Photographic history of Saltville well-fields focus of NHM lecture


JOHNSON CITY (Oct. 2, 2013) – “A Photographic History of the Saltville, Virginia, Well-Fields” will be the topic of a free public lecture at the East Tennessee State University and General Shale Brick Natural History Museum and Visitor Center at the Gray Fossil Site on Saturday, Oct. 5, at 1 p.m. 

The talk will be given by Brian Compton, preparator at ETSU and General Shale Natural History Museum and adjunct instructor of history at ETSU. Compton has worked in the museum’s prep lab, participated in university-led excavations, and has done surveying for the museum since 2004. He earned his bachelor’s degree in history and master’s degrees in both history and teaching from ETSU.

“With my background in history and my work helping excavate in Saltville, I felt it would be beneficial to look at the changes in Saltville through the years,” said Compton. “I love looking at old photographs and learning about the past. This will be a great way for scientists studying about the Ice Age fossil site in Saltville to truly understand what kinds of excavations have been done through the years.”

Historical photographs of the Saltville well-fields, taken from 1890 to the present, will demonstrate how the valley has changed over time. The presentation will focus on the Saltville excavations led by ETSU, as well as digs that have been undertaken by various institutions, and will also include a brief history of Saltville.

Compton’s talk is part of the lunchtime lecture series hosted by the museum and is sponsored by the ETSU Don Sundquist Center of Excellence in Paleontology.  Interested persons should visit for dates and times of future lectures.

The museum is open Tuesday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and is located 1.8 miles off Exit 13 on Interstate 26.  For more information, call (866) 202-6223.  For disability accommodations, call the ETSU Office of Disability Services at (423) 439-8346.

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