'A lifetime collection': Native American artifacts, other collectibles to be auctioned off in Medora

·2 min read

Jul. 8—DICKINSON — For the past 60 years, Steve Yost has been collecting Native American artifacts and has 230 frames showcasing various arrowheads, beads to bone working tools. Among his collection, Yost also has antique kerosene lamps, original oil paintings and hundreds of Native American and western history books and more.

Despite building on his collection for most of his lifetime, Yost is putting it up for auction on 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 junior high. Originally from Ohio, Yost said that the items of his collection came from all over, including his home state, the Midwest and Upper Great Plains. At 79 years old, he noted that it's a "lifetime collection."

"It's amazing to me that they can do some of the fine work they did just by hand with other stones and pieces of antler," Yost remarked. "They did all this by hand and... some of the pieces are just unbelievable that somebody could just do that and repeat it over and over again. I (was) just fascinated with 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.

Though it wasn't an easy decision to make, Yost said that he hopes that the auctioned items will go to people who will appreciate and cherish the history. He added that he's keeping one of his favorite frames.

"It doesn't feel good," he said, looking at his collection of frames. "I'll miss them. I enjoy... sitting and looking at them."

From Lakota, Sioux to Mound Builders, or pre-Columbian cultures, his collection of artifacts dates back to 6,000 to 9,000 years old.

"So there's some pretty good stuff in here," he said. "... There's a lot of counterfeiters around and you have to be very careful in 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 couple of weeks and take it out and wipe it off. And it looks like it's 5,000 years old. There's none of that in here. What I found, I personally found and what I didn't find, I bought from legitimate auction houses and all that stuff was vetted before they even brought it up for sale."

The auction is set for 9:30 a.m. MST. For more information, call 701-290-4192.