Somerset Historical Society President John Larsen gave a tour of the artifacts in the Indian Room at the Society headquarters in the former Village School at 274 High Street in Somerset, MA. The facility had recently been closed for over two years due to Covid-19. Click here for a five-minute video of the tour given to Sowams Heritage Area Project Coordinator David Weed.
(Above) Mr. Larsen attributed the collection primarily to the work of Roy Athearn (pictured right with his wife, Eleanor), who started collecting in the 1930s, and to James Bradbury. Two reports by Mr. Athearn about his collection appear on pages 3-9 in the 1984 Bulletin of the Massachusetts Archaeology Society, Vol. 45, No.1. and in 1981 on pages 11-15 in Vol. 42, No. 1,
(Above) The Museum opened in 1990 to house Athearn’s and Bradbury’s collection which included items recovered from Barnaby’s Cove, Peace Haven, Mother’s Brook and Terryland across the Taunton River from the Museum. The collection also includes a 1994 photograph of the Council Oak Tree in nearby Dighton, MA that has since fallen apart, a painting of the Pokanoket Massasoit Ousamequin by an unnamed artist, and many stone tools recovered from the area.
(Above) Some of the thousands of arrowheads in the collection are artfully displayed in frames. The collection also includes a turtle shell rattle of unknown origin and dozens of notebooks that detail the arrowheads and other items in the collection.