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A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE STONE AGE FAIR

Historic Photos

The Stone Age Fair has a long and distinguished history. 

On July 10-14, 1934, thirty school children and their adult sponsors (teachers George and Frieda Bowman, plus Oscar and Irene Shirck, Bill and Dorris Robin, Ira Harris, and Albert Spall) held the first Stone Age Fair in a two-room school in Cornish, Colorado.  It was a unique event whose purpose was to provide free educational exhibits of Stone Age artifacts.  The event proved incredibly successful, and the second year attendance exploded to an estimated 10,000 visitors from 41 states, Europe, and Hawaii.  There were more than 100 exhibitors, and telegrams of support poured in from across the country.  Included with those who sent telegrams were notables such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Janet Gaynor, Shirley Temple, Bing Crosby, and Colorado Governor Edwin C. Johnson.  Will Rogers sent $10 to help with expenses.  Visitors waited in long lines outside the schoolhouse for the opportunity to view the displays.

Programs at this Fair and subsequent Cornish Stone Age Fairs were provided by many notable archaeologists of the time, including Dr. Marie Wormington, Dr. E. B. Renaud, Dr. Frank H. H. Roberts, Dr. J. D. Figgins, and Dr. E. B. Howard.  Major Roy Coffin and Judge Claude C. Coffin, discoverers of the Lindenmeier Folsom Site, exhibited artifacts and presented programs.

In 1939, it became apparent that the event had become too great a burden, both physically and financially, for the town of Cornish.  Permission was given to move the Fair, and on August 14-18, 1940, the first Loveland Stone Age Fair was held. 

The Stone Age Fair is sponsored by the Loveland Archaeological Society, Inc.  The club and its members strive to continue the tradition of the original Stone Age Fair as a free educational event, and to also promote responsible collecting of artifacts.  The Fair features displays of Indian artifacts from a large area of the U.S., including the states of Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and frequently from other states.  Programs are presented each year by noted professional archaeologists and very knowledgeable amateurs.  Past presenters include Dr. Dennis Stanford and Dr. Pegi Jodry of the Smithsonian Institution, Dr. George Frison, professor emeritus at the University of Wyoming and Paleo Archaeologist of the Century at the Clovis & Beyond Conference, Dr. C. Vance Haynes, Dr. Steve Holen of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Dr. Jack Hofman, and many other noted professional archaeologists. To learn more about our speakers, click here.

The Fair and its schedule of fine speakers are all provided with no admission charged.  The Loveland Archaeological Society dues, sponsorships from a very few sources, and various types of donations provide the funding for the Fair.  All donations are welcome and are tax deductible.  

 

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