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Native artifacts display shows off national history

Historian visits Hitchcock for popular event

Merle Bassett, of West Brookfield, looks over an axe/peace pipe. This item wasn’t made by the Natives; they obtained it in trade from the Europeans, but decorated the handle themselves. Gus Steeves. (click for larger version)
February 20, 2012
BRIMFIELD — For Joe Craig, finding pieces of stone is an emotional experience when they're sharp, or grooved or buffed or otherwise clearly ancient Indian tools.

"When you find it and hold it in your hand, you realize you're only the second person to hold that [stone], and it could be 1,000 or 12,000 years old," he said. "You never say, 'Oh, it's just another one of those.'"

He was speaking to a full house at Hitchcock Academy Thursday, surrounded by just a tiny part of the massive collection of arrowheads, stone axes, basketry, beadwork, and other items he has collected over more than 45 years of walking upturned farmland and other sites across the nation.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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