Ken Jones of Wadena is a longtime farmer in the area and has seen a lot of changes in equipment. When first starting out, he worked his land with the older equipment every farmer is familiar with. He went rock-picking with a trailer and a pry bar for the bigger rocks.
One of the better preserved arrowheads is possibly flint.
At a walking pace, it was soon apparent that he had an eye for picking out the unusual. He found stones worked by the hand of man — arrowheads and hammers, to be precise.
“There must have been a campsite,” he tells visitors when he shows them his collection. “Most of these were found in one area.”
He picks up a stone hammer head and points out the change from smooth to rough. “This has been used; you can see how it has been worn down.”
Until he bought an automatic rock-picker, Jones would find several of these every year as the ground gave them up. Even from the tractor seat he would spot something interesting and get down to take a look.
Jones has never had his collection appraised, so he does not know how old the pieces are. It is fairly easy to guess at their use; hammers, arrowheads, scraping tools, possibly even cutting tools.
Not all the pieces in his collection are First Nations artifacts though. Some are simply rocks with something unique about them. Fossils, holes, unusual colour or smoothness would catch his eye as well. One piece may be fossilized wood. Another could be part of a meteorite. Others contain imprints of shells.
This stone has fossils preserved in it.
If you want to see the Jones collection, he is happy to show it to people. Just make sure you phone first!
By Charlene Wirtz