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Interesting site near Des Moines River

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  • Ted Sojka
    http://easterniowalife.com/2011/01/21/vining-mans-deductive-reasoning-connects-chief-black-hawk-and-sherlock-holmes/ This was a site with some interesting
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 21, 2011
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      This was a site with some interesting photos of a stockaded village in Iowa near the town of Vining.

      Vining Man’s Deductive Reasoning Connects Chief Black Hawk and Sherlock Holmes

      Dave Rasdal/SourceMedia Group News, 21 January 2011, No comments
      Categories: human interestlifestyle and leisure
      Tags: Chief Black Hawkeastern iowaIoway IndiansOttumwaRamblin'Sherlock HolmesThe GazetteVining
      VINING — George Horton has his hands in more pies than Little Jack Horner. And each time he sticks his thumb in one, he pulls out more than just a plum.
      “Frontier gibberish,” George says with his patented low key voice and self-deprecating smile.
      The truth be known, who else could connect the life of Chief Black Hawk, who is buried near Eldon, Iowa, to the death of fictional character Sherlock Holmes?
      George, of course, who has interests that range from archaeology and astrology to hobos, magicians and Buddy Holly.
      He lives in Vining, in the center of what he calls the Bohemie Alps of Tama County because it was settled by Czech immigrants. He met his wife, Midge, while both worked in the area for VISTA in the 1970s. They moved into the 1883 house George had bought.
      “He liked the shamrocks on the outside,” Midge teases.
      For $2,000, he didn’t mind missing windows. The shamrocks are still there.
      A love of history brought George to his house, just as that love and being a board member of the Iowa Archaeological Society took him to Iowaville, the ghost town sitting along the Des Moines River between Eldon and Selma southeast of Ottumwa.
      With beautiful November weather, George volunteered with the Office of State Archaeology to examine ground inhabited by the Ioway Indians in the early 1800s. With a ground penetrating radar, he says, they uncovered protective fortification rings, the foundations of Indian stockades. By removing the surface soil, the rings became visible.
      “I said, we’ve got these circles,” George says. “What we need are aerial photographs.”
      So George asked Iowa Citians John Tiffany and Frank Reel to fly over the site to record the rings which resemble mysterious crop circles.
      Being in the area reminded George that Chief Black Hawk was buried there in 1838, although his bones were stolen and may have been destroyed in a Burlington museum fire.
      Chief Black Hawk, who fought with the British in the War of 1812 and later thwarted westward expansion in Illinois and Wisconsin, helped write a biography about his spiritualism. A century later Evan Powell, a British spiritualist medium, used the book as his guide for seances to reunite people with lost loved ones.
      Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, was such a person, supposedly reunited with his dead son, Kingsley. His belief in spiritualism changed his writing forever.
      “I am the one who killed Sherlock Holmes,” George says Powell would boast.
      As a fan, George has joined the Sherlock Holmes Society of London, reading its newsletter from cover to cover. And, using his own deductive reasoning, he’s come up with a theory behind Doyle choosing 221B Baker Street as Holmes’ address. In a letter published in the newsletter, George wrote:
      “Every Victorian knew 55 & 56 Baker Street, the premises of Elliott and Fry, photographers. He (Doyle) knew he could not use a current address of the time. He was a futurist. 55 and 56 was posted and in all papers daily. He added and doubled, which is 222. He wanted Holmes to be a non-royal hard-working gumshoe with deep love for the crown. He placed him in a half-flat boardinghouse. Minus the half = 221B.”
      “Just interesting, crazy stuff,” George says.
      There’s more. Lots more when you talk to George. But that’s enough plums for today.
      Comments: (319) 398-8323; dave.rasdal@...

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