the Nahorns and Rounds on February 2, 2013. This important artifact has an important, documented history. Outlined in Col. Vietzen’s “Ancient Man in Northern Ohio” (1941, p. 141-42), under the heading, “A Pipe from the Old Caddo Culture,” we learn that this carved stone pipe was found in Pike County, Arkansas by a Mr. Ross, prior to the Civil War. He was a farmer and merchant in Pike County at that time. It was then presented to his brother-in-law, Mr. Chas. Trickett of Oklona, AR. It was said that Trickett smoked the pipe for some years. In 1912 he presented it to Mr. T. J. Laird of Elyria, OH. (Laird had previously owned a farm in Oklona, AR. and knew Trickett from their time there.)
The bowl and stem feature entwined rattlesnake carvings. Three snake heads are on the top, facing the smoker. The coil at the end of the stem has uniquely carved rattles. In his book, Vietzen states that, “This pipe is one of the finest of the stone pipes ever found in Arkansas.” Most of the pipes from the area are of pottery. It was made and used by the Mound Builder culture in that state, an early culture of the Caddos.
The pipe is of a tannish-cream colored quartzite. It was later acquired by Col. Vietzen and was a part of his collection for over 50 years. It has been featured in several publications. After Col. Vietzen’s death, it was acquired by Col. Ron Sauer. On February 2, 2013, it became part of the New Indian Ridge Museum and once again rests in one of Col. Vietzen’s old cases.
Rattlesnake Effigy Pipe from Arkansas, found before the Civil War. Col. Vietzen collection.
Notice the snake heads facing the smoker and rattles around the end of the pipe’s stem.
The Rattlesnake Effigy pipe, carved from quartzite.
Notice the Rattlesnake Effigy pipe as it rested in one of the cases located inside Col. Vietzen’s house, where his private collection was kept.