Oral History with Focus on Sandia Cave
Doris and Jim Greenacre
conducted by Tony Baker -- March 6, 1983
transcribed by Tony Baker -- May 1, 2005

dg--Doris Greenacre, jg--Jim Greenacre, tb--Tony Baker
yellow highlighting pertains to Sandia Cave
near-red font are the author's 2004 explanations

Load entries  1-500   1001-1500   1501-End

501dgSo now that would have been...
502jg... as I recall they published it.
503tbI'll bet I can find it. (But, I never did found anything published by Jim Greenacre concerning Sandia Cave.)
504dgIt would have been '40 probably.
505tb1940?
506jgIt was either published or it was incorporated in an article by Howard in which he quoted me. Now it could be either way.That's still being published I guess.
507tbWell now, this one (article) is the "crowning blow" This one here, as far as I know, then ends the argument. Looks like that Bliss just gave up (after this article).
508dgYeah, I think he did.
509tbBut this one is just plum nasty; this one is by Hibben (1941 Sandia Cave. Correspondence in American Antiquity 6(3):266). (This is a long pause in the conversation as Doris reads Hibben's article.)
510dgSee, all of that summer, that spring was really... and then you see, Tony, the war came and it was like somebody shut the door. Everything.
511tbEveryone just scattered.
512dgOh yes. And all these people that were involved were involved in other things. (Again there is a pause in the conversation.)
513tbWell see, the reason that my father is not a good source of data is because he was in Amarillo.
514dgOh.
515tbAnd all the work in the cave, he was over in Amarillo and he just picked up pieces and bits talking to people. So you two are my best source that the...
516dgWell, my only knowledge is knowing Wes.
517tbUm hum.
518dgAnd hearing him talk, and...
519jgJust, I wonder, which student Hibben was talking about? (in 1941 Sandia Cave. Correspondence in American Antiquity 6(3):266). Was he talking about me?
520tbI don't know.
521jgHe doesn't name anybody. The assumption that the writer was collaborating with this student...
522tbNo, the writer being Hibben and student, I understand, is Bliss.
523jgOh, maybe that's right.
524tbOkay. Because this is in regard to the previous (article), so he's talking about... Hibben is the writer and Bliss is the student.
525jgOkay, alright. Well, I don't think that's fair to characterize... Student make it sound like me or Vance or...
526tbWell, he was a graduate student, working on his Masters. (I am incorrect here. Bliss received his Masters from UNM in 1935, so he is working on his PhD.)
527jgYeah. He was working on... He had a Fellowship. The university was paying him for that. You know, give you enough to live on and hope that you finally get your thesis.
528tbWell, my summary of that article, I say Hibben is mad and says that his collaborating with a student is not so.
529jgI wasn't going to say they collaborated. (Lots of laughter.)
530dgI tell you, in these later years since we've read some things concerning the trip, the reason that Wes went on this trip to Canada and Alaska and of what in later years has been published on people who established the thing that he was trying to establish, I have wished many times that we could talk to him again and say "by golly you weren't far off", you know.
531tbBut reading these little brief articles you're all on the side of Bliss. All that stuff that Bliss is saying.
532jgYeah, as far as I know, up until the time that he left the university.
533tbUm hum. Well that's what all this is speaking to.
534jgWhich I assume was '38. I'm not sure after that he never...
535tbNever went back?
536jg... put a finger in the cave as far as I know. His work involved just about what he said. Just a brief time when he first started at the entrance and it's true. I know. Like I mentioned earlier that I couldn't recall just how long this cave was. He mentions that we did a little work near the central part of the cave. That's true.
537tbOkay.
538jgWe also...
539tbIn all cases you basically went (excavated) to the cave floor?
540jgYeah. We also, I think I mentioned this earlier, went as far (back in the cave) as we could, but we couldn't get... there was more to that cave but we did not have the equipment to open it up enough to... You'd get stuck in there. In fact, we were helping pull each other back... you know, you can only squeeze yourself so far.
541tbUm hum.
542jgBut with flashlights we could see that if we could only get through there was more cave and I assume that later on if they really completed this excavation that they got enough equipment of some kind to at least make a crawl space to go on. I would assume they did that. Maybe they didn't, I don't know.
543tbOkay. Well I have read the report (Monograph) several times, okay. And as we continue... by the way, is there something that you have to do today? There's no time constraints on this conversation?
544jgNo.
545dgNo.
546tbNone whatsoever?
547dgNot a bit.
548tbOkay. I would like to... as we go along I will tell you what I have read. But I'm kinda holding back on you so I can get your, what you know before I influence you with what I have read.
549dgTony...
550jgYou see...
551dgJust let me say this one instance. You're talking about crawling in that cave. Alright now I have one thing, personal thing, that I can remember. The cave... Jim and I, in Kentucky, we would try to run down anything that we heard about a rock shelter or a site or a flint deposit, anything that we could find. So one of these men told him about a cave back in a hollow, and we went one day and the guy showed us, had a flashlight, we went with all this stuff and here it was just a little... when I think of it now I don't know how we ever did it. But we wormed our way back in there and everybody said after you go back in a little way there's an opening and you can get through there and drop down into this great big cavern.
552tbThen turn around?
553dgYes. And come back hopefully. Well we squirmed back in there and I was really scared because you know the horrible things about Floyd Collins and so forth. And I remember Jim saying that was as bad as it was in Sandia.
554tbI'll be darned.
555dgSo and that's an awful felling. And now, I would no more do it than anything. But in those years, you know, what difference did it make. But I might say we did not get through; there was no hole, we had to crawl backward out. The hole had been covered up, or if there had been one, who would know.
556jgI think it was typical, cave situation the roof collapses, part of it. I'm sure at one time... as I recall, we felt from the sound of our voices we were getting evidence of more open cave.
557tbWell going back to the fire hearths, or the one fire hearth that you found in the bottom of that Sandia Cave, okay. You indicated that it was productive. What did you fellows find? Because Wesley doesn't really mention anything other than one obsidian blade in his writings.
558jgI think there were a couple of what I call very crude implements you might... I think that a lot of people say well they're probably scrapers; very crude instruments. Definitely hadn't been worked on by...
559tbDo you remember the kind of material? I know I'm asking impossible questions of your memory, but...
560jgI think that if I had to classify it... I can recall it was called some of fine grain chert.
561tbOkay. It was not obsidian, the...
562jgNo. I don't recall finding any obsidian...
563tbAnd really very few lithic pieces?
564jgNot very many. No very rare.
565tbOkay, so...
566jgAnd what I recall, like I say it was a crude implement. You can use them like any Paleolithic implement. A guy would pick up something and hammer away on it and it showed evidence of being used, and that's about as far as you can go. Exact use is up to somebody's imagination. I guess.
567tbI'm trying to... I think here... yeah, here it is, okay. It said "...the breccia toward the back of the cave produced a worked blade and a flake of obsidian associated with fragmentary horse teeth and a fragment..." (1940 "A Chronological Problem Presented by Sandia Cave, New Mexico." American Antiquity 5 (3):200). And that was really the only mention I could pick up in Bliss' comments of your folks finding anything.
568jgI do not recall the obsidian, but that doesn't mean...
569tbOh, that country's filthy with it.
570jgFor all I know, off and on, we might have found a dozen pieces. But I just don't recall. This one implement though I don't remember that being obsidian. Like I said some...
571tbWell now that (Bliss's article) doesn't say that it is obsidian.
572jgNo. As I recall it was a light colored chert. Not like some of it we have around here (Fort Collins), which almost looks like sandstone. It's the kind of chert a lot of people refer to as flint. But it's not flint.
573tbYeah, more gray than a ...
574jgYeah this, as I recall, had sort of a slight ivory or very light yellowish cast, which to me would mean that simply stained by that darned ocher.
575tbCould have been.
576jgYou know, over a period of a long time, it could easily have a slight stain.
577tbAnd you basically... okay you said you excavated in the front part of the cave?
578jgI didn't... Also he's right. We went... I guess at that time because I'm sure we didn't know how far back that cave was. He (Bliss) also says to the rear of the cave, but he doesn't explicitly say the end of the cave because he didn't know if it was the end of it. But we knew from what little... how well we... there was more cave that we couldn't get into. It's possible nobody else could Or maybe just...
579tbWell now, Hibben indicates that they didn't excavate the entire thing, but they did get to the end of the cave and sank a few test shafts in the very, very back of it, and it was non-productive.
580jgWell that sound reasonable. That would have been very best even with some good equipment. Very difficult job, because the cave kept getting narrower and narrower. Not only horizontally but vertically as well. You finally get to the point where you couldn't do anything. You couldn't even get a trowel probably started.
581tbYou didn't find any projectiles that you could identify?
582jgNot that I... I don't recall.
583tbAnd the few scrapers, if they were scrapers... would it probably be better to call them worked edges maybe?
584jgYeah. I would just simply call them Paleolithic instruments. Undoubtedly, you know you can tell if something... been used.
585tbWell now you worked at Lindenmeier, I believe?
586jgYeah.
587tbAnd you saw the Folsom stuff, what it really looks like?
588jgSure. Dug up quite a few of those.
589tbOkay. Did...
590jgWhole ones and broken ones.
591tbYou found some whole Folsoms, yourself?
592jgOh yeah. Of course they all went up to Washington.
593tbOh, I understand, but the only Folsoms I ever found have been fragmentary. I have never found a complete one. So I...
594jgBy the way, one of the best collections available is right here in the Fort Collins Museum. Judge Coffin and Roy Coffin... Roy was a geologist at CSU. They did the early excavation at Lindenmeier and they had a tremendous collection. And when the Judge... let's see, Roy died first and the Judge died second, and their son Lynn donated their collection to the museum. And it's rather extensive, some beautiful pieces.
595tbLots of them broken?
596jgThat's true. But a lot of them aren't. I think it's not on display at the present time.They're building... they're going to have a display in the Museum just on Folsom. And for some reason or another it sort of stagnated, but they got the cages all... the display cases all done, but they haven't organized the display itself.
597tbThey might have run out money.
598jgWell, I don't know just what the problem is. They tried to get me, for a while... to see if I could catalog or... There isn't much you can do with source material like that except just spread it out. Because you can't say well this came from here and this came above here and this was in association with this bone. You see it was just a big box full of artifacts.
599tbIt's like looking at coins.
600jgYeah. You don't know anything about them, or what they did; just how well made they were.
601tbThat's right. That's about all you can say.
602dgAre you talking about Lindemeier now? (Doris is asking this from the kitchen because I can hear her rattling dishes on the recording. She returns and joins us.)
603tbYeah we're in Fort Collins, now.
604jgI was telling him about the collection the Coffins gave to the... Lynn gave to the Museum.
605dgWell, I wanted to bring to your attention... you might be interested in this.
606tbOh, you bet you.
607dgLet me see. The third of May at our regular Historical Society meeting, Lyn Epstein, who's at the Museum, is going to talk on Folsom man. Now I don't know... he's...
608tbLet me write that down.
609dgI think he's talking, he would be addressing this from a standpoint that's he's been the one that's worked on the exhibit and so forth. I don't know, but that's...
610jgHe's not an archaeologist, or anthropologist. Fairly nice young fellow.
611tbWhere will that be, in what building?
612jgIt's Fort Collins Pioneer Museum.
613tbOkay.
614dgIf you want to come up here, why, we'd be glad to take you with us.
615jgIt's right down the library park. Our library's on Lenington(?). No, the library's on Mattews, but there's a park there, one square block. The Museum is on the left side and the library, which is the larger building, is on the east side of the park.
616tbYou know, I don't know what my schedule will allow me to do, and I'm out of town quite a bit, so it will just...
617dgWell this meeting is early in the evening at 7:00, so...
618tbWhat night is that? Do you know, is it a weeknight or?
619dgYes, it would be on a Tuesday night I'm sure, because we meet the first...
620tbWell, I'm just keep it in mind and see...
621dgNow you know, we maybe should notify Bob Easterday about this. He might like to come.
622jgYeah. I don't want to set it to far, he's just like me, forget all about it.
623dgHe's still working. He's teaching.
624tbOh. Well, I didn't tell you how I got a hold of you. (How I made contact with the Greenacres for the interview.) My father said the Easterdays used to live in Fort Collins, and he must have got it mixed up because he said go to Fort Collins and call Easterdays. And there wasn't any Easterdays listed. So I took a wild gamble and I looked in the Denver phone book and I found two Easterdays and I called the first one which was at Boulder. And it was a college student and he says, "no I ain't any relation but I was at the drug store and a fellow asked me if I was related to the Easterdays in Lupton." L-u-...
625jgFort Lupton?
626tbYeah, Fort Lupton. And so I called the Easterday in Fort Luption and he said, "no I'm not related, but there's another one over in Longmont." So, I called Longmont, and bang, I get him, okay. And then he said that he had never done any work in the cave (Sandia Cave).
627jgThat's right.
628tbOnly thing that he had ever seen was a lot of rat dung on a lab table. (This is followed by lots of laughter by the three of us.)
629dgThat sounds like Bob.
630jgHe saw one of the biggest finds. (More laughter.)
631tbBut then he mentioned that you were up here. And so where I started was where I came back to. And my father must have got it mixed up. Because he remembered stopping in Fort Collins. And it must have been your place instead of Easterday's.
632jgHe probably had supper in my parent's home with us.
633tbHe probably did because...
634jgBecause my mother invited everybody in, had a big meal for them.
635tbI'll bet it was.
636dgAnd as these guys left town they came by my house so that Jim could say goodbye and I'd gotten up early that morning and baked coffeecake, which was all I could do then. And Jim took it out and that's what they ate as soon as they got away from the house.
637tbWell how big of a group was this... of people?
638dgA carload.
639tbWas that five, four, five, six? (pause)
640tbSee what's amazing to me is you're not remembering my father and he's not remember the name, like there might have been a busload.
641dgWas there more than one car?
642jgYeah, there was two cars. I was trying to... you know that kid from Utah that took part of the group back... he lived over in Utah and they went back through Utah then back down into New Mexico. What was his name? Everybody... it was very treacherous driving, the weather had turned bad.
643dgWas Otto Hammerschmidt(?) on that trip?(pause)
644jgYeah, I think he was. That kid from Utah, Don... I can't think of his name. (Don Lehmer-see entry 1004) He took... he must have had four or five people in his car. Because the car that he was driving wasn't his car but anyway I remember when we all got together back in Albuquerque everybody was talking about what a darn good driver that kid was. And he had mostly Easterners with him and they were amazed that he could handle an automobile like that. Don...
645tbWell my father is due in Denver this coming weekend, next weekend. He's coming up to introduce me to my mother-in-law or my to be mother-in-law and get my approval I guess, I suppose.
646dgIt's your to be stepmother, you mean.
647tbYeah, it would be stepmother. Excuse me.
648dgYeah. I thought something was wrong there.
649tbYeah, my to be stepmother.
650jgI'll tell you what. Ask him if he remembers a guy from Utah. His name was Don. (Don Lehmer-see entry 1004)
651tbWell, I fully intend to play this (recording) for him.
652jgI can't come up with that kid's last name. A real nice fellow. I can't think of his last name. He's not in there, he's like the rest of us. See he had been in my class. None of us are in there.
653tbWell, what was your class that had... this year that we're looking at or do you know for sure, you know the one that has my parents in it.
654jgYeah, well see for some reason or another...
655tbThey're calling them (my parents) Seniors, okay.
656jgYeah, I would have been a Junior.
657tbAnd this was 1937, you would have been a Junior?
658jgI would have been a Senior. See I went two years here at what was Colorado Aggies (Colorado State), but University of New Mexico knocked 32 credit hours off. Wouldn't accept the English from here, course that eight hours of ROTC... and they knocked out... I even lost four hours of chemistry. I can't... I'd have to look through old transcripts. Anyway, when I went down there everything was all set. I'd be a Junior. But when I went to register I found out they were going to put me in a general college. I had to make up a bunch of stuff to get into the Arts and Sciences. So I had to go a whole semester. If I didn't have a B average I'd stay in the general college, but fortunately I made it.
659tbWell just like they did to me, you know, I graduated a Civil Engineer with a grade point of 2.65, okay. And fifteen years later I go down here to go to graduate school and they tell me my (undergraduate) grade point wasn't good enough and I said well what do I do? I want to go to graduate school. They said well, we want you to take a test. So I had to take some tests that cost me $40 before it was all over, you know, to find out that I was literate and they said okay we'll let you in on probation. But you got... and this (obtaining this oral history for an ethnology class) is part of what I'm doing right now. They said for the next 12 hours you take you've got to get a 3.25 grade. Well last semester I got two A's and if I... the other six hours I'm taking this semester. And they're going to have to really hurt me bad to keep me off of that 3.25 now. You know I could take a B and a C and still make it.So I think I'm going to make it, but they sure are sticky.
660jgYeah, you see the way the University in New Mexico handled it... You saying it's probationary?
661tbYear, I'm probationary.
662jgWell to a certain extent, their general college was a probationary thing. Say you were a Freshman and had low grades in high school, they put you on two semesters of general college and if you got your B, you had to have a B average, if you made them you could enroll as a Sophomore.
663tbI see.
664jgIn other words, you'd fulfill the university's academic requirements and at... the only thing is you see these weren't any snap courses where you could just pick up some higher grades. Heck no, biology, chemistry.
665tbAll the toughies.
666jgThat's right.
667tbI know. Fortunate, the one I'm taking now is pretty simple really.
668jgBut it did give, oh particularly, Spanish speaking people down there, just as intelligent as anybody else, but you come from a little old town like Hernandez...
669tbCuba...
670jgYou didn't have much of a chance to do well in your high school.
671tbYou say they were discriminating purposely.
672jgAs a matter of fact, I knew some Spanish fellows there. Always thought they were very fortunate they even got to go to high school, let alone learn anything, because they didn't have anybody to teach them anything. But it did mean for those that were academically inclined that in two semesters they could be admitted to whatever college they wanted to, Arts and Science, Medicine or whatever, you know, by simply sticking to it for two semesters and make their grades; which really would be what you might call advanced high school. But I thought... that's not such a bad program, it gave some kids a chance. And it also probably gave them a lot of... sort of pride in themselves. "Good God, I can do it!"
673tbYeah. I can make it. This ain't so tough.
674jgI didn't know I could do it. By God I can. You know you have to commend the university for that type of program.
675tbI'll be darned.
676jgIt's true, New Mexico's academic standing is higher than Old Aggie's over here. There's no question about it. This is an agricultural school when I went here. Like in ROTC, you see I used to... my folks ranched. My dad owned a ranch up northwest of here. So I started (?) horses and then when I was in junior high... high school we sold the ranch. I worked the ranch for the farmers. In those days we didn't have any tractors. If a guy had a tractor it would be an old Ford... probably wouldn't start. So when I had to take ROTC, well of course, this was a cavalry unit over here at that time. Not that you didn't do a lot of marching.They had these old World War I caisson, you'd hook up two teams, double hitch. Well the old sergeant, he was a battalion ... man been in World War I, he was a major. And then he left the Army and I guess he couldn't make it and went back in as a sergeant, as an instructor. Well he found out those that had farm or ranch life around. Well we became platoon captains, just like that. It was our job to teach these guys who never saw... didn't know, you know anything about...
677tbWhich way to get on the horse.
678jgWhich side to get on. Didn't know where to put a harness on. Didn't know what a hang was. They didn't know nothing. So there were about, my class, I guess about ten of us. And he just kind of bulled us into... and we would get out on this parade ground and these guys would have these teams all mixed up. It's a wonder they hadn't broken their necks, getting them untangled so they could pull a caisson. But it... by spring they were able to do so.
679tbWhipped into shape somewhat?
680jgWell I don't even, I guess, I think I got real good grades in my two years of ROTC. I didn't ever plan to take advanced. Didn't have too much interest in military life. Maybe it would have been a good thing if I had stayed in and gone into military. But I guess he gave me pretty good grades because in a way I was doing part of his job.
681tbYeah. You were teaching them...
682jgI was working in... what we call a Hamburger Shop now... right down here on College Avenue, had the night shift. I worked from 4:00 until 2:00 in the morning. And he knew that. He used to come in there and get a hamburger or something. So one morning... I had ROTC at 8:00 in the morning and I was a little late getting out of work that night. Probably, I didn't home until 2:30. And I never got to shine my shoes, had a little bit of hamburger grease on them. So you always had to stand up for inspection, and he came over and looked at my shoes and he raised hell with me for not having my shoes polished. But he didn't take anything off, he just wanted to let everybody know that I wasn't a favorite.
683tbI'll be darned.
684jgYeah. That's great old times.
685tbSo, okay. It was you and it was Bliss and do you remember the names of the other fellows that might have been working in the Cave.
686jgYeah, this Ken Davis...
687tbKen Davis, okay.
688jgAlright. Now there's a... I guess, come to think of it, there's another Davis too and I don't think this... Vance Davis. And I don't think they're the same people. I think Ken is one Davis and Vance was the other one.
689tbUm hum.
690jgBut Vance also worked pretty hard up there. A guy by the name... a fellow who, oh it was my shack mate, Otto... (pause) He was killed in the war too. Oh well she'll remember when she comes back in. He helped a great deal. And a guy by the name of Don Hastings from Connecticut.
691tbAnd these were all anthropology and archaeology students?
692jgYeah. Don, was okay a guy, he went with the Department of Interior in Washington. Just some clerk job. I ran into him when I was working in Washington. One day I was on the Board of the U.S. Geological Names (?) representing the Army. And I ran into him on day eating his lunch out in the plaza of the Interior Department and he was married, which surprised me, but he was and he had two or three children. And I intended... he lived over in Virginia and I intended to get over there, just never made it. Don Hastings. (pause)
693jgThis Jane Olsen, a girl...
694tbIs she in here?
695jgShe was in my class. She went up there a couple of times and I can't... her roommate was a girl named Barbara Clark. I don't think... Barbara was a Freshman and Jane was a Junior. They had a room in on of the dorms. And Jane went up there and I can't... There was another woman that when up and Wes' sister would occasionally go up, maybe as sort of a chaperone when a couple of girls went along. What was Otto's last name?
696dgHammerschmidt.
697jgHammerschmidt. And like the girls, Jane Olsen, and I'm sure that Margaret was, they called her Midge, went occasionally. And there was another women or girl, possibly it was an older woman student that went along. I can't recall if she was. They didn't go very often. Maybe... I'll tell you the way it worked... they might come up Sunday Morning.
698tbUm hum.
699jgAnd then we would...
700tbWere you just working weekends?
701jgYeah. We would go Friday night. Get up there in time to set up a little camp and get something to eat then we would hit it real early Saturday and Sunday morning. (End of Tape 1, Side 2)
702jg(Beginning Tape 2, Side 1) ... 15 minutes and it (painter's mask) was plugged up and you had to come out because this took about 15 minutes.
703tbTo plug up that mask?
704jgTo plug it up.
705tbWell now...
706jgNow, this kid I told you about from... that drove the car from Utah, Don... can't remember... (Don Lehmer-see entry 1004) He's not in here. Let me look through it (Annual) again, but he's not in here. I remember him. He and I were pretty close friends.
707tbLet me use your restroom again. This stuff is going through me like crap through a goose now.
708jgThat's the sign it's good coffee. Let me look under... he could have been a Freshman. I know I was older than he was. I was older than most of them because I laid out a year or so. (pause)
709dgYou know I went out there and looked, I do not know. I thought maybe I could find a... you used to have a box of stuff and I couldn't seem to find it. I didn't get into everything, but I thought maybe you might have had some correspondence left. Couldn't find the darn thing. (pause) The sun's coming out. It's trying to.
710jgI just can't remember Don's name. (Don Lehmer-see entry 1004) He wore glasses, fairly short. Here's a picture of Bob Easterday. He was a Freshman when I was there.
711tbOkay, okay.
712jgI was just glancing through, I haven't run across...
713tbBoy, he had a head of hair, didn't he?
714jgYeah.
715dgStill has. Those pictures at Lindenmeier. That's something that I can show you that we made. (Doris walks away to look for Lindenmeier information.)
716tbWhat I was going to ask was you said early on... no, I said early on, that Easterday said that all he ever saw of the Sandia material was in the lab at the University and he basically said it was rat dung, bat dung or something like that. But then you had said that Hibben didn't know about it (Wes' excavating) so what I'm kind of curious about is how the material that was found and brought back to the University... kind of what was that procedure and how did you lay it out on the tables or am I reading a lot in between the lines or...
717jgI think what I really meant was this; when Wes first found out about the cave he went up there with Davis, I assume. Must have. I don't know anybody else that would have gone with him except Davis, just to kind of... well you know, look into it. By the way, it was very difficult to get up to that cave entrance.
718tbI have been in that situation.
719jgSo them... you know you could probably... maybe they got a pretty good trail up to it now?
720tbWell now, I was little kid, but I can remember going to it.
721jgOkay. It's pretty hard to get into it.
722tbUm hum.
723jgWe used a... there's a little ledge there just before you get up where go into the cave...
724tbWe were using a tree...
725jgWell we had a homemade ladder, couple of two-by-fours (?) across it. Then farther up that little canyon there's a fairly good slope. We just kind of hacked out a trail because we were carrying shovels and stuff up... It was quite a climb. So we made this little trail I didn't... is that a national monument now?
726tbI don't think so.
727jgI know it's mentioned on some maps, but if it isn't then the little old trail has long since disappeared. The reason you did that (made the trail) is access so we could get our stuff up there.
728tbYour screens and stuff too? Were you passing stuff through screens?
729jgYeah, we did that down below. We just pack it down.
730tbOh, you just put it in sacks and packed it down and passed it through screens?
731jgYeah, yeah, right.
732tbWas the material...
733jgThe entrance to that thing, there's no place to work there. Not much room. And another thing we did we build a big... I don't know where Wes got the lumber... we build a big door and bolted and locked that cave shut.
734tbIs that right?
735jgOh, yeah. Heavy pine planks, 2"X6" we made it out of. As I look back, I know now why we had to have that little trail. It's really something getting that stuff up there. Yeah, we built a... like an old prison door.
736tbOkay. Well now did you work with a... you know like that day the archaeologists when they are in something that's very, very delicate almost be down to dental toothpicks.
737jgRight, that's right.
738tbYou did that kind of a job with trowels?
739jgTrowels, whiskbrooms, paintbrushes and grapefruit knifes, just like you are on a big dig.
740tbWhat you did find, you found in-situ?
741jgThat's right. Except for this loose material that we've already discussed.
742tbIt's the recent stuff on top of the calcium?
743jgThat... that where Wes... he's right. All you could say about that material was you collected it.
744tbJust filled a bag, take it down and put it in your screen, huh?
745jgYeah. He talks about his stratigraphy. Sure we knew whether we worked six inches or four inches. We kept very careful measurements and when you ran out of the disturbed material it was very evident because then you had to go to work in the layer of calcite or travertine. Under there it had no been...
746tbOkay, and you broke through this?
747jgYeah.
748tbAnd then you fought through the sterile yellow ocher.
749jgThat's right. Then you hit the stuff on the original cave floor.
750tbBut that was not hard digging; that was...
751jgYeah. To remove the travertine, which varied in thickness... an inch to three or four in places, you could take a pick... you know travertine is fairly soft. And it would crack and you lift out a slab and hit it again and you'd lift that off. The only thing every time that you hit that thing, "woosh" came this ocher.
752tbBut once you got underneath the yellow ocher you could again work with your towels...
753jgYes.
754tb... and your whiskbrooms.
755jgUm hum.
756tbOkay. And so everything that was found below...
757jgYeah. We didn't... nothing was in solid rock. There was a layer of what you might call an occupational zone. Not only by humans, but by animals also.
758tbAnd then... how far back like in the cave mouth did you ultimately end up excavating. As far as across this room or do you... can you speculate?
759jgNot more than 50 feet for I might say more or less cleaning it our.
760tbIn other words, just right down to the bedrock...
761jgRight.
762tbFifty feet.
763jgAnd then he's right. We went back... I guess he's about right, as far as we knew, be about the near the center of the cave. As far as we knew because we really didn't know how far back that cave went. Like I said we couldn't get... we knew there was more. We couldn't get through. What's the scale on that? (We are looking at Figure 2 of the Monograph.)
764tbWell what we've got here, see, is we have... these are meters, okay? These are meters, Okay. And then this piece goes to here and this piece then goes on the end of this, see. And so they're taking it back here to approximately 130 meters. Which would be 300...
765jgClose to...
766tb400 feet almost, okay.
767jgYeah, a little over 400.
768tbAnd you indicated that you worked back about 50 feet, okay. And that would be what? That would be like 12, 14 meters back, right?
769jgWell between 15 and 20 meters probably.
770tbOkay. This indicates... this is total excavation, okay.
771jgAlright. Well when... well let's see, meters... let's go to about... well let's go to 12.
772tbOkay, 12.
773jgYou understand that's an estimate.
774tbI know.
775jgI don't remember exactly. I was just thinking...
776dgThat's 50 years ago.
777tbAbsolutely.
778jgI was just thinking in rough terms that approximately 50 feet, see. And I'll tell you why. Because you see maybe a guy would work a square in here. Somebody else would find well this looks pretty easy going here, I'll take this one. Somebody else might be over here. Maybe somebody was back in here. And then eventually if this was your spot you would be working this way. This guy might be working this way. Somebody else would work this way. We would take turns. Like say, Hastings and I would work here. I'd go in and work 15 minutes. Come out. He'd go in and work 15 minutes. Same way with the other four or five of us.
779tbThere's another diagram in here. Now this is a vertical diagram, okay. (Figure 4 of Monograph).
780jgYeah.
781tbAnd this is the first... this is the excavated... the first 24 meters that he (Hibben) indicates are excavated here. And here they're showing some kind of vertical shaft here at about how far back in there? That's about 10 or 11 meters, okay. Apparently, there was a large or a high ceiling there. It's not drawn here.
782jgYeah. I think...
783tbDo you recall that?
784jgI think there's evidence that there's some air that was coming through. There was... Wes measured an air current and we decided there was a fissure. You couldn't look up and see sky but there was air coming down through it, you see. Now whether or not it came from the face of the cliff or right up on top we... although we explored that, we actually never found anything. Except there was an air current.
785tbBut you... there was no problem standing up? What were you using for lights? Could you see the ceiling?
786jgCandles.
787tbCould you see the ceiling at that point?
788jgYeah.
789tbOkay, Just a crack or something? (tb)
790jgThere's just a... Yeah, you could see a fissure, didn't amount to much. I call it a fissure, but a lot of people say a crack. But it must have opened up a little ways, you know up in there somewhere, because it was full of air.
791dgSomething that would bothered the candle, the flame?
792jgYes, right.
793tbWell you look at the floor level, okay. They're showing from the mouth that dips down. Then it climbed back up some. (We are looking at Figure 4.)
794jgRight.
795tbAnd then a pretty steep drop-off here again at about 14 meters, okay. Now in your thinking about your excavating, can you remember this terrain or maybe this shaft here? You were beyond this shaft in your digging?
796jgYes. We must have gotten back... I remember this is tight.
797tbOkay.
798jgWhat's this here? I suppose... yeah it looks like you might be able to get through there on your... there was one place where you could get through, but actually you went through on your belly. You just couldn't quite make it on your hands and knees. And then it starts down. This is right. It started going down.
799tbOkay. Well now, this is vertical. So this would be six feet right there, okay. And so over here you're about five feet if the cave was completely empty of all material, five-foot diameter.
800jgYeah. I would say... you see when we were going... we knew this. This was uphill. But when you got back along up in here somewhere you didn't go on your hands and knees. You had to get on your belly. You just couldn't quite get your knees far enough to go on...
801tbSo you actually did some digging back in here?
802jgYeah somewhere along... seems to me that it would be back a little farther than this.
803tbWell you're back 24 meters.
804jgWe really went downhill for a way. Not working. Just going back and forth. We must have been back here around...
805tbLet's see now, (looking at Figure 2) this is where... this is where this stops is right here so you must have been back in there somewhere. Okay, now this is the middle section.
806jgWell that looks more...
807tbThis is where I think he is speaking possibly of way back in there was some more disturbance.
808jgOkay. This...
809tbThis is a plan view, okay.
810jgAlright. There's 44. Here's 45.
811tbThat's right. Coming on down.
812jgAlright. I'll say that Wes did some work in here.
813tbAround 76, 77.
814jgSomewhere back in here, yeah.
815tbAnd then these are big ceiling rocks that supposedly have fallen.
816jgYeah.
817tbYou remember those?
818jgYeah. You can't... I don't think... I don't believe we could get by these.
819tbOkay.
820jgI think it was too full of junk to get by.
821tbOkay. And then they indicate that they put down some more test shafts in here.
822jgIn other words, they broke that out of the way?
823tbYeah. They just finally beat it out of the way there. So, you think you...
824jgThat makes sense.
825tb... you got back about 75, 76.
826jgWe concentrated primarily from entrance to somewhere along in here.
827tbAround that 24 meter mark?
828jgYeah, somewhere along there. And then we went... just for exploration we went as far as we could, and we actually did some digging back here.
829tbBasically the same kind of stuff, huh?
830jg Yeah.
831tbAny cultural material back there?
832jgUm hum. Just fragments as I recall. I don't remember any kind of projectiles being found, just rough implements.
833tbNever found any projectiles at all?
834jgI don't recall ever seeing one, but they have some. According to the literature they did find some, but I don't think I ever saw any as I recall. Just the implements, utility implements. I just don't remember... we, might have had a tip off of a projectile.
835tbSo anyway going...
836jgI don't remember seeing them...
837tbAnyway, so you take this stuff... the recent material you just bag up and then you carry it back down and pass it through the screens. Once you got below your yellow ocher then you would just almost get in there with whiskbroom type work?
838jgThat's right. Grapefruit knife, just flicking away with this in that zone. You understand it wasn't just a nice clean piece of clay. There was rubble. You have to be very careful. If you weren't careful, you'd throw out your... under candlelight, you could throw away what you went in to get. So we save every... not every piece of course...
839dgWhat became of all the material taken out of there?
840jgIt should be at the university, yeah.
841tbYeah, its...
842jgThere might have been some of it down at the Smithsonian because Frank Roberts got into it and... another guy from Smithsonian too, I can't recall his name right now. So they might have a little bit of it. But the university certainly ought to have it. It ought to be right in their museum to tell you the truth. You get back down there let's go up and find that museum.
843dgYou can't find it.
844jgI remember one day when we were living in Arizona I was going to show my boys... I was going to show them where the museum was and everything. Did you know I got on that campus and all the trees had grown up. I didn't even know where I was. (laughter)
845dgSo we left.
846tbIt's been 15 years for me. It's changed drastically for me too.
847jgYou remember Hodgin Hall...
848tbI remember the name.
849jg... the little chapel and they had their plays and everything. It was right next to the main street, came up on the west side. Long building. It was built to look like an old Spanish mission.
850tbOh, I know where you're talking about, yeah.
851jgI don't know what happened to it, but I couldn't find it (laughter). Right on the main street (laughter). Gosh darn it, I'm so mad at myself. Well its like I told you, we went back up to Lindenmeier... it looked to me like everybody was mixed up. We never worked on that side of the road. We worked on the other side.
852tbDid you ever get yourself straightened out?
853jgYeah, finally.
854dgDo you know what, the restrictions on that trip were terrible. Bob and Jim and well, there were four of us see, that had been there before and why I had been up there was because of Jim and he'd come down on weekends then I'd drive him back up there and then go up whenever I could, see. So I knew Lindenmeier from that and there was Jim and Bob and this Stafford.
855jgYeah.
856dgWho else?
857jgAnd Scoggins, Charley Scoggins.
858dgYeah, but he wan't present at this Lindenmeier trip I'm talking about now. And we were up there and as we got out of the bus we were told that we could not walk around. We had to get out and you could survey the sight very briefly; a very short time. We weren't there any longer than an hour and a half, were we?
859tbWhat are they trying to accomplish? What is their motive? Do they just... they just don't want anybody on their property?
860jgThey just don't want anybody there.
861tbAre they trying to preserve the material, or just don't want anybody on the ranch?
862dgI don't think so.
863jgNo. I can tell you what exactly, and they're really right about it. If they didn't have that thing pretty well posted and under observation do you know what would happen? People would go up there and dig up the whole countryside. They'd probably take a backhoe in.
864tbOnce again, are they trying to protect what cultural remains might be there or are they just trying to keep their countryside from being dug up?
865jgTrying to keep it from eroding away is what they doing...
866dgI don't think they have...
867tbThe countryside dug up, okay.
868dgI really don't think they have any thought of cultural remains. They could care less.
869tbThey just don't want everybody in Denver up there pot hunting.
870dgThat's right.
871jgI have to agree with them. People go and cut their fences, drive trucks. They've got fence riders in this country.
872dgJim is a good example. He grew up... I mean his father had a ranch up north. And on that ranch was a beautiful Indian site and the teepee rings were all... you could get up on the hill and look down across here at the stream way down below and you could see all these teepee rings. So one time we took... when our children were small we came home on a visit and we took all the nieces and nephews and our kids, went up there on a big picnic to show the kids the Indian village. We got up there and there wasn't a rock left.
873jgYou know what we found out? People from Fort Collins had gone up there and lugged all of those down and build them into their fireplaces.
874tbI'll be darned.
875jgSo you see, these guys that own this old Folsom site up there, I don't think they give a hoot what's under the ground that's probably true.
876jgBut on that arroyo... this is on a pretty deep arroyo, and if the people got loose in there within six months that arroyo would be a mile wide. She'd just wash away. You see, Smithsonian backfilled all that. Planted grass on it. In other words...
877tbThey reseeded it.
878jgThey don't leave... well, if you're excavating a ruin in the southwest, sure they could try to preserve that and not cover it back up, but this isn't that kind of site. This is an old, old bog at one time. It doesn't take much rain, and the wind blows constantly up there and it would just blow away.
879dgJim and I both feel anymore that... I was asked recently... about this group wanting to know about having a tour up in the hills and about going to see the teepee rings and so forth and I told them that I felt that anybody who know where any are, are very reluctant to tell.
880jgLike we know... its still on this land where the Folsom is. Further west. More recent Indian ruins, beautiful teepee rings. One of the few I've seen where they used flat stones.
881tbIs that right?
882jgUm hum.
883tbWell you know, you get up around Casper where I spent three years, there is still tons and tons of teepee rings.
884dgHave you ever been to the Medicine Wheel up there?
885tbYes I have.
886dgHave you really?
887jgWe haven't been there. I'm sure we'll try to make it.
888tbIt's a very, very interesting... as a matter of fact, my father and I were both up there. We were up there... I took... we were living in Casper, and they came up and so we went up camping and we'd made up our mind that we would go up there that afternoon. We were about 20 miles camped away from it, doing a little creek fishing. And a rainstorm came and it soon turned to snow and I said, by God we're still going, because you may never see it again. We drove up there in a damn snowstorm, but the snow wasn't sticking yet. And there's no question about it... there are articles about it in the National Geographic.
889dgYes.
890tbIt's just exactly like that. However, those things are more prevalent than maybe some people realize. There's quite a few of them in Canada and around...
891dgThat's what we've been reading.
892tbThere is... you know, the Big Horn Basin, which is to the west of the Medicine Wheel... some people around Cody and Powell say... one of them said there's an arrow that points to the teepee ring and I had an individual take me over and show me what he was claiming to be an arrow. Now we had to walk a couple of miles. Once again, I was walking in the damn snow, but I got over there and there was no arrow. So there's also a lot of superstition associated with this.
893dgOh, I'm sure.
894jgWell it's like those... there in Pero where the Incas and so forth made these giant... was it a German that wrote the book, this is all...
895tbDaniken.
896jgDaniken?
897tbYeah, Daniken.
898jgPeople came from Spain... well exactly why they built that we'll probably never know. The only thing is it's there. Those markings are there. You can fanaticize all you want to.
899dgJim, I don't know where the picture is of you three fellows, but now...
900tbThis is Lindenmeier, right?
901dgYes. And this is the group of people... there are about six...
902jgNow, there's Bob and...
903dgStafford.
904jg... Stafford, and he lives down in Loveland. He worked there. He was there the year before I was, so he actually wasn't (?). Now, this is the arroyo. Even now this is just what nature has done, but you can see if it isn't protected in this country where a half inch of rain can do a lot of damage. It doesn't show up too clear. This, see this break?
905tbUm hum.
906jgWe excavated all this back in here. Even then as much as they tried to protect it, look how its... of course it's going to settle after you excavate, but I guess the thing that amazed me, this isn't such a big area. As I remembered it, looked like we were working with about 5 acres of ground. (laughter)
907tbWhen you got a whiskbroom and a toothbrush its...
908jgWell you're doing stuff that's ten feet deep and so you start whisking that away with a grapefruit knife and a towel, it's goes pretty slow.
909dgDr. Morris... is that Bob. I think it is.
910jgYeah, that's Bob.
911dgDr. Morris at the university here gave a very good talk to the group of people so that they could understand what they were looking at. But now here, these are old pictures. This...
912jgThat's gone.
913dgThat's gone. We could not find it anywhere.
914tbThey probably took it down on purpose.
915dgWell we don't know, see.
916tbYeah. But I mean the landowners probably removed it to keep the pot hunters out of there.
917dgOh, it's very possible. But this is what they fixed to go up there. Now, let me see.
918tb"Dedicated to the Folsom man who long ago touched the sparks to the first campfire at this ancient site." I'll be darned.
919dgNow, lets see. This has all the material, early... well here's where... an article that tells about... that's Dr. Roberts. I don't know when he looked like that and then Dr. Figgins and this was in the Rocky Mountain News, see in '47.
920tbRocky Mountain Empire Magazine was the Rocky Mountain News then? I mean the Rocky Mountain News today is the...
921dgI think so.
922jgNo this was in the Post.
923dgI saw Rocky Mountain and I said that.
924tbCould I get that date.
925dgOh, sure.
926tbLet me write that date down.
927dgSure, because you could get this.
928tbOh yeah. I've got access to all of the microfilm.
929dgFebruary 2, 1949. '47, I'm sorry.
930tb2-7-47. And this, you say now, is the Denver Post.
931jgYeah. It's the Empire Magazine.
932dgRocky Mountain Empire.
933jgYeah, the Post still has Empire Magazine.
934tbOkay, I understand now.
935jgI don't take the Post but, they still have it.
936dgPardon me. I was looking to see if they had anything more. No there's nothing else other than this. Yes it says, Denver Post Staff Writer, okay. See.
937tbUm hum.
938dgCharles Little. And here's a picture, Jim, of Clark Coffin, Roy Coffin.
939jgYeah. He's deceased. Now these are the ones...
940tbThe collection is here?
941jgYeah.
942tbI'll be darned.
943jgNow, they were not archaeologists but they didn't hurt anything. In other words they just didn't go and just plow it up. They were both amateur archaeologists. They knew pretty well that you had to... if there's stratigraphy they had to develop it.
944dgI don't know what this... this must be from the local paper and I don't know the date on that. This was just one that was in, in March 26, 1980. In the Triangle Review here.
945tbThat's probably just a rehash of the original...
946dgI think so. And every so often somebody shows something about it.
947tbWhich paper is this now?
948dgThis is Triangle Review.
949tbIs that a Fort Collins...
950dgYeah, it's a weekly.
951tbOkay.
952dgBut now here, these are old pictures. And here's the crew that was up there when Jim was there that summer. (summer of 1937)
953tbWhat a motley looking bunch.
954dgThere's Jim. There's Easterday. And this kid... what was his name, Jim? McAllester?
955jgUm hum.
956dgHe's the kid that would set off over the mountain. He hunted with a bow and arrow. And the writer, Van Dyke Brooks, wasn't that his name?
957jgUm hum.
958dgThis kid was his son. I think that's correct.
959jgYeah.
960dgWayne Powars. Now...
961jgWayne was just an amateur. I don't know whether he went to college anywhere or not. But he discovered some of these blow outs in Eastern Colorado.
962tbUm hum.
963jgOr the Yuma points you know... that just uncovered gradually. That's Scoggin from CU that's mentioned in the report where he's trying to tie something into Sandia and there's no prospect for Folsom west of the Rockies and... that's Brooks.
964dgKraxberger.
965jgKraxberger.
966dgEd Lorn.
967jgDog-gone old Kraxberger. I traded him a darn good antique gun for a whole bunch of publications by Renaud.
968dgOh, was it Kraxberger?
969jgYeah. Denver. Denver University. I don't know why... the stuff he wrote wasn't any good.
970tbWasn't worth having, huh?
971jgHere's... there's our camp. This is across the arroyo, the site...
972tbSitting over here?
973jgYeah.
974dgAnd these were...
975jgThey had a neat shower. They had a big barrel and there was a spring right close by. We'd fill that barrel in the daytime. You know the sun would...
976tbWould warm it up.
977jgYeah. So we'd come down covered with dust and just jump in that shower.
978tbI'll be darned.
979dgThere was an old road here. I don't know who took that picture.
980jgHere's the actual excavation (not understandable). Here's... might call a sifting pile.
981tbUm hum. That's after it's been through the screen?
982jgRight.
983dgAnd here's...
984tbYes. I think I better get my father up here.
985jgYou can see the old car.
986tbYes, yes.
987dgI was wondering if my car was in here anywhere, but I don't think so. Now this is a good view. And, Jim, there's a picture... look at this!
988jgYes, there's Bohannon. He's a very close friend. He died last fall and he was a Colonel and retired in the Philippines. (pause) This is typical. That's Easterday I think.
989tbThat's still today though.
990jgThis is pretty casual. That's Kraxberger.
991dgWell you see these guys... Jim would come back... he was just as brown as an Indian, you know. And he would say that they could work up on this flat up there see... these bluffs... they could look for miles and they could see a cloud of dust coming in plenty of time to get their clothes on. I thought for a minute that was Bohannon but it's Ed Lorn.
992jgYeah, that's Ed.
993dgNow this, I think, is that Life photographer? Life magazine had a... now, what was that? Oh, we were laughing about this magazine. The (?) that Bob used to... I don't remember... Then these are the... this was the...
994tbThat's your recent trip?
995dgYeah. You can buy this now, this publication. I think at the Museum. Can't you?
996jgI think it's available.
997dgThis is one of the original ones.
998tbUm hum.
999tbWell, let's see I've got to get back to what I was...
1000dgI'm sorry.

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