The Widaagh Monument in Antes Fort

So, what does a forty-five-foot tall, forty-one-ton monument on private land, the Susquehannock Indians, an ex-bank president in Indian dress-up, and a magical place called Lockabar have in common? Well, historian Carl Becker once said it best, "history is an imaginative creation" and that tongue-in-cheek remark never bore more truth than the story of the [...]

2021-03-11T11:02:56-05:00By |Tom 'Tank' Baird|

Hands-on Heritage: Market Square

Hands-on Heritage: Market Square This 1875 photograph shows the southwest corner of Market Square in downtown Williamsport. Bustling with downtown traffic despite the muddy thoroughfares, Williamsport's booming lumber trade summoned entrepreneurs eager to capitalize on the region's wealth and new construction. The block featured a ticket office for the Philadelphia and Erie Railroad Company, a [...]

2019-09-05T13:09:20-05:00By |Robin Van Auken|

Williamsport: Boomtown on the Susquehanna

Williamsport: Boomtown on the Susquehanna (Robin Van Auken and Louis E. Hunsinger, Jr., Arcadia, 2003) This book relates the history of Williamsport, as well as many towns and boroughs of Lycoming County. Williamsport, a struggling frontier village that grew into a town with a taste for success, eventually molded itself into a magnetic and vibrant [...]

2021-03-11T11:27:58-05:00By |History, Robin Van Auken|

Muncy Postcard History Series

Muncy (PA) (Postcard History Series) (Robin Van Auken, Arcadia, 2006) Muncy Postcard History Series by Robin Van Auken examines the small river town of Muncy, Pennsylvania. Founded shortly after the French and Indian War, Muncy was the earliest European settlement in the West Branch Valley of the Susquehanna River. By 1769, land speculator Samuel Wallis [...]

2021-03-11T11:28:46-05:00By |History, Robin Van Auken|

Public Archaeology

Public Archaeology As a historical archaeologist, I work with museums and non-profit organizations, colleges and universities, public and private schools, and avocational archaeology groups. Services I offer include: Field trips Field schools Hands-on heritage programs Historical research, oral histories Ethnographic research and interviews Interpretive exhibit, video development National Register assessments, nominations Testing, data [...]

2018-07-14T15:40:08-05:00By |Robin Van Auken|

Books by Van Auken

"'Play Ball!' is a delightful walk down the storied history of Little League Baseball. For those of us who played the dreams of your youth, it brings back mighty memories. For those of us reluctant adults who still dream, it's a wonderful reminder of what might have been." —John Grisham Play Ball! The Story [...]

2016-11-29T12:24:49-05:00By |Robin Van Auken|

Canfield Island

Canfield Island is a recent addition to the Susquehanna shoreline, having been added during the 19th century during Northcentral Pennsylvania's lumber boom. But, before sawyers toiled in the mill, processing logs into lumber, American Indians called the area home. In fact, for the past 4,000 years or so, people have traveled to the river's edge [...]

2020-09-19T17:29:33-05:00By |Robin Van Auken|

The Heritage Trail

A stroll along the James P. Bressler Heritage Trail on Canfield Island is invigorating and educational. It's also tranquil, this quiet spot along the Susquehanna River's West Branch. The trail is part of Loyalsock Township's Riverfront Park and is dedicated to James P. Bressler. A scholar and educator beloved in his community, Bressler carved a [...]

2019-10-09T16:47:56-05:00By |History|

School Days

School Days: 75th Anniversary Oral History Project Working with Muncy Historical Society and the students (past and present) of Muncy Jr/Sr High School, historian Robin Van Auken created a 30-minute DVD oral history project that features 35 alumni and current student interviews. Historical Society volunteers and Muncy students collaborated on this important [...]

2019-10-09T16:32:50-05:00By |History|

Pennsylvania’s Forests

Pennsylvania Route 554 Pennsylvania’s forests reflect a history of choices — from peaceful coexistence between humans and the forests to the massive harvesting of the forests in the late 1800s. Pennsylvania’s borders encompass 17 million acres of forestland, almost 4 million acres of which are publicly owned. However, more than 12 million acres [...]

2019-10-09T16:48:09-05:00By |History|

Lumber Heritage

The Lumber Heritage Region holds a key to the rich heritage of Pennsylvania’s forests–from the struggles of the pioneers to the cut-and-run practices of the early lumber industry to the conservation efforts that led to the managed forests of today. Woodhicks Pennsylvania’s forests reflect a history of choices — from peaceful coexistence between [...]

2019-10-09T16:48:17-05:00By |History|

Shawn Gardner

Shawn Gardner Artisan Shawn Gardner, of Fair Chase Designs, presents on prehistoric technology and Native American art. This is presentation is suitable for people of all ages, including families and school-aged children. Gardner lives in Montoursville, often presents programs to people who visit his teepee on school field trips. He also offers seminars [...]

2019-10-09T16:48:33-05:00By |Archaeology, History|

Barbara Barnes

Barbara Barnes' art vessels reflect a keen appreciation for nature in shapes and colors. She uses interactive glazes, often firing multiple times until she gets the results that mimic the hues of earth, flora, fire and water combined. She is an avid gardener and often wanders her gardens and woods for inspiration. Barbara Barnes [...]

2019-10-09T16:48:49-05:00By |History|

Joy McCracken

Joy McCracken Joy McCracken is a spinning and weaving expert. McCracken demonstrates the craft of creating fabric from animal hair to students. One of her specialties is drop spindle spinning, an early technique for making yarn without a spinning wheel. When she heard how the women of Bolivia used drop spindles as they [...]

2019-10-09T16:34:12-05:00By |History|
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