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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida.
Interviewee: John Griffin
Interviewer: Robert C. Wilson
Place: St. Augustine, Florida
Subject: Florida Park Service Archeology Program of the 1940s and '50s
W: John, I'd kind of like to start off with maybe a little biographical background, if
W: Okay. Where were you born?
G: I was born in Connorsville, Indianna, the southeastern part of Indianna, on
November the eighth, 1919. We came to Florida in 1925 just before the fLr-s of the
boom. My father was an architect and came down a little bit ahead of us and then my
mother and I joined him in Da-tea Beach where he remained actually the rest of his
life practicing architecture and where I grew up through the school years.and both
grade school and high school in Da=ona Beach.
W: Okay, what was your father's name?
G: Harry M. Griffin. He was a rather well-known Florida architect of his period.
W: And your mother's name?
G: Lona C. Zengel/ A german name.
W: And where was your father born?
G: They were both, both my parents were born in the same town in Indiana. Connorsville,
G: Long-term Hoosiers.
W: Oh, that's interesting. I was just wondering whether you might have been related to my
wife or not because there are some Griffin's related to the Ben Hill Griffin's that
are in our family. I was wondering if you....
G: Not that I know of. I, we know of no, south of the Ohio River, relatives.
W: So you kind of grooved in there. Well, what was it like going to school in Deta in
W: high school at that time? I imagine it was pretty interesting. Smaller than it is
today, of course.
G: Oh, yes. And actually, on the peninsula, we had what I've always considered to be one
of my great stimuli and advantages, n the high school there, Sea Breeze High School,
at that time the supervising principal of all the schools on the peninsula side was
a man named Rupert J. Longstreet, who was, in addition to being our supervising
principal, the editor of the Florida Naturalists of the Florida Audubon Society and
a very avid birder, a fellow of the American Association through the Advancement
of Science. A man with several different types of university degrees and who really
ran a very interesting school. Of course he had the advantage of drawing on students
who pven during those depression years were going to have some opportunity to get an
education. Of our graduating class of somewhere in the high thirties or low forties
in number, over two thirds of us, closer to three quarters, went right on that year
into college. This was, of course, in the depth of the depression, so it was a rather
unusual high school, and as a matter of fact, I've since read that some of the other
schoolmen of the Volusia County used to tell Rupert Longstreet, "you're not running a
high school over there. You're running a junior college." And I guess, in some respects
W: Well, it must have been pretty difficult on the funding. Were most of the students
getting extra grant money or getting scholarships somewhere?
G: You mean of the ones that went on to college?
W: Yeah, I mean, in the midst of the depression
"Xby 1 o"-
G: No, the peninsula in Datena Beach didn't get as hard hit as some of the other areas.
There were many families over there that had sources of income where they were able to
send the kids off to college, but another thing about that high school experience is tha
the library was small, of course, but I read Crobr's Anthropology in my high school
libraryand this was just not too many years after the Dayton trial and a lot of other
similar mess, but Longstreet had that type of stuff in his school and it's said that
G: he insisted that all of his teachers read TIirart. !Idie. So,
W: Is that how you really got interested in anthropology there, or
G: Yes. I think through reading those books in high school library.
W: That's really neat. I didn't realize that.
G: Plus, of course, seeing the, some of the sights, the green mound just south of Daytona.
I knew from early childhood jTk-. what a big shelley looked like. I went out on one
occasion with what I now know were pot hunters, and we dipped into a burial mound near
the Tomoka River which looked like a battlefield already. It was full of pits and holes
and bones laying around. That was my first experience of actually seeing a site. Of
course at about that time also, I did see the Ormond Mound being excavated by the
Smithsonian or the, it was FERA team and I believe
W: Was that Sterling?
G: Well, Sterling was in charge of the program, but I think Jesse Jennings was in charge
of that particular excavation and of course I wouldn't have known that at that time,
and then of course, Gordon Willy wrote it up and published it in the EAE series later.
So I must have seen just a
W: At an early age?
G: At an early age,without any tie to it. Also, still while I was in high school, I went
up to Jacksonville one time to hear Servanus Morley give a lecture. His sister,
Elizabeth Towers, had told my mother that her brother was going to give a lecture up
there so we went up to hear him. It was, that was interesting and it didn't turn me into
a Afayanist, but still, it was a little bit more of the impetus toward archeology.
However, at the time I left high school, I was not really settled on archeology per se.
I was interested in many of the natural history type of subjects and practically any
ology could have been the one, I suppose. I was told, early I'm sure when I got to
college, that this was no longer the nineteenth century and you couldn't be a general
ologist", you had to be some particular type of an "ologist". Course I realize now that
there are some people who are broadly naturalists or others, but they didn't encourage
G: you exactly to look that direction in those days. So I really can't say how it
happened, but that was the particular decision. I had a friend who wanted to drag me
out to the University of New Mexico when we left high school where he was determined
to go to study archeology.
W: Who was that?
G: Name was William Albertson, but after he entered the armed services, during World
War II, I don't know whatever happened to his interest. He never developed into an
archeologist anyway, as far as I know. But that was another little stimulation, and
then I guess the final thing was in, at the University of Florida. I entered there
We had to declare, it was general college, but you had to declare what your field
was going to be so I naturally I said architecture to please my father and had no real
intention of following that, but by the time I was in my sophomore year, I had taken a
course in sociology under John McLaughlin who was in the sociology department there.
McLaughlin had worked some with LlJyd Warner in some of the deep south studies of
the cultural anthropology. While it still wasn't clear to me that, as clear as it was
later, that really you had to be an anthropologist to be an archeologist. I was
beginning to catch on a little bit to that idea and McLaughlin just felt that there was
only one place that I should even consider going and that was the University of Chicago.
And I guess he had quite a bit of influence on my making that decision, cause I still
had sort of been thinking about sliding off after the second year out to New Mexico.
W: So you were only going to really spend just two years at Florida?
G: Two years at Florida. Yeah, that was my plan from the very beginning. The two years of
the general college.
W: When did you enter Florida?
G: Nineteen, the fall of 1937.
W: Thirty-seven. You graduated from high school in '36? Or '37?
G: Thirty-seven, yeah. tVWaL- /_ J UV\ which was a class of forty-one and so,
as I say, McLaughlin had that influence on me. Then another thing that happened was that
G: I was a member of the Lamda Chi Alpha fraternity at Gainesville, and our traveling
secretary for the national who came by to visit the chapter was from the University
of Denver originally, and he told me of a fraternity brother who was the anthropologist-
archeologist at the University of Denver, Dr. E.B. Renault. Entienne Bernardo Renault,
and Dr. Renault was a sort of a pitch bad boy of American archeology to some people,
but a very, very interesting stimulating sort of a character he turned out to be. At
any rate, the, through the contact Of this traveling secretary of the fraternity
made, I decided that it might be fun to go to the University of Denver in the summer
of 1939 and take a field course. I was already more or less signed up to enter
Chicago in the fall of '39. So I went out to Denver, then joined a very small little
summer field, really a field party was a good term for one of Renault's summer fields.
We went down into, with our first two week session, we went down into New Mexico, hit
Santa Fe, and hit Albuquerque, hit the laboratory of anthropology, a number of places
like Bandolier and Chaco and ended up at Aztec and Mesa Verde, and then that was the
end of our first two weeks. Our second two weeks were to pick up on archeological
survey in the southwestern part of Wyoming on the blacksquat culture which Renault was
playing around with at that time. Chopper x's and things of that sort. That involved
a one and a half or two day transition through Utah and stop over in Salt Lake City and
then into the Fort Bridger area of Wyoming where we spent another ten days or two weeks
tromping over river terraces, picking up big flake tools and I can attest that they
really are there and I don't tend to even now, to write them off as readily as some
people do as all big pf,-.\ or flakes. They are curiously convincing:I think
when you played around with them for several weeks.
W: Sounds like you had a world wind tour.
G: Well, we did. Basically, yeah. We had, it was a good introduction for someone who had
never been really west of the Mississippi to get a feel for the Southwest, and the
far part of the other plains and the mountainous area, but particularly to get a little
bit of, feel both of the ethnography and the archeology of the Southwest. So that fall
G: then, I did enter Chicago. Had a great shock in the learning process. Florida with
these great big classes and the comprehensive courses were all graded on the curve and
really didn't have to work very hard to do allright on the situation, or at least, I
didn't. I walked into anthropology 201 at the University of Chicago, Faye Cooper Cole
teaching it, and he handed us out a reading list and a few other things and at the
end of the first lecture he said, "by Wednesday, I would like you to be familiar with
Sir Arthur Key's Antiquity of Man and His New Discoveries of the Antiquity of Man.
That's of course, three volumes. That was the first time anyone had ever thrown anything
like that at me, but of course it's kind of standard operating procedure at a place like
Chicago, and he doesn't mean read the one thousand pages in that time, but know what's
in them, know what they are about.
W: Who were the other professors there?
G: At Chicago? Robert Redfield, W. Lloyd Warner, Fred Hagen, _lj-c aad Crogman,
Harry Hoyer and a young instructor just coming in about that time, Bob, Robert Bregwood,
and Saul Tax was a research associate and Father Berard Hale was a sort of research
associate in linguistics. I think that's about the total of them at that time. They
were a very diverse group for a small faculty, and interestingly enough, all but
Warner had been trained by Cole. Yet they were very different brands and types of
anthropologists that had come out of that same mold. I suppose Dr. Cole never felt that
he was the world's greatest anthropologist and leader so I guess he wasn't trying to
force everybody to his mold. He was letting them develop more or less as they would
W: There weren't too many schools really, were there? With Anthropology programs at that
G: Not really.
W: What, Colombia...
G: Colombia, Chicago and California, and then of course, Harvard and Yale.
W: What about Michigan?
G: Michigan was growing, but I guess they had a doctoral program then, but it wasn't
nearly as big as later. New Mexico was stronger than Arizona at that time, but still,
primarily, was training people about the master's level. We were, in Chicago, we receive
received an awful lot of New Mexico students for the doctoral program. Beloit and
New Mexico seemed to be two of the major feeding institutions at that time. Arizona
really developed later to its position of far overriding New Mexico in the field and
of course, most of the development as we know, was post-war burst. In..Lthe south at the
time, some work at Tulane, I guess a little bit at North Carolina. Tennessee of course,
early, about the earliest it had some of the courses at least taught. Madeliene Nebur
and Tom Lewis, particularly Madeleine, who went down there, Dr. Cole was one of the
people who was called to testify at the Dayton trial but didn't get to testify because
tres-p?-beeasethey were]called, but did at least tell reporters at that time, and
predict that evolution would be taught in Tennessee within several years and then he
sent Madeleine down to the University of Tennessee.
W: Yeah, it's hard to believe, but then again, just looking back on it, Arkansas, was
it last year?
G: Well, and take Dr. Bellamy at FSU. In sociology, but also taught a little bit of
anthropology. He was heavily under the gun in part of that era for his teaching of
evolution and other horrible things.
W: Well, now they've got a building named after him.
W: Who were some of.your classmates there at Chicago?
G: ecrcrdfrre&s-. h < yi 1) 01
W: I mean, you've already listed a who's who as far as most anthropologists are concerned
that were on the faculty.
G: Let's see. Elmon Service, Harry Basehart, Bill Lesa, I'm thinking of known archeologists
first. There's just a whole slew of them in the cultural anthropological field, and then
closer at hand, Scotty MacNeish, Hale Smith, and then coming back, one time or another,
some of the people who had left and gone out on the relief day archeology with
G: Chuck Fairbanks would come back and Bill Malloy was there. <\j, :I -:t ( /f .
W: Jennings had already left.
G: Jennings had already left.
W: And so had
G: And joined the park service.
W: Stu Nietzel?
G: Nietzel had too. Right. He was already gone. Harrington was gone and working at
in Virginia. ,--- just a, Bob Bell, University of
W: So Chicago was one of the major, major areas of training for eastern archeologists.
G: Well, you could look at the so-called Cole Volume in Griffin's archeology of eastern
United States, with the exception of, two exceptions I guess, every author in that book
was one of Cole's students.
W: Was Griffin one.
G: Yeah, Griffin was was, Jimmy went to Chicago for a little while and then switched over
to Michigan and took his degree there, so essentially, way back you might say there,
Jimmy Griffin was a Chicago man. Yeah, there was a period there when most of the
archeologists were coming out of there, and out of that midwest tradition of, which
is a misunderstood thing. I've seen, I've had so many people seem to say in probably
recent years, nobody in the 1940s, late 30s and 40s, was doing anything but putting
cultures into little slots in the midwest taxonomic scheme and they weren't interested
in anything else besides that, and I think one thing that they really miss is that
at a place like Chicago, to get a master's or a doctorate, you had to be proficient
in, at the master's level, in all five fields, and at the doctorate level, in three
of the five fields of anthropology, which means you didn't really become an archeologist
without being very heavily immersed at that period, in functionalism, in acculturation,
in many of the various interests of the period, many of which were seeking laws of
cultural behavior and were interested in processes of culture change.
W: By the five fields, you mean linguistics,
G: Linguistics, two of the five have come together, cultural anthropology and social
anthropology, archeology and physical--or biological now, anthropology, so those
wereithe five we all had to deal with and mqst of us who were archeologists felt that if
linguistics had been dropped out, it would have been a lot easier. But,
W: Do you feel that at this point, looking back on it, that that training on a master's
level even, was very worthwhile? Do you find it...
G: Very. Very. I think that broad total anthropological training is, I think it's
essential. It is hard to put your finger on it sometimes, what makes you think like
an anthropologist, but the breadth of the experience is certainly one of the experience
W: Were you interrupted in your career by the war or were you still in, did you go to
G: I was interrupted, but not physically like some of my friends. No, I was a hundred and
twenty-three pound weakling that Uncle didn't really want. Even when it came down to
the end of the line, so to speak. So I was in school the whole time, but every time that
the draft notice would come in at about one-third of the way through the quarter, tellin
you that three weeks or a month, you were going in for an examination, the tendency
was to say, Oh to hell with it. Forget the academic for a little while and then come
back with your 4-F stamped on your paper again, and have to pick up, so that happened
at least three times.
W: So in other words, you were at Chicago through the whole thing?
G: I was in Chicago throughout the whole war. And was, also interrupted the academic
program to the extent that I started working as a draftsman in the Institute of
Meteorology which was a weather training program. The head of the drafting room was
Robert Bra wood, so I'd known him before, but we got even friendlier during that
period of serving in that drafting room together. And we were doing, were doing, the
school was training weather officers for manuals and long-range studies. They had some
G: of the people like Herbie Reel and others who have made quite a name for themselves in
meteorology since and, oh boy, there goes my name problem again. The guy at Wisconsin
who works on paleo- climates, Reed. Reed Bryson. Yeah, that's his name, isn't it?
W: Yeah, I'm sorry, I don't know.
G: Yeah, he's a meteorologist who's been working on paleo-climates and the influence of
those on pre-history in part, and his interest comes out of that same program of sitting
around and talking to Bob Brarood during the period when the weather maps were being
W: So was Braywood just kind of working there or was he...?
G: Yeah, he was on the faculty, but everybody was suppose to be picking up something,
so, and he had been trained as an.architect and so they put him in charge of the
W: Is that where he picked up his interest in environment and its relationship with..?
G: I think he already had part of it. I think he's always had part of his interest in
that, but it certainly was a, probably a catalyst in dealing more intimately with
these people in other fields like that, so, it was, for all of us, I think an interesting
W: Yeah, a very diverse thing for him to get in. Just one thing that's maybe just a little
off the wall, but I just happen to see something on T.V. this morning about it. Since
you were at Chicago at the time, and the dropping of the A-bomb was there much
release at that time about the Manhattan Project and the reactor there at Chicago. I
mean, were you aware of it as a student, or was it pretty much
G: We knew nothing and I had a roommate in chemistry who was working for Metalurgy, which
was the name of the, which the project went under, or he didn't know anymore about what
he was doing than we did, although we thought he was quite paranoid when he started
reporting to us he was being followed.
W: He was doing that from work. 7
G: A lot of the time. I'm sure now that he was being followed. I don't know by whom, but
he was being followed. But I'm certain that he was as surprised as the rest of us
were when all this came out and the campus was crawling with agents in the meteorology
project right after we had turned out a class of officers to ship out. One of the
lenses,ln the enlarging lenst in the darkroom came up missing. And my god, you would
have thought it was a major crime. About eight high-powered agents descended on this
darkroom to work on the case
W: Secret agents, FBI..?
G: FBI, who knows. Yeah, FBI, something like that, Intelligence or who, but... to find
out about this lens, and at the time we thought, my gosh, you know, typical government
operation. Nothing better to do than have a bunch of secret service men hanging around
the campus, but they were there for obviously, for other reasons that, probably getting
a little bored and really had enjoyed looking out for the theft of one enlarging lens.
The, no, I don't think we knew what was going on across the street. Actually, I lived
about two blocks the other side of Stag Field, which means that I walked by it at least
twice a day, and there were little traveling grocery vans that used to travel out in
the countryside and the suburbs. These would be parked along that street quite
frequently and later it came out, those were some of the filming spots.
I'm probably on many feet of film that they were throwing away out of walking up and
down that street in front of Stag Field.
W: Is that, when you mention Hale Smith, is that where you first met Hale?
G: Right. Hale and I got to be very good friends in Chicago before he was drafted and
went into service and then we were all waiting for him to come back, because Hale
was always a character and so the word was going around, "oh, wait til you meet Hale
Smith." And when we knew he was coming back to campus after the war, but of course,
many of them did leave during that period. MacNeish was in service. Ted Gooder of
W: Ted was at Chicago?
G: Oh, yeah. Yeah, Ted was there, and a number of the others, of course, many of the
W: Fairbanks was in the service?
G: Fairbanks, of course, had been there originally then had gotten in these
W: WPAs, CCCs
G: WPA job in the Southeast. He came back briefly for seminars or something, but I don't
think he really fully enrolled back at that time and when he did go back, he went to
W: Right. Finished up
G: He finished up in Michigan. Course there was a great retreat to Michigan at about
that time after Dr. Cole retired at Chicago, and Kenneth Oar was picked as his
replacement in archeology and most of the students felt they knew more than Kenneth
Oar, so many of them left.
W: Where was Oar? What was his background?
G: Oar was Chicago-trained too, but he had, he worked at (tape ends here-
(Tape A, side 2)
W: So Oar kind of rubbed people the wrong way?
G: Yes. He was a good looking young man and a gentleman in some respects which some of
the others were not. He didn't try -to be.
W: .. Ws-44, well, did some of the other students that were coming
back, were they students at the same time with Oar?
G: Yeah, some of them had been, yes indeed. Had overlapped and ones like, certainly like
Johnny Bennett and, John Bennett of Washington University, and MacNeish and some of
the others like that, but Dr. Cole picked Ken, and I think it was probably one of his
greater mistakes because, Dr. Cole himself was a very gentlemanly sort of a person and
I think he saw, thought he saw, something in Ken which really maybe wasn't there. Or
at least the other people didn't see it. I was not in Chicago when all this happened.
G: I was down here and we'll get to that in a minute, but Hale had gone back to re-enter
the University for his doctorate and Ted Gooder was thereat the time and, MacNeish, I'm
not sure, but anyway there were quite a few of that crowd, that six or eight of them
at one time just picked up and walked over to
W: And Stu never made it back.
G: Stu never made it back.
W: He went to work with what, Ford over in Louisiana?
W: He stayed?
G: He stayed and course, Stu's own stories were that Dr. Redfield told him that he didn't
think he could be an anthropologist and Stu would say, I'm going to be an anthropologist
Dr. Redfield, and I guess perhaps he wouldn't have gone back there, had he gone back,
but, Stu was a great, great figure. So they were shooting people out all over the
landscape from Chicago before the war and of course immediately after the war, which
was about the time I finished my master's. I began looking for a job.
W: Okay, this was when, around...?
W: What did you do your master's? you did a thesis I assume?
G: Yeah, I did a thesis on the Fisher site in northern Illinois. It's an upper Mississippi
site at the confluence of the Des Plaines and the Kankakee rivers and there was a
Fisher focus in the literature. So I, actually the excavations had been done over a
period of years passed, largely by a very fine amateur named George Langford who was,
ran a foundry company of some sort in Joliet and held a hundred or so patents, was a
very unusual person. He had lost an arm early, but this didn't keep him from digging
his sites with one hand and a shovel.
W: Slowed him down to where he could take time to record material?
G: And meticulous, meticulous, beautiful field notebooks. And for the period, considering
the fact that nobody had taught him anything, he was keeping very good records. He was
G: aware of stratigraphy. He published in 1929, I believe it was, a paper in the
American Anthropologist on a stratified at the mouth of the Kankakee River which was
of the earliest midwestern mentions of stratification. At the very time, the Warren
King Morehead was still trying to talk about the different cultures in the Illinois
valley in terms of middle class indians and upper class indians without any time depth
at all, so Langford had worked on this. He had developed these excavations over the
years and he deposited the material at Chicago and the notebooks. He'd put his
paleontology at the field museum. He had a lot of fine fossil collections from
coal measures and had worked on that too. So, somebody needed to write the stuff up.
There had also been a WPA excavation down there to check on Langford's amateurish
W: Who was in charge of that? Do you remember?
G: Gretchen Cutter. And unfortunately, when it came to writing the material up, I had to
interpret the WPA excavations in terms of Langford's notes rather than theirs.
W: So Langford should have been checking on the WPA workers.
G: Right. But it is an interesting site and it's one in which I saw, thought I saw, in the
material a shift from shell-tempered to grit-tempered pottery through time at this
site which of course is backwards from what would have going from woodland in the
mississippian, but what you had was the maximum expansion of the middle mississippian
up that far into the valley and as the thing starts to disintegrate a little bit, as
the peak of the Mississippi period passes, you have re-acculturation somewhat backward,
particularly in pottery of a mix.
W: You see the woodland start to come back in
G: You see the woodland start to come back in and actually mix into some of the economy
as well as as the pure agricultural economy drops a little bit back, so this was an
interesting, you might say, cultural process too that very early, from that work and
from other work, and I remember saying it once in, I guess it was in the 'afety flarbor
report later. I was talking about some parent discrepancies that some of the people
G: might see between what Gordon Willy had done and what I was saying here. As I saw
it, that the difference was that Gordon, in trying to abstract these periods, was
concentrating on the mean here in the center and where I liked to concentrate was
on this line between the two as to where the change was occurring.
W: On the edges of your strata rather than what would be the middle of it where you were
G: Well, not the strata, but the constructs from it, but, of the periods. Yeah, the edges
of the periods had changed from one period to the next rather than the definition.
W: Trying to get the norm for it?
G: Norm of the period. So,
W: Who was on your committee at that time in Chicago for your master's?
G: Dr. Cole was the chairman. Dr. Cro/gman and Fred Egan. And actually, both Crogan
and Egan had worked at the Fisher site as students or graduate students. As a matter
of fact, Dr. Crogman in one of his famous stories was coming back from that area with
a whole truck, panel truck of an early variety, full of skeletal material and getting
into an intersection accident in Chicago and scattering skeletons all over. When he
kind of really came to his senses, he was running all over picking up bones out of the
streets of Chicago, but it really helped me that they knew that site because when I
went in to defend my thesis topic for the department, for the faculty, the man who'd
just been in there ahead of me was Ricardo Alegria, Puerto Rico. He was director of
Puerto Rican history of culture or something like that down there. But Ricardo always
wanted to write the same thesis according to some other people. Whatever the first
line of it was, was, or why the Alegreas are the greatest people in Puerto Rico. So
Anyway, Ricardo had just been in there and when I walked into the room, it was not a
comfortable situation. Particularly Redfield and Warner were seething.
W: Well, did you defend like in front of all the faculty?
G: Yes, you did your, after you picked your topic, you went in and you defended your
topic before all the faculty, before you started to work on your thesis.
W: Well, that's much different than it is today because you pick your committee and you
defend really just in front of those and
G: Actually, at the end of the thing, then the committee read and passed on Ite
thesis and then Kate Terrabian, the author of Manual on Style, ,...,. and you still
didn't get the degree unless you passed her.
W: Well, I think that's the case it is today even that it goes to the editors in the
G: But when I walked into that room, as I say, those two, all the social and cultural
anthropologists were just really upset and one of the first things Warner said to
me, said "do you think this site is worth reporting?" Well, you know, you're under
attack like that, you know, you back off a little bit and start bumbling and so forth.
Crogman, a great big man, I don't know whether you've met Bill Crogman or not. He's
W: No, I haven't had the pleasure.
G: about six foot, four. A big man. And he leaned over the table and he says "you're
damn right it is," so it ended up I was rather silent while Egan and Crogman argued
against Warner and Redfield about the Fisher site.
W: Well, it was nice to have people on the faculty then, supporting you like that. That was
G: So, after a few minutes, everybody calmed d.-n.TBut that's the way they worked that
think at that time.
W: So you didn't come back to Florida at all to do any work. So, you just had a project
G: Just had a project up there.
W: Did you do, were you on any field schools at Ghicago then?
G: Kincaid, we didn't have any of course during the war. They were all interrupted. And
the first little short one after the war, Scottie MacNeish and I kind of ran ahead
without much experience. We had a young student who'd just come in there named Bill
Sears and, but then, actually no. That was after the war. My field in school was at
Kincaid, before Pearl Harbor.
W: So you, another one of the Kincaid
G: Yeah, the last season.
W: The last season.
G: And that was a season in which we had relatively few students and supervisors,
graduate student supervisors and a very large WPA crew.
W: So you got your hand into a little WPA work.
W: Just at the end.
G: Just at the very end. Cause that was the very end. It was the end of the summer and
that December came Pearl Harbor.
W: So, you got your master's and you started looking for work?
G: Yes, and the first one that showed any interest was Kalamazoo Public Museum. Gee, I'm
glad I didn't get that job. Take it. And of course it was right after the war and no one
knew what to ask for salary since they were still kind of frozen at the pre-war level
which meant $1800. a year sounded like a good starting salary. And I had in
the preceding year, '46, I had come down to Florida and given a paper at the Florida
Historical Society meeting here in St. Augustine and had talked on the direct
historical approach to archeology. That was another prominent trend of the period.
People forget about a little bit hno. d<- d-.. b, and byf strong and their
direct historic approach, and
W: Wasn't Stewart in on that too?
G: Yeah, yeah right. Stewart V.e,) a was in on it. So, I gave that paper and
that was really I guess the reason that I got back to Florida and the job, because
Carl Bickle was getting himself into the presidency of the Florida Historical Society
for one major purpose--he wanted an archeological program established in Florida, and
as president of the Florida Historical Society, he felt that he could create a-crisis,
an emergency and that his friend, the governor, could then use his emergency funds to
start a program of this sort.
W: Who was the governor at that time?
G: Governor at that time was, oh, big man, big man
one I didn't
W: That's think that even come across
G: Well, you could check on who the governor was. Loj Caldwell.
G: And, so that's exactly what happened is that Bickle got the Florida Historical
Society pass some resolutions about the need for preserving a study of our pre-
historic remains which were fast disappearing and so forth and so on. Caldwell freed
fifteen thousand dollars of emergency funds, governor's contingency emergency fund,
to be administered through the Florida Board of Forestry and Parks, and through a
branch of it, the Florida Park service to start this program. I received a letter
in Chicago saying my name had been suggested as one who qualified and I might be
interested in such a position. If so, let them know and what were my minimum salary
requirements. So this was Bickle working again, cause he had heard my talk here in
St. Augustine and then suggested my name to the Park Board.
W: Did he know your father, do you think? Or
G: He knew my mother. I mean, his, my mother had been presented of the Florida Federation
of Garden Clubs and his wife had been the one or two after her and had been supported
by my mother in gaining that office, but, so, yes, he knew who I was when we met at
the meeting too.
W: At the meeting.
G: Where to get in touch with me, but that letter was out of the blue. I had had no,
people didn't telephone around as much as they do now and I had had no previous
indication that anything was in the works, so I immediately phoned my parents and told
them about this and said, I don't know what to ask for. The going thing seems to be
about eighteen hundred. They said, well don't do anything til we talk to Ray Vipman.
Ray Vipman was at that time the, and still lives here at St. Augustine, was the
superintendent of the Castillo for the National Park Service and was of, he and his
G: wife were close friends of my parents so they phoned Ray up and Ray's statement was
shouldn't ask for a cent less than thirty-six hundred. Which, when I got the message
back, I didn't know Ray Vipman that well and I kind of thought the man must have
flipped or something because that sounded like out of this world money.
W: What was that compared to the professors there at Chicago?
G: Well, the thing, it was in a period of such utter turmoil in the readjustment of
values that I don't think many people really knew what was happening. Yeah, they were
really, a professor right about the end of the war if he was making, I guess a full
professor at about eight thousand was considered pretty good money in some places.
So that's what I asked for and that's what I got. And I don't know, well, they did
a, some other applications. I do know that because of course I inherited the file
when I got the job. They had some, not very many professionals. I've forgotten
chronologically one point. Back in the '40s when I was an undergraduate, for the first
year or two at Chicago, my mother was on a, some sort of state planning board for the
relief >.. agency things and she was a board member, and somebody had written
this Florida State Planning document a statement on the archeology of Florida which
went it went up to review in Washington, Dr. A.R. Kelly was sitting in Washington at
that time as the chief archeologist of the Park Service and he said,"this is terrible.
Get somebody else to, get somebody to re-write this." And somehow, I guess my mother
said to somebody, well, my son studied archeology up at Chicago, so they got in touch
with me and said could you do something with this. I don't know if I have that original
version or not. It was terrible. So I did, I did write up this thing, which was publish-
ed without any by-line and it was my first publication in 1945, I think the publication
date was. A state planning board book on the state of Florida.
W: So you had a little, your name was already being circulated around at that point
G: Right. As a matter of fact, I still have the letter, which I was very proud of, that
Dr. Kelly wrote back down to the state and said I don't know who did this this time,
but it's a lot better and it shows that they knew something about what they were writing
G: about or something like that. They sent the letter on to me which I still have in my
W: Did you ever show it to Dr. Kelly
G: I mentioned it to him in later years of course, he didn't remember the incident.
He wouldn't, at all. I mean, he read many lousy papers. But, so yes, actually, I'd
had that little bit of contact before. And when I had come back from that summer in
New Mexico and Colorado, I started, I dittoed up, a set of sheets, survey sheets and
sites of Volusia County which I knew. I began to give them numbers and write down
W: So you'd already started doing a survey of the county.
G: Right. And I used it to fit it right into the survey of the Florida Park Service.
when I took that over.
W: So when did you come down to Florida?
G: I have this here. It was the date we were going to look at, wasn't it? 1946, it must
be, yeah, '46.
W: Summer of '46?
G: Summer of '46, July. We actually came down, Hale and I came down. We came down for
another reason, partially for another reason. Yeah.
G: We had organized a, Hale and I and Don Ray, Donald Ray, who was a midwest, well, he
was actually a sociologist, but worked in midwestern archeology. We had organized
the institute of culture history and we were incorporated in the state of Illinois.
And somehow, through the Beloit connection or through the Florida Historical Society
connection, this man Higgs, who had published on the ice and the cracks and things on
the Indian River area, got in touch with us or we got in touch with him and we became
quite excited about the possibility of going down and working in this site that
he told us about which had trade goods and things on it along the beach down in
Brevard County and so we wrote that up as a kind of a prospectus of our first project
G: for the Institute of Culture History and we tried to tap a few people for a little
bit of money. Well, As it turned out, we got one major donation of somewhere between
a hundred and two hundred and fifty dollars, but it seemed like a fortune. This was
Mr. George Ziebreski, who lived in Ormond Beach. My father designed his house there
in Ormond Beach. That is, he lived in winters in Ormond Beach. He was a New Yorker.
He was the president of the New York Historical Society and a millionaire and flower
broker. And he was always interested in supporting things we thought, so we sent him
this prospectus. Sure enough, he sent us back a check as our first benefactor or patron
or something of the Institute of Culture History.
W: Little travel expenses and
G: Oh, just a little, yeah. A little money to do it with. Buy some gasoline, yeah, although
I think Hale put his own gasoline in the car. He had a car and we drove down with his
father, came through Tallahassee, stopped by Da a to see my parents and pick up the
family tent and afew things like that and then we'd get down to Brevard County and we
got out, oh, we had one other person with us. He arrived in Daitna. We had, I guess
we decided we needed one other field man, but somehow, I guess they were some of the
Beloit contacts, we located a fellow named Elmer Denley. And Elmer had been, he'd
been on a Missouri kind of a dig the year before. We heard later that people who were
with him shook their heads when they found out that we had taken Elmer. But, Elmer
was a, he was a vegetarian and that may be why the mosquitoes didn't bite him when they
W: No blood?
G: They really were all over us and he couldn't see without his glasses on, which of course
many of us can't now, but he would go running up and down the beach anyway without
them and, he was just a complete and utter character, but he was the laborer for the
dig at the Higg site becacause I was only there the first three, four, five days with
Hale, then I had to come back to report Fo my July 1 or July 2, it must have been a
little later than that cause we spent the fourth of July in Datona.
W: So you came down, checked in at the office and they said
G: No, I didn't even check in at the office on the way. I didn't, we came right through
Tallahassee, went to Daaona. They were there the fourth of July, hit the field right
afterwards so it must have been about the fifteenth of July when I reported for duty
in Tallahassee and didn't know anybody up there really. And the office of the
Florida Park Service was in a little building shared with the Forest Service on
Pensacola, I believe and it was, well, it was my first job. It was sort of a new
experience. Started sitting down writing letters. They had a budget prepared and the
budget envisioned excavation because it had the archeologist in there and had a truck
W: So they provided you with a truck?
G: Yeah. Foreman, some laborers, other things like that. It did have a little bit of
money for publication even written in that fifteen thousand dollar budget. I looked it
over and said what I really need is an assistant archeologist rather than a foreman,
and let me drop some of this labor here and we'll get an assistant archeologist, so
I got in touch with Hale and offered him a job as assistant archeologist, which he
took and we started the thing basically off together. I just had several weeks of
letter writing and paper type of organization before he arrived on the scene as well.
W: Was he pretty much through with his master's?
G: He was through with his master's.
W: So he had his master's at that time?
G: We both had our master's. His was on the Crable site, which was another on the
Mississippian site in northern Illinois, so actually, we had worked together on
a lot of topics as well as just being in school together, we had presented joint
papers at the Illinois Academy and things like that.
W: What were the major goals of the, of the department of archeology at that point?
G: Really, state-wide survey identification of the resources and hopefully, some
educational worker tried to encourage people we weren't talking about any legislation
at the time, protective legislation, but urging people to preserve their sites. We
G: weren't quite yet into the big, massive destruction which occurred a few years later.
Then, since it was tied in with the park service, even initially, but, The State
Park Service, even initially, but more as the years passed, we felt we had a
responsibility to at least identify the sites on the state park lands. And make sure
they didn't get destroyed in the process of development and do some, some amount of
test bidding for interpretive purposes primarily, and Florida caverns, the WPA or CCC
work done and we \c, wrote that up and then we did work at Manatee
Springs, Tomoka State Park, number of places like that. All of them are primarily
test, excavations, really to give a little bit of the human story to the area.
W: So you were basically surveying and then the important sites, you might recommend that
the park service buy it and develop into a park?
G: Oh, yeah. That too. We were trying to, except there wasn't any money to buy with, but
they came as gifts. Bickle, who I mentioned earlier, bought the Madeira-Bickle mound
site and gave it to the state. My old high school principal, Longstreet, who I mentioned
earlier, belonged to an organization in Datona and sold stock and bought Green Mound
and the state later took it over, so some of that was being done.
W: Garden Club. Didn't they donate Turtle Mound or..?
G: Turtle Mound was already owned by the old Florida State Historical Society, that's
the, one that Stetson started at DeLand and they had owned that along with the
New Smyrna Mission for a number of years and then they did turn those over to the
state as well, because that organization, among other things, was defunct largely.
So, there was that aspect of it, and then, but the (tape ends here)
(Side 1, Tape B)
W: We were talking about Stetson and they donated the
G: Oh yeah, those sites, donated the sites, but as I was saying, we were the, really, the
only archeologists in the state at first and there was a great interest in hearing
what our plans were or what archeologists thought about Florida indians and Florida
archeology. Historical Association of Southern Florida was a going concern as it is now,
G: and I was amazed to give a lecture down there one time, had myself several hundred
people in the audience. I was dashing back and forth from one end of the state to
another doing things like that was also time consuming, but we were, we spent a good
part of the year in this sort of preliminary type of work and then the, early we had
moved, fairly early, we had moved out of Tallahassee because it just wasn't sufficient
W: Would you have just one office and
G: We had one little office there and while there was some possibility of maybe working
out something out of the, out at the college, Florida State College for Women, or had
it already changed its name? I don't think so. I think it still was.
W: I don't think so. No, not then.
G: Yeah, I'm sure it was, come to think of it, so, cause I remember having to check
through all the protocol to take out the daughter of a friend of my family's one
evening when the school used to run
G: Check-in, check-out, you know, virtually your clearaances, but we moved the office
down to Harlans Hammock State Park. There was a large recreation hall that was really
not being used at the park and we built a partition across one end of it to partition
it off for a lab and an office. We were able to find that the deactivated air base
there very cheap and livable quarters for both the Griffins and the Smiths and it was
not too bad a situation to move into.
W: Okay, well, so you were already married then at that point?
G: Oh, yeah. We were married before we came down here.
W: So you, where did you meet your wife? Diverse allude there, but I didn't even get that
G: At the University of Chicago.
W: She was there
G: She was there in the school of social service administration -wS her master's having
had her bachelor's at Berkeley and a native Californian turned her back -
W: To Florida.
G: She is working on her doctorate in anthropology at Florida.
W: So you are all living down
G: We're all living down in old air force quarters in Sebring, little apartments. Our
son was born there and really, we had money in the bank at the end of that first year.
It was years and years and years before we really felt quite as comfortable,that
initial year because the rent was virtually nothing, fifty dollars a month or something
like that. The living was pretty easy, but the program we worked out of there for the
various other digs. Our first dig, though, was right near there. And that was a, kind
of an accident. Local people knew that we were there, it had been in the papers and
we had gone to Rotarys and things like that and a Mr. Goodenow, who owned a ranch,
land there, had a mound on his property which people had dug in and glass beads had
turned up and so
W: So it was an historic site
G: And so it was an historic site, so we went out and we looked at it and we decided that,
yes, that's be good to dig. We both, Hale and I, had been interested in, as I said
earlier, the direct historic approach to archeology. His Crable site had had some
contact materials in it. I had gotten interested in various stuff in the literature
on the, not really historical archeology, but contact archeology. So, we were both
kind of eager to dive into that mound. Furthermore we were both kind of eager to dive
into that mound. Furthermore, it was obvious from the bone in it that it was a burial
mound. And remember, in that period, even though it had been proved that the indiansa
built mounds, burial mounds, back in the Cyrus Thomas days, there still wasn't too
much certainly on the historic period burial mound data. I'm sure burials with trade
goods, not of burial mounds such as shown in Des Moines
W: Or described in 4A pjg\
G: Right, so we decided to dig that mound and we did. And it was a rather difficult job.
It had been pretty badly pitted. The sand was powder soft when it dried out at all with
G: little beads. We had to try to screen through window screen or
W: Water floating it that day
G: No. - ., L but the sand won't hold a .,
The bones were in sad shape. The iron was rusty but it was a great dig neverthe-
less. We did get, I think, considerable amount of information out of it and that was
where we first started to struggle with this business about what are these things,
these historical items that you find. The literature was very meagre. For beads,
there were only a couple of publications and one of them was the sort of classic
study by the Museum of the American Indian written by William Orchard on beads and
bead work of the American indians and, as it turned out, Orchard was retired and living
over on the southeast coast of the state. So we took a little trip and we visited
Orchard and picked his brains and some of the other sites a little bit later that we
got into, I sent stuff up to ,,,; Thomas at Williamsburg, it was at the time,
and got back some information but, and we went out and bought the books on, Wyler's
book on silver and things like this which are all the antique collector type of stuff
and not the material you find in the ground. It's one of the most amazing things is
the real development of understanding of the typology if you will of material culture
which is what the archeologist deals with. We were completely lost.
W: Were you going back to some of the records then, some of the Spanish documents and
G: Not a great deal at that particular time.
W: Was Dr. Boyd working on that?
G: Dr. Boyd was not working with us quite yet til we got into the missions. And about
all we had was that little translated thing of wet holes of the Bishop Calderon's
visit. The person who helped us out the most on the few mentions of trade items or
historic items at that particular time was Al Manusi here at the Castille. He had
gone through the North Carolina collection of Spanish documents and had on cards some
notes of the contents, sort of a calendar of the collection upathe fort, and I remember
going there and he had a primitive edge knot system, indians, military and so forth
G: and so on, so that he could look through these five by eight cards and pull out the
pertinent ones and I remember copying down something about axes and things like that
that were traded to the indians so Al was a great help in that early period. But the
we were really floating around in ignorance as far as what
G: Names, some of this pottery may have had. Certainly when Noel Hume came over and
started making all these acid comments about how we didn't know what the names of things
were, it was very true, but the contact hadn't been there that there were people
probhhly mostly in England, who knew what these objects were, but we were, we were
ri'6- touch on them.
W: Mostly archeologists were just trying to get the prehistoric phrenologies down and
G: And you have to run into some of this other stuff, why there you were, but
W: So you finished that up. Did Hale head off after that?
G: He headed off pretty soon after that and before that though, in the very early period
was the so-called Da-enh conference which we held at my parents house in Batnc a Beach
in, you reminded me a little while ago, August?
W: Yes. I believe that's right.
G: Of 194...
G: '47. Three day conference. You know, you just sort of assumed that people didn't have
Grants or big travel budgets or anything else, but you sort of assumed that everybody
Swas so interested in their field that it was an opportunity to meet and talk about some
of these things that they'd probably come. It was on that basis with no promise of
transportation, rooms, anything except maybe a dinner or two, that we just sat down
and wrote a bunch of people and said let's get together and talk over these things and
by golly, a lot of them came.
W: Do you remember who all?
G: Well, Gordon Willy was of course one of the most prominent one of the group who came
down from the Smithsonian. I guess maybe they probably paid his way. I forget why
G: Ben Rouse couldn't make it because he had been working in the area. I talked to
Jimmy Griffins just a little while ago and he had forgotten that he cancelled out at
the last minute because one of his kids broke an arm or something, but he had had his
travel authorized by the University to come, but he had to cancell out. There, Hale
and John Gulligan, who still was at Yale working on his degree. Tona Waring, from
Savannah. Wesley Heard, who'd been doing some work on the Chattahoochee River for
Alabama, Chuck Fairbanks came down. He was with the National Park still at that
W: Was that, was he at Macon at that time.
G: He was, I forget whether he was at Macon or Fredericka. I think he was at Fredericka
at that time.
G: And Mark Boyd. I remember Mark Boyd came over from Tallahassee. The director of our
state park service, Lewis Goggan. Charlie Brookfield, Laura Tr from the
Audubon Society worked on the wreck of the Winchester and other things down at the
Keys. He came up with John, actually, with Goggan, and Dick Erman, W.W. Erman, who
was a professor of sociology at Gainesville and one of theorganizers of the Florida
Anthropological Society, was over for the whole meeting. Dick had quite an interest
in indians. He had studied quite a bit of anthropology at Yale when he was taking his
I would say
doctorate in sociology and was fairly knowledgeable in the field for sociologist.
I guess he had taught a few courses perhaps and did write a paper on the Timucua for
the Florida Southern Quarterly ...._ .
W: What were the, was it to set down some guidelines for further work or
G: Yeah, well, it was also to find out what people were doing. Al Manusi came down from
here, from St. Augustine, and I think that was about total of the attendance. It was
kind of like
W: Sounds like the Southeastern Conference.
G: an early Southeastern Conference. For example, Gordon sent ahead, we didn't have xerox.
G: in those days, which makes it a little harder to distribute copies widely, but the
last faint carbons from his Manatee River paper which was just about to appear in
the American Antiquity, and he presented that at the meeting. John presented some
of his schema that he was clarifying and working on of the periods and areas in the
state. John Gulligan. Mainly, it was a real inter, and we were reporting, Hale and I
were reporting on some of the stuff that hadn't printed yet, but we'd just been working
on and digging. Matter of fact, we'd been working that summer on -ber ieCree- site
right there in Volusia County and several other things. It was really just meeting of
the minds, and you get an awful lot of that sort at a conference of two or three days
length, various peoples ideas about what the problems are, what the needs are for
research needs and we set a big blackboard there- we took Goggan's periods, or his
areas, periods and just started going into them. Matter of fact, we started chronologi-
cally. We started with, well, what do we know about early man in Florida which i -,
,. 'i r- think of 4
W: Some of the earlier reports,Vero
G: Right, and some of the stuff that, well, Jenks had published those things from the
Santa Fe River,the bone points resembling a clovis
And of course, we knew that we had quote folsom points running around, but not much
detail, certainly and then moved on up through the various sort of areas and periods.
Then one of the things that that did was remind all of us of some of the places that
we knew the least, things we knew the least about.
W: So it gave you some areas to check, right.
G: Although, it was already beginning to develop that there was some sort of territoriality
W: Smithsonian, you mean, in part there?
G: Well, not really, the main ones, they weren't coming back particularly, but John
Gcggan felt that south Florida was his, and actually, for years, except for having
toured part of the area with him, showed us a lot of the sites and shared his knowledge
of the area, but we just didn't go down much into south Florida. I went one day on
request to o) Island, but beyond that, I was
W: Dr. Goggan's territory?
G: I was on Dr. Goggan's territory. Later, when John got at Gainesville and Hale was
at Tallahassee, the Aucilla River sort of became a boundary and one meeting, I, I
I was still with the State Park Service at that time, and I asked what was left for
me in the middle of the river, but by that time actually, the Park Service program
was getting on figure grounds, -.* .. :...
W: Brings back though one thing, that you said your director there was lwas there,
was he very supportive of the...
G: Very. Very. Lewis Gulligan was a professional park man, trained, like so many of the
ones that were, he was originally a landscape architect, came in through the national
park service experience, particular in the relief days and were really park professional
professionals and he had the real interest of the park system at heart. It was a shame
that it got as disrupted as it did a few years later. And really, I think, went
through fairly rocky period for a long time after that without a clear sense of
direction that James Gulligan had. Now his immediate post-war objective, you were talking
earlier about picking up sites and I said there wasn't any money for it, well, that's
very true, but he was very avidly working for picking up park sites, some of which had
archeology on them from surplus lands and devoting a large portion, a large amount of
the energy toward that, getting these lands before they were gone.
W: For protection and preservation.
G: For preservation and future development and this was a very, I think, a very wise
thing. There are whole areas we have in the state park system today that would not
have been there if they had not been taken right at that time. Now Anastasia up here
is probably a good example, but the, that acted to his detriment in a way, because it
we've always got a group of people who want development and use of these facilities
and they had certain board members at that time who felt that that kind of development
and use should include little choo-choo trains running around the parks and
W: Concession stands for their nephews to run or whatever...
G: playgrounds and all and actually James Gulligan's idea was closer to the national
IE'ri's idea, sort of a translation at a state level of that rather than lp
for the county park ,rc ,,.t /----
W: So you could have been considered the first state archeologist, as such. Paid.
G: Paid, yeah. As a matter of fact, I've got me a little problem later, but you, there
was a bill in about, in the 1930s, about mid '30s, creating the office of state
archeologist, and this was done to provide,the archeologist was to be named by the
named by the governor and to serve with our compensation.
W: So it was a political appointment to serve...?
G: It was a political appointment to a certain extent, and it was created by the interest
of Vernon Lab who was then appointed to be the state archeologist and I won't go into
a whole history of Vernon Lab at this time or anything like that, but he was not a
trained man, and he really wanted that position to be able to justify a work of some
of these emerging state federal grant programs, relief programs which were becoming
interested in archeology. The FERA was first and then the CWA and then the WPA, and
I think that was the reason, course the ,i It probably would have never gotten
through the legislature if there had been any pay attached at that particular time or
Lab's idea was, well you get the project going and then the project supervisor will get
paid somehow out of the project funds, you know, so that's the way it was going to work.
But if you ever look into the, I think it's the second or the third bi-annual report
of the state board of conservation, a little article in there. It isn't signed but I
think Clarence Simpson must have written it and talks about the state archeologist
excavating down near Arcadia, a series of mounds, and then after six weeks of excavation
he established that these were remnant dunes or something of that nature. Next
sentence says, after the removal of the state archeologist....
W: So that was the end of the state archeologist.
G: That was the end of the state archeologist at that period and the projects were then
picked up and administered by geological survey. Clarence Simpson did a yeoman job of
G: holding that stuff kind of together, -keeping the records from getting totally
dispersed and so on, but Clarence was equally untrained with many other people who
were involved in these things, but he was an extremely intelligent person and a
remarkable observer, just a real fine guy too, so he put everything he could into it.
One thing Clarence could not do was write. So he's got more insects and plants and
so forth named after him than he ever wrote up.
W: So you were using, did you as a state archeologist call this meeting, get back a
little bit more?
G: The ena mpeting?
W: The i na meeting.
G: Yeah, I never used the term state archeologist because of the existence of that
previous law and previous experience. I was archeologist for the Florida Park Service.
W: Yet you were almost doing the same sort of duties that the state archeologist
G: And later when the state Park Service kind of blew up .and when the director was
fired and all these things were going on, the portion of the board who had maneuvered
all the, that, asked the attorney general for an opinion as to whether they legally
could pay the salary for the state archeologist. The reply to a loaded question, you see
the reply was no, because the loss of the state archeologist was to serve without
compensation, and on that basis, they were going to wipe out the program. They already
had done it anyway, but that was the time when Charles Bickle and Miles Collier, the
two men on the board at the time had been out of the country in Europe for the summer
returned and found all this had happened, that the director and assistant director
had been fired and White had been fired from his dollar a year consulting job,
W: So Scoggin was fired then?
G: Yeah, and actually, everybody, Rip Bullen was fired from under me, but I was not fired
at that first point. I think the reason was that my mother was still very prominent
in Florida garden club circles and they thought that they'd probably get her support
somehow. Instead, she introduced the resolution condemning their actions. The next
G: meeting of the board, everybody condemned their actions at the national conference
on state parks and all that. But all that doesn't ever do any good.
W: Was this very political, was that the problem?
G: Well, yes, you might say it was political. I don't know what the ladies really wanted.
--other than they wanted to be rid of Scoggin and they had some bad advice. They'd gone
up to Georgia and up there they had the director of the state parks, no staff.. the
reason was that in Georgia, the way they were run was that the local senators or
congressman ran them directly and there wasn't any organization. Well, this was all
this waste that we had in Tallahassee. We had an assistant director, we had a head of
maintenance operations, we had a chief landscape architect, depart_-:__m-
W: Department of archeology, department of history
G: Yeah, so all this was just wasted in Florida. Let's get rid of that. Sweep it clean.
Get rid of the, find out where the slush fund is and,
W: Dr. Lloyd, a dollar a year.
G: He was really upset, about as much as anybody about the whole thing. But, that was
S Ict\ l SC while I was still sitting in there, and trying to get
out, we had two kids at the time, little ones, couldn't just quit, you know.
"". ._ It took a little while for Hale to work out a
G: Position and then that's a further kind of OcJ that followed up because
University of Florida wanted the collections and so there was a one meeting of th'
what do you call the e\ii' of the regents
W: Wasn't board of trustees, was it?
G: No, it was, I thought I'd never forget that name. Anyway, they stated that neither
state university could employ John W. Griffin until this thing got straightened out.
So, finally, the collections remained in, are still in the state museum, and I went to
W: WIFIe you kind of leaped ahead. I was almost going think mayb of any, in a sense
W: around that, and hear a little bit more discussion of what happened cause the records
show very clearly at that point. I think it goes around 1952, '53, that there was a
major shift in the park service.
G: Yeah, that, we can always drop back behind that depending upon how much you want to
W: Well, I just, we've got the conference in iD Da and, was that where the Florida
Anthro pology Society was instigated? Conceived?
G: Kind of pretty much, although it was, it was separate but related to it and we were
all together there, yes. And the, I'm not sure who really had the idea for the society.
It was kind of a come together sort of thing. We all knew we wanted something a little
different from what we had experienced. Hale and I had seen the Illinois State
Archeological Society which was a relic collectors club by and large. Some of us had
always participated in it from the university's trying to uplift the caliber of the
organization. It never quite succeeded. The meetings were held at the Illinois
Academy of Science as the anthropology section of the Academy of Science. They were
good relic collector meetings with people with their box full of projector points and
all the rest. We didn't want that. John Goggin felt that there should be kind of a
society but he didn't think that the Massachusetts model or the Connecticut model
or the ones he was familiar with there were necessarily it, and (tape ends here.)
(Tape B, side 2)
W: So nobody really had, they all had an idea of what they wanted, but no one model
G: Had an idea of what we didn't want, so the first, I think the first really decisions
was that it would be the Florida Anthropological Society, not the Florida Archeological
society, that it would cover the entire field of anthropology. Secondly, we had this
small organizing committee which we talked Dr. Ermin into being the chairman of cause
he had status at a university and was in Gainesville, and then there was John Goggin,
Hale, me, Dr. Holt, who's Presbyterian minister up in Jacksonville, who was interested
G: just as a layman in archeology and this was kind of a basis. We wanted people in other
if you could even
fields who were interested and when we started out our membership drive, ccall it
that. We started out primarily hitting libraries to see if we could get some memberships
that way and we were not looking for the diggerseand collectors. We were looking for
people more who were interested in anthropology and who might like to read about it,
or come to a meeting, but not necessarily go out and investigate. So if you'll look at
the early issues of the Florida Anthropologists, you'll see some very general articles
in therecthat Fred Slight wrote in particular on early man in America, things like
that. These were aimed at the broader membership that we hoped to attract and then the
also inaGt those early issues, then it took some real kind of digging to get them out,
to get Bill Crogman on the physical anthropology of the Seminoles, to get Father
Spellman to do one on the agriculture of the Timucua indians and the mission indians
and to try to get, it wasn't too hard to get archeological articles, but to get some
of the other ones
W: To get Dr. Boyd to write some on some of the history
G: And so, but that was, that was really the idea. The one thing we did not want to do was
to see the thing getting to be an amateur archeological society.
W: I noticed one thing in looking at it, at, I think the very first two or three issues,
that you had a three tiered membership. One was a member and the other was a fellow
and the other was a student membership.
G: That was just a dues distinction. I think that between the member and fellow, one
W: Well, I don't, fellow implied you had at least an undergraduate degree
G: Ah, you are right.
W: In anthropology, or a master's and Ph.D. in a related field.
G: There was going to be that sort of a control mechanism kind of built into it which
disappeared along the route. Probably just as well that, yeah, that was part of the
W: Same idea, getting away from the amateur collectors and hot hunters in that sense.
G: What we wanted were, really wanted were members like Lucius Rooter in Clearwater who
was interested all right and who would put up the money to publish a report and things
of that sort. And the chapter idea certainly came along later. There was early, fairly
early, atoGainesville sort of a student association which was only loosely affiliated
W: What, shortly right after, the period of time that Goggin was teaching at Florida.
G: Right. But really, the whole development of chapters and getting them into the formal
structure of the society came when Ripley Bowen brought down that idea from the
Massachusetts Archeological Society and this had quite an impact on the nature of the
structure of the society.
W: Well, you were the first elected president?
G: Yeah, I was the, during the first year when we had the organizing committee running
it, I was the editor. John Goggin really wanted that job very much, and it's you know,
John Cog71\g2. so, when it came around to the first actual year that I
was the selected president, then John took over the editorship and then, was that a one
year term? Yes, I think so. I think we built in on a one-year basis, except the
editor's have never, never, never put the ...., .. .,
W: If you can get --gt an understanding how the books are kept and then
G: If you can get anyone to take it just to keep them.
W: Well, how many, were you president, I know you were president in what, '74?
G: Yeah, just twice.
W: Just twice.
G: Yeah. And I told them at that time that I wouldn't do it again for another twenty-five
W: Well, what do you think of the society today? I mean, it certainly has changed
G: I have mixed feelings. I was about to say that this, one thing that the chapter
approach has done is to really make it more of a state archeological rather than an
G: anthropological society because most of the chapters and their members are primarily
interested in the archeological side of things. And almost becomes the times as it
did in the annual meeting here in St. Augustine several years ago. And it almost came
to a head of a push to make the state society more of a confederation of the chapters
and the chapters being a subsidiary or a representation of the society and one of the
things that I fought against at that time was that some of the chapters wanted to
make it anybody in their geographical area had to belong to that chapter 7 41, -
) 4. -_" *__ My plan was that there were people that we would love to have
in the society that were perhaps cultural anthropologists or linguists or something
like that and could care less about belonging to any one chapters. I'm sure that
this is not understood by the chapters, and I really don't know how it's going to
come out. I have a feeling at times that when they have gone so far towards being
the state amateur archeological society'but there's no retreat from it.
W: Well, I've noticed at least somewhat of a trend in the last couple journals...
G: The journal is moving in a very good direction. I think Bob is trying to r j.
..t ) .- and to really broaden. Yeah, I'm not unhappy about the journal
except for what I understand about the cost.
W: That's just the cost in general. I think all societies, I think everybody who is
putting out any kind of a publication or, it's just tremendous amount of cost these
W: Well, I guess, what, next, would you say the next major meeting was '49?
At Rollins College?
G: Yes, yeah. That was the next major get together of that sort. That was a lot of fun.
Actually, Fred Slight got that idea pretty much along with Fred Hannah, A J Hannah,
who was always trying to do things for the betterment of Rollins College in light
of getting it good publicity and so on. He was a good organizer and they dragged a
little bit of money together from somewhere that, a small amount of transportation
G: and things like that that he paid for. I was the, basically, the program chairman.
I was on a committee with,Fred Slight was on it, I'm sure, and Ethel CoAbe Freeman,
American Museum ,ec_, Le.-r down around in here. There were a couple of other
people and it kept getting kind of later and later and later and finally we had one
meeting up there at Winter Park and I said we have got ten to fifteen days to say
yes, we have made some contacts with that "b Yes, we're
going or we're not going and we went. We finally got off .
and we went and it was a, I think, very good meeting.
W: It was an international meeting, wasn't it?
G: To a certain extent, yeah. There was some people tied in with the
international program, some ambassador, ambassador from someplace spoke
W: Nicaragua? No, uh, Honduras.
G: Honduras. He was, oh, about ninety or so.
......... I think he retired o,)- .. n.ri. l,. ,J
You know one person who was there at those meetings?
W: Should have been mentioned. I don't recall, you
Know, running across his name at all.
G: Well, you didn't anticipate it. He's retiree down in that area. Quite elderly. And it's
one of those things that W,.,i -'get to a certain stage of this whole cast off
generation, you don't want to have anything to do with it. Anybody that
W: What, did you get to talk to him and what did he think about the papers that were
G: I didn't talk to him about the papers then. I've talked to him several times and it was
just sort of general chit chat back and forth about more than anything
in particular. We kind of avoid the subject because it used to, I had heard that he
never did become fully reconstructed to the, see he publishedlhe hound Builders in
G: '30 or '3..... it came very close to almost coming out at the same time as
we discovered Illinois. Quite a different type of thing and I don't think he ever
reconciled the new archeology of the 30s and 40s.
W: So you had who, who were presenting papers then. Let's see...
G: Well, 4,-o) there was anybody. We started off with Florida, with John Goggins
taking a major part of it, and me taking just a little wrap up on the historic periods.
Then moved on to the Florida Southeast with Chuck Fairbanks who was, at that time,
at Michigan and really working aout a lot of, I guess a lot of that really steu out
of his doctoral dissertation and then Rouse and Willy moving out
further from the field.
W: Part of Yale's work ...?
G: Well, it ., -) "
between Chuck and me cause he was easily brought down from the southeast down to the
Caribbean and / 7c- American field. And that was about it. I remember Carl
Gudda was a little bit perturbed at trying to summarize e .c A&VJ,
It was quite successful.
W: The meeting more or less presented some new trends, new ideas that were
a synthesis of what was going on?
G: It was the synthesis and I think, probably, the one paper that is referred to the most
by people even today is Goggins' traditions paper ----, sort of a different
approach from the script period and area approach. I don't think J- .. ,
as far as the other relationships are concerned, I know that there are relationships
in Georgia and the rest of the eastern U.S. We know that there aren't manv T6j
relationships to the West Indies and we know that & J -" America
_/ _/ A_ certainly was a major source of influence for what happened
in North America. -A -.. .. r ', ti fd h,!.t; l..' b L'iv
G: And of course that was, that was still, that was preradial carbon?
W: Um hmm. So you had, I think Stu Niechel had talked about it at a lot of the early
southeastern meetings and where chronologies were set down. Ford's work certainly,]
in '36, and that really, not a lot had been changed. Things that shifted a little bit,
you had better times once carbon-14 came in.
G: Yeah, the basic period contents were, in the Southeast in general as you said, the work
of Ford and the new key points, at Ar4 ioci-, i/ and Georgia coast, Tennessee valle;
W: The and Alabama
G: The and Alabama. Those pins, those pegs to hang the broad chronology
on, still basically what we had. What we were doing in Florida since we'd been a little
bit further behind in the '40s, was to get in line with the rest but in some cases we
went beyond them because of, I suppose, the complexity of this peninsula. The difference(
between, -i /,- '
They ended up with more distinct areas per land mass than you could probably come up
with at some of the interior states.
W: And was, I think you had sort of a lag in reports that were being written cause wasn't
it '49 when Willy's Gulf Coast report came out so you', there was some lag in the work
and what was being done in the analysis.
G: Yeah, as a matter of fact in our early stage, I wrote Gordon about his site numbers
and said we'd love to use that system and those numbers in setting up this survey.
Well, he was, he was just back from Peru or still there or one or the other and
anyway, all the notes were packed up in the basement of Colombia University and his
advice was to just start our own system, that he couldn't possibly get his stuff out
in time for it to be of any use to us. But, he was certainly well along with the
monograph and both Rouses coming along. Jimmy Griffin loaned me recently a,
the exchange of correspon dence between he and Rouse. He was relating the south Indian
field and the Indian River excavations. One of the last letters in there from Jimmy
to Anderson, owner of the site, was well you might want to know there's a new fellow
G: down in Florida now that you should get in touch with. His name's John Griffin and
his address is State Park. So, that whole thing had occurred, but
wasn't published yet before So we had, and that, of course,
when you come back to it, yeah, that is what made this Daena conference so important.
At least, to us who were working in the area, it was really the first chance of all of
us kind of getting together and putting all this unpublished stuff together. Now
Griffin had, didn't make the meeting. > had been to New Haven and worked with Rouse
some on that. Willy was in a slightly different circuit, but had had contact with him
alright. But except that maybe sitting down over drinks at an actual meeting or
something like that, nobody had been down to the saz^ -,, talking about all these
W: So in a sense, the '49 meeting was an expansion or just a...
G: An expansion, yeah, of that, and more formal because outsiders were invited by the
college and so forth to be there, so we had some more formal type of events, reception
for the president ,,
W: But at least
G: Didn't drink.
W: But you were at least together so, like, late hours of the night you could still be
sitting around discussing
G: Well, actually the early meetings of the, any of the meetings of the Florida
Anthropological Society almost served that function too except we didn't get as many
of the outsiders coming in ---- Travel money just wasn't all that
easy. But we did get, S c.,,r and then the southeast conference
provided another place to get together.
W: I noticed that Goodenow mound, excavations were written up and it became a
oh, anthropological paper number one.
G: Contributions to the archeology of Florida number one, of which number two and three
W: So you, were you having budget problems at that point to where you could only
get like, that out and
G: Yeah, there were some budget problems although we __ once stood
was also funded very heavily by the park fund, park service, which was why it was
sold for so cheap for so long. $3.75 until it went out of print just a couple of
years ago, but
W: But it was actually printed by the Presses of Florida though wasn't it?
G: Yeah, I know, but th- --the park says they gave them $2,000.
W: Any chance of it being reprinted?
G: Certainly the documentary material's still good. The other things we put out stuff
course in the Florida Anthropologist and in the Florida Silver Quarterly and things
like the Noco Roco report that Hale and I did and which came out in the Florida
Historical Quarterly. The service bought by _reprints of
that so they were rather widely distributed to the professionals and others too. So
there's quite a bit of complication going on even though we only had that one
W: Wtde /e had noticed that S6e/ /i background research and
you had emergency funds for the first year, $ff-I and then it seemed like it was
cut by about six or seven thousand each thereafter.
G: Well, it, yeah. It got pretty, pretty sticky there for a while because the, j3 Y-4
"4-1. 0f cut the whole, well, two whole ,9^ were cut.
which was part of the discontent, I suppose, that led to some of the other mess about
it. The frustration.
W: You had mentioned earlier that Rip Bullen was your assistant. Did he, what, did he
come in shortly after Hale went back to school or..?
G: When Hale went back to school, I started looking to fill that position, writing around
to diffIerent places, universities and so on and it happened to be at one of those
G: periods where the upswing in the job market was very great. Everybody had a, everybody
was starting anthropology programs and everybody had jobs, but I did get one guy lined
up, Ted Sterne who agreed to take the job. He was from University of Pennsylvania, I
believe and the state fiddled around so long getting the appropriations passed. It was
one of those times when the second session of legislation had to come up to pass the
budget or something. At any rate, by the time we actually could say yes, he'd accepted
a position in either Washington or Oregon where he still is, but I, and Hale by that
time had gone back up to Michigan. We were in touch through him to Jimmy Griffith and
finally with nobody, it turned out, nobody interested. Jimmy suggested, said, well,
there's a fellow at Andover Academy who's making a second career in archeology
and he might be interested. He doesn't have to have, make his full living out of it so
he might be interested. JI got in touch with Ripley. Turned out he was interested in
moving to Florida and so I hired him, and I must admit I had some qualms because here
I was twenty-something. Here he was forty-five and most of my working relationships had
been with Hale. Very close
W: Same age.
G: Same age, a lot of mutual interests so when Rip walked into the museum.and introduced
himself, we had by that time, my office was in the old Siegle building in the old
state museum. The University was giving us that.
W: So you moved from, you
G: From uh,
W: Highland Hammock
G: Highland Hammock to Gainesville. Actually, that was fairly early which was a good move
because it put us in contact with the library and things like that and the, we just
had a vacant room there in the old Siegle Building so we used it, but I imagine that I
was more nervous than Ripley that_ morning. He came to duty. Worked out, it worked fine.
iThere are one or two things about Ripley I, I had always let Hale do most of
the driving cause I'd just as soon sit there and not bother but soon as I took a couple
G: of rides with Rip, I suddenly got a great interest in driving.
W: With the move to the Florida Museum and University of Florida 1, crc-keo, you just
mentioned, you know, it helped you out a lot. How did the programs, the development
of anthropology programs at both University of Florida and Florida State help Florida
Archeology and your work.
G: Well, they certainly helped FloridanArcheology because Johns came in first but, no,
W: It's pretty close. I know he was teaching in like '48 in sociology
G: Yeah, well, that's, that's right. John appeared on the scene first, but the first
department of anthropology was at FSU. Yeah, Johns' came in. He insisted that
I'm thinking about John Garvin. If nothing else, he had a great deal of confidence in
himself. He was good enough that he was not going to come there but he wasn't so
-_ ___ what he did, which a little bit antagonized some of the other
sociology faculty who hadn't been able to make it yet. But 0\ .... e: to the
program for a long time. And as long as Herman was there as a resident sociologist,
McLauglin was the chairman, there was a great deal of encouragement within the depart-
ment of anthropology so John had a pretty free hand and was able to start right
in developing a program of courses. Not have to bother teaching too much stuff that he
didn't really want to and
W: Did that provide you with some skilled students to work and
G: No, it didn't. Most of the time we were working at time and periods or places where
we would just, almost the vO 4 entire period, I used pickup
W: Local laborers?
G: Local labor. Straight labor off the supermarket. Actually, in one case, in the safety
harbor, I used the county prison crew. that one. The only place we used
I'd say student labor was from FSU and that was before Hale went up there. When the
gals came out to Lake Jackson, they were interested and wanted to work on it. One of
them was Lois Best who later took a, I think she finished her master's at Florida
and then became a school teacher and unfortunately died about a year ago. The other
one, Shirley Cummings, came out to the dig with Lois, met my field assistant who
G: who was working with me at the time kwashigh school chum, Ted Murphy, who was back
from the war and not knowing what he wanted to do yet. They got married. And
W: And so really the programs there really didn't help you as far as your work.
W: They provided more input
G: They provided a professional contact that is very necessary and no, they didn't,
cause our work started tapering off. This is their program being redeveloped. So,
and John kept his own people pretty close and pretty involved with his own program.
W: You mentioned the book,Here They Once Stood. When was that, all that work done?
I know it came out in '51, but had you done that work earlier?
G: Yeah, -well actually the, we do get Scott Miller
(Tape ends here-Side 2, Tape B)
(Tape C begins)
G; The following year that I went up to do the San Luis part of it Mark BoydVhad the
basic documentary work 0St had been done probably much before that. He had been working
on it over a number of years and initially it had been going out and looking at some
of these sites with Clarence Simpson and actually f one who located the site that
Hale worked on. San Luis had never been really lost up there west of Tallahassee that
I think Gordon, Gordon Willy visited it in his survey.& the archeology was new and
of course the full treatment of the documents was new but they'd been, they'd been
in Mark's hands for quit a while I'm sure. He didn't translate them overnight. And
he finally forgave me for that book but I was in Gainesville. It was going through the
press so I prepared the indexbut also Hainz, the director of the press, asked me to
do something about punctuatingyDr. Boyd's manuscript. Dr. Boyd was a very meticulous
scientific writer in his own field of malariolgy,/ V -
G: he had a hard __ float the thing and his translations were quite
readable in the sense that a lot of manuscripts any punctuation in
j.r t (4
them to speak of anyway. Maybe half a page ,,,,' a period and said he
would put things where they ought to be so\ ; 4.
and broke off some p. r '^ Mark's reaction was, what had he done to my
baby. And really he would hardly speak to me until some of the reviews started
coming out and one of them in the Latin American ,5oor-\ -' complimented
Dr. Boyd on making the manuscript lucid.
W: Readable (laughter)
G: I learned something else from that particular experience Ac an editor
r;*J4?as tells you, the director of press suggests you do something like that.
Might be willing to clear it with the author.
W: Yeah. Saved from some headaches I think down the road.
G: But Mike was a wonderful man to work with. He was kind of straitlaced
sort of individual I think personally. Very Edwardian I suppose. A remarkable man
and a remarkable mind. Matter of fact, many of these people were that really
contributed a lot. Clarence Simpson, I mentioned this, just great. Going in the
field with him was a real experience. He knew the words, he knew everything about
it. He had an eye that could spot a snake or project a point at unheard of
distances. Encouragement we got from all kinds of people was very great. I think
it's apparent from what I've said that one of the other things that came together
there with Bickle being interested in pushing this thing forward. Doug Campbell,
while I didn't take him up on it, called :r this space even before 1 Hale's
program started and we didn't, we went to y.,,W\ C instead. Said, oh, there must
be some space over in one of the Quoset huts or something they had left over.
Said that you can do whatever you do and we didn't take it up at that time.
W: So the big problem I guess was really in the early fifties and, what, you had
your two key people, backers, that were out of the country in .
G: Yeah. Right. When the girls decided to change things. And they turned it really
upside down because we lost some good people. Like Jimmy Scoggin never went back
into any sort of work like that which was ashame. I mean, it really, you know
wrecked him. Charlie 0' Dun, you don't really know. Green, who was the assistant
director went right over to take Charlie's dog ,_, yard. Charlie O'Donnell who
was a landscape architect and moved over to New Orleans as assistant city
planner. Joe Brown went down to Assistant director of the Dade County Parks and
then into the National Park Service and just retired regional director.
W: Right. So I'm grinning. I remember the name when I was working with the park
service a few years ago.
G: It was, and Ripley moved over to the state museum
W: So basically he kept the same office. He just got a transfer ea\e -, ^*, ".rry
G: And I broke out of it
W: You didn't think about going to the museum or was there a space for you there or?
G: I was still employed at the time. Rip was without the job. There really was only
a half-time job anyway. w;ck .o con-i e A-\_,V c_.
full-time job but, so I think basically might be v)6 got hurt out of the whole
thing ,- Scott and two, the people of Florida.
W: Because it was what, another fourteen years before a program even started cranking
back up again. I guess it was Mark Bennett and, archives starting back up in the
G: Yeah, archives, actually they got started there a little bit before tp _ey
\iY I believe but that was the next time that anything like that happened
outside of the Mazursky's.
W: Right. As far as preservation movement in '66, '64.
Well, I really enjoyed it.
G: I'm sure it was Io A dci M" -ac__ve.
W: Well, I know, but this is a period and then the next period when you were working
W: at St. Augustine is, is another one.
G: And maybe if somebody does a tape on that thing down in Tampa, you'll get some
of the stories.
W: Okay. All right. I know Dr. Proctor wanted that.
^ : Ll- v"r^
Banquet speech given by John W. Griffin to the Annual Florida Anthropological Society
Meeting on 4/3/82 Tampa, FL. Taped by Robert Wilson
W: The following speech is by John W. Griffin at the 34th Annual Meeting of the Florida
Anthropological Society April 3, 1982.
Lady introducing speaker to the audience: John is the first president of the FAS and as far
as I know he is the only one that has served two terms. As I recall, a few years ago,
when he was in his second term, he said that this was something that everyone should do
twice once every twenty-five years. (Laughter) When he was the first president of the FAS
in February of '49, he was an archeologist with the Florida Park Service. Following that,
he taught for about a year at Florida State University in Tallahassee. Then, he was
associated with the St. Augustine Historical Society and then the National Park Service
in 1955. Although he left the state of Florida, he was in charge of the southeastern
region. When he returned to Florida in 1970, he became the director of the Historic
St. Augustine Preservation Board. From there, he moved to Key West Preservation Board for
one year. Now, he is Research Director of the Southeast Frontiers, Incorporated, a
consulting and research firm. John Griffin.
G: THank you. I wanted to make certain that I have this microphone where it will carry.
Unknown gentleman in audience: Very good.
G: Pretty good. All right, let's see if the light works. No, it does not. (Laughter). Ah,
that is the reason, that might be the reason. Is there something back here behind this or
do we need an extention.
Unknown gentleman: Tj)e cord is not that long.
G: It would be nice to be able to read my notes. (laughter). While, while she is doing that,
I would like to primarily say that I would like to see if, or how many people there are
here who are members of the Florida Anthropological Society sometime during its first five
years? That is, from say, 1947 through 1952. Ah, would you please rise? (Laughter) Hardly
a man is now alive. (Laughter) Really the reason for that question is to see how much I
can get away with tonight (Laughter). Looks like I have a pretty fair slate. When John
Demming contacted me last year about this, he brought up a session that occurred in the
Southeastern Archeological Conference which was kind of a reminescence get together of some
of the old timers there. Fortunately, I did not attend that meeting, so I do not know what
G: ..went on, but I can imagine it was, it was quite good. But that was kind of a bull session
and I do not know what kind of a bull session you can have with one bull. (Laughter) But
ah, we will try to cover some of the, some of those grounds. But since I seem to be such
an old timer, such a pioneer, I almost felt like coming in my coonskin cap and dragging
along a flintlock. I do want to remove several possible misconceptions in your mind about
this remote period of the past. First, I am not the one that guided C.B. Moore to the
sites that he did. (Laughter) I do have a boat named the Gopher, but it is not a hundred
feet long and it is not a steamboat. I did not carve the stuff that Gushing found in the
muck down there at Key Largo. (Laughter) In fact, I was not even with Jesse Walter Fuchs
at Wheaton Island. I am just a Johnny-come-lately in this whole area of Florida
Archeology. Although I grew up in Florida, and even at high school age was vaguely aware
that archeology existed. Ah, I attended Green Mouse out to Daytona and picked up pot
shards. Ah, I had gone on one expedition that I now recognize as a pot hunter and I can
still remember the crunch of the axe as it went through a skull in the burial mound that
he was showing me. I also saw the Smithsonian working at the Ormond Mound north of
Daytona, which means I must have seen Jesse Jennings at that time, long before I met him
later. But really, my connection with Florida Archeology dates from the years immediately
following the second World War when I returned back home as a presumably trained archeologist
and started working in the state. But it might be worthwhile to take minute of two to
sketch in where we were in that year xnd immediately following the second World War. The
late 19th century has seen a very considerable amount of activity in Florida. We are all
familiar with the extensive work of C.B. Moore which started in the late 19th century,
continued into the early years of the 20th and a rather notable re-visit to the northwest
coast in the teens. Even before that, There had been Jeffrey Wyman on the St. John's River
working in the shell heaps. There had been A.E. Douglas, who I just found out recently
was a a decendant of um Andrew Ellicut who was around the line between Spanish Florida and
ah the New United States. And Douglass worked in various mounds around the state. So,
we really did have, these are just a few landmarks, there were a number of short papers,
by ah mainly interested lay-persons. They were not really any professional archeologists
in the late 19th century. If you turned out a reputable kind of report, I guess that made
G: ...you a professional archeologist. So, there were these rather substantial base around the
turn of the century. As a matter of fact, I would say that at that time with the knowledge
of Florida archeology sparse as it was, was competitive with what we knew about many other
areas of the country. Then we sort of went into a little period of ah quiteness. A few
things happened between those early years of the 20th century and ah the 1930's. But
ah rtoJo4 G- another of those little scattered papers notable definitely was Nels
Nilsson's excavations, or not excavations, study of the Oak Hill Shell Heap over on the
East Coast which was the one of the early stratographic studies in this in this country.
Interestingly enough, later, when I came back and was working on Green Mound, I said,
"Nilsson, who had retired from the American Museum, copy that little reprint and got a
very nice little letter back from it for my files to kind of cross that period. Also
in the, in the period between the century and the second war where finds of human
skeletal material in puported association with Pleistocene animals, particularly in
Vero or Melbourne, which were violently upheld and violently disputed. And ah, still
sometimes the subject took some controversy. But, the next real impetus in Florida
archeology was a result of the Great Depression. And this is relief day archeology.
We did not have it as big as the Tennessee Valley or ah some of the parts of the southeast
but we did have some of our projects here in Florida in Hillsbourough County, in the digs,
some were mentioned earlier today down a little bit further on the west coast. Ah surfside
in the Miami area, Bellglade ah Ormond Mound, and ah perhaps a few others. These were
relief day archeology and some of the methodology, I am certain, was about like that that
we saw this afternoon. Ah, in some of the slides of Fuchs work and some of the other
work of that period. However, it did provide a kind of an impetus and Mathew Sterling
gave us a short of a-.little outline of culture areas in;the state. Really, one that we
kind of tend to forget because it get ties in with a little bit later period and was really
probably the most important thing that happened in that early period was the survey of
Gordon Willy, Dick Woodbury of the northwest Florida Coast in 1940, which was published
in American Antiquity in the in the 40's, the early 40's. Here for the first time was the
application of the emerging cultural period approach of the southeast into our state. As
Gordon says in his bigger volume, he was familiar with the Louisiana sequence, he was
familiar with the central Georgia sequence and he wanted to see whether some of this would
G: ...kind of fit together and provide a framework for North Florida and it is a really small
paper and certain aspects of it, I suppose, are controversial as all things are, but I think
if we were looking back to maybe one of the key papers of early systematic modern archeology
ah that is it. So, that is all before everything got erupted by a little conflict that
ah occupied many people's times for a few years, brought it in the WPA archeology. That, of
course, is a whole important thing about what I suppose the whole second World War was
about, but um, when it was over, Florida archeology was just about to burst forth. As I
say, Willy and Woodbury had already published their little thing and Gordon Willy had
published in '45 a paper on Wheaton Island ah ,,, Wheaton Island and this was to be
followed up a few years later by his magnum opus on the Gulf Coast. Ah Rouse, had worked
ah done a survey of the Indian River area, not yet published. Ah, Yale had worked itself
into field and it worked that material up. John Goggin had basically arrived at some of
the basic outlines df his glades sequence and was hard at work on his overall time space
framework for the entire state. All of this was kind of happening at once and all of it
was kind of eminent. There were hints of it. There were papers of meetings, but mostly
the publications came out kind of in a rush in two or three years at about the time that
I am talking about. 1945, while I was still a student at University of Chicago, I wrote
and presented my first professional paper at a meeting. It was called "History in Archeology
in Florida" and was an application of the direct historic approach rather than an appeal
to apply it to Florida and I gave it to a meeting of the Florida Historical Society in
St. Augustine. I mention that specifically because it certainly influenced my future. Mr.
Carl A. Biggle, then residing in Sarasota, the retired head of the United Press, had sort
of kind of got himself elected president of the Florida Historical Society with one real
major aim and that was to put the power of the FLorida Historical Society behind resolutions
that would say that a state of emergency existed in the state of Florida in regard to its
archeological resource and Mr. Biggle was at the meeting of course, and he heard my paper.
So, that, when he, ah, through whatever methods, I do not know, managed to get the cabinet
for the state of Florida to free $15,000 of the governor's emergency fund, ah, and place it
in the hands of the Florida Park Service to begin an archeological program, well, I guess
maybe it was logical ah that somehow the director of the Florida Park Service heard of my
G: ...existence and I got a letter asking me if I would be interested in applying for the job
down here. Ah, naturally, I was. This was right after, people were still looking around
for jobs, scurrying around for them right after the war. And I was selected for the job and
hence early in July, 1946, I came through Tallahassee on my way to my home in Daytona due
to take over the job. Well, I need to back track just a little bit. While in Chicago,
Hale D. Smith and a fellow named Donald Ray, whom you would not know from Florida archeology
and I formed a non-profit corporation called the Institute of Culture History. We had
wild dreams of a research facility and museum somewhere, it did not matter much where, it
was kind of a have travel, will follow, will travel kind of a thing. (Laughter) But we
did get in contact with Mr. Higs, who was living up in Wisconsin and had written a paper
in the Florida Historical Quarterly about the Ice Indians and about the sight that he found
over there with a lot of trade goods in it over on the, in Brevard County. Well, this
interested us because all three of us had been working in, not strictly historical
archeology, but we were interested in the culturation. We were interested in the contact
period. We were interested in all this sort of thing. So, ah, our great corporation got
its first, probably only, donation. We got a couple of hundred bucks from Mr. George
Sebruski, who was the president of the New York Historical Society and ah whom I happened
to know. And that was ah the funds which were used to dig the Higs site and which brought
Hale Smith and and I to Florida. Of course, I was coming Anyway, but I did not know it.
When we got the expedition put together, as it turned out, I was only able to be down in
the field with Hale the first several days of his work on the Higs site and then I had
to chase off back to Tallahassee to take this new job that had occurred. We found out later
of course, on that Higs site ah that we were sitting on, not on top of, but near something
that could have let us retire. I do not know whether it could or not, because I believe
the real late folks went broke later on the same deal. But anyway, it was the 1715 Plate
Fleet wreck which created this shore side site indirectly through salvage, ah that we were
working on, but really we did not look seaward while we were there. We were looking like
archeologists always do down at holes in the ground and really I do not think we tumbled
to the fact until a report writing came around that that was actually what this site was.
But, in the Meantime, Hale was down there digging, I was in Tallahasee and as soon as I got
G: ...settled down at my desk in a cramped little office up on the Florida Park Service up in
Tallahassee, I found that my budget was set up, ah, the budget incidently as I mentioned was
$15,000 and and in those days that was quite a bit of money, when I stop to think about the
fact that the last little short dig that I did had about the same budget as our old annual
budget from the initial year, that is really frightening. That included $925 for a new
truck which does give you some idea what money would buy. That had already arrived and
the rest of the budget consisted of of a labor foreman and labor and a fairly good sized
item for fencing and I never did figure what that was for but we did not spend it for that.
But, I told the people I did not heed a labor foreman, I really needed an assistant
archeologist and by just juggling a few dollars here and there, we could arrange that.
They agreed, so I got on the telephone and told Hale that if he wanted to be assistant
archeologist, he could come on up when he finished the Higs site, which is what happened.
So, I sat up, while he was down there working, I set up survey files, road letters, started
to get a library together, started meeting people around town, Tallahassee in particular,
and one of the first people I met up there was J. Clarence Simpson. Bruce Simpson, ah,
known to his friends working for the Geological Survey. As many of you know, he actually
supervised many of the excavations of the relief day here and in Hillsborough County and
was just a wonderful guy. Basically without any higher formal education, he was a very
intelligent man and a great woodsman and helpful to scientists. He has a lots of little
beasties and plants named after him by appreciative biological scientists and Bruce never
did like to write much himself, but he certainly provided much material for the rest of us
to work with. Well, he took me around a little bit in the immediate area. We went down
to St. Mark's and then somewhere down in the south of Tallahassee to see a mound that he
wanted me to see. We got on an old woods road plugging along nicely, and the car stopped,
the truck stopped. After fiddling around quite a while, we thought to look at the gas tank.
The guage still said dead full. It had a short circuit in it and there we were in the
woods without any gasoline, but we managed to solve that and went on a little further and
just all the woods looked alike to me and and Bruce suddenly said, "We'll stop here." We
got out and we walked over about a few hundred yards into the woods and there was a mound.
And he said, "Well, how long has it been since you have been here?" And he pondered and
G: ...he said, "I guess, about fifteen years." But that is the type of woods mind and memory
that that man had. He could take you back anywhere where he had once been. I think, he is
a person in the history of archeology in the state that we generally forget, but should not
be forgotten. A little later, I took the state truck and drove along the coast toward
Pensacola checking out Willy's sites and Moore's sites and really just kind of visiting
them. It was hot, July. I remember stopping at one cracker house along the way and talking
to the fellow sitting on the porch and asking him if he knew about an Indian mound that
was near, supposed to be nearby. He said, "Yeah. It's down the road about a quarter."
And said, "You know, when I was a boy, ah, some fellows from the Smithsonian came and dug
in that one. It is always the Smithsonian that comes and digs.in these places, as you know."
(Laughter) Well, I pursued it a little bit further and said, "Yeah, he came in a steamboat,
named the Gopher." So, here was my first contact with someone who had actually seen C.B.
Moore in the field. He did not have much else to tell me, but ah there was that, there
was that contact made. Later on, one afternoon, I arrived in Fort Walton and the first
thing I saw was a beer sign and after, a long hot day, I immediately parked and finished
my first bottle and then I feeling a little relaxed, I started to talk' to the bartender.
I told him I had heard that there was a big Indian mound in Fort Walton and did he know
where it was? He looked at me almost with a looked jaws, as if I were a-little bit crazy
and he pointed to the window right behind his head and there it was. Looming right outside
the window. Did the mike go off? Yep, there must be a loose plug somewhere, one second.
Unknown gentleman: I think you are right here, John. No, its right here on the microphone.
Unknown Gentleman: Yeah. Ah, John, the problem is its wrapped around 'your chair down there.
laughter7 Now you are coming, now your are coming. There we go.
G: Who says the Board does not help things? (Laughter)
Unknown gentleman: We got it again.
G: Have we got it again?
Unknown Gentleman: Yeah.
G: We got it again.
Unknown Gentleman: Yeah.
G: So, as I say, there was the Indian mound staring me in the face and as I went out, Julie
is still here. She can correct me on this one. I think that the sign which I saw hanging
up over the door which I had not noticed when I went in, said, "Indian Mound Bar".
(Laughter). That is really got survey work out there. I recommend it to all of you.
(Laughter). I am going to be jumping around a little bit on some of this presentation.
And I did not notice what time we actually got started, but um, I will try to keep it
relatively brief. In August of '47, we had what we called at the time, the Daytona
Conference. At 4re we were working in the field in Volusia County and with the
temerity of of ah youth, we thought nothing of writing all sorts of people who were
experts we thought should meet with and said, "Why don't you come to Daytona Beach
to meet'with us?" And most of them did, much to our surprise and we used the, the
outdoor living r6om of my parents house and we put a galvanized tub in the middle of
the floor and kept it stocked with beer and ice and had, it was dutch treat. We had a
little box there to toss the coins in and we met for three days. And thb group that was
there was alphabetically, Park F. Boyd, historian and orc, Charlie Brookfield,
from the Tropical Audobon Society, had been working on their rLe& of the Winchester,
W.W. Erman, who was professor of sociology at the University of Florida and a Yale man
who had studied some anthropology, Charles Fairbanks, who was still with the National
Park Service at that time. He came down from Georgia. John Goggin, who was at that moment
still at Yale, but getting his doctorate and soon to go to the University of Florida, John
Griffin, Wesley Hurt, who was working on a survey of the Chatahoochee ah in Alabama and
has almost ever since then been up at the University of Indiana. Robert Minuzi, historian
with the National Park Service, Louis G. Skoggin, Director of the Florida Park Service,
L.G. Smith and W.J. Waring, Jr. of Savannah who any of you know Georgia archeology know
is one of the big names in that and Gordon Willy. Ah Jimmy Griffin, had had his
university's permission to attend and his tickets and one of his sons broke a leg and he
had to stay in Ann Arbor, so Jimmy was not with us at that meeting and I forget why Ben
"j2,jLa could not come, but for some reason he was tied up. So, here we were, sitting
G: ...around for three days in a small group with a blackboard, they did not have xeroxes in
those days of course, but Gordon had some blank carbon copies of his unpublished manuscripts
Ross had sent down some stuff of his that was still to be published. Basically, what we
did was sit there for three days and discuss everything that was known at the time about
the framework of Florida archeology. It is one of the most fruit full types of conferences
that you can ever have when you have a small group of people like that all actively working
on a subject and exchanging ideas. Of course, it was invaluable to Hale and me because we
got the direct benefits of the work that all these other people had been doing and we were
still at that point, the only resident archeologists in the state of Florida. In that same
newsletter that reports that meeting. It is newsletter number one of the Florida
Anthropological Society, we had been talking about getting the Society going and we sort of
got it going at roughly the same time. I can not say that we got it at that meeting. And
there was an organizing committee appointed by ourselves of course. Ah, we made Dr. Erman
the chairman, Hale Smith Secretary/Treasurer, John Griffin, editor, and three committee
members of John Goggin, ir_ Quackenbush, who was another sociology professor, ah sociology
professor at the University of Florida and Frederick W. Slight of Mt. Dora who was a trained
archeologist and later started the Central Florida Museum. So, that was our organizing
committee. We did not have an annual meeting until February 12, 1949 and that was held
in Gainesville, By that time, we had little bit over a hundred members. A lot of them were
subscribing members because we really hit the libraries and schools rather heavily in our
membership effort. We had all of eleven members in attendance at the annual meeting, which
is'the one at which we adopted the constitution and the by-laws. A couple of years later,
actually, no, it is 1949, still the same year as that annual meeting, was the so-called
Rollins Conference, a Florida indian and his neighbors. Could not get away with that now
could they? A Florida Indian and their neighbors. (Laughter) His her neighbors something,
but ah that was in April of 1949. This had been being organized for quite a while under
the auspices of Rollins College to tie in with one of their ah Latin American programs
Dr. Hanna of the college had been representing them. Fred Slight was teaching a course
there and ah I was program chairman and once again, just wrote these people and sAid "We
may be able to provide a ah transportation and find a room for you when you get here, but
G: ....we just assumed that-they would come and they did. So, we had a number of people giving
papers at that at the meeting and was published. Jimmy Griffin did get to that one. Ben
Ross got to that one also in addition to some of the other people who we had mentioned
earlier. So, that was, things were pretty active, but the first year, in addition to
meetings and things like that, Hale and I did a lot of traveling. Ah, we put a lot of miles
on that old green pick-up, touring the whole state and trying to check-out mainly previously
known locations, talking to local people and since we worked for Florida Park Service, of
course, visiting all state parks along the way and laying the ground work with them. And
some of the events that that year and other years are kind of fun things to recall. I
remember one day somewhere south of here and back in the Palmetto scrubbie type of place
for some reason Hale and I decided we wanted to look at a little woody ridge or something
we could see about a quarter of mile away. So, we parked the truck and started walking
over there and it was about chest high palmetto scrub. We were walking with shovels over
our head. We got about half way over there and it was like a sea of palmettos around us and
enfringing over the roots that we could not see, of course, cause we could not see our feet.
Suddenly, we looked at each other and began thinking about rattlesnakes and things and said
why in the hell are we here, you know? (Laughter) But ah, we,were a little bit naive
about some of the environment I think at that time even though I had grown up in it. The
state was far different. Now, I remember I told somebody recently that we ende up one
night where the ah, U.S. 41 and the Taimiami Trail make a right angle down to Naples and
there was a service station and a kind of little grocery store on that corner and they
had about three colleges. We put up there and had an early dinner. It was still quite
light so we drove over to Naples Beach and watched the moon rise and ah walked the beach
collecting shells. There really was not anything there, really. It was just almost like
a virgin beach and when you think of Naples today, and see how much it has changed. We
look for other places too. You know you look on the map and Highlands County and you see
a place called Henscratch. Ah, we could not guarantee there was going to be a sight there
but we were determined that we had to see Henscratch. (Laughter) So, we took off on the
road one day for that and the road got deeper ruts in;the sand and the palmettos kept
G: ...sweeping the sides of the car and finally there was a little house along there
and we asked the fellow where Henscratch was and he allowed it was a couple of miles
further on. He said, "But, from here on the road gets bad." (Laughter) SV, we never
reached Henscratch at that time. I would not be surprised if it was on a paved road
maybe by now. Ah, Hale once said to me a fbw years later. He said, "I want to thank you
for bringing me to Florida before it got ruined." (Laughter) Well, we certainly did see
a lot of it in that time. Ah, a couple of numerous things in a roundabout that time, we
were having lunch one day and one of us was eating Nabisco Waffle Cream or a one of their
cookies of that type and this resemblance to Check-Stamp yah sort of impressed us, so
we crumbled up the edges of one and dragged out the can and shot a couple of pictures and
when the prints were made up, we sent one of them to Jimmy Griffin and we would not really
lie about it. We said that we saw this recently. We did not say what it was. (Laughter)
Another time, a little bit later, the green truck had been traded in on a black panel
body truck and this the state park National Organization of State Park Directors was
meeting in Florida and we drew the duty of being the baggage truck to carry their stuff
around as they were moving around the state. So, we ended up in Miami one afternoon and
palled up to a hotel that they were using and started unloading some suitcases and it was
one of those hotels where a lot of old folks were rocking on the porch ang they were
quite curious about us and finally one of the fellows came down and he looked at the back
of the truck and he came back up and said to his friends on the porch, "Yep, says there
right on the back F P S, Funeral Parlor Service." (Laughter) Oh, we did have some
humorous times. There are many people who helped in getting.osme of these things going.
I mentioned Carl Biggle. Ah and Simpson. Lucius ,,-.Lof Clearwater was an early
backer of us, ah, both in his interest and financially. Charleton T. Bow, down in Miami,
many of the Dr. Bellamy at the Tallahassee. Many of the people in ah academic fields.
THe press was always good to us. The Davidson's were in the Daytona Beach Journal were
exceptionally good and we had just very good relations on that field. Ah, one thing I
would like to remember about Dr. Bellamy, of course, he had a nice building named for
him at FSU now, but it may be hypocrital, I bet Bill bti knows whether it is or not, that
ah, back in the Monkey Trial days, Bellamy was teaching one of the few courses in
G: ...anthropology in the South and he fell under pretty heavy attack from some people for
his stance on evolution and things of that sort and it is said that one person ran for
the governship of this state with one plank in his platform that he would replace the
Board of Control every day until Raven Bellamy was fired from Florida State College for
Women. Is that a true story?
Unknown Gentlemen: True. \ ,L J. Katz.
G: It was Katz? Well, it sounds like Katz.
Unknown Gentleman: I was told the story. I do not know. I was not there,
G: You were not there? Oh. But by the time we came to the state ah Bellamy's stock had
risen considerably. I remember one time when we were getting ready to do the Chatahoochee
survey, once again the state and the governor ah freed some emergency money for the
Chatahoochee Survy. There was a stipulation on it when we got the notification of it that
said it was subject ;to the cooperation of both state universities. Ah, so, the University
of Florida wa-s already loaning us our office, but we did not know what FSU was supposed
to be doing so I went up to Tallahassee and asked Dr. Bellamy and Dr. Bellamy said he did
not have the slightest idea. He said, "But I know where we can find out." So, he loads
me in his car and we drive down to the capital. Here I am, a lowly state employee and we
go trouncing right in to the governor's office and the governor's receptionist says, "Hello
Dr. Bellamy, so nice to see you.:" And Bellamy says, "IS the governor in?" "Oh, yes, I
know he will be happy to see you" And we walked right into the governor's desk, T7re ':c
and Bellamy says "You must have been at that meeting when you released that money, What
did you fellows have in mind?" And the governor says, "Oh, I don't know. Do whatever you
want." So, we left and I think that was the last time I was in the governor's office.
(Laughter) But ah, really everybody was really helpful. The press was great ah most of
the time. Sometimes it got things a little bit messed up, I remember talking to ah ah
a club in Daytona Beach and having the report come out that I was talking about the Cotton
Site where the bones of the ah great Aulk had been found and I discovered by the newspaper
that I must have had a Cockney accent because I was talking about the great hawk. (Laughter)
There were many, many speeches. Ah, oh one other press relation that really got me down
It shows how naive I was. This fellow down here in the St. Petersburg area that had been
G: ...one of the applicants for my job and his qualifications were quite high. He had thirty-
two degrees from the College of Life and ah he started writing letters to D.B. McKay who
had a column in the Tampa Tribune at that time about waste of state money and all this kind
of stuff and McKay sent me copies of them and sucker that I was, I fell for the whole thing
and I started writing letters back and this other guy wrote letters. I do not think McKay
had to write a column for about three or four months because he got a good scrap started
which ah was kind of crazy to be drawn into and I can not even remember the chap's name at
the time but he wrote reports on mounds by ah taking a jaw and having the jaw communicate
the whole history of the site to him and he objected to our digginnq because it was un-
necessary. (Laughter) Lots of speeches and one time we got down to Miami and I gave a a
formal one to the Historical Association and then Charleton Dubow says, "Oh, I am teaching
a course in Florida History. Why don't you come to my class tonight?" So, I did. Walk
into the room and he introduces me and says here is your speaker for this evening. (Laughter)
Then, my wife said, at that time, but all the luncheon clubs that she would ask me for I
went out, "Are you going to give them speech A or B tonight?" I did write some papers.
Actually, we produced an awful lot of stuff in a short period of time in those early years.
I think eleven twelve, I think my high was about fourteen papers in a year and ah, I do not
know quite now, I will not vouch for the quality, but ah, at least we were productive. Two
of the unpublished ones I kind of wish I had published because the titles sound a little bit
more like more recent times than some of the other things. One of them was called "Working
toward Problems in Florida Archeology" in 1949 and the other one was "Ecology and Florida
Archeology" in 1952. I always had wished that I had published that one because ecology
became such a popular subject ten years later. Early Florida, this is real early Florida
of course. Early Florida had insects, in case you people did not know. (Laughter) And
they had not quite spread all the DDT and the other things in the immediate post-war years.
Ah, we were talking up here a little earlier about Cap Collier of Key Largo. When Hale
and I went down to see him and ask him a little bit about where the Key Largo site was and
I am not sure I ever really did figure that one out, but we stood there amazed while he
told us about coming in by ox-cart to the island and watching the mosquitoes fill up one
by one full of blood and just drop off his checks and he paid no attention to them whatsoever
G: ...Well, we were standing there swatting. And then John Goggin took us one day down onto
Key Largo in September to show us the rock mound which is, I say, supposed to be there because
I never saw it that day. (Laugther) We got back in the hammock and it was terrible. I
had been out of state for a few years and I guess my tolerance had been, disappeared. I
got back out to the road when we finally just gave up ah back in the woods and I thought for
a moment that I had brushed into a tri-bspie.'ae_ because immediately my whole face began
to swell up and just from the mosquito bites. Up on the Tomoka River, ah north of Daytona
we were doing a dig at Nocaroko, one of them that we later published and an acquaitance
that Hale and I had ah from Chicago, name Lou Rawlston, decided to visit us. Well, Lou
was a kind of a fellow that ah he would kind of tolerated and felt sorry for, but still
did not want to have around too much, so he wanted to come out in the field with us and
we went out to the site and he was driving a Dodge Power Wagon and he was on his way to
New Mexico and of course Florida is the logical half way point between Chicago and New
Mexico, so we got out to the site and the weather, the insect weather had just turned
terrible. It was hot, it was sticky and the bugs were just awful and Lou, I will always
remember Lou, big tall guy and he rolled his pants up and he was wearing black nylon, or
silk gentleman's stockings and he stood out in the Tomoka River in his stocking feet and
he sprayed himself with DDT and we dug and we swatted and we dug and we swatted and we dug.
About after and hour and a half, we or so, Lou had been asking about it and we had been
saying, "Gee, it is not a bad day today is it?" you know. And he was saying "Is it alwasy
like this?". "Oh, no, this is a good day.' It is usually much worse than this." Ah, about
mid-morning Lou decided New Mexico was a far better place to be than Florida and off he
took and as soon as he disappeared out of site in that Dodge Power Wagon, I said, "Let's get
the hell out of here." (Laughter) We started working on historic sites real early, sort
of by accident. We ah moved our headquarters down to Highland County State Park and
got to meet a man named Mr. Goodnough down there who had a mound on his property that
people had been diggin beads out of and things like that. So, we decided we wanted to take
a look at that. For one thing, it was a burial mound and there is still a little bit of
feeling that burial mounds should exist clear up to the historic period although we did have
the LaMoyne drawing and a few things like that. So, we wanted to dig there for that purpose.
G: ...And, it was an interesting little dig. And one of the things that came out of it was
the little silver ceremonial tablet of the same design as our societies logo and it is
a matter of fact the reason that that logo was selected for the Society. I was not there
the day Hale flipped it up with his trowel right into the palm of his hand, but it ah
excited both of us very much, for several reasons. Remember this is pre-radio carbon
archeology. We had a shortened time scale. Um, Jimmy Griffin had even recently published
a paper that the southern cult or the buzzard cult ah might have been a result of the
DeLuna expedition. Ah, so it was not, we were looking for historic cult material. Ah,
expecting it and ah here we had found one of these little things which ah actually I had
written a paper on earlier on that type of an object. So, we we decided that would make
a good logo for our new society, but we did not use the one from Goodnough because we were
not that competent artists and we did not want to hire one, so we traced the onr, the gold
one out of the old American antiquarium ah rather than using that one. We quickly got into
the the mission business, first with Hale'S dig at what you called San Francisco then, I
think, Calvin decided it was something else. Isn't it?
Calvin: 6 o sra Ov
G: One mission over. Yeah. It is a mission anyway. And then I did ah little test excavation
at the San Louise which was west of Tallahassee and then we worked in a number of sugar
mills and a number of sites of that sort over in Volusia County. So, ah, we were really
kind of pioneering in that field, in historical archeology because there is not very much
known and not much published and every time we looked at the stuff, we did not know what
we were looking at. We did not have any names to put to the kinds of pottery or any of
that sort of thing. One other historic site that I did alone ah what little we did, it
was kind of a preliminary thing, was Port Gadsden and there I took off to the boondocks
alone and at that time Port Gadsden still pretty isolated, but at that time, it was really
sort of out in the boondocks out on the Appalachicola River. I was the only guest at the
fishing lodge. It must not have been fishing season. The little hotel or inn or fishing
lodge there and therefore, I received special treatment and I wish I had not. Because the
lady that ran the place used all unrendered lard for her cooking and she insisted that I
eat plates full of eggs and things like that that she so delightfully prepared for me and
G: ..,I nearly gagged at every mouthful. I ate in the place. I was suspected also of being
some sort of a game warden in that area. The, the ah state seal on the door of the car
said Forestry and Parks, but ah I do not think that really made much of a distinction to some
of these people. The site, it was interesting and now there is a little museum on it and
it was kind of fun to poke around there for a couple of days. One of the things that alwasy
impressed me about the people of that area was the ah old fellow had told me about some of
stuff that had come up out of the river including the rifle. He said that it was real old
and it loaded from the bowel. (Laughter) Ah, let's take just a minute for the Safety
Harbor Caper. Rip and I, Ripley Corbillon, I just kind of passed over this hill and went
back to school after about a year, finished his doctorate and then came back to start the
department at FSU. Ah, I hired Ripley Bowen in the in-between time. I had a little few
qualms about it initially because one of those periods, believe it were, when there were
more jobs than there were archeologists and ah, I had a hard time finding anybody that ah
wanted the job. Finally J.D. Griffin told me there was a fellow up in Massachusetts who
ah might be interested, so I got in touch with Rip. The only problem that I had with
the situation was that I was still about mid-twenti:es and ah this fellow that I was going
to hire for my assistant was about forty-two, forty-five, which seemed like a fairly old
man to me, you know, at the time and I must admit that the day that he arrived, I probably
felt more qualms about the new working relationship than he did reporting for a new job.
BUt it, it worked out really pretty well. And Rip and I, one of the early things we did
was go down to Safety Harbor on the dig and that is reported and we do not need to go over
that. The local newspapers did have one one bit of interesting publicity on the site. Rip
and I had a little fox terrier that went everywhere with them and when the press photograph-
ers came out to the site, the dog was laying on a spoil heap and the caption in the paper,
and it was a good size photograph in the St. Petersburg paper said, "The dog helps look for
bones". (Laughter) But a few months later, we had another call about Safety Harbor. It
seems that the county commission had been approached by several treasure hunters who swore
that they had the evidence that the $30,000,000 that ah was paid for Louisiana ah was buried
in this mound and that they did not want it for themselves, they wanted it for the oldne
and that really put the county commission on the spot, you see. They did not want it for
G: ...themselves. They wanted it so the old people of the area, would have, have these funds
to use. Well, you know that is a pretty hard thing for the commission to say no to. But
at any rate, they got in touch with me and ah oh the thing, the proof was that these people
were using mine detectors, or metal detectors and ah they ah their argument was that it
did not buzz when they were in the middle because it was buried so deep but when they got
out to the sides, they could sort of key in on it and this this told them not only how
deep the treasure was, but something about its relative size. Well, this was all outside
of my field of competence, but it happened that they had a RKairixwadxawngin very good
engineer out at the University of Florida. As a matter of fact, he had helped set up a lot
of the whole radio system for India and ah, he did not know too much immediately ah off
the top of his head about metal detectors, but he knew how to find out. So, we let him
have a couple of days to read some literature andi:then we all came down to Safety Harbor
Mound. We met out on the mound, the treasure hunters, the county commission, the press
and ourselves and they demonstrated the ah their claim about how this worked and this
fellow, gee, I can not remember his name, but the engineer ah said, "Now, wait a minute.
Said, "Look at here. If you stand here on the ground and tilt your your ah bottom of your
detector, it buzzes." He said, "Yeah, that is right." Said, "Well, when you walk over to
the edge of the mound and the mound tips away from the detector, isn't that the same thing."
"Well, of course not, of course not." Well, he demonstrated it a few times and the press
bought it and the county commission bought it and the Safety Harbor Mound was not dug into
for the $30,000,000, so it is still there. (Laughter) We were interested in protecting
sites as we are today. Ah, there were a number in the state parks already. Ah, the old
Florida State Historical Society deeded Turtle Mound to the state. Carl Biggle bought the
Mound on Terracia Island, which is close to Madiera. Bickel Mound named for his wife. Gave
that to the state. We were negotiating for Lake Jackson, ah, a little bit. I do not think
we actually got it in that period. Over in Daytona Beach ah, my old high school principal
Rupert J. Longstreet organized the little company and sold stock at fifty dollars a share
to buy Green Mound from the people who were going to use it for aroJS and gave that to
the state, so we made a few advances even in that early period ah on some site preservation
G: ...And those are some of the things that we did and I think the-thing that impressed me
even now is the variety of things that we were doing and ah the energy that we had that
I certainly no longer possess to get some of these things done and actually, that $15,000
initial year budget was the biggest one we ever had to work with in that program. It kind
of got cut a little bit and a little bit every year after that. So, that ah we were working
with less and less the whole time. Now, I seem to have lost the final page of some notes
I had here. And I wanted, it had a quote from Gordon Willy and I wanted to read it.
oh, I will paraphrase. (Laughter) Ah, Gordon in writing a ah forward to the forthcoming
reprint of his archeology throughout the Gulf Coast stated that one looked back on the
work of one's youth with a certain aura of romance and he said that for him, this was
certainly the case with his Florida work. That here he was for the first time, a full-
fledged archeologist in the field and a master of his own investigations. And I certainly
must confess that I feel quite the same way about those early days. When you look back
on it, you always wonder, was it because the field was young and exciting or the investigator
were young and able to be excited? (Laughter) And perhaps it is a little bit of both. But
if it is, since the field is always changing and new challenges and new problems are always
coming up, the field is always young. And therefore, able to challenge those of you who
enter it now or have in the very immediate past. Thank you.
Woman Speaker from beginning: Thank you Dr. Griffin. We appreciate that and enjoyed it.
I would like to say that next year we hope our meetings will be in Tallahassee, The
Appalachee Chapter has invited us up there and I think that aside from asking that the
Chapter, excuse me, the Chapter Reps and the Editor come up here for just a minute right
after we adjourn. I think we can adjourn the dinner meeting.