Bus Tours on Hilton Head Island for History Day

This sounds like a lot of fun if you’re around the South Carolina coastal island of Hilton Head on March 28. According to an article about the event,

More than a dozen sites on Hilton Head Island will be accessible by guided tour bus on March 28 for History Day, presented by the Coastal Discovery Museum and Heritage Library. Sites on the tour include several historic forts, Greens Shell Park, Mitchelville, the Gullah Museum, historic churches and Simmons Fishing Camp. The event begins at 10 a.m., and guided buses will leave every half hour from the museum’s free parking area at Honey Horn.

For more information, including information on how to purchase tickets, check out the event’s official webpage. You may also like the event’s Facebook page for updates. Tickets are $10 and $5 for children between the ages of 4 and 12.

The Baynard Mausoleum, built in 1846, is the oldest intact structure on the Hilton Head Island. Photo from Wikipedia Commons.
The Baynard Mausoleum, built in 1846, is the oldest intact structure on the Hilton Head Island. Photo from Wikipedia Commons.

Cherokee Heritage Festival

Here’s an announcement about a great festival about Cherokee heritage. Looks like a great festival! It’s in Hayesville, NC on October 20.

The Cherokee Homestead Exhibit will be the site of the Cherokee Heritage Festival scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 20 from 10am – 3pm. The Exhibit is located next to the Clay County Historical & Arts Museum in Hayesville.   This free event will feature Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians demonstrating basket weaving, pottery, carving, flint knapping, singing, dancing, music and beading.  Presentation by well-known artisans, historians and storytellers will be scheduled throughout the day.  Cherokee works of art and Cherokee food will be available for purchase.

The Homestead village is a reconstruction of a village homestead, containing all of the types of structures that would have been included in a real village, like a summer house, winter house, food storage, kitchen areas, and gardens. If you attend the festival, you can also check out the Clay County Historical & Arts Museum. Admission is free! Sounds like a great way to spend a weekend.

Mikwaukee Archaeology Fair March 9-10

Take a step back in time at the Milwaukee Archaeology Fair March 9-10. There’s a huge list of speakers and activities lined up that are appropriate for kids in grades 4-12. Some of the items one the agenda include:

Celebrate a Roman Holiday! Make your own Argei (and find out what they are)
14th Roman Legion, John and Sylvia Peine

Tribal Celts: “And the Romans Call us Barbarians”
Tribes of the Blue Rose, John Risch, Chris Rohr, Mike Trefz, Tyler Wisniewski

Ancient Greek Warriors
Milchiean Hoplites Re-enactment Group, Chris Manesiotis, Mike Smul, John Maniatis

A Knight to Remember
Independent, Carlo Tuzzio, Thane Arnold, Julia Penn

Looks like a great way to spend the day!

Calusa Heritage Day: March 10 in Pineland, FL

Have you ever wondered what it was like to live on the Florida coast before TV and radio stations warned coastal residents about hurricanes? Have you ever wondered why native Americans built giants mounds made from seashells? If you have an interest in the history of native peoples and are traveling in the Florida peninsula, check out the Calusa Heritage Trail, a 3,700-foot interpretive walkway winding its way through the mounds, canals, and other features of the intriguing Pineland archaeological site. You can learn more about the Calusa people, a native group that archaeologists don’t fully understand. According to Amy Bennett Williams, this much is known:

The tall, strong Calusa were hardy survivors who developed a complex society that wielded great regional power. They demanded — and received — tribute and riches from as far away as the Keys and were known as “The Fierce People.”
They collected their food from the sea and the land, built thatch huts, engineered canals and earthworks, held spiritual beliefs and practiced burial customs, established an empire, and crafted tools, utensils and artwork from bones, shells, clay and wood. Wooden bowls and cups; pottery; painted, carved-wood masks; tools and hunting equipment; fishing hooks and nets; and simple, decorative paintings have been uncovered at archaeological sites stretching from Collier to Charlotte counties.

Better yet, if you’ll be in the area March 10, stop by for the annual Calusa Heritage Day festival.

…For the last 15 years, scientists have studied the ancient humans who lived on this little piece of Pine Island to learn how the weather and other environmental forces affected them.

The short answer? A lot, says Karen Walker, research and collections manager of archaeology at the Florida Museum of Natural History, which runs the Randell Research Center at the Pine Island archaeological site, which was a Calusa Indian town for more than 1,500 years.

The center’s scientists and volunteers don’t just research the lives of Florida’s first people; they share the knowledge. Indeed, the center’s motto is “As we learn, we teach.”

The learning and teaching go on year-round, but it’s all celebrated annually at the 60-acre center’s showcase event: Calusa Heritage Day this Saturday. It’s a chance to learn about pre-Lee County Southwest Floridians — the ones who built massive shell mounds along the region’s coast and dominated the southern peninsula until the Spaniards arrived in the early 1500s.

This is the seventh year for the Heritage Day festival. Last year, 800 people attended, and organizers hope that even more will attend this year. According to www.flguide.com, this year’s festival features many new vendors and speakers. The linked article provides detailed information about the festival, the speakers, available activities, and everything you need to know to plan your day.

Speakers include:

  • Dr. Bill Marquardt, executive director of the Randell Research Center and curator for archaeology at the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida. His topic is shell tools.
  • Dr. Robin Brown, author of “Florida’s First People.” Her topic is wetland preservation.
  • Dr. Joanne Muller, Florida Gulf Coast University paleoclimatologist. Her topic is paleoclimatology.
  • Nathan Lawres, archaeologist field assistant for the Seminole Tribe of Florida’s Tribal Archaeology Section. His topic is how the environment shapes war.
  • Karen Walker, research and collections manager of archaeology at the Florida Museum of Natural History. She’ll discuss the Calusa and climate.

The festival will also feature artists, exhibits, arts and crafts, and many more activities.

This year the event will feature a boat ride from 12-1:30 pm through Pine Island Sound featuring a narrated archaeological information about the area. Tickets for the tour can be purchased ahead of time or at the event for $25 for adults and $15 for students.

You can also come by boat to the festival. Catch a ride with Captiva Cruises from Captiva Island’s McCarthy Marina across Pine Island Sound to the docks at Tarpon Lodge. The boat will depart McCarthy Marina at 9 a.m. You’ll get to enjoy a narrated tour of the harbor and its fish shacks. You’ll stay at the festival for two hours and then return to the marina. This boat ride and festival admission is $45 for adults and $35 for children. You must make reservations. Call Captiva Cruises at 239-472-5300.

If you want to visit the park, here’s some information on how to get there and what facilities are available. Here’s a cheat sheet:

Attending Calusa Heritage Days Festival:

Date: March 10, 2012 from 10- 4
Where: Calusa Heritage Trail, at the Pineland archaeological site complex, 13810 Waterfront Drive, Pineland, FL., across from the Tarpon Lodge
Admission: $5. Under 12 free admission.
More Information: Call 239-283-2062 or 239-283-2157
Additional Outings.: Captiva Cruises is offering rides from Captiva Island to the festival as well as narrated archaeological tours through Pine Island Sound. For schedule and prices, call 239-472-5300.

Visiting the Calusa Heritage Trail:

You can visit the Calusa Heritage Trail year-round. Here’s the information you need to plan your trip.

Where: Calusa Heritage Trail, at the Pineland archaeological site complex, 13810 Waterfront Drive, Pineland, FL., across from the Tarpon Lodge
Hours: Daily from 10 am to 4 pm
Facilities: restrooms, gift shop, and classrooms are open Monday through Saturday, 10-4. Closed Sundays.
Guided tours: during the peak season (January – April) on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10:00 a.m. To schedule tours at other times, call the RRC at 239-283-2157.
Fees: Requested donations for visitors to the Calusa Heritage Trail are $7.00 for adults, $5.00 for seniors, and $4.00 for children.