DUANE WALTER & ADELE COTTRELL, co-founders of Tri-State Dowsers remember the beginnings of the organization differently.  Adele recalls that she and Duane took a field trip to a New Harmony, Indiana cemetery.  The religious beliefs of those interred in the cemetery required that their graves be unmarked.  Locating the graves was a perfect exercise for the
two dowsers.  Adele says as a result of that outing, she and Duane discussed the possibility of forming a local organization dedicated to dowsing.  Duane's version of the group's founding starts with Phyllis Bailey inviting him and Adele to present information on dowsing to the Reiki practioners group that was meeting at Deaconess Hospital in Evansville, Indiana. 
Duane says the meeting attendees were intrigued by the correlation between dowsing's subtle energies and those of their healing modality.  The member's fascination with the connection led in 1998 to the formation of a local chapter of the American Society of Dowsers (ASD).

Since prospective members hailed from the Evansville metropolitan area, which included parts of Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois, the name Tri-State Dowsers was chosen for the local chapter. Charter members included Duane Walter, Adele Cottrell, Phyllis Bailey, Oscar Welde (now deceased, but then a survivor of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor), Darryl Periard, Freda Holder, Allen Woehler, Charles Payne and Michael Payne.

The ASD trustees signing the charter on August 3, 1998, included Walter Woods, then ASD president. Woods is renowned among U.S. dowsing devotees for writing the “bible” on pendulum usage, in his Letter to Robin : A mini-course in pendulum dowsing

Thanks to Mary Beth Davis, then head of Deaconess Hospital’s Wellness Center, the Tri-State Dowsers chapter held its meetings for many years in the center. As membership swelled, the group outgrew that space and had to move to larger accommodations. At first the dowsers convened at Evansville Central Library. Nowadays, the group gets together at the Newburgh Central Library. Monthly meetings include programs, sometimes featuring guest speakers. Other group activities include occasional field trips involved in all aspects of dowsing, from graveyards to water sites. Members’ tools today
include more than L-rods, running the gamut from pendulums through dip needles, aurameters, bobbers, and specialized equipment such as GPS meters.

Adele turned 100 last year, 2015.  Duane is the only charter member that is still active in the group.  Duane gives his “The Dowser’s Toolbox” presentation to the group every few years. Duane, truly a master dowser whose work has been documented in a number of news articles and a TV program, utilizes his presentations to familiarize newer dowsers with
the dowsing tools currently in use. Duane has also led numerous dowsing field trips for the local chapter, including locating unmarked former building sites at the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial.

Phyllis Bailey led the Tri-State Dowsers for many years, until her illness and subsequent death ended that association. Jana and Jim Havener then took over the reins of leadership. After serving the organization in that capacity for a lengthy period, the Haveners passed those duties to Suzie Coburn. Sharon Dittmar served as president for a term of two years.  Our current President is Mary BuchananBarb Marchand, who served as the group’s secretary/treasurer for most of its existence, has now relinquished those responsibilities.  Barb Marchand and John Miller remain among the longest-attending members of the dowsing organization.

Caroline Nellis is author of this report and a TSD Member concerned about presenting and preserving the history of the Tri-State Dowsers.