Jefferson City, MO 73° View Live Radar Thu H 84° L 70° Fri H 87° L 75° Sat H 90° L 71° Weather Sponsored By:

History lives with local arrowhead collector

History lives with local arrowhead collector

January 13th, 2019 by Danisha Hogue in Local News

Darrin Chesser shows off a few artifacts from his arrowhead and spear collection.

Photo by Danisha Hogue /News Tribune.

Walking through a local creek, someone could find plastic bottles, used needles and soda cans collecting on the shore. You also could find artifacts that represent an important part of history from thousands of years ago.

Darrin Chesser, of California, Missouri, said he walks for miles in search of the latter. What he finds to keep are arrowheads or spearheads from Native Americans who inhabited the lands.

"The Indians were an interesting culture and to be able to go out and pick these up, you're just preserving history (and) the Indian culture," Chesser said.

Chesser grew up in Ohio, where his hobby began. He walked alongside his father, who also collected arrowheads.

"You could walk all day and not find nothing and I have, I have walked all day and not found nothing," he said.

Now, his large collection brings him great joy. His artifacts include Dalton points, drills, Dixon points and side-notched.

Five years ago, he found a 10,000-year-old spearhead.

"I took a buddy with me, and we was walking in the creek and we didn't find nothing all day. He was sitting on the ground playing with a turtle, and we was at a spot where they had been taking gravel out of the creek. I was walking up to him, and I even quit looking. On my way, I just looked down and there that one was laying. I told him, 'I've been looking for one of these my whole life!'"

Chesser came to Missouri in the early 1980s. He said he used to go to farmers' land and look for where the ground was recently turned over. It's unlikely now to get onto private property, due to drug users, he added.

"It's nothing to go down a creek and find crack pipes and needles. They've ruined the hobby," Chesser said.

He said this doesn't stop him from collecting. Each discovery, he said, compares to "killing a monster buck."

"Mid-Missouri is enriched with arrowheads; these come from Moniteau County, Cole County, Cooper County. Missouri's central in the United States; every time an Indian traveled, he'd come through Missouri," he said.

Chesser brings home hundreds of stories to share with his family. He said he hopes when he dies, his collection will remain intact and not be sold.

"I don't really feel that they're something that needs to be sold," he said. "Just think, an Indian (sat) down and made that arrowhead 10,000 years ago; that's just amazing."

Chesser's wife, Lisa, said she enjoys hearing the history and interesting tales her husband has because of this hobby.

"He can tell you exactly what creek, and he still can tell you exactly where they came from," she said.

Although his father has since passed, Chesser said, he was able to share his collection with him.

"He really enjoyed looking at the stuff that I found here; he'd be amazed at how many pieces I have now."