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Chenoweth Excavations Exhibit at Western Illinois Museum 
General Event Information
Event Category:
Art & Museum Exhibits
free and open to the public  
Dates and Times:
December 3, 2013 - February 8, 2014 on
Tuesday 10:00AM-4:00PM
Wednesday 10:00AM-4:00PM
Thursday 10:00AM-4:00PM
Friday 10:00AM-4:00PM
Saturday 10:00AM-4:00PM

The Western Illinois Museum hosts a display of recently recovered artifacts found during an excavation by the Illinois State Archaeological Survey, Prairie Research Institute, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

A two and a half acre area, located west of Macomb, was occupied in the 1830s just as the region was becoming established. The exhibit, Recent Archaeological Excavations at Chenoweth: Native American Hunting and Gathering Camps and Nineteenth Century Farmsteads in McDonough County, Illinois, will include a selection of items from the excavation.

Although the site is named for its most recent owners, this former farmstead had its origins in 1835 when William Pringle purchased the entire SEĽ of Section 4. Its location between prairie and forest made this a prime plot. By 1840 the Pringle family had expanded its holdings to 360 acres and their ownership continued through the mid-1850s. The exhibit provides details of the family’s use of the land as well as its various owners, and the circumstances that eventually prompted the original farmstead to be abandoned and relocated to the north side of the road. Visitors will be surprised at the variety of artifacts found at the site: a small smoking pipe, lead balls, shot and casting waste, straight pins, Spanish coins and British medallions, crockery, bottles, marbles and doll parts. Viewed together the items reveal the day-to-day life of earlier settlers to the region.

Visitors to the exhibit will also learn that people were using the site for an encampment area six thousand years earlier. The site reveals this area was visited over time by groups making distinct spear points and knives, which archaeologists assign to the period known as the Helton horizon. Examples of these points and knives will be on view.

The research and exhibit was supported financially and logistically by ISAS and by the Illinois Department of Transportation. The assistance during these excavations provided by landowners Dean and Sharon Chenoweth is greatly appreciated.

On Thursday, January 23rd at 7:00pm, the museum welcomes Mark Branstner, Senior Historical Archaeologist from the Illinois State Archaeological Survey, to speak on the Chenoweth project. The lecture will take place at the museum and is free and open to the public.

Admission is free, donations are appreciated. For more information, contact the museum at 309-837-2750 or
Venue Information
201 South Lafayette Street  
Zip Code:
United States 
309 837 2750 
Venue Map: