THE KARL IRVIN VANDEVANTER COLLECTION
***The 37”x43” display holds the knives and arrowheads, gorgets and bannerstones with one transparent quartz attempt and many obsidian pieces. The central spearhead is exactly 7”.
The axe head display is 31”x37” with many celts and axe heads along with bannerstones, a pipe, a plummet, a boatstone, one mortar/pestle-type grinder and a rare adze. The main bannerstone is exactly 4 7/8”.
About 300 pieces altogether.***
WHEN I visited my grandparents in Veedersburg, Indiana as a boy in the 1950’s, my grandfather Karl would take me on walkabouts in the countryside right at the edge of town. He would pick up rocks and look at them, so I got into the habit myself. I did not know anything about an artifact collection until he died in 1966 and they told me I’d inherited his collection. There are many fossils he found as well that are not included here. He probably found some of these prior to 1900, when he was still a boy, himself.
For the next 56 years I lugged this along with me everywhere I moved. One small trash can and a bag whose handles never failed despite the weight. I got it all out only once, probably in the 1980’s. I was surprised how much there was, then put it all back and kept lugging.
Early in 2022, I decided to donate the collection to an Indiana museum so it could be displayed in perpetuity. I was finally going to do right by my grandfather! I soon discovered that, because of the immense amounts of stuff they have and keep getting, no museum was going to display anything in perpetuity, nor would they probably display the collection in toto (much would be held forstudy in the back rooms).
So, for now, I’m holding it in stewardship for the family and my oldest son will determine what happens next.
John VanDevanter Carter