WEEK 24 – Dad’s Arrowheads

My Dad had a small collection of arrowheads that he had since he was a boy. I would make him show them to me and loved to listen as he explained that Indians had actually carved the small rocks into points, tie them on branches, and used them as their arrows and spears for hunting. It amazed me that I was touching something that someone had made hundreds of years ago. Earlier this year, my Dad was moved to a nursing home for patients with Alzheimer’s. So, when my mom asked if I wanted my Dad’s arrowheads, i immediately said, “yes.” They are a precious heirloom to me, not only for the historical value, but also for the memories of listening to my Dad explain what they were, and how he had found them. They also fit in nicely with the theme of this week’s 52 Ancestors challenge is “heirloom.”

My Dad grew up in the city. He was raised with his older brother and younger sister in northwest Philadelphia. One of the things he always looked forward to every summer, was escaping the city and traveling north with his family to visit cousins of his mother in Laceyville, Pennsylvania. My Dad had many fond memories of visiting the O’Mara farm, which used to belong to his great-aunt, Mary O’Mara and her husband, John and passed down to their children.

My Dad (in the middle) with his Uncle Albert, cousin Al, Jr., his mother, Emma and his brother, Daniel.

My Dad (in the middle) with his Uncle Albert, cousin Al, Jr., his mother, Emma and his brother, Daniel, on one of the family trips to the O’Mara farm in Laceyville, PA.

My Uncle Dan and his catch.

My Uncle Dan and his catch.

Dad riding a pony at the O'Mara farm in Laceyville, PA.

Dad riding a pony at the O’Mara farm in Laceyville, PA.

My Dad loved roaming the wide open fields with his brother, Daniel and fishing in the nearby pond. And my Dad also got to ride a pony, something that inspired him to get his own horse when he became an adult.

Nearby, was a scenic overlook known as the Wyalusing Rocks. The rocks are almost 500 feet above the Susquehanna River. The rocks were also known as the “prayer rocks” and were used by the Indians as a signaling point. Some of the tribes that had lived in the area were the Susquehannock and then later the Tuscarora, which was a tribe of the Iroquois Indians. My grandfather, who was quite the shutterbug, liked to go there so he could capture some of the scenery on film. My dad like to explore the rocks and the Indian path.

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It was here that my Dad found his arrowheads. No doubt they were left behind by someone who had been standing as a lookout hundreds of years before. Dad came home with 5 arrowheads on that trip. My grandfather built him a shadowbox frame and lined it with green felt, and they glued the arrowheads on that.

hope my Dad would be happy knowing that his childhood treasures will be with me. I intend to get them into a new frame and display them on the bookshelf we have in our family room.

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