The find in the backyard of a home on West Lafayette was more than a stick in the mud. It could be one of the key finds for the Jacksonville Area Museum.
Jacksonville Area Museum board chairman Dave Blanchette says Bob Johnson was tilling an area in his yard, when the tiller blades hit something metal.
Blanchette says Johnson knew what it was almost immediately, and contacted the museum.
It turns out to be a Civil War era bayonet, which was slightly bent by the tiller. Johnson in turn, gave it to the museum for display.
Blanchette says it’s documented that then colonel Ulysses S Grant camped at the Morgan County fairground site, just a few yards away. He says it cannot be directly tied to the encampment, but it doesn’t take much imagination to see what could have happened.
He says only a diary entry from a solider who said he left it at the camp would be enough documentation.
Blanchette says the musket balls were too deteriorated to be saved.
The bayonet will be displayed starting tomorrow at the Market House Antiques at 226 East State. It will remain on display there Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 AM to 5 PM until the museum opens.
Blanchete says the museum, in the former Post Office building on East State, is on target for a late July opening.
New Windows are going in now.
The museum will host the prestigious Smithsonian “Voices and Votes” traveling exhibit in late this year.