TRIBES, LANDOWNERS AGREE ON WHAT HAPPENS TO ITEMS FOUND AT SITE 04/21/99 Focused on locating the true site of the Sand Creek Massacre, tribal representatives and landowners reached agreement on what will happen to artifacts found during the exploration. "I personally feel that human remains have priority for return (to Native Americans). Artifacts can be dealt with somewhere down the line," said Laird Cometsevah of the Southern Cheyenne and a descendant of Sand Creek survivors. "I'm anxious to get on with the project." According to Colorado state law, items found at a historic site belong to the landowner if they are not objects associated with the burial of a human being. However, in the case of the Sand Creek Massacre, it is unlikely that there were many, if any, ritual burials of the victims. Consequently, the disposition of artifacts found at the sites is uncertain. "There are very strong feelings about this issue," Rick Frost, NPS Project Manager for Sand Creek, said during a meeting with landowners, tribal representatives, the Colorado Historical Society and the National Park Service Tuesday. "We need to reach an accommodation about how we'll deal with objects when they are found." The tribal representatives and landowners finally agreed on a working definition that states, "Any discovered burial site, funerary objects, sacred objects and objects of cultural patrimony will be handled in compliance with applicable federal and Colorado state law." Aerial photography is scheduled to begin this week of three potential sites of the massacre in Kiowa County, north of Chivington. Those sites include the Dawson site, considered historically to be where the massacre happened on November 29, 1864. Under legislation signed into law by President Clinton last October, the Department of the Interior, through the National Park Service, is charged with determining the actual site of the massacre and preparing a report on how the site should be managed in the future. The law also requires that the work be done in cooperation with the Northern and Southern Arapaho and the Northern and Southern Cheyenne as well as the Colorado Historical Society. The park service has until July, 2000, to complete their report.

SCHOOL STORYTELLER SAYS OLD WEST COULD TEACH CHILDREN LESSONS 04/21/99 The heroes and legends of the Old West make for more than tall tales. They also can teach lessons in character, free enterprise and hard work, an Odessa western fan says. Chuck Hornung, public information director for the Ector County Independent School District, says he likes to delve into the "human" side of Old West lawmen _ the deaths of their children, their pets and horses, their home life. It's "the individuality, the ability then to be what you could accomplish," that makes them fascinating, he said. Two articles by Hornung about Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday will appear in the May 1999 issue of True West magazine and the summer 1999 issue of Old West magazine. The magazines, which feature non-fiction stories, are published by Oklahoma-based Western Publications and have an international following. "It's amazing how many people in Europe eat up 'Old West,' " said Ann Ruyle, production coordinator for the publications. Hornung said he acquired many of the stories and historical documents used in his research when he was a college student working on a New Mexico ranch. Fred Lambert, who at the time was the last living member of the New Mexico Mounted Police, supplied stories, names and documents that helped verify the travels of Earp, the legendary Dodge City, Kan. and Tombstone, Ariz. lawman, Hornung said. Lambert also was an interesting character, Hornung said. The former New Mexico lawman had the distinction of being the only officer to arrest a horse on federal charges for introducing liquor on an Indian reservation. Lambert arrested the animal because he hoped the real culprit _ the horse's owner _ would claim it before the case was tried. The owner didn't however, and the horse was convicted and sold to pay for the cost of the trial, Hornung said. In addition to his research _ he is a member of the Western Outlaw-Lawmen History Association and the National Outlaw-Lawmen Association _ Hornung often is asked to tell Odessa students about the Lone Ranger legend. The stories emphasize values such as friendship, race relations, hard work and justice, Hornung said. They're also an opportunity to point out the area's history, he said. "The whole (Lone Ranger) legend started with that Ranger Station outside of Fort Davis," Hornung explained. And the Lone Ranger's trusty horse Silver hailed from Wild Horse Valley in the Big Bend area, he said. Pockets of the frontier spirit still survive, Hornung said. "There's still this feeling in this area that we can do (attitude)."

GRANT PROVIDES MONEY FOR NICODEMUS HISTORIC SITE 04/20/99 The federal government has set aside nearly $300,000 to develop park facilities at the National Historic Site in this pioneering northwest Kansas town. The money, which is in this year's budget, is being spent on resource preservation and visitor center services. Nicodemus was settled in the 1870s by black pioneers fleeing slavery in the South. The all-black town once boasted nearly 400 residents, but now around 40 people live there. The town routinely swells to about 800 each summer for its Emancipation Celebration "Homecoming" weekend. Nicodemus was named a National Historic Site in 1996 after 20 years as a National Historic Landmark. The new distinction incorporated Nicodemus into the National Parks system, which makes the town eligible for restoration of its historic buildings, including two churches and a school. Since the park is new and undeveloped, much of the budget is going for initial plans and studies before development of permanent facilities begin, said Steve Linderer, superintendent for the Fort Larned and Nicodemus National Historic Sites. The NPS is forming a management plan that will go before Congress next year. Until the plan is complete, however, the NPS is working to stabilize buildings that are in danger of collapsing. The first stabilization project was on the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1996 soon after the town's designation as a National Historic Site. Last summer a crew of AmeriCorps volunteers based in Denver helped stabilize the school house. They replaced old shingles and painted the building's exterior while curators cleaned and cataloged old books, records and architectural items.

TEXAS HOUSE GIVES PRELIMINARY APPROVAL TO HISTORIC COURTHOUSE BILL 04/20/99 The House gave initial approval Tuesday to a bill meant to save dozens of quaint but crumbling Texas courthouses. The courthouse grants have been a priority of Gov. George W. Bush after outcries from county officials and preservationists. "We are fortunate to have inherited these grand buildings from our ancestors. Now we must work to preserve them for future generations," said bill sponsor Rep. Pete Gallego, D-Alpine. The bill would authorize an unspecified amount of grant money. Funds would have to be allocated from the state budget. Bush has recommended that $100 million be earmarked for such projects in the two-year budget period ending in 2001. "This initiative will preserve the historic structures that make Texas unique and serve as the symbolic center of communities," said Scott McClellan, Bush spokesman. With 254 counties, Texas has 225 courthouses deemed "historic" because they are at least 50 years old, are included on the National Register of Historic Places or are designated by the state as historic or archaeological landmarks. Collectively, Texas' aging courthouses, many of which serve as the centerpieces in small towns, have been placed on the "most endangered places" list of the National Trust for Historic Places. Some lawmakers say the money should be spent on more important issues. "I just think we have our priorities in the wrong place," said Rep. Harold Dutton, D-Houston. "We should be spending this money on schools and teachers." Dutton said he agreed that some courthouses should be preserved, but contended others need to be torn down. "Some of these courthouses represent the last vestiges of slavery and racism in Texas," he said. The bill still must get final approval in the House before being sent to the Senate. The preserving Texas' historic courthouses bill is HB1341.

ARCHAEOLOGISTS UNEARTH REMANENT OF PRESIDIO IN DOWNTOWN 04/20/99 Archaeologists are nearly certain they have unearthed the west adobe wall of a 220-year-old presidio in what's now the heart of downtown Tucson. "We're letting the dirt that's here in the ground _ amazingly well preserved _ do the talking," William H. Doelle, president of the Center for Desert Archaeology, said Monday. "Now we're feeling pretty confident that we can say, at about a 90 percent level or above, that we feel this is Tucson's presidio wall," he said. The most recent excavation revealed remnants of a wall of similar construction style and alignment as a segment uncovered a year ago in another dig in the area. Tucson was selected as a site for a presidio, or military fortress, by Capt. Hugo O'Conor, an Irish mercenary in the service of Spain, in 1775 within days of his selection of another presidio site along the San Pedro River to the south, called Santa Cruz de Terrenate. Both were designed to protect Spanish soldiers, their families and friendly Indians from periodic attacks by Apaches. Doelle said records indicate that by 1779, two of the walls of the Tucson fortress were only 3 feet tall, and two others were nothing more than footings. "This is the kind of thing we're seeing," he said. "It's not always exactly the same building techniques, and that matches well with the historic record." He said construction of the wall was a gradual, ongoing project that progressed slowly enough that the Spaniards built a smaller enclosure of logs, probably in the interior of the larger walled compound.

Please pass along these volunteer links to others - USFS Passport In Time (PIT) Traveler Volunteer Opportunities, April - October 1999: Project List Project Descriptions Application Form Leavengood and others added "sacrificial" layers of adobe to the severely eroded end wall of a cabin built in 1904. It was one of five buildings erected that year as headquarters for the Santa Rita Water and Mining Co., about nine miles northwest of Sonoita. "What the folks from Mexico were showing us today was how to apply the sacrificial layer, so that when it rains the water will wash off our mud, not the original material," said Jim Britton from Friends of Kentucky Camp, a volunteer group dedicated to preserving and interpreting the old gold-mining settlement. One of the difficulties of restoration and preservation is deciding how far to go, said Robles, who works at the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia in Hermosillo. After removing the debris, the cracks are filled with a rough coat of mud plaster, then a smooth final coat is applied. Dirt for the coarse coat is sifted through quarter-inch screening; common window screening is used to sift the finer dirt. A clear "consolidation coat" is applied after the mud. It is made of prickly pear juice, lime juice and water, and it helps the paint stick to the mud. Whitewash comes next, then the paint. The program is part of the Forest Service's Passport in Time program, which teams volunteers with archaeologists and historians on national forests across the country. The program is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and currently has 142 projects. Juhl and Schardt are two of 13 BLM volunteers and employees selected as the best examples of volunteer work on the public lands. This year's winners either live or work in Alaska, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and Wyoming. The BLM recruits more than 20,000 volunteers each year to perform a variety of jobs from campground host to archaeologist to educator. Images of snakes, lizards, stick-figure people and deities left by Hohokam artists centuries ago decorate the outcropping of rock. The Hohokam, a prehistoric Indian culture centered in the Salt River Valley for more than a millennium, carved thousands of petroglyphs into South Mountain's rock faces and canyon walls. Recognizing the importance of the rock art, the Pointe Hilton is preserving the images with help from city of Phoenix archaeologist Todd Bostwick. He is eager to catalog and protect the rock art because so much of it has been defaced by vandals and lost to thieves and development. The Pointe Hilton plans a trail and interpretive program in its back yard that will help visitors understand the petroglyphs' significance. "This is a very good example of how to properly manage these archaeological sites and also present positive experiences to visitors," he said. "It's good the corporate world can become stewards of archaeological sites.",1249,80000053,00.html? The Utah State historical Society is offering on-line data about state burial records at About 288 of the 521 cemeteries known to exist in Utah have completed the society's survey form. Of those, 58 now have burial information accessible online. The gates, known as the "Herrera Portones" - portón is the Spanish word for gate - were found on the Herrera family ranch located on the Medina River along Old Somerset Road. Made of mesquite wood, the massive gates are typical of Spanish colonial style, said Tom Hester, director of the Texas Archaeological Research Laboratory in Austin. "The Herrera family history is that the gates were from the Alamo and were purchased well before the famous battle," Hester said. "I suspect the family history is probably right." University of New Mexico paleontologist Joe Powell uses plastic casts of human skulls to explain how bone structure provides clues to the ancestry of ancient Americans. Arizona State University 1999 summer program in prehistoric archaeology will be located in the Salinas pueblo area of central New Mexico, 20 miles southeast of Mountainair. Surely he would be considered one of America's great scientists. He is called the father of American archaeology. He was the first person in the New World to make a controlled stratigraphic archaeological excavation. He had a research design and questions to be answered. Absolute genius! The battle began with Confederates striking the Union's right flank at dawn "like a whirl-a-gust of woodpeckers in a hail storm," as one Tennessee private put it. Preservation and conservation groups are now urging Dell Computer Corp. not to build at the site of an important Civil War battle. Instead, the groups want Dell to buy the parcel and donate it to the federal government as an addition to the Stones River National Battlefield. Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt will be in Gettysburg, Pa., Thursday, April 22, to commemorate Earth Day and draw attention to the need to restore and preserve the historic landscape at Gettysburg National Military Park. Archaeologists say discoveries in two 1,300-year-old Mayan temples could throw more light on the history of that famed but only partially understood civilization. The buildings date to the classical period of about 200 to 900 A.D. Catherine O'Brien doesn't have to worry about her professor catching her not paying attention in class. The Sweet Briar College senior's teacher, Claudia Chang, is thousands of miles away in Kazakstan. Thanks to the Internet, O'Brien and the rest of the members of the archaeology course are able to meet via e-mail once a week to ask questions on that week's prepared lecture and Chang's fieldwork. "It's not so much about physical presence," O'Brien said of the class. "It's about mental presence. The class has actually been really effective. It keeps us accountable." New Species Of Human Ancestor Plus Oldest Evidence Yet Of Tool-Assisted Meat-Eating, Reported In 23 April 1999 Science. The new hominid--dubbed Australopithecus garhi, after the local people's word for "surprise"--possesses features that place it at the forefront of one of the hottest debates in paleoanthropology: from what evolutionary branch did the first humans appear?