Saturday, April 15, 2017

“2016 Excavations at the DeSisti Site (36BR20)” Presented at Society of Pennsylvania Archaeology Meeting by SRAC's Board Members

(WAVERLY, NY) The Susquehanna River Archaeological Center (SRAC) located at 345 Broad Street in Waverly, NY is very pleased to announce the first formal professional presentation of the results of the 2016 SRAC DeSisti Site Excavations at the 2017 The Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology (SPA) 88th Annual Meeting recently.  SRAC’s board members Dan Caister and Dr. DeeAnne Wymer presented the research poster “2016 Excavations at the DeSisti Site (36BR20)” (authored by SRAC’s Dan Caister, DeeAnne Wymer, Tom Vallilee, and Don Hunt) to the combined avocational and professional archaeology association on Saturday, April 8 in Harrisburg.  This annual meeting is the most important state-wide event that brings together members of the SPA (both avocational and professional archaeologists) and is combined as well with the annual meeting for the professional archaeologists’ Pennsylvania Archaeology Council (PAC).  The event took place over Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning and consisted of a series of formal presentations by individuals, research posters in the book room on Saturday, primitive games contests, and a Saturday evening banquet with guest lecture highlighting the meeting.

Somewhere around 30 presentations were given and subjects ranged from historic sites, application of new remote sensing technologies, battlefield archaeology, rockshelter materials, Paleoindian sites, to early Susquehannock language studies. The conference was hosted by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (state museum) and representatives from the state museum, PennDot, ‘contract archaeology’ firms, many different colleges and universities, and various SPA chapters were present.  This was a warm and welcoming group and little attention was paid to the “line” between professional and avocational – but simply included individuals passionate about their archaeology and historic resources and the story of their regions.

The SRAC research poster summarized and visually presented the overall excavation methods, the pit features we uncovered and documented, and a nice summation of the number and type of artifacts that were discovered during the excavations.  This was also the first opportunity to reveal our radiocarbon dates to a larger, and quite interested, audience.  In addition, Dan also brought to the conference several of the very nice larger decorated pottery rim sherds and stone specimens to display on our poster table and it was informative and great fun to listen to a goodly number of archaeologists trying to figure out exactly what pottery type and period our specimens represented.  “It was very gratifying to hear people with years of experience in Pennsylvania archaeology making suggestions for continuing our research and offering to provide technical support,” Caister said.  The original research poster can be viewed at SRAC and we must once again note that none of this could have been possible without the generosity of the DeSisti family and our many volunteers.

SRAC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the education, research and preservation of the Native American studies in the region along the northern branch of the Susquehanna River and has many artifacts discovered from the first year excavation work at the Desisti site on display in their museum which is free to visit Tuesdays through Fridays 1-5pm and Saturdays 11-4pm.

Friday, March 10, 2017

SRAC Tag Sale March 25th and 26th

PLEASE SHARE! SRAC's fundraiser tag sale and auction is set for Saturday March 25th and Sunday March 26th. We are still taking donations for this fundraiser of anything from garage items to kitchenware and gently used furniture as well. You can drop off items at SRAC Tuesdays - Fridays 1-5, and Saturdays 11-4 Or you can call me for a pick up. 607-727-3111 100% of your donated item's sale goes directly to SRAC. I want to thank you for for whatever you can do to help.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

SRAC Seeks Donations for Fundraiser Tag Sale and Auction

SRAC Seeks Donations for Fundraiser Tag Sale and Auction
Saturday and Sunday, March 25th and 26th
At SRAC, 345 Broad Street Waverly, NY


The Susquehanna River Archaeological Center(SRAC) will host a fundraiser on March 25th and 26th which will include a tag sale and auction on items that have been added to the sale by the Crooked River Co-op members or donated to SRAC to raise funds. The event is created in conjunction with the Crooked River Co-op, where 100% of every item donated to SRAC goes back to the Center all year round. The event was created to allow the Co-op and SRAC to have a "Clearance Sale" event that will be more centered on benefiting SRAC by not only selling SRAC items, but  Co-op members have also agreed to donate a percentage of their sales back to SRAC.

**We will pick up items for the sale!  Just let us know if you need a pick up - otherwise bring to to SRAC during normal business hours(Tues -Friday 1-5 or Saturdays 11-4) - a call beforehand is appreciated!

On Saturday March 25th from 9-1 we will be having a tag sale where items will be tagged for sale

Starting at 2pm, Henry Evans will auction off items left in the sale and additional items we bring in specifically for the auction

On Sunday, we will have a "Fill a Flat for Five Bucks" AND NO REASONABLE OFFER WILL BE IGNORED

Stay tuned for announcements to come!

I want to thank all of you who support our Center and hope that you can find something to add to our fundraiser and plan to attend the event and get some great items as well!

Call me, Deb Twigg at 607-727-3111 or message me here for any questions you might have!

Monday, January 23, 2017

SRAC Grieves as Chairman and CoFounder Ted Keir Passes Away

In 2005, a few citizens of the region dedicated to the preservation of the Native American past of our region came together and formed what we called the Susquehanna River Archaeological Center (SRAC). One of the most important people to be a part of that group was Mr. Ted Keir.

A few years prior to this I had begun researching Spanish Hill and during that work had met up with Ted Keir. Ted was known as the steward of so much knowledge of our region's history, geology, wildlife and archaeology. If you wanted to know anything about any of those topics, Ted was not only your guy, but he would also be the generous soul who would be happy to share it with your club, school, or any other group that wanted to know about it.

And so it was that I, like so many, ended up at Ted's house, and was invited into his "museum" he had in his cellar. I remember the awe I felt as I walked down those steps that first time, not only because I was welcomed into this special place with ancient artifacts placed in a mixture of lit cases, boxes and shelves, but that I was going to have a "special" tour from the master of this knowledge. That's how Ted made me feel from the first day that I met him...special. I mean there I was in awe of this guy who was an icon in our community - and HE made ME feel special.... and as I got to know him and see him with others, I knew that was his special God given gift... He just knew how to make you feel like what he was teaching you was a special gift, and that once he had gifted it to you, you were somehow better for it, and would hunger for more and more...

As I got to know Ted - I realized that all that he touched with his special gift of knowledge also gained a greater expectation of themselves. Ted was a gentleman and a prideful man, and being in his presence made everybody including myself stand a little straighter and think a little harder than we did before the day that we met him... Even as I speak to others about Ted today, there is a reverence and respect for him and our memories that we share about him.

On our many trips through Bradford, Chemung, Tioga, and Broome Counties and beyond to meetings and presentations Ted shared with me all about his life, his family, his beliefs, his dreams and especially that his favorite ice cream was strawberry, and as the years passed not only did I respect him more and more, I LOVED him more and more...

Ted was in title SRAC's Chairman of the Board, but there are no words to express who he was and forever will be to all of us that have sat with him as we planned out SRAC's mission and vision for our community.

As we bought our building, and began to renovate and eventually moved his museum into the new SRAC museum that we had created, I was so proud to give him his new space where the whole community to could not only enjoy his collection with all the others that we have, but that he could share his special gift with them.  And the 4th graders that came for field trips made it clear year after year that Ted was a special icon of knowledge to them and their teachers... I can just hear his voice speaking above them to remind them about a specific point that he wanted to make sure that they would not forget after they left.."Children you must remember, ....." And then there was "Tuesdays with Ted" at SRAC where he gave tours from 1-5 week after week for years. He opened the cases and would tell his stories about how he found the artifacts as people held them, and would spend whole afternoons with just one family often. My favorite was always how he found 1/2 of a spearhead one year and the other half the next...still amazing!

And then there came the time that we knew that Ted needed SRAC as much we needed him...

To those on the outside, it might have seemed like Ted worked too hard, stayed to long, and should have stopped working at SRAC years before he did, but WE knew, it was important for him to have SRAC as he began to get weaker and his memory started to fail... we knew it was what Ted wanted... he wanted to keep going, and he did as long as he could, and then we accepted that Ted could no come during the week. So then we brought him to US when we could... I am so happy that we got him out to our first SRAC excavation this summer - it was the highlight for many of us and I am sure it meant the world to him.

I talked with Ted just a few weeks ago on the phone and we talked for a long time, and I really thought he was doing pretty good, talking about specific sites, specific things, like the old days....and them I got the call from Evelyn his wife yesterday and I knew as soon as I heard her voice that my dear dear friend, my father in many ways, had left us. And my heart broke.

It will be a long time before this Valley sees another person the likes of Mr. Ted Keir folks. He will always be to me the smartest, kindest, strongest, gentleman that I have ever had the chance to have in my life, and will forever be an icon and a mountain of knowledge to strive toward.

We at SRAC will carry his torch and his dream forward, for our children, for our community, and most importantly, FOR HIM.

Thank you Ted Keir for being my mentor, my friend, and my guide for how I can be a smarter, kinder, stronger person. You will be missed more than you will ever know. Rest in Peace my dear friend.

SRAC sends out our deepest sympathies and condolences to Evelyn, Deb, Jerry and the  rest of the family during this moment of great loss.

Services for Ted will be held at the Athens Methodist Church at 118 South Main Street Athens on Saturday, January 28th at 11am. SRAC members are asked to meet with us at 10:45 if you want to enter with us together as a salute to our Chairman of the Board one last time. Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

SRAC holiday schedule

SRAC will be closed today and Thanksgiving day. we will reopen 1-5 on Friday. Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

"John Adams: The Overlooked Founding Father" to be presented at SRAC Tuesday, November 1st

John Adams: The Overlooked Founding Father

“John Adams: The Overlooked Founding Father” will be presented by Michael Sisto at the Susquehanna River Archaeological Center at 345 Broad Street in Waverly, NY on Tuesday November 1st from 6:30-7:30pm.

"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence" — John Adams

When someone mentions the term “Founding Fathers”, some notable names come to mind: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, Paul Revere, John Hancock, Samuel Adams and Alexander Hamilton. We think of these people because this is what we have been taught, these are the “heroes” of the American Revolution. However, there is a KEY member of the “Founding Fathers” that is usually over looked. There are no memorials on the National Mall for him, he is not on our currency, and although there are many stories about him, they are not mentioned in school, except in higher education; this man is John Adams.

Michael Sisto is a SRAC Board Member and has recently secured a position with the Roberson Museum and Science Center.  He received his Bachelor of Arts in History from Mansfield University and earned his Master of Arts in Museum Studies from John’s Hopkins University.  Michael’s focus is presidential history, specializing in the founding fathers and Abraham Lincoln.

Museum opens at 6pm with admission donations of $4 for SRAC members and $5 for general public accepted at the door.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Thanks for making Drumbeats Through Time 2016 the Best Yet!

If you missed it, here is the presentation by Dan Caister and Dr. DeeAnne Wymer on SRAC's excavation at the Desisti site this year!

here is the link: