Gold Exhibit at the Fernbank

Juli Kearns Everyday Stories Leave a Comment

We went to the Gold Exhibit at Fernbank today, organized by the American Museum of Natural History.

Indeed, there were some lovely things on display, the most impressive being perhaps examples of natural formations of gold and quartz. If you are anxious to see old ingots lost in shipwrecks, purchase pirate hats and pan for gold for about $5 in the gift shop, you’ll not leave disappointed.

What ended up being interesting to me was the history on gold that was omitted. For example, in the section on the Black Hills gold rush, I pointed out to H.o.p. that they made no mention of the Black Hills gold find resulting in the bringing in of troops and theft of land confirmed as Dakota, Lakota, Nakota in the 1868 Treaty of Ft. Laramie. A paragraph was given on the 1874 Custer Expedition but nothing as to meaning, absolutely no historical context. Instead, a yard away there was a little fake bridge with a slab of plexiglass in the middle through which one could look down and see a fake stream bed with a few gold sparkles glimmering.

Yet in the Georgia Gold Room they did have history on the Georgia gold rush and the dispossession of Cherokee land, a long film there flatly speaking of the stealing of the land. This room was put together by Fernbank.

So, I left questioning why Fernbank made this allowance but the American Museum of Natural History didn’t even begin to approach the real history of gold.

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