D. HUSAR: Quincy's Native American history spotlighted - Quincy Herald-Whig | Illinois & Missouri News, Sports

D. HUSAR: Quincy's Native American history spotlighted this month, but on display for decades

Posted: Updated:

 

Quincy's Native American history took a turn in the spotlight this month with Indian Mounds Park featured on the poster for Illinois Archaeology Awareness Month and mound preservation efforts highlighted in Illinois Antiquity magazine.

But it's been on display all along in the Gem City -- at least since the early 1960s.

"While the park continues to flourish as an urban recreational center, the spectacular mounds and earthworks faded as a focal point for the property in the 20th century, although they witnessed a brief resurgence during the period when the Erroke Museum was open," co-authors Steve Tieken and Dave Nolan wrote in the magazine article.

The museum, near the park's Fifth Street entrance, opened in July 1962 with displays of artifacts from the Woodland and other prehistoric cultures and a burial mound excavation.

"It was a very popular destination for school groups, people coming from out of town," said Barbara Wilkinson, executive director of the Quincy Museum.

Members of Explorer Post 107 based in Quincy acted as tour guides and operated the museum, spearheaded in large part by Quincy dentist Jim Reed, an amateur archaeologist with a keen interest in Native American culture. Reed named the museum "for his children using the first letters of their names for Erin, Robin and Kevin," Wilkinson said. "Some folks in the area ask about the Erroke tribe. There was no Erroke tribe."

Growing sensitivity to displaying human remains prompted changes at the museum, which reburied the remains with help from Native Americans, Wilkinson said, and then relocated to Quinsippi Island where the city wanted to enhance tourism opportunities.

The renamed, expanded Quincy Museum of the American Indian offered displays of artifacts, minerals and natural history beginning in May 1971. The concrete block building was located just west of the Little Q Railroad roundtable and Sky Cruise island terminus on the southern tip of the island, according to a June 25, 1970, Herald-Whig story.

By 1980, the museum's board was looking to expand to a new more centrally located site. New marina development caused access problems to the island and restricted a large number of visitors from reaching the museum, according to the Quincy Museum's website. The board leased the historic Newcomb House at 1601 Maine for a year and bought the home in June 1981.

"One of our favorite stories is that we started the campaign to purchase this building with only a whopping $60 in our treasury," Wilkinson said.

Now known as the Quincy Museum, its displays include Native American items including some pieces from the Erroke Museum.

"There's a particular kind of pottery known as the Adams Tradition. It is distinctive to here in Adams County. We've got some pieces on display," Wilkinson said. "We do show quite a few of the things that were found here in Adams County."

Children visiting the museum can follow the Native American Trail. "They can follow clues throughout the museum and find different things. It's like a scavenger hunt," Wilkinson said.

"We're very fortunate to be here in Adams County where we have such a great heritage. It's a shame people don't come and see more of it," Wilkinson said. "We have a permanent Native American display where we do show quite a few of the things that were found here in Adams County. It's definitely worth a visit."

 

-- dhusar@whig.com/221-3379

 

  • Local HeadlinesLocal HeadlinesMore>>

  • Genealogical book helps mark 50th reunion of Genenbacher family

    Genealogical book helps mark 50th reunion of Genenbacher family

    Monday, July 28 2014 12:56 AM EDT2014-07-28 04:56:21 GMT
    A family that researches its history together stays together, and one Quincy area clan is doing just that.  Descendents of John and Anna Genenbacher hosted their 50th family reunion Sunday at the Knights of Columbus' Father McGivney Hall, but marking a half-century of remaining connected wasn't the only cause for celebration.  After about two years and 500 hours of research and compilation, a group of organizing family members presented their kin with a 110-page book.
    A family that researches its history together stays together, and one Quincy area clan is doing just that.  Descendents of John and Anna Genenbacher hosted their 50th family reunion Sunday at the Knights of Columbus' Father McGivney Hall, but marking a half-century of remaining connected wasn't the only cause for celebration.  After about two years and 500 hours of research and compilation, a group of organizing family members presented their kin with a 110-page book.
  • Quincy finds salt supplier after state fails to locate vendor

    Quincy finds salt supplier after state fails to locate vendor

    Monday, July 28 2014 11:40 PM EDT2014-07-29 03:40:51 GMT
    The city of Quincy has secured 3,600 tons of rock salt for winter -- although at a 75.6 percent increase in cost from last year -- after aldermen approved a quote Monday night.
    The city of Quincy has secured 3,600 tons of rock salt for winter -- although at a 75.6 percent increase in cost from last year -- after aldermen approved a quote Monday night.
  • Bluff City Theater finds 'perfect building' in downtown Hannibal

    Bluff City Theater finds 'perfect building' in downtown Hannibal

    Monday, July 28 2014 2:33 PM EDT2014-07-28 18:33:46 GMT
    HANNIBAL, Mo. -- Joe Anderson knows all about the right way to develop a theater. "You build an organization, build an audience, then build a building," Anderson said. "So many get in trouble early on committing to expensive performance venues before they have the ability to pay for it." But taking the wrong approach might pay off for the new Bluff City Theater in Hannibal.
    HANNIBAL, Mo. -- Joe Anderson knows all about the right way to develop a theater. "You build an organization, build an audience, then build a building," Anderson said. "So many get in trouble early on committing to expensive performance venues before they have the ability to pay for it." But taking the wrong approach might pay off for the new Bluff City Theater in Hannibal.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and Quincy Herald-Whig. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.