Our next regular meeting will be January 19, 2021 via Zoom

The November 17, 2020 program featured author Beryl Cain Hughes speaking on:

Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument

We will approach Alibates from three directions. First from the historical, second, from the archaeological, and third from the cultural anthropological point of view. The archaeological will look at three reports in chronological order:

One: Archaeological Excavations of Antelope Creek Ruins and Alibates Ruins Panhandle Aspect, 1938-1941, Ele M. Baker, Jewel A. Baker, publisher Panhandle Archaeological Society, Publication Number Eight, 2000.

Two: Architecture and Community Variability Within the Antelope Creek Phase of the Texas Panhandle, Christopher Ray Lintz, 1986, Oklahoma Archaeological Survey: Studies in Oklahoma's Past, number 14.

Three: An Analysis of Quarrying Behavior at Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument, Fritch, Texas. Thesis Presented to the Graduate Council of Texas State University-San Marcos in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts, by Ira Robert Wishoff, B.A., San Marcos, Texas, May, 2010.

Our view of Alibates has been seriously skewed from the beginning. Until recently it was thought of as being merely a hill where people from Antelope Creek or perhaps casual passersby stopped to pick up a piece of flint. It was long considered to be some combination of Plains Woodland and southwestern Pueblo cultures. Floyd Studer saw it as the mother culture of the Canadian River Valley, but in this respect his view has been largely ignored.

In viewing the petroglyphs, archaeologists routinely fail to notice the cupules. The oldest of all rock art, cupules are found on every continent except Antarctica, and in every age of man.

The site was declared Texas first, and until 2015 the State's only, National Monument in 1965.

Beryl Cain Hughes shares some of her inspirations and philosophy:

When I was a child, I heard my mother say to my father, “You always want to see what’s on the other side of that next hill.” It’s hereditary. By the time my children grew up and left home, we had camped out in 25 States. I have set foot, at least, on seven continents.

When my youngest graduated from High School, I decided it was time for me to go to college. My husband was dead, my children were gone from home, I had no career. Then I met and married Jack T. Hughes. He opened up the world of long ago to me. Before I knew it, I had a B.A. in History and Anthropology, followed by an M.A. in Library Science. I went to work as a college library director. I had a career, from which I retired and began writing in earnest.

Publications include Gone to Rock and Ruin: Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument; Trementina: New Mexico’s Most Interesting Ghost Town; In the Light of Past Experience: Papers in Honor of Jack T. Hughes (ed. and compiler); articles in “True West,” “Panhandle-Plains Historical Review,” “Transactions of the Southwestern Federation of Archaeological Societies,” and others.

In Library school, there was a motto on the wall: “The specialist gains knowledge; the generalist gains wisdom.” I believe that without the specialist the generalist has nothing to think about; without the generalist the specialist is in danger of developing tunnel vision.

Wondering what our programs are like? View the list of speakers and topics we've had since 2006.

When conditions allow, the next regular meeting will be held on our usual schedule, the third Tuesday of the month at 7pm at Santa Rita Cantina's central location, 1206 W 38th St (26 Doors shopping center). Meetings are held on the third Tuesday of each month, except June and December. They are free and open to the public. For those who wish to come early, we gather around 5:45 PM for dinner, drinks, and fellowship. The short business meeting starts at 7:00 PM, followed by the guest speaker's presentation.


No in-person events are planned at this time. Check our Facebook page or join our mailing list for information on virtual meetings and online resources.