Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Ives Collection Donated to Cooperstown Indian Museum

Museum Gets Indian Relics

According to Clyde B. Olson, director of the Cooperstown Indian Museum, an Indian collection with material dating back to more than 5,000 years, has been donated to the museum.

The collection was gathered over a 70 year period by Ralph S. Ives, a Roxbury attorney.  Mr. Ives died in the fall of 1960.

Mr. Olson said that while practicing law, Mr. Ives also was practicing a hobby of collecting Indian material in a more or less scientific manner, which makes the collection that much more valuable.  The collection comes from the east and west branches of the Delaware headwaters and contains also a great deal of rock shelter material.

The Ives collection dates back more than 5,000 years, including the Colonial Period and will be on display and available to students of archeology to study at the Cooperstown Indian Museum, Mr. Olson stated.

The Museum, located at the lake front at the foot of Pioneer Street, was formerly called the American Indian Museum.

The Otsego Farmer, 9 February 1961

The Cooperstown Indian Museum no longer exists.  I'll see if I can find out what happened to it, especially the Ives collection. 


I contacted Hugh MacDougall, the Cooperstown historian.  He then contacted Sarah Wilcox of the New York State Historical Association Research Library.  When the Cooperstown Indian Museum closed, most of its contents were transferred to the New York State Historical Association.  Unfortunately, the documentation wasn't transferred as well.  It seems very likely that Mr. Ives' collection is there, but not identified as such.  It's extremely unfortunate that the documentation was lost because that established the historical place of the finds.  Once again, Mohican history is lost.  It seems like the closest thing there is to existing documentation are these newspaper articles.

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