The Cattaraugus County Museum and Research library is pleased to announce the opening of its new display featuring several previously unexhibited artifacts from the Eber Russell collection of Native American artifacts.
Eber Russell was born in 1881 in Perrysburg, and by the age of 8 was already an enthusiastic collector of Native American artifacts. Over the years, his collection grew to several thousand specimens — largely local in origin, but also coming from as far afield as California and the Pacific Northwest. He became a recognized authority in this field, as well as Viking history, and spoke on the topic for many area audiences.
Late in life Russell became an adopted member of the Wolf Clan of the Seneca Nation.
In 1957, Mr. Russell sold a large portion of his collection to the Cattaraugus County Museum, at that time located in Little Valley, for the sum of $1,000. While several items from the collection have been permanently on display since that time, many more have been in storage due to lack of display space as well as imprecise identification of a multitude of stone tools and projectile points.
In 2014, a group of archeologists and archaeology students from the University of Buffalo, led by Dr. Douglas Perrelli, director of the Archeological Survey, identified and catalogued several hundred of these previously undisplayed artifacts.
The museum is excited to finally be able to display, with more precise identification, several of these items.
The Cattaraugus County Museum is located in the Stone House, 9824 Route 16 in Machias. The regular hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday. For more information, contact us at (716) 353-8200 or view our website at cattco.org/museum.