Friday, August 7, 2009

Collections and Archives of Chickasaw

On July 23, Eric invited me to a special opportunity. He and Lynn were headed to the Museum Collection building for research . It's its own building, sealed with the appropriate archival-ness---humidity controlled, leak proof, double locked, etc., located near the maintenance buildings. I was totally game!

Precious met us at the building and let us in. It was truly exciting! Free access to the documents, photos, and artifacts of the park.

We spent almost four hours in the small room---investigating, exploring, oooohhhing and aaaaahing.... Truly a fun, fun afternoon for a history teacher! Eric was great about pointing out certain documents and explaining why they were so exciting from the park's history perspective.

Eric and Lynn used the finding aids more than I did---I used the hunt and peck method---exploring what looked interesting or checking out a box because I was curious about it.

Some of the sources we found included a guide to Platt National Park (above) and certificate of proficiency of masonry for a CCC member (below).
We found this pan with a handwritten note attached to it, saying that it was used as a dinner plate by the 808 CCC regiment at Platt. It was found in 1988 in the park by a former CCC member.
Then there were early law enforcement records....handwritten, and sometimes typed, accounts of incidents in the park--ranging from stolen wallets, to kids who were throwing rocks at cars, to a lost girl.

The photo below is of my favorite object. Can you guess what they are?? I would have never guessed it in a million years.....they're buffalo teeth.

Another very cool artifact is the water jug that was found--rusted....a reminder of why so many came to Platt National Park in its early years (and before!).

And of course, the visitor sign in log---this is just the shell for the log in--the pages were not inside...but notice that it still says Platt National Park, which means it predates 1976 (when Platt became Chickasaw National Recreation Area).
My photo of this photo doesn't do it justice--but it's a panoramic photo of the CCC camp in our park...
These were objects that have not yet been catalogued....the stack on the right are water canteens and then to the left is a little toy plane.

I truly enjoyed my afternoon in the archives. Really cool things and I hope I am able to use some of my photos when I share my experiences with my students. A very fun, historical afternoon! Thanks Eric and Lynn!


Jonny T said...

I suppose this is a slice of heaven for you ... very cool.

(and I'll have you know that the word verification I have to type to submit this comment is "bliss" ... very fitting)