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Interview with Robert James Porter, June 3, 1993

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Title:
Interview with Robert James Porter, June 3, 1993
Creator:
Porter, Robert James ( Interviewee )
Publication Date:
Language:
English

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Catawba Indians -- Florida
Kataba Indians -- Florida
Catawba Oral History Collection ( local )

Notes

Funding:
This text has been transcribed from an audio or video oral history. Digitization was funded by a gift from Caleb J. and Michele B. Grimes.

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Source Institution:
Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
Holding Location:
This interview is part of the 'Catawba' collection of interviews held by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program of the Department of History at the University of Florida
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Made available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.

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UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
ORAL HISTORY PROJECT

Interviewee: Robert James Porter
Interviewer: Emma Echols

June 3, 1993

CAT 210

Robert James Porter is a local businessman who searches for
Indian artifacts along the Catawba River with his wife, Deborah.
In this interview he discusses his various finds and their
locations, including nutting stones, grinding stones, bowls, and
agricultural artifacts.



Interviewee: Robert James Porter

Interviewer: Emma Echols

Date:

June 3, 1993

CAT210

This is Emma Echols, 5150 Sharon Road, Charlotte, North
Carolina. This is June 3, [and I am] working on the oral
history of the Catawba Indians. I am visiting in the
business establishment of Mr. Porter. Mr. Porter and his
brother have lived on the river for many years, and he and
his wife have collected artifacts all up and down the
Catawba River. Some of them are over across the road in the
restaurant, but he and his wife know where some of them are.
I am going to let him put his name on the tape and then we
will go from there. Mr. Porter, give us your full name and
your address.

My name is Robert Porter at 3067 Cherry Road, and my wife's

-Nname is Deborah Porter.

How long have you been living here?

My family has been living here in excess of 100 years. I am
thirty-five and I have lived here for thirty-five years,
except the five years that I was in the navy.

You and your wife [have] found things up and down the river,
but you also found things up around McConnells [South

Carolina). Is that right?









[We found things around] McConnells and Chester County and
Fairfield County.

I saw some of the things you had over there. Tell me some
of the things you have.

Well, I found some of the larger grinding stones, nutting
stones, bowls, and agricultural artifacts in an acre space
where old Garrison's Mill was built here on the Catawba
River. I can take you to the original foundation of that.
Garrison's Mill is there and it is right at Nation's Forge.
I know where it is.

Obviously, it was used as a mill a long time before the mill
was built because the Indians were grinding corn there
thousands of years ago.

They left some of their individual grinding stones and then
they had larger ones that they used for wheat, did they not?
That is correct.

Out near Neeley's Creek Church there is a great big one in
the woods. I saw you had one about a foot and a half
across. Do you think that was something to crack the nuts
in?

There are various (what I call) nutting stones. My
knowledge in archaeological terms is not very great, but
[there are sometimes] small, perfectly round grounded holes
in a stone--sometimes two or three in one stone and
sometimes one in a stone. [In] the most significant piece I

have over there, the holes (I do not know why this is) that











were ground are over an inch deep, maybe two inches deep in
one of the holes, and it comes down to a very small point at
the bottom. I almost imagine that they used that as some
type of fire stone maybe, or something like that.

Where did you find that piece?

I found that in my front yard because I live on the Catawba
River. That is the only thing I have ever found on this
side of the river on this side of the bridge. The only
thing.

Well, most of the things are over on the Lancaster [County]
side anyhow.

That is correct.

What did you find down in Chester County? The Indians
roamed all around, I am sure.

We found one site in Chester County. It looked like
somebody had used it as a dump. They dumped toxic barrels.
There were these barrels and oil cans and everything else.
So far we have found over 300 arrowheads in a space no
{larger] than 1500 square feet. Every time it rains we go
back and find ten to fifteen more.

You are still collecting them?

From the same spot and the same site. This particular site
is interesting because it goes from recent points to
Savannah River points (of course we pass the Woodland times)
and it gets into your Gilfords and even goes back to the end

of the Hardaway era. So it is kind of hard to figure out.





You are spanning four or five thousand years in one small
site.

That is amazing.

We found another site like that at McConnells fin which) we
found over fifty of all different types. The rudimentary
differences between the two sites [are] the one at Chester
{has] a lot of points [that] are very crudely made. They
look like they were made by a child. [At] the spot in
McConnells everything is almost ceremonial quality--real
crystallized quartz and different colored flint made into
pieces. It is interesting.

Do you keep that exhibit here or do you turn it over to the
museum? What are you going to do with your exhibits?

We do a site report coordinated with Rita Kenyan, the staff
archaeologist here in York County. Any pieces we find when
we are with her out on a field test, of course, the museum
keeps. All of the stuff that I have found I have kept, and
(I have] kept a record of where it is if anybody ever wanted
it, wanted to display it, or wanted to use it. That is
fine--I do not feel like I own these pieces. I feel like
that I am borrowing them while I am here. It is just really
more possessions, but they are kind of neat to look at.

I enjoyed seeing the exhibit you had over yonder. That was
most interesting.

Yes, it is neat, is it not?

Your brother keeps it but you know the history of it.





Right.

What would be the most interesting piece you have found?

The greatest piece we have ever found my wife, Deborah,
found and it was a Dalton Hardaway and it had seventeen
concave notches on each side. It is less than a half of a
centimeter in width and I imagine you could roll a Mack
truck over it and it would not break. It was the most
gorgeous thing you have ever seen. We were taking it to the
Siss Museum to have it evaluated and my wife put it on the
hood of the truck while she went back in to get some tennis
shoes. We got halfway there and we realized that we had not
taken it back off the hood of the truck.

You never have found it?

Oh, no. We looked for weeks and weeks and weeks. But the
other interesting piece I am holding here in my hand is
obviously a Savannah River point made of chert. It is so
interesting because I have never had an experience to have
comedy back two or three thousand years ago. The reason it
is comical is because two or three hundred billion years ago
a sea urchin left a fossil in the left hand side of it. You
can tell that it angered the Indian because he worked
diligently to try to chip this fossil out of the stone to
make it a perfect point and he could not do it. I get kind
of a chuckle every time I look at it. It is a perfect

Savannah River [point] with the bottom left hand part of the



stem broken. And in the middle of it is a perfect
fossilized sea urchin.

That is beautiful; [it is] pale yellow in color. Now, with
all of these artifacts that you have found, you get an
impression of what those Indian people were like. Do you
have any feelings for the people themselves?

When I try to find things, especially in a clear cut or
something like that, I like to meditate and visualize that I
have just come back from that time period. The other day we
were in a clear cut of such devastating nature, I really
projected myself into that Indian, or what soul it was that
would come back, and I was terrified because I realized that
if I was him and he had just now come upon this destruction
that it would just blow his mind. He would have no idea
what caused it and he would think that there would be an
angry god that came through and burned and cut and slashed.
It kind of makes you feel bad about the environment and
destruction that you see if you do project yourself.

You do feel a kinship that we are all of one blood.

No question. We always chant and pray to the Indian gods
when we are out there looking for stuff. It is kind of a
part of the ritual when you are out there.

Who goes with you on these exhibitions?

My wife, primarily.

She is just as interested in it as you are?

A little more so.





The more you learn the more you want to know, do you not?
Yes. There are a lot of questions there. I see these guys
coming across the Bering Strait, and then they settle in
here and they make these beautiful points. There are just a
lot of questions. It is funny how the older stuff is better
made than the newer stuff.

They have gone back to making a great many things that they
used to make--the blow guns, the points, the basket weaving,
the beads, and of course, the pottery. Do you ever find any
of the beads?

We have got about eight beads.

The trading beads?

Right.

And they are about as big as the end of your finger?

No. They are not that big. They are about as big as the
head of a pin.

Oh, really?. That is what they are using on the reservation
now. They are making jewelry out of that. They are
combining the pottery and the beads to make necklaces for
women like that. I have seen then.

Right.

{Is there] anything else you want to tell me before I go?
No. I just think the Catawba River (and I am glad) is one
of the most unexplored and rich archaeological research

areas in the southeast.





Did you read the articles that Dan Huntley wrote about his
trip down?

I missed all of that stuff.

You must go by and get them.

I will have to go by and get those.

Because he feels like you do.

There is also two or three major Indian formations that I
would like to show somebody. I mean [it is] a complete dam
that has got to be over 1,000 years old. I know its
location on the Catawba River.

On the Catawba River?

Right.

Far from here?

No, less than a mile. I have come across this phenomenon
that I want somebody to help me with. You will be walking
through the woods and you will come across mounds of stones.
They are all stones that can be lifted. They are all about
three meters high and five meters across. They always sit
on a hill and they are in rows. I have found this ina
dozen places in York County. They go on and on and on. My
theory, of course, is that it is a grave.

Are they made of stones?

Stones piled up on top of each other. I can take you to one
where there are 500 mounds.

There must be a graveyard there.





That is what I am thinking that it is. It could be a slave
graveyard. It could be a place where people cleared fields
and piled stones up in piles; I do not know. But I would
like somebody, if they know, to let me know about it.

I can tell that you are not going to stop. You are going to
keep on finding out more and more things.

Absolutely.

In fact, if you keep on at this rate I will come back and
see you again.

Also, if anybody is listening to this that can do anything
about it or get any legislation done, we have got to stop
treasure seekers-~people that just go out and find the stuff
so they can put it in their collection. [They] do no site
reports. They just throw it in their pockets and sell it at
flea markets. It is widespread now and it is destroying
what little evidence we have here,

They are making a museum out of that old school and they
hope to preserve things inside that building. I am amazed
what they are doing with that old building. Have you seen
that?

No. Where is it?

They moved the old school from up at the top of the hill
near the church.

In what town?

On the reservation.

Okay.





They moved the long building with the auditorium and the
classrooms down the highway and put it beside the government
building. It is sitting on the side of the hill. It looks
like it will topple over. But you go inside and they have
paneled it and refloored it and it sticks up beautifully.
They are going to display their pottery, their pictures, and
their famous leaders in there. So they need help--
government grants or something of that kind--to finish up
that building. It is most interesting to see.

Right.

Tell me a little bit about those fish locks that you say
were built on the Catawba River not far from where we are
standing here today.

I know of one that is definitely a little pool where it
drops from two feet to twelve feet. It is obviously
manmade. But I find it interesting in the river [that]
every 400 yards it becomes impassable by rocks. Small
stones were stacked up, and of course larger stones hit
them, eventually blocking off the river and in the middle of
each one of these areas it gets real deep. My personal
theory for that is that it was a rotating fish farm. They
would fish one area and move to the next and move to the
next and move to the next. And after that cycle of years
was over they would start over at the beginning where the
fish were replenished. They actually farmed this river that

way.

10









That sounds very reasonable and they were smart people to do
that.

Yes.

I hope you keep on finding more things and writing them
down.

Oh, yes. We love it and I want to keep it going.

The Catawbas love that river and I believe you love that
river, too.

I have not been able to stay out of that river since I was

three years old.

11



Full Text

PAGE 1

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA ORAL HISTORY PROJECT Interviewee: Robert James Porter Interviewer: Emma Echols June 3, 1993 CAT 210 Robert James Porter is a local businessman who searches for Indian artifacts along the Catawba River with his wife, Deborah. In this interview he discusses his various finds and their locations, including nutting stones, grinding stones, bowls, and agricultural artifacts.

PAGE 2

Interviewee: Interviewer: Date: CAT210 Robert James Porter Emma Echols June 3, 1993 E: This is Emma Echols, 5150 Sharon Road, Charlotte, North Carolina. This is June 3, (and I am] working on the oral history of the Catawba Indians. I am visiting in the business establishment of Mr. Porter. Mr. Porter and his brother have lived on the river for many years, and he and his wife have collected artifacts all up and down the Catawba River. Some of them are over across the road in the restaurant, but he and his wife know where some of them are. I am going to let him put his name on the tape and then we will go from there. Mr. Porter, give us your full name and your address. P: My name is Robert Porter at 3067 Cherry Road, and my wife's name is Deborah Porter. E: How long have you been living here? P: My family has been living here in excess of 100 years. I am thirty-five and I have lived here for thirty-five years, except the five years that I was in the navy. E: You and your wife [have] found things up and down the river, but you also found things up around McConnells [South Carolina]. Is that right? 1

PAGE 3

P: [We found things around] McConnells and Chester County and Fairfield County. E: I saw some of the things you had over there. Tell me some of the things you have. P: Well, I found some of the larger grinding stones, nutting stones, bowls, and agricultural artifacts in an acre space where old Garrison's Mill was built here on the Catawba River. I can take you to the original foundation of that. Garrison's Mill is there and it is right at Nation's Forge. E: I know where it is. P: Obviously, it was used as a mill a long time before the mill was built because the Indians were grinding corn there thousands of years ago. E: They left some of their individual grinding stones and then they had larger ones that they used for wheat, did they not? P: That is correct. E: out near Neeley's Creek Church there is a great big one in the woods. I saw you had one about a foot and a half across. Do you think that was something to crack the nuts in? P: There are various (what I call) nutting stones. My knowledge in archaeological terms is not very great, but [there are sometimes] small, perfectly round grounded holes in a stone--sometimes two or three in one stone and sometimes one in a stone. [In] the most significant piece I have over there, the holes (I do not know why this is) that 2

PAGE 4

were ground are over an inch deep, maybe two inches deep in one of the holes, and it comes down to a very small point at the bottom. I almost imagine that they used that as some type of fire stone maybe, or something like that. E: Where did you find that piece? P: I found that in my front yard because I live on the Catawba River. That is the only thing I have ever found on this side of the river on this side of the bridge. The only thing. E: Well, most of the things are over on the Lancaster [County] side anyhow. P: That is correct. E: What did you find down in Chester County? The Indians roamed all around, I am sure. P: We found one site in Chester County. It looked like somebody had used it as a dump. They dumped toxic barrels. There were these barrels and oil cans and everything else. So far we have found over 300 arrowheads in a space no [larger] than 1500 square feet. Every time it rains we go back and find ten to fifteen more. E: You are still collecting them? P: From the same spot and the same site. This particular site is interesting because it goes from recent points to Savannah River points (of course we pass the Woodland times) and it gets into your Gilfords and even goes back to the end of the Hardaway era. So it is kind of hard to figure out. 3

PAGE 5

You are spanning four or five thousand years in one small site. E: That is amazing. P: We found another site like that at McConnells [in which] we found over fifty of all different types. The rudimentary differences between the two sites (are] the one at Chester [has] a lot of points [that] are very crudely made. They look like they were made by a child. [At] the spot in McConnells everything is almost ceremonial quality--real crystallized quartz and different colored flint made into pieces. It is interesting. E: Do you keep that exhibit here or do you turn it over to the museum? What are you going to do with your exhibits? P: We do a site report coordinated with Rita Kenyan, the staff archaeologist here in York County. Any pieces we find when we are with her out on a field test, of course, the museum keeps. All of the stuff that I have found I have kept, and [I have] kept a record of where it is if anybody ever wanted it, wanted to display it, or wanted to use it. That is fine--I do not feel like I own these pieces. I feel like that I am borrowing them while I am here. It is just really more possessions, but they are kind of neat to look at. E: I enjoyed seeing the exhibit you had over yonder. That was most interesting. P: Yes, it is neat, is it not? E: Your brother keeps it but you know the history of it. 4

PAGE 6

----------------------------------------P: Right. E: What would be the most interesting piece you have found? P: The greatest piece we have ever found my wife, Deborah, found and it was a Dalton Hardaway and it had seventeen concave notches on each side. It is less than a half of a centimeter in width and I imagine you could roll a Mack truck over it and it would not break. It was the most gorgeous thing you have ever seen. We were taking it to the Siss Museum to have it evaluated and my wife put it on the hood of the truck while she went back in to get some tennis shoes. We got halfway there and we realized that we had not taken it back off the hood of the truck. E: You never have found it? P: Oh, no. We looked for weeks and weeks and weeks. But the other interesting piece I am holding here in my hand is obviously a Savannah River point made of chert. It is so interesting because I have never had an experience to have comedy back two or three thousand years ago. The reason it is comical is because two or three hundred billion years ago a sea urchin left a fossil in the left hand side of it. You can tell that it angered the Indian because he worked diligently to try to chip this fossil out of the stone to make it a perfect point and he could not do it. I get kind of a chuckle every time I look at it. It is a perfect Savannah River [point] with the bottom left hand part of the 5

PAGE 7

stem broken. And in the middle of it is a perfect fossilized sea urchin. E: That is beautiful; [it is] pale yellow in color. Now, with all of these artifacts that you have found, you get an impression of what those Indian people were like. Do you have any feelings for the people themselves? P: When I try to find things, especially in a clear cut or something like that, I like to meditate and visualize that I have just come back from that time period. The other day we were in a clear cut of such devastating nature, I really projected myself into that Indian, or what soul it was that would come back, and I was terrified because I realized that if I was him and he had just now come upon this destruction that it would just blow his mind. He would have no idea what caused it and he would think that there would be an angry god that came through and burned and cut and slashed. It kind of makes you feel bad about the environment and destruction that you see if you do project yourself. E: You do feel a kinship that we are all of one blood. P: No question. We always chant and pray to the Indian gods when we are out there looking for stuff. It is kind of a part of the ritual when you are out there. E: Who goes with you on these exhibitions? P: My wife, primarily. E: She is just as interested in it as you are? P: A little more so. 6

PAGE 8

E: The more you learn the more you want to know, do you not? P: Yes. There are a lot of questions there. I see these guys coming across the Bering strait, and then they settle in here and they make these beautiful points. There are just a lot of questions. It is funny how the older stuff is better made than the newer stuff. E: They have gone back to making a great many things that they used to make--the blow guns, the points, the basket weaving, the beads, and of course, the pottery. Do you ever find any of the beads? P: We have got about eight beads. E: The trading beads? P: Right. E: And they are about as big as the end of your finger? P: No. They are not that big. They are about as big as the head of a pin. E: Oh, really?. That is what they are using on the reservation now. They are making jewelry out of that. They are combining the pottery and the beads to make necklaces for women like that. I have seen them. P: Right. E: [Is there] anything else you want to tell me before I go? P: No. I just think the Catawba River (and I am glad) is one of the most unexplored and rich archaeological research areas in the southeast. 7

PAGE 9

E: Did you read the articles that Dan Huntley wrote about his trip down? P: I missed all of that stuff. E: You must go by and get them. P: I will have to go by and get those. E: Because he feels like you do. P: There is also two or three major Indian formations that I would like to show somebody. I mean [it is] a complete dam that has got to be over 1,000 years old. I know its location on the Catawba River. E: On the Catawba River? P: Right. E: Far from here? P: No, less than a mile. I have come across this phenomenon that I want somebody to help me with. You will be walking through the woods and you will come across mounds of stones. They are all stones that can be lifted. They are all about three meters high and five meters across. They always sit on a hill and they are in rows. I have found this in a dozen places in York County. They go on and on and on. My theory, of course, is that it is a grave. E: Are they made of stones? P: Stones piled up on top of each other. I can take you to one where there are 500 mounds. E: There must be a graveyard there. 8

PAGE 10

P: That is what I am thinking that it is. It could be a slave graveyard. It could be a place where people cleared fields and piled stones up in piles; I do not know. But I would like somebody, if they know, to let me know about it. E: I can tell that you are not going to stop. You are going to keep on finding out more and more things. P: Absolutely. E: In fact, if you keep on at this rate I will come back and see you again. P: Also, if anybody is listening to this that can do anything about it or get any legislation done, we have got to stop treasure seekers--people that just go out and find the stuff so they can put it in their collection. [They] do no site reports. They just throw it in their pockets and sell it at flea markets. It is widespread now and it is destroying what little evidence we have here. E: They are making a museum out of that old school and they hope to preserve things inside that building. I am amazed what they are doing with that old building. Have you seen that? P: No. Where is it? E: They moved the old school from up at the top of the hill near the church. P: In what town? E: On the reservation. P: Okay. 9

PAGE 11

E: They moved the long building with the auditorium and the classrooms down the highway and put it beside the government building. It is sitting on the side of the hill. It looks like it will topple over. But you go inside and they have paneled it and refloored it and it sticks up beautifully. They are going to display their pottery, their pictures, and their famous leaders in there. So they need helpgovernment grants or something of that kind--to finish up that building. It is most interesting to see. P: Right. E: Tell me a little bit about those fish locks that you say were built on the Catawba River not far from where we are standing here today. P: I know of one that is definitely a little pool where it drops from two feet to twelve feet. It is obviously manmade. But I find it interesting in the river [that] every 400 yards it becomes impassable by rocks. Small stones were stacked up, and of course larger stones hit them, eventually blocking off the river and in the middle of each one of these areas it gets real deep. My personal theory for that is that it was a rotating fish farm. They would fish one area and move to the next and move to the next and move to the next. And after that cycle of years was over they would start over at the beginning where the fish were replenished. They actually farmed this river that way. 10

PAGE 12

E: That sounds very reasonable and they were smart people to do that. P: Yes. E: I hope you keep on finding more things and writing them down. P: Oh, yes. We love it and I want to keep it going. E: The Catawbas love that river and I believe you love that river, too. P: I have not been able to stay out of that river since I was three years old. 11


UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
ORAL HISTORY PROJECT

Interviewee: Robert James Porter
Interviewer: Emma Echols

June 3, 1993

CAT 210

Robert James Porter is a local businessman who searches for
Indian artifacts along the Catawba River with his wife, Deborah.
In this interview he discusses his various finds and their
locations, including nutting stones, grinding stones, bowls, and
agricultural artifacts.
Interviewee: Robert James Porter

Interviewer: Emma Echols

Date:

June 3, 1993

CAT210

This is Emma Echols, 5150 Sharon Road, Charlotte, North
Carolina. This is June 3, [and I am] working on the oral
history of the Catawba Indians. I am visiting in the
business establishment of Mr. Porter. Mr. Porter and his
brother have lived on the river for many years, and he and
his wife have collected artifacts all up and down the
Catawba River. Some of them are over across the road in the
restaurant, but he and his wife know where some of them are.
I am going to let him put his name on the tape and then we
will go from there. Mr. Porter, give us your full name and
your address.

My name is Robert Porter at 3067 Cherry Road, and my wife's

-Nname is Deborah Porter.

How long have you been living here?

My family has been living here in excess of 100 years. I am
thirty-five and I have lived here for thirty-five years,
except the five years that I was in the navy.

You and your wife [have] found things up and down the river,
but you also found things up around McConnells [South

Carolina). Is that right?






[We found things around] McConnells and Chester County and
Fairfield County.

I saw some of the things you had over there. Tell me some
of the things you have.

Well, I found some of the larger grinding stones, nutting
stones, bowls, and agricultural artifacts in an acre space
where old Garrison's Mill was built here on the Catawba
River. I can take you to the original foundation of that.
Garrison's Mill is there and it is right at Nation's Forge.
I know where it is.

Obviously, it was used as a mill a long time before the mill
was built because the Indians were grinding corn there
thousands of years ago.

They left some of their individual grinding stones and then
they had larger ones that they used for wheat, did they not?
That is correct.

Out near Neeley's Creek Church there is a great big one in
the woods. I saw you had one about a foot and a half
across. Do you think that was something to crack the nuts
in?

There are various (what I call) nutting stones. My
knowledge in archaeological terms is not very great, but
[there are sometimes] small, perfectly round grounded holes
in a stone--sometimes two or three in one stone and
sometimes one in a stone. [In] the most significant piece I

have over there, the holes (I do not know why this is) that








were ground are over an inch deep, maybe two inches deep in
one of the holes, and it comes down to a very small point at
the bottom. I almost imagine that they used that as some
type of fire stone maybe, or something like that.

Where did you find that piece?

I found that in my front yard because I live on the Catawba
River. That is the only thing I have ever found on this
side of the river on this side of the bridge. The only
thing.

Well, most of the things are over on the Lancaster [County]
side anyhow.

That is correct.

What did you find down in Chester County? The Indians
roamed all around, I am sure.

We found one site in Chester County. It looked like
somebody had used it as a dump. They dumped toxic barrels.
There were these barrels and oil cans and everything else.
So far we have found over 300 arrowheads in a space no
{larger] than 1500 square feet. Every time it rains we go
back and find ten to fifteen more.

You are still collecting them?

From the same spot and the same site. This particular site
is interesting because it goes from recent points to
Savannah River points (of course we pass the Woodland times)
and it gets into your Gilfords and even goes back to the end

of the Hardaway era. So it is kind of hard to figure out.


You are spanning four or five thousand years in one small
site.

That is amazing.

We found another site like that at McConnells fin which) we
found over fifty of all different types. The rudimentary
differences between the two sites [are] the one at Chester
{has] a lot of points [that] are very crudely made. They
look like they were made by a child. [At] the spot in
McConnells everything is almost ceremonial quality--real
crystallized quartz and different colored flint made into
pieces. It is interesting.

Do you keep that exhibit here or do you turn it over to the
museum? What are you going to do with your exhibits?

We do a site report coordinated with Rita Kenyan, the staff
archaeologist here in York County. Any pieces we find when
we are with her out on a field test, of course, the museum
keeps. All of the stuff that I have found I have kept, and
(I have] kept a record of where it is if anybody ever wanted
it, wanted to display it, or wanted to use it. That is
fine--I do not feel like I own these pieces. I feel like
that I am borrowing them while I am here. It is just really
more possessions, but they are kind of neat to look at.

I enjoyed seeing the exhibit you had over yonder. That was
most interesting.

Yes, it is neat, is it not?

Your brother keeps it but you know the history of it.


Right.

What would be the most interesting piece you have found?

The greatest piece we have ever found my wife, Deborah,
found and it was a Dalton Hardaway and it had seventeen
concave notches on each side. It is less than a half of a
centimeter in width and I imagine you could roll a Mack
truck over it and it would not break. It was the most
gorgeous thing you have ever seen. We were taking it to the
Siss Museum to have it evaluated and my wife put it on the
hood of the truck while she went back in to get some tennis
shoes. We got halfway there and we realized that we had not
taken it back off the hood of the truck.

You never have found it?

Oh, no. We looked for weeks and weeks and weeks. But the
other interesting piece I am holding here in my hand is
obviously a Savannah River point made of chert. It is so
interesting because I have never had an experience to have
comedy back two or three thousand years ago. The reason it
is comical is because two or three hundred billion years ago
a sea urchin left a fossil in the left hand side of it. You
can tell that it angered the Indian because he worked
diligently to try to chip this fossil out of the stone to
make it a perfect point and he could not do it. I get kind
of a chuckle every time I look at it. It is a perfect

Savannah River [point] with the bottom left hand part of the
stem broken. And in the middle of it is a perfect
fossilized sea urchin.

That is beautiful; [it is] pale yellow in color. Now, with
all of these artifacts that you have found, you get an
impression of what those Indian people were like. Do you
have any feelings for the people themselves?

When I try to find things, especially in a clear cut or
something like that, I like to meditate and visualize that I
have just come back from that time period. The other day we
were in a clear cut of such devastating nature, I really
projected myself into that Indian, or what soul it was that
would come back, and I was terrified because I realized that
if I was him and he had just now come upon this destruction
that it would just blow his mind. He would have no idea
what caused it and he would think that there would be an
angry god that came through and burned and cut and slashed.
It kind of makes you feel bad about the environment and
destruction that you see if you do project yourself.

You do feel a kinship that we are all of one blood.

No question. We always chant and pray to the Indian gods
when we are out there looking for stuff. It is kind of a
part of the ritual when you are out there.

Who goes with you on these exhibitions?

My wife, primarily.

She is just as interested in it as you are?

A little more so.


The more you learn the more you want to know, do you not?
Yes. There are a lot of questions there. I see these guys
coming across the Bering Strait, and then they settle in
here and they make these beautiful points. There are just a
lot of questions. It is funny how the older stuff is better
made than the newer stuff.

They have gone back to making a great many things that they
used to make--the blow guns, the points, the basket weaving,
the beads, and of course, the pottery. Do you ever find any
of the beads?

We have got about eight beads.

The trading beads?

Right.

And they are about as big as the end of your finger?

No. They are not that big. They are about as big as the
head of a pin.

Oh, really?. That is what they are using on the reservation
now. They are making jewelry out of that. They are
combining the pottery and the beads to make necklaces for
women like that. I have seen then.

Right.

{Is there] anything else you want to tell me before I go?
No. I just think the Catawba River (and I am glad) is one
of the most unexplored and rich archaeological research

areas in the southeast.


Did you read the articles that Dan Huntley wrote about his
trip down?

I missed all of that stuff.

You must go by and get them.

I will have to go by and get those.

Because he feels like you do.

There is also two or three major Indian formations that I
would like to show somebody. I mean [it is] a complete dam
that has got to be over 1,000 years old. I know its
location on the Catawba River.

On the Catawba River?

Right.

Far from here?

No, less than a mile. I have come across this phenomenon
that I want somebody to help me with. You will be walking
through the woods and you will come across mounds of stones.
They are all stones that can be lifted. They are all about
three meters high and five meters across. They always sit
on a hill and they are in rows. I have found this ina
dozen places in York County. They go on and on and on. My
theory, of course, is that it is a grave.

Are they made of stones?

Stones piled up on top of each other. I can take you to one
where there are 500 mounds.

There must be a graveyard there.


That is what I am thinking that it is. It could be a slave
graveyard. It could be a place where people cleared fields
and piled stones up in piles; I do not know. But I would
like somebody, if they know, to let me know about it.

I can tell that you are not going to stop. You are going to
keep on finding out more and more things.

Absolutely.

In fact, if you keep on at this rate I will come back and
see you again.

Also, if anybody is listening to this that can do anything
about it or get any legislation done, we have got to stop
treasure seekers-~people that just go out and find the stuff
so they can put it in their collection. [They] do no site
reports. They just throw it in their pockets and sell it at
flea markets. It is widespread now and it is destroying
what little evidence we have here,

They are making a museum out of that old school and they
hope to preserve things inside that building. I am amazed
what they are doing with that old building. Have you seen
that?

No. Where is it?

They moved the old school from up at the top of the hill
near the church.

In what town?

On the reservation.

Okay.


They moved the long building with the auditorium and the
classrooms down the highway and put it beside the government
building. It is sitting on the side of the hill. It looks
like it will topple over. But you go inside and they have
paneled it and refloored it and it sticks up beautifully.
They are going to display their pottery, their pictures, and
their famous leaders in there. So they need help--
government grants or something of that kind--to finish up
that building. It is most interesting to see.

Right.

Tell me a little bit about those fish locks that you say
were built on the Catawba River not far from where we are
standing here today.

I know of one that is definitely a little pool where it
drops from two feet to twelve feet. It is obviously
manmade. But I find it interesting in the river [that]
every 400 yards it becomes impassable by rocks. Small
stones were stacked up, and of course larger stones hit
them, eventually blocking off the river and in the middle of
each one of these areas it gets real deep. My personal
theory for that is that it was a rotating fish farm. They
would fish one area and move to the next and move to the
next and move to the next. And after that cycle of years
was over they would start over at the beginning where the
fish were replenished. They actually farmed this river that

way.

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That sounds very reasonable and they were smart people to do
that.

Yes.

I hope you keep on finding more things and writing them
down.

Oh, yes. We love it and I want to keep it going.

The Catawbas love that river and I believe you love that
river, too.

I have not been able to stay out of that river since I was

three years old.

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