Sunday, July 20, 2008



Chuck Lucy, in stature, a small man but huge in wisdom and generosity. He grew up in the Susquehanna River Valley in Bradford County. He graduated from Athens High School and attended Cornell University for three years where he played in the big red band. World War II was underway and he tried to enlist, but they told him he didn't weigh enough. This is understandable if you knew Chuck.

He then took a job in tool inspection at the Ingersoll Rand Pneumatic Tool Plant in Athens, where he worked for a number of years. He and his wife Elizabeth (Liz) raised five children and she went along with her husband's hobby. I remember seeing her with a trowel and brush working with Chuck on some interesting excavations.

I often walked with Chuck on our favorite sites following stream flooding and plowed farm fields. We shared each other's knowledge of projectile points associated with local native American cultures.

Chuck took a special interest in local clay pottery. He was considered an expert by the professionals, identifying several dozen tribes or clans by the tempering used and the pot's rim decorations found on various excavation sites. John Witthoft, considered Pennsylvania's most knowledgeable archaeologist, became Chuck's mentor, especially on ceramics and he visited the Lucy home a number of times and in 1948, asked Chuck to become his assistant. Chuck declined because the pay was so low.

Lucy was very active in the Andastes #5 chapter of the Society of Pennsylvania Archaeology, and he worked closely with the Pennsylvania Historical Museum Commission, recording a number of sites in both states. He also held active membership in the New York State Archaeology Association and the Eastern States Archaeology Federation.

Some of the sites Lucy and I worked together on were: Kennedy site at Tioga Point; Pepper Farm at LeRoy; Point Farm, between the Chemung a n d Su s q u e h a n n a Ri v e r s ; Cowenesque Dam, Tioga County; Canoe Camp, Mansfield, Tioga County; Blackman site, Hornbrook; Scrivens site and State Aggregates Mallory Run site in Sheshequin.

Lucy worked on a number of other sites: Wilson site, East Towanda Fairgrounds with Catherine McCann; Ellis Creek site, Tioga County, NY; Abbe-Brennan site, S. Main St. Athens; Schoonover and Nagle sites in Sheshequin and the Murray Farm site in West Athens.

Lucy had a number of his archaeology works published: The Owasco Culture, 1959, 1991; Tioga Point, 1950, 1952 and 1991a; Lucy and Vanderpoel, 1979; Brule and Spanish Hill, Lucy and McCracken, 1985; Friedenshutten, A Multicomponent site, near Wyalusing, Lucy and Keir, 2002.

Chuck Lucy passed away on June 29, 2003 at the age of 81. His wife Liz lived only 40 days after Chuck's death. They meant so much to each other, I said she died of a broken heart.

The Tioga Point Museum in Athens has some of Chuck's artifacts and he left them an excellent display of local pottery and projectile points, individually identified. A number of things went to the state museum in Harrisburg including a tremendous book collection. Sad but true, if we had organized SRAC a few years earlier; perhaps we would now have a number of collections for display to help preserve our local history.

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