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WDAY: The News Leader

Published May 23, 2012, 10:09 PM

Lack of spring flooding leads to interesting finds along the Red River

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Without flood waters this year, people are re-discovering a lost art along the Red. There's more than just garbage and plastic bottles on the banks. Over the year people have found unique things, some dating back thousands of years.

Without flood waters this year, people are re-discovering a lost art along the Red. There's more than just garbage and plastic bottles on the banks. Over the year people have found unique things, some dating back thousands of years.

As you walk along the Red - maybe on your morning stroll - there may be more beneath you than you ever thought.

Bob Backman –Executive Director River Keepers: “Indications of early settlers here so, for instance this apparently was a horse lost his shoe.”

Bob Backman, Executive Director of the River Keepers in Fargo has found everything from bison skulls like this one to an old kid’s toy.

Bob Backman: “A lot of effort went into the construction of this and you just have to wonder what's the whole story, and did that child ever wonder where their boat went.”

Just yesterday one of our photo journalist found these bones laying along the banks of the Red River. You may think this is pretty strange, but in reality it is pretty common.

Bob Backman: “It is relatively common there were millions of bison at one time in the Red River Valley, so finding their bones are not that unusual.”

Mark Peihl, an archivist with Clay County discovered these fragments of an advertising jug for one of the bars booming with business in the 1900's

Mark Peihl – Clay County Archivist: “Oyster shells, oysters aren't native to the Red River, but people would eat oysters on the half shell at these bars and they would wing the empty out the window, sometimes you will find bones from pigs feet, for pickled pigs feet, people also bar food people would eat down here.”

Liquor bottles and glass wear from the saloons have also been found. The next time you are on that stroll or small fishing expedition, know that there could be years of history right at your feet.

Some parts along the Red River are marked as historical and it's illegal to take anything found in these areas.

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