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Discovery of a Lifetime

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S: Discovery of a Lifetime TRACY BAUMAN WHITEHEAD

FC: Ernest Bauman 1889-1906 | Discovery of a Lifetime

1: Discovery of a Lifetime by; Tracy Bauman Whitehead

3: Discovery of a Lifetime an account from the life of Ernest J. Bauman

5: This book is dedicated to the memory of Theodore "Ted" Bauman, and to those who loved him. It was created at the request of my father, Charles H. Bauman.

7: Have you ever walked a farm field and found a flint arrowhead? If so, the thrill of discovery, actually holding the piece in your hand for the first time, usually is followed by questions. How old is it, a few hundred years old or maybe a couple thousand? How was it lost, in hunting, a battle, or merely by chance? Who held it, a brave warrior, or a boy? And how was it made? It is this last question that will be answered. This ancient art is still alive today. Flint arrowheads, spear points, knives and scrapers are still made much like they were a millennia ago, by a process known as knapping. But who discovered this lost art? This is where our story begins. It involves a young, tenacious farm boy and a well-known furniture designer and manufacturer. Ernest Bauman was born in 1889 to Joseph S. Bauman and Mary H. Gardiner. The oldest of 10 children, he had four brothers and five sisters. His youngest brother was Theodore Roosevelt Bauman (1905-1998). Theodore or "Ted" was my grandfather. In fact, this particular Bauman family can trace their roots clear back to Wendal Bauman who arrived in America in 1710 on the Maria (Mary) Hope. Ernest's family lived on a farm in Berlin, Michigan. By all accounts a curious, driven young man, Ernest's life on a small rural farm at the turn of the 20th century would have been full of hard work and tedious labor. However, he had the fortitude to find time to explore his passion of discovering how ancient people created the tools necessary for every day survival with very simple means and without any of the modern methods as we know today. Call it chance, luck, or perhaps even fate, but in 1905 a stone-age collector and furniture designer, David Kendall, heard a rumor of a young, uneducated farm boy with an unusual talent. Upon meeting Ernest and realizing the rumors were true a fast friendship was born and the rest, as they say, is history

8: david wolcott kendall (1851-1910), the Dean of American Furniture Designers, had both a direct and indirect impact on the history of American furniture design, manufacturability and marketability. He initiated the education of young, much needed professionals for the industry. Kendall also had a role in manufacturing and the establishment of Phoenix Furniture Company in Grand Rapids Michigan. His McKinley chair is said to be the genesis of modern Arts and Crafts Furniture. He is also credited with inventing the Morris Chair and for developing the first revolving and reclining office chair. Kendall became the most widely-copied designer in the United States for 25 years. His development of wood stains and finishes was prompted in part by the scarcity of walnut. They included Antique Oak, Sixteenth Century Early English, Cremona Malachite and Jacobean finishes. His creations became industry standards. | Grand Rapids' Kendall College of Art and Design, founded in his honor, was established in 1928. Over 90% of the members of the American Society of Furniture Designers are Kendall College graduates. His research, inventions, manufacturing, and marketing skills directly contributed to the development, strength, growth and economic health of the American furniture industry. (source: furniturehalloffame.com/inductees) As it turns out, furniture design wasn't the only thing that captured Kendall's interests. He was also fascinated with ethnology and geology and was considered an authority in both. It was said that he owned one of the finest private collections of stone age relics.

9: BOY DISCOVERS A LOST ART | Farm Lad Finds Secret of the Indians of Stone Age | Fashions Flint Arrow Heads Without Use of Metal Tools | Ernest Bauman, though unlearned, is the Wonder of Ethnology | BOY MAKES ARROWHEADS JUST AS THE INDIANS DID | Small Pointed Piece of Wood the Only Tool He Uses | Has Solved the Problem Which Scientists Have Pondered Over in Vain | These headlines and articles were featured in the Chicago Chronicle November 5, 1905 and the Detroit Free Press October 1905 The following pages are a verbatim account of these articles.

11: FOUND A LOST ART --------- Boy Makes Arrowheads Without Metal Tools --------- STUDIED FOR YEARS --------- Brought Wooden Device and Fashioned Flint and Glass ----------- Seventeen-Year-Old Ernest Bauman of Berlin Will Be Aided by D.W. Kendall to Study. ----------- The art of fashioning flint arrowheads and other implements of war and the hunt, that was supposed to have died with the Indians of the stone age is not a lost art. Or rather, it has been again discovered and it remained for a farmer boy with neither books nor knowledge of ethnology to bring back to this century the prehistoric secret of making flint arrow heads without the assistance of metal tools. | November 5, 1905 | Ernest Bauman, who lives with his parents on a farm near Berlin Michigan, is the young fellow who has conquered the problem that has puzzled scientists for years, and it is to the credit of David W. Kendall, treasurer of the Phoenix Furniture Co., himself one of the foremost authorities of the city on geological and ethnological subjects, that Bauman's success was not unappreciated and to the ridicule of his fellows and even his parents. David W. Kendall, whose collection of stone age is one of the finest collections in the city, has been a faithful collector for years. He has run down frequent rumors of some person who claimed to have discovered the art of making flint arrow heads, and when in Grand Haven last spring, he heard of the Bauman boy he determined once more and for the last time to make an investigation. It was less than a month ago when he first saw the young fellow, but long before had satisfied himself that this was no false clue.

12: He said he learned more from the chips he found that had been broken from the flint in course of manufacture He learned which way they came off the material and then began to experiment. He tried every known material and finally settled on wood. For three years he had been experimenting and about a year ago succeeded, much to his own satisfaction and his family's disgust, in turning out a perfect arrowhead. Since that day he has worked at his spare time. His parents have objected to the prosecution of this "foolishness". They objected years ago when he would forget the plow and sit down and study while the horses, dragging the overturned plow, wondered off to browse. They still object, though through Mr. Kendall's apparent interest they began to see that the boy's study was not all "foolishness". Last Sunday, Bauman was Mr. Kendall's guest again. He was asked if he could fashion an arrowhead of glass. A piece of plate glass with the bits of quick silver backing still in place was submitted and in an hour he turned out was is perhaps the only glass arrow head, fashioned after the design and methods of the stone age, in existence. He was then given a piece of obsidian, the beautiful volcanic glass which Mr. Kendall picked up in the southwest. It was a new material for the boy arrowhead maker, but after breaking the piece one he fashioned a tiny and perfect bird point that Mr. Kendall prizes only next to his glass arrowhead | Young Bauman came to Mr. Kendall's home, 121 Fountain Street about a month ago and to Mr. Kendall's almost overpowering surprise, announced that he was ready to make and arrowhead and produced the tool with which he intended to do the work. The tool was nothing more than a bit of wood whittled to a point. The boy produced a piece of rough flint and straightaway turned out an arrow head far better than the average Indian relic. The work was performed by patiently manipulating the wood, a bit of oak, against the flint with a peculiar twisting motion which Mr. Kendall confesses, he was unable to imitate, that flaked off bits of the stone. ONLY A FARMER BOY Young Bauman is only 17 years of age, and like all farmer boys, had turned up the Indian arrowheads with the plow. He was interested and studied them, just as scientists for years had studied, though he had the benefit of no books or learning, "for which he should be thankful" says Mr. Kendall, who believes that with books and knowledge he never would have discovered the lost art. The boy was satisfied the art was a simple one and the operation could not have been extensive, because of the profusion of relics.

13: article continued...... Made a Head of Glass The glass arrowhead has been the wonder, astonishment and envy of Mr. Kendall's friends, who are authorities on Indian relics. They cannot understand it and the owner is enjoying their astonishment and unbelief. He lets his relic go out of his hands for but a moment and with the injunction to be careful. When the polished surface, just a bit of which was left to show the arrow's origin, is pointed out and the bits of mercury of the mirror backing are shown, the wonder of the collector who holds the arrowhead is beyond description. Mr. Kendall is enthusiastic over his find. "A boy who can study that out and who had the perseverance and patience to carry in his experiments to a successful culmination has great things in him", said Mr. Kendall, when he had shown the arrowheads to a press representative and told him the story. "The boy," he continued, "is immensely interested in the study of geology. I have secured some good books for him on the subject and intend to give him some help in the direction of his ambition. Just think of it, a 17-year-old boy with no books, with only a lower school education, against the wishes of the whole family and in the face of the ridicule of his neighbors, who has solved a problem that scientists almost from the beginning of the study of geology have failed to solve." | "A boy who can study that out and who has the perseverance and patience to carry on his experiments to a successful culmination has great things in him"

14: A FLINT ARROWHEAD While traveling this land from border to border and from sea to sea, there have been a few occasions to leave the beaten path and to find the peace and quiet that's good for thought and just walking through a trackless forest. Or exploring ruins of the earliest settlers. Or walking along a creek bed hoping to find a relic such as a tomahawk, an ax or even an arrowhead left by a race of long since vanished Indians. There is a great thrill and it is a wonderful feeling to find a flint arrowhead. Introduction & following poem, written by Johnny Cash Actual arrowhead fashioned by Ernest Bauman

15: Over fields of new turned sod, And in communion with my God, I walked alone In a furrow bed, I found an arrowhead Chiseled from stone I don't know how long ago Some Red man drew his bow On its last flight Or, did he drop it here, Afraid white men were near, To attack at night I do know this one thing, Beyond all questioning, Twas made to kill And proof of a master trade, Is in this arrowhead he made, Fashioned with skill That I inherited this ground, Is denied by this stone I found, But when and by who Come join me in my tracks, And let's stop and look back, To the vale and through In love and peace we'll see, The shadows and in trees, And voices too But quietly slowly tread, This home of the forgotten dead, Who's bones are dust, I'm proud that their craftsman skill, Survive the ages still, Left in my trust. Shown here are more actual arrowheads fashioned by Ernest Bauman

17: ARROW MAKER DIES March 27, 1906 | Ernest Bauman Discovered Art of the Ancients ------------------------ Made Arrowheads from Flint and Glass with the Aid of a Stick Only ----------------------- Ernest Bauman of Berlin, Mich., the 17-year-old protege of David W. Kendall, who puzzled every authority on ethnology and geology with his flint and glass arrow heads, fashioned with the aid of a bit of wood only, died yesterday at the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Bauman, on the farm near Berlin. Death was due to Appendicitis. Mr. Kendall is one of the foremost local authorities on ethnology and a prominent collector of arrow heads and relics of the stone age. He heard of young Bauman less than a year ago, saw the boy fashion an arrow head and learned of the young fellow's determination to secure an education. Mr. Kendall determined to aid him and had since proved the boy's closest friend and benefactor. Yesterday afternoon he heard of the young fellow's sudden death and went immediately to the home near Berlin. Bauman made no secret of his art. He tried to show others how the work was done, but try as they would, none of his pupils were ever able to fashion the glass or flint and the art of making arrow heads without the aid of metal tool died with the boy, who alone and without education discovered the prehistoric secret. The funeral will take place at _p.m. Thursday at the Baptist Church in Berlin.

19: Unfortunately, Ernest's path to fortune and fame would never come to pass. He would never be credited for his amazing discovery on a global scale, not in any history books, nor is he recognized in the very art he fathered. Instead, all that is left of his patience and perseverance are these few local newspaper articles that have been passed down from generation to generation through the Bauman lineage. His life, though simple and unlearned had an extraordinary impact on flint arrowhead fashioning (now called knapping) that neither his parents, who believed it was foolishness, nor neighbors who ridiculed him, could have ever predicted. The creator of this book believes that Ernest himself would never have imagined that a young farm boy from Berlin Michigan through a little plowing, a sudden discovery and a whole lot of curiosity and determination would wind up in the local papers, the protege and benefactor of a well-known, much respected furniture designer and discovering a timeless art form once thought to be obsolete. Tracy (Bauman) Whitehead 2009 | For more Bauman/Baumann history, fun facts and genealogy check out the following websites: ebybook.region.waterloo.on.ca/ebybrowser.php?volume=1&page=62 freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~brent/d2i0000438.htm#i438 lewis187.home.mchsi.com/docs/bowman-1.htm#a

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  • Title: Discovery of a Lifetime
  • The story about Ernest Bauman, uneducated farm boy from Berlin Michigan who, at 17 years old, discovered the method of fashioning flint arrowheads in the same way as ancient Native Americans.
  • Tags: bauman
  • Published: about 7 years ago

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