The Etzanoa Conservancy, Anthropology Program at Cowley College, USD470, Visit Ark City and the Cherokee Strip Land Rush Museum will present the history of the Arkansas City/Walnut Valley on Saturday, April 10. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the location to be decided and is free and open to the public.
In 1601, Spanish conquistador and explorer Juan de Oñate encountered a great settlement called Etzanoa at the confluence of the Arkansas and Walnut rivers. Based on translations of the Spanish documents, it appears this town was home to 20,000 people, more than Arkansas City today. Four hundred and twenty years later, Arkansas City became a city of the second class. The year of 2021 represents the 150th anniversary of Arkansas City becoming a city of the second class.
Artifacts and information will be provided for viewing from the Etzanoa time period along with the beginning of the city in 1871. Dr. Blakeslee (or Meredith) will conduct artifact identification from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Collectors and landowners are encouraged to bring their artifacts for possible identification. A children’s excavation activity will be provided (excavate chocolate chips from cookies; shoebox dig simulation; trash identification; arrowhead identification; archaeology jeopardy game). The Cherokee Strip Land Rush Museum along with Visit Ark City will provide vintage photos along with historical documents of the 150 years of the city’s existence.
At the conclusion of the event, an Etzanoa public tour and a walking tour of downtown architecture of the city will be provided for those interested.