Local history as assessed by a renowned archaeologist

Pictured here, Mick Van Steen evaluates a Clinton County prehistoric frame recently donated to the History Center.

Submitted photo

WILMINGTON. The local history has recently been assessed by a renowned archaeologist.

Mick Van Steen appreciated a frame of prehistoric Clinton County artifacts that were recently donated to the Clinton County Historical Center. Van Steen is the former president of the Ohio Archaeological Society, the largest and oldest archaeological society in the United States.

The Ohio Archaeologist’s magazine is dedicated to the study of archeology, with a particular focus on artifacts from Ohio. The Ohio Archaeologist, published quarterly, is one of the best in its field, showcasing Ohio’s rich archaeological past. Additional information about the Ohio Archaeological Society can be found at www.OhioArch.org.

The opportunity to give Van Steen an overview of the Center’s recent acquisition was hosted by longtime member Roger Waugh. Waugh is a strong supporter of the Center and has shown particular interest in a new acquisition in 2022.

Initially thought to be arrowheads, Van Steen determined upon closer inspection that they were “dots” or “notches” from all over Ohio. Many of the items date from Hopewell, Ohio, Thebes, Ft. Ancient and archaic time periods – possibly as early as 6000 B.C. A complete breakdown of the 75 individual objects can be found on display at the History Center.

Shelby Boatman, director of the Center, reports that the previous “Relic Room” was renovated and updated in 2021 to tell a broader and more complete story about Clinton County’s past before its founding in 1810.

“We know that people and animals lived here long before Clinton County became a county in 1810. Our goal is to make sure their stories get told too,” Boatman said.

The Native American History and Heritage Room now contains many fine examples of local artefacts, including a 10,000-year-old mastodon tusk, a replica of the Wilmington tablet, and photographic work by Carl Moon.

The center is due to open March 23-25 ​​in the 2023 season. Museum visiting hours: Thursday and Friday from 13:00 to 16:00 and Saturday from 10:00 to 14:00.

To learn more about the Clinton County Historic Center located at 149 E. Locust St. in Wilmington, visit www.ClintonCountyHistory.org.

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