DICKINSON – For 60 years, Steve Yost has collected Native American artifacts and has 230 frames featuring various arrowheads, from beads to bone working tools. Among its collection, Yost also has antique kerosene lamps, original oil paintings, and hundreds of Native American and Western history books and more.
Although he’s built his collection for most of his life, Yost is auctioning it July 30 at the Medora Community Center in Medora, North Dakota. Local auctioneer Ed Binstock will run the event.
Yost, a Dickinson resident, has been collecting Native American artifacts, antiques, and other collectibles since he was in college. A native of Ohio, Yost said items in his collection come from all over, including his home state, the Midwest and the High Great Plains. At 79, he noted that it was a “lifetime collection”.
“It’s amazing to me that they can do some of the beautiful work that they did by hand with other stones and pieces of antler,” Yost remarked. “They did all of this by hand and… some of the pieces are just amazing that someone can just do this and repeat it over and over. I was just fascinated by it, I guess.
Yost’s late wife, Irene, also helped build his collection over the years, adding antique lamps and other artifacts from thrift stores, sales and auctions.
Although it wasn’t an easy decision, Yost said he hopes the auctioned items will go to people who will appreciate and cherish the story. He added that he was saving one of his favorite frames.
“It doesn’t feel good,” he says, looking at his collection of frames. ” I will miss them. I like to… sit and watch them.
From the Lakota, Sioux to the Mound Builders, or pre-Columbian cultures, its collection of artifacts dates back 6,000 to 9,000 years.
“So there are some really good things here,” he said. “…There are a lot of counterfeiters and you have to be very careful when buying this stuff. Because, for example, you could take a piece of flint and make an arrowhead out of it today and soak it in used motor oil for a few weeks, then pull it out and wipe it clean. And it looks like it’s 5,000 years old. There is none of that here. What I found I personally found and what I didn’t find I bought from legit auction houses and it was all checked before it even went on sale .
The auction is set for 9:30 a.m. MST. For more information, call 701-290-4192.