Fletcher – Dealers from over a dozen states will be displaying their North American archaeological artifacts at the Lelia Patterson Center in Fletcher on Sunday, September 19th from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. This is the 17th annual Western North Carolina Indian Artifact Show with approximately 140 display tables featuring only North American prehistoric artifacts. Although there is no charge to visit, donations are greatly appreciated if attending.
Pieces are bought, sold or traded: Indian arrowheads made in a variety of shapes and sizes, points, axes, drills, pipes, pottery, and spades. There will undoubtedly be many common field grade items, selling for a $1 or $2, while other more notable items may sell for thousands of dollars. Preventing modern counterfeits from being sold, an authenticator will be present at the show. Dealers arrive from almost all the southeastern states, but others come from as far away as Illinois, Indiana, Maryland and Arkansas. Many have been coming to this show year after year.
A Father / Son Bond
Many of collectors’ origin stories have them just walking the plowed fields as a hobby. A natural curiosity for picking up some amazing Indian relics (with the property owner’s permission, of course). Sometimes these pieces are thousands of years old. It is not uncommon that a lot of history can be extracted or a new history to be made. According to Randy London, his son caught the exploration bug from him. He loved coming along as we walked around western North Carolina, pursuing these artifacts. Now, some thirty years later, his son will also be attending this year’s Indian Artifact Show as an exhibitor with possibly up to 3 tables decked out for display. “It was something we could enjoy together over the years.”
Ron Odom Describes His Joys in Collecting Artifacts
“I was born in 1950, found my first arrowhead when I was five years old and became obsessed, addicted, and fell in love with this great hobby. I have had the good fortune to travel / work in most all the 50 states and have collected points, bought collections from a broad spectrum of our great country, with a focus on prehistoric items from the southeast, mainly the Carolina’s and Virginia, close to my home, in East Tennessee.
I also developed a deep respect for our Native Americans, “Indians”, as many folks call them, and regretting how our government broke treaties and mistreated them and their way of life. I suppose that is the biggest “one thing” that added greatly to my interest in collecting and becoming an amateur archaeologist.
Just think of it: each point is different, as unique as our fingerprint; just one fascinating aspect of this wonderful hobby.
Unfortunately, just like coins or stamps or any collectable, many artifacts are made in today’s modern world and sold as “authentic,” “real,” or “old.” Beware of these unscrupulous folks; always buy from someone you know well and trust. If you decide you want to look for arrowheads /artifacts, always ask permission; get written permission, if it’s on someone else’s private property. Be courteous not to damage crops or anything and don’t trash; try to carry out yours and any other debris you see. The landowners will really appreciate that.
People that are experienced and know how to find sites and artifacts at these sites can be a lifesaver to you folks that have never hunted or hunted without some tutoring. Our artifact collecting hobby is a clean and refreshing way to spend time outdoors and there’s a wealth of enjoyment to be had and lifelong friends to meet that enjoy the hobby and share the common interest; many advanced surface hunters / collectors can put you on the right track quickly. It’s easy to get discouraged if you go it alone. I know, because my grandpa, mom and dad all taught me a lot when I was a young and inexperienced. I still remember those days, those cherished conversations and memories.”
The activities at the show are sure to be enjoyable. Refreshments are being offered. There will even be awards given for ‘Best of Show’ and ‘Outstanding Display.’ In addition, there will be raffles: $1.00 a ticket or 6 for $5.00. Each dealer donates at least one item for the raffle, so if you’re feeling lucky, you can win anything from a fine piece of pottery, an arrowhead, a carved piece, a book, or even a display case itself. There are about 60 items to be given away. However, face mask are required. To find out more, call the Show hosts, Ron Odom at 828 766-3800 or Randy London
at 828 684-7994.