Archaeological site discovered on Lake LaVerne

Alex Connor

One bullet, then two, then three, then a hand full had one ISU alumnus researching what he had found on Iowa State’s campus.

Last summer, Benjamin Worrell, then a senior in civil engineering and now an ISU alumnus, discovered a piece of Iowa State history that had been lost for nearly 100 years.

While metal detecting on the south side of Lake Laverne, Worrell discovered a bullet, and then another bullet, and then another.

“I [then] had a couple handfuls of bullets by the time I was done that day and I thought that was kind of strange, so I kind of did some more research on bullet types and figured they were fairly old,” said Worrell.

Worrell dug through old military inspection records, photos and anything else that might have pertained to the bullets he found.

Eventually, he concluded that the site was most likely used for target practice and a place for students to get used to shooting the guns before going to war.

Then, with an okay from the Office of the State Archaeologist (OSA) and Iowa State, Worrell moved on to register his findings as an official archeological site.

The regristration can be done through the OSA, and according to Worrell, even though it was new to him, was not as hard as it may seem.

The south side of Lake LaVerne is now a registered archeological site through the OSA.

And at the end of the day, Worrell said that he was happy to have added a little piece to Iowa State history.