Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 24, 2014

‘History on the River’ to feature potteries June 17

Jun 10, 2013

BONAPARTE — “History on the River: Pioneer Potteries on the Des Moines River” will offer an opportunity to learn about the historic Bonaparte Pottery and its connection to the river at a tour and presentation June 17 in Bonaparte. The tour of the Bonaparte Pottery begins at 4:30 p.m., and the presentation will start at 6:30 p.m. at the Bonaparte opera house. Participants are welcome to attend one or both portions of the program.

Archaeologists Cherie Haury-Artz and Lynn M. Alex will continue discussion of the history and archaeology along the Lower Des Moines River Water Trail with a program illustrating archaeology’s contribution to the understanding of the Bonaparte Pottery.

Also known as the Parker-Handback Pottery and Handback-Wilson Pottery, the enterprise was in operation from 1866 to 1895. Remains of the pottery were uncovered in the flood of 1993, and the pottery is now part of a National Historic Archaeological District.

The stoneware industry was one of the important economic enterprises in the Euro-American settlement of Iowa during the mid- to late-19th century. Clay found along with coal deposits was used by some of Iowa’s pioneer residents to create stoneware. The pottery works along the Des Moines River between Eldon and Farmington connected the resources and the river to the expansion of entrepreneurial efforts on the frontier west of the Mississippi River.

The session also will present suggested highlights for new interpretive materials for the Lower Des Moines River Water Trail and garner input from community members. The program will help determine what local residents of the area would like to learn and tell others about the river.

The program is sponsored by Pathfinders RC&D, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Water Trails Program and University of Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist.

Preregistration is requested, though walk-ins are welcome. To register online, visit www.desmoinesriverWT.com.

For more information or to register over the phone, contact the Pathfinders RC&D office at 472-6177.

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