We have recently been working with the Ohio State University's Museum of Biological Diversity to catalog, package and move to storage Pleistocene mammal bones that OHS has had on loan to them since 1970. In doing so we came upon some elk anters in a box labeled “Elk antlers from Silver Lake, near Belle Fontaine, Ohio.” Research by Bob Glotzhober, Curator of Natural History, here at OHS uncovered some information on the Silver Lake elk which is detailed in his blog that you can access here.
During his quest he looked through various records and correspondence that we have in Archaeology collections. After a few hours he came to me saying "Hey Linda, you might be interested in this". Boy was I! In his hand was a letter from then OHS Curator of Archaeology, Ray Baby, to the Board of Camp Wilson Branch of the Y.M.C.A. dated August 22, 1960. In it Baby said he would like to do additional investigations at Silver Lake using the help of the "Columbus Central Y.M.C.A's Sea Nags Scuba Club for the underwater explorations."
My jaw dropped. Was the Silver Lake investigation the first underwater archaeology project in Ohio? Did the investigation happen? It just so happens that the Columbus Sea Nags archives are at OHS so I decided to see if there was anything in there about Silver Lake. Unfortunately nothing on Silver Lake was found so it looks like the underwater investigation may have never gotten past the concept stage.
But now the weird part. Both my husband and I are members and past Presidents of the Columbus Sea Nags. We are also co-founders of the Maritime Archaeological Survey Team (MAST) a 501c3 nonprofit group dedicated to documentation, scientific study and education pertaining to underwater archaeological resources in Ohio. These resources include shipwrecks, and any other submerged man made or natural item.
What a fun find!
For more information about MAST you can go here and/or visit the Facebook page.
For more information on the Columbus Sea Nags you can go here and/or visit the Facebook page.
To see the letter click the image below.