Thursday, February 28, 2008

Updates and Workshop Plans for 3/1/2008!

People stop me quite frequently these days and tell me how amazed they are at all we are accomplishing so fast at our new home at 345 Broad Street in Waverly, NY...They say things like, "I am amazed that every time I drive past your building there are people working!" or "I've been reading your blog and I can't believe how much you guys have done in such a short time!" and to be totally honest with all of you - I pretty much respond to each thing that has been said about SRAC's new home and all of the work, money and services that have been donated in the past few months the same way every time...

"I can't believe it either!"

Want to see it for yourself? Stop by this Saturday between 10 am and 2pm at 345 Broad Street, Waverly NY!

As of today, the rest of the tin ceiling has been repaired, primed, and painted! As some of you may recall, just a couple of weeks ago, Tom and the gang replaced the tin on the ceiling by taking some off the ceiling in the back storage area and matching it up:

Here was Mike Sanders right about at the same place shown above at about 11 o'clock this morning:

Here are some more shots as he was painting the ceiling and his wife Jeri pushed him around on the scaffold all day!

What's next?
  • The gift shop /visitor center carpet will be layed in the next week and artista and vendors are coming in to drop off items starting March 8th. There will be paintings, sculptures, jewelry, and even whole sections of books and kids items! Here is our good friend Sue Hakes, who is actually doing some special (pencil drawing) artwork specifically to be sold in our gift shop!
  • Electrical wiring needs to be finished in the next week in the new wall and be inspected before the dry wall can be put up on the lecture space and museum side.
  • Mike and Jeri Sanders will tape, spackle and paint the new wall and add trim in the lecture and museum space.
  • The lecture space and museum floor will be patched and painted as we await the results of yet another grant request for commercial carpet for that area.
  • Two coed restrooms will be installed (in the bottom picture above to the right on the wall facing you) in the last 2 weeks before we open our doors.
Workshop Plans for 3/1/2008
  1. We will need volunteers to help us move everything out of the gift shop area to allow us to get ready for the carpet to be laid.
  2. We need someone to sweep up the gift shop area space and to wash the windows.
  3. We need people to help us tear down the pink insulation on the back windows and help get the clear plastic put up in it's place.
  4. We need help patching the front area floors with filler before it can be carpeted.
  5. We need help patching the back area floors with filler before it can be painted.
  6. We need people to share our bad jokes, good cheer and enthusiasm with !
If any of these sound like something you would be interested in doing with us this Saturday between 10 am and 2pm - - stop by 345 Broad Street, Waverly NY!

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

2/23 Workshop Results - Countdown to Blast Off!

As of this weekend, we have entered the Countdown to Blast Off!

This workshop was dedicated to clearing the main floor area to allow the painters (Mike and Jeri Sanders) to be able to move the scaffold easily around our floor and finish the repairs on the tin ceiling before they paint it on Wednesday.

In the meantime, Tom and his crew will be checking off what we laughingly call his "honey - do " list. Hopefully Tom and the gang can finish those items in the next two weeks. These items include finishing the back part of the wall they built between the gift shop and the lecture and museum area, which will include yet more wiring and dry walling, etc. Tom and the guys also will be finishing up a few of the other wall areas before we can apply the final paint job.

By the first week in March - we plan to have our gift shop ready to start adding inventory, and our security system and cameras have already been set and working just great!

By the second week in March, the Gift Shop may even be open a few hours a day just to get our volunteers' feet under them and to make them feel comfortable before we open from 1-5 pm each day and for events. At this point we will also be heavily involved and concentrating on installing the two coed bathrooms off the gift shop, and adding the doors that will close off the gift shop during the day from the lecture area and museum space unless we want to give the access. This will of course, make the huge space manageable for the volunteers during the day as well because they will only have to worry about the gift shop only.

By the 20th - our plans are to have the bathrooms in and the lecture area set up for the first event from 6:30 - 7:30 that night, which we are proud to announce is Barb Cole from Owego, NY who will be bringing a live animal each and every month and discussing it and wildlife rehab issues.

Workshop results today...
As some of you read earlier this week, we had just received over 200 chairs from the Guthrie Clinic, and those along with the other things we have had on the floor made it near to impossible for us to get into our next phase of work until they were moved from the main floor. So today -
we dedicated the day to that end:



Thanks to our conveyor belt, this was all moved in just a couple of hours up two flights of stairs!


That left us enough time to actually sit down and devour a whole sheet pizza and chat a while:

Also - we had a couple of guests at our table today - our dear friends Barbara Cleveland and Dr. Earl Robinson who filled us in our their efforts with the Lowman Historical Society and the National Registration of the Newtown Battlefield. Many of you may remember Dr. Robinson was the person who ran our Sullivan Campaign bus trip at our last DrumBeats event last October...but I believe the discussion that was taking place when this picture was taken was concerning a dip in the river Ted Keir and I took with him two summers ago....(Let me just say we still can't believe we survived it! And Evelyn - - if you are reading this - - it wasn't my fault!!!!)

I want to thank everyone for coming today and each weekend and sharing this really incredibly exciting time with SRAC. The memories we have made together during this time are just something I know that many of us to feel blessed to have gained in our lives.

Those of us that have spent these long hours together are at a point that we know that we will all look back on this as a time for not only great pride and feeling of accomplishment, but a time when we formed relationships and bonds with one another that only times like these could.

These next four weeks before we open will undoubtedly bring us more stress and work, but we also know we can expect more laughs and memories....

And if you are in need of more good clean fun in your life - join us next weekend...we always have enough fun to go around!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Saturday (2/23) - We're Movin' On Up!

Up the stairs anyway!

Our next workshop is this Saturday from 10am to 2pm.

Well it is unbelievable for me to conceive it but I saw it with my own eyes...Tom Vallilee and Duane Wells (without the E!) picked up and loaded and transported the rest of the 0ver 200 chairs that were donated to us by the Guthrie Clinic today!

Special thanks to the Guthrie Clinic for such a generous donation!

Go ahead and take a look for yourself! (note: each box shown holds 2 chairs and we already had picked up about 80-some chairs last weekend too!)

Now we need to get these and everything else we can up to the second floor and safe and sound while we get the ceiling painted next week, and then repair the floor.

The good news is that we have the conveyor belt to help us with this! Thanks again Dick!

We are counting down to less than a month before we open our doors, and now are into the last phases of these workshops, so if you wanted to brag that you helped us at one of our workshops (and you should if you do!) your time is running out!

( ;

Hope to see this Saturday between 10 am and 2pm !

Saturday, February 16, 2008

February 16 - Seeing Is Believing!

With less than 5 weeks to go before we open our doors - I have to say that for those of you that have doubted us - - Seeing is Believing!

The Gift Shop / Visitor Center painting phase will be finished in the next week, and Mike Sanders just finished priming the new wall at the end of the day:

We are currently contacting vendors and even have items for the gift shop starting to role in. We will have art of all kinds, and not necessarily Native Indian but just "good stuff." From jewelry, photography, and wood carvings, to minerals, kids items, and even candy. The first time you walk in the door, you will know there has been nothing like this around here before!

We are still looking for funding for the flooring but have had a carpet layer and crew donate their services if we buy the carpet and supplies!

As we said - we planned to do A LOT of painting today and we did! Claire Borits painted ALL of the trim around the new walls that Tom and the gang put up where our museum will be:

and it came out beautifully!

Also - Anne Meikle and Inga Welles finished the green display pieces:

Donations - GOING UP! (Literally!)
We were gifted over 200 chairs from the Guthrie Clinic and about 1/3 of them are boxed (2 per box) - Come to find out, they move upstairs quite fast since we have a conveyor belt (thanks to engineer Dick Cowles!)

After today - I think it will be a hard sell to allow the conveyor belt to go to auction!

At about 4:30 today I shot this picture as I was walking around taking the last pictures for the day... There was Ted, Dick and Tom chatting away over the tables of artifacts Ted switches out every week - (and Dick even brought some new ones that he wanted Ted and the gang to see...)

Although our workshops supposedly run from 10 - 2pm, they never do, and while we had 13 people helping today - - I should point out that we have a handful of people like Tom Vallilee, Jack Rowe, Angelo Mazzarese, and the Sanders' EVERY day of the week... And I want to make it known that because of THEM, we will open our doors in less than 5 weeks.

Hats off to all who have given SO MUCH to make what we hope will be a place that the whole community will share and enjoy for generations to come!

Friday, February 15, 2008

March 2008 Events at the SRA Center!

Upcoming Events at the Susquehanna River Archaeological Center
(345 Broad St., Waverly, NY )

For more information about any of these events email us at, or call 607-565-7960.

3/20/2007 - Wildlife Rehab (monthly event)
6:30 - 7:30 pm
Barb Cole
Wildlife Rehab specialist Barb Cole will bring live animals every month to the SRAC and teach us about them as well as about helping animals in the wild. (gift shop open and refreshments on sale Adults $5, Kids $3)

3/27/2008 - Healthy You Series
6:30 - 7:30 pm
Andrea Seeley - "Eating Out Heathily"
Our Healthy You Series. Each month will be a new speaker and topic and - Free to the public, and dedicated to helping our community make healthier choices. (donations accepted) - gift shop open and refreshments on sale

4/1/2008 Histories Mysteries Series (monthly event)
6:30 - 7:30 pm
Deb Twigg - "The Mystery of Spanish Hill."
Histories Mysteries is a Series we are developing to tell stories about mysterious parts of our local history. Adults $5, Kids $3 (gift shop open and refreshments on sale)

1/4/2008 - Kids Night Out - (First Friday of every month!)
6:00 - 8 pm
Led by Inga Wells, this is a night dedicated to kids and will include games, educational events and workshops, and also allow parents 2 hours on a Friday night to unwind before the weekend! Kids under 13 only -$3,(gift shop open and refreshments on sale)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Saturday Workshop Plans & "Flooring Fund" Formed

This weekend we will be painting, spackling and moving stuff around a bit at the Susquehanna River Archaeological Center located at 345 Broad Street in Waverly, NY, between 10 am and 2pm.

We will need to give the display pieces that we gave the first coat of green one more layer and touch up some spots that didn't cover well...:

By the way - - we will be adding some really neat things besides these items to our gift shop - -such as a few big roots from my hedge line and even a huge chunk of petrified wood from Ted's home, and oh yeah - -antique scientific equipment donated from Friend's Lab!

And we will also need to spackle the wall in the lecture area get that ready for painting.

Tin Ceilings:
Tom Vallilee has been repairing the tin ceiling this week and will be replacing the tin with pieces we were able to get from other areas that will never be missed...Jack Rowe, Duane Wells, and Angelo Mazzarese tore down all the lights on the ceiling we got rid of too...This means we need to spray paint the ceiling once the patching is completed sometime next week....which means we need to clear the floor to be able to do that. So we need help to move things or get them into areas where we can cover them for that big job coming up....we will try to get this moving done during the workshop as well.

Believe it or not, we already repaired the ceiling in the gift shop area and after it was painted, it actually will be beautiful once again!

( ;

The Flooring Saga Continues....
I have three quotes on the flooring to date and Claire Borits and I have been working on a grant request for the back area (lecture hall and museum) flooring but I have come to the point that I guess we will have to pay for the gift shop / visitor center flooring (which is averaging around $2,000 in the estimates I have received) so that we can at least have that area finished before we open our doors in mid-March.

SRAC Flooring Fund
If you would like to donate to the cause, please click the button below to do so with a credit card:

You can also mail donations to SRAC Flooring Fund, PO Box 12, Sayre, PA 18840.

We are also taking any items you might want to donate to sell at auction, our deadline to drop off items off is March 15th.

Thanks for anything you can do towards this cause, and I hope to see you this Saturday between 10 am and 2pm!

( ;

Saturday, February 9, 2008

2/9/2008: Some Great Things to Report!

Our workshop today was one to remember for many reasons....the truth is that we are now getting to the point that we can see a light at the end of the tunnel....well - - the FIRST tunnel anyway!

( ;

First and foremost on my report list is that Dick Cowles FIXED the old conveyor belt that was on our cellar stairway - He actually had to take the motor home and contacted the company (the company built the conveyor in 1951) and get info on the switch - but I actually watched him ride the thing by the end of the day! (it holds up to 350 pounds on the whole 15 foot surface of the belt!) Now - we have it for sale for $300 and will send it to auction on march 15th if we do not have a buyer by then - so spread the word if you know of anyone who may want it. It is aluminum and is easy to move around (has wheels) and will never rust out! Oh - - it also runs forward and reverse! We will deliver within 15 miles for $50 - you can come and see it - just call me at 607-565-3111 and I can set that up for you!

SRAC Auction Items:

For those of you that do not know - SRAC is asking all of you to spring clean a little early and bring us or have us pick up items we can send to auction to raise funds...We have made nearly $2,000 on our first load of furniture, coins, and miscellaneous items we sent to auction a couple of weeks ago and will be having them down to pick up another load after March 15th! So please think of us and drop off anything you want to get rid of and I will give you a letter of donation with the prices that your items sold for your tax records. (We are a 501c3 and all donations will most likely be tax deductible for you!)

Next -
I wanted to say that we are getting to the end of the Gift Shop renovation - (complete with three cameras and a security system!) So if you were waiting for us to finish the painting before you donated flooring funds - it is time to give us a call! (YES - I am still looking for that!)

Seriously, Mike and Jeri Sanders are saying they will be done painting the gift shop / visitor center in the next week:

And we "unveiled" some of the leaded windows to see how it all looked:

These windows run all the way down the Park Ave side of our building and we just covered them to save $$ on heating bills this winter... I think you have to agree that they are awesome!

We also moved most of the stuff out of the gift shop area so that we can see what space we have and to start planning is a shot of Gloria Riegel and me talking about the front area shelving, etc...Gloria by the way will be working in and making her gourdes for our gift shop, as well is helping us at our workshops most Saturdays...

Mary VanSchaik and Susan Fogel also finished painting the book rack Ted Keir and Anne Meikle worked on last week and then started working on some display items:

At 1pm - Inga, Gloria, Anne and I sat down and laid out plans for the gift shop inventory both what SRAC will buy to sell and what we will sell on a commission basis. Trust me when I say you will be surprised at the amount of things we will have from kids things to jewelry to incredible artwork....

We are also planning out our hours of operation to begin in March and have decided that for the first few months we will be opening the gift shop/ visitor center from 1-5pm to allow for schools to get tours into our museum, possibly have a presentation, etc in the morning hours.

We are also planning out monthly evening events that will include:
  • "Kid's Night," will be from 6-8pm one Friday a month, and will be $3 for kids 13 and under to come play games, make things, and sometimes have presentations, etc...
  • "History's Mysteries," which will be a series that will run once a month and will cover different mysterious parts of our history and will be geared for people of all ages...
  • "Local History Night," which will be a series of local historians telling different parts of our incredible local history.
  • "Healthy You," will be a night dedicated to living healthier from how we cook to what we eat, to homeopathic and herbal remedies as well as other health care seminars and other informational presentations.
  • "Archaeology Night," which will be a presentation followed by time for local collectors and professionals to bring in and share info about a certain topic or artifact type that is locally significant.
  • "Wildlife Rehab Series," as you know this has already been scheduled to begin on March 20, from 6:30 - 7:30 pm. Adults $5 Children $3
We also plan to have some events such as Trivia contests, a Badge Night for scouts to earn badges on various topics, art and craft fairs; as well as other things that we will open our lecture workshop for, sporadically throughout the year.

Stay tuned for announcements of the dates and times, etc...

In the Meantime -
We have alot more going on to get the place up and ready to go...we thank you for any support that you can give us!

Tom Vallilee has been working like crazy to keep things moving and our next phases are to finish the wall that they just put up yesterday, get the old lighting fixtures off the back ceiling area so that we can repair some of the tin that needs replacing before we can get that is Tom just today taking tin from the back room ceiling to replace areas that need fixing:

We also have to get the two bathrooms in out front, and oh yeah - -

Did I tell you we still need help affording new flooring?????

( ;

Stop in any Saturday from 10 am t0 2pm to be a part of these incredible first days of a place we hope that the whole community will be better off for having...and hey - people are always stopping in because we are just fun to be around anyway!

Lon Kuterick, Ted Keir and Dick Cowles chatting today.

We finished the day with Susan Fogel bringing us a special gift from her daughter Katie...As most of you know, our birdstone that we use on our Journal and our magnets, etc is actually an image of a special artifact that was found in the Shepard Hills Country Club almost 100 years ago when they were digging up a sand trap....The birdstone was owned by Ellsworth Cowles, SRAC's Dick Cowles's dad. Unfortunately, Ellsworth fell on hard times and sold it - - and it has become our way of saying what SRAC stands for, about never selling the artifacts...because they are evidence...

Well - Katie Fogel is a sculptor and took some movie footage of Ellsworth holding and rotating the birdstone in his hands and the picture we use in our branding efforts and - - MADE a copy in resin for us to have molded and reproduced with the SRAC logo on them.

Katie - I don't know if you know how much we appreciate the work you did on this piece to make it available to our community to have and share with everyone who visits our center....but maybe this picture of Dick's face can give you an idea until then...

Thursday, February 7, 2008

SRAC Updates and Workshop Plans!

This Saturday we have tons of painting, moving and cleaning on the schedule for our Center at 345 Broad Street in Waverly, NY between 10 and 2 this Saturday (Feb 9.)

We are in the last stages of the renovations for the gift shop / visitor center (less the flooring (hmph!) still of course)...but Tom, Jack, Angelo, and Duane have been working like the devil getting the wall finally up and when I left there tonight at 6pm, Jeri and Mike were getting ready to tape and spackle the dry wall already so that we can put the first coat of primer on it at the workshop Saturday - -

Both of these pictures are looking from the gift shop back....the back of the wall is still not dry walled, but trust me - - it will be up there by the time you get there Saturday if I know Tom!

Even though we cannot afford what we had hoped to fund through the Mildred Faulkner Truman Foundation, we are able to put in one men's and one ladies' restroom up front as well, and those will go in thanks to the timely donation from the Safford family. The restrooms will be placed to the left of the doorway you see as we are facing it, and be enough to meet code at least and facilitate our meetings and lectures, etc...These will be built as soon as they finish the wall you see here...

I cannot tell you how exciting it is to have friends in there working everyday and then when I go in there after work each night to be able to see just how much has been accomplished every day of the week!

That reminds me that I also wanted to thank Angelo's sister Irma Mazzarece for giving us a scaffold to use as many of you know how high our tin ceilings are! Thanks Irma!

Just today a good friend of mine wrote and said that SRAC seems to be moving mountains...and I have to agree. We have a GREAT bunch of people who believe in what we are doing for the local collections, for the local history and for the local communities...It truly is inspirational.

Our "Stone Soup" has become an incredible stew that I am still in awe of as it continues to have more things added to the "community pot." I feel blessed to be able to be a part of a community that knows what"community" means....and as you are reading this now - -I invite you to come over to 345 Broad Street in Waverly between 10 and 2 this Saturday (Feb 9) and get a good serving of all the positiveness, excitement, and fun we stir up every weekend...

But be forewarned, it can be addicting!

( ;


Tuesday, February 5, 2008

SRAC Receives 2nd Large Donation from the Safford Family

Bernard Safford and his wife Mary walked the river flats as many have in our area in search of Native Indian artifacts since childhood. As a result, their family home was a museum in itself when he passed away a few years ago.

In 2006, his daughter Nancy Arcesi made a call to the Susquehanna River Archaeological Center (SRAC) and asked us to preserve Bernard's collection and to use it to educate the children in our communities, and that is what we've done. Since then Bernard's collection has been displayed in local elementary schools and at events from as far away as Binghamton to Corning, NY.

On February 4th, SRAC received yet another generous gift from the Safford family; a check for $5,000.

The money will be partially used for ongoing renovations to SRAC's new building, located at 345 Broad Street in Waverly, NY; and it has come at a time when the funding was needed in order for SRAC to be able to have certain renovations completed when they open their doors by mid-March as planned.

We at SRAC consider ourselves stewards of our region's archaeological evidence; and for that reason, the fact that the Safford family entrusted us with their family's collection over a year and a half ago and continue to express their happiness with our organization and how we are doing things is quite a powerful statement for us.

To learn more about donating to SRAC - click here.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

SRAC Presents Wildlife Rehab with Barb Cole!

SRAC is proud to announce a Wildlife Rehab Series presented by NYS licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator, Barb Cole. The series which will include live animals will be held every month at SRAC at 245 Broad Street, Waverly NY from 6:30 - 7:30pm.

Barb has been Class 2 licensed by the DEC and U.S. Fish and Wildlife since 1984. She has also served on the board for the NYSWRC as well as presided as President for 6 years.

The Wildlife Rehab Series will include many topics throughout the year to include discussions on owls, and other large birds, porcupines, deer, reptiles, bats, water fowl, garden birds and more!

March 20th - "Overview of Wildlife Rehab"
Join SRAC for a night with NYS licensed wildlife Rebilitator, Barb Cole as she brings live wildlife to assist her in presenting the basic overview of wildlife rehabilitation, how to tell if an animal needs help or doesn't and what to do until you can get licensed rehabilitation assistance.

Click here to download a flier for the presentation.

Doors will open at 6pm and admission will be $3 for children under 18, $4 for adults and $3 for SRAC members. Refreshments will be available.

What You Are Missing!

Every week our workshops are more and more successful, and I wanted to share all the fun we had and all of the things that we accomplished at our Feb 2nd workshop!

Mike and Jeri Sanders, our professional painters that Dr. Barry Skiest is paying the cost for, are now working on the details of the visitor center/gift shop area.

Meanwhile, Marty Borko, Anne Meikle, Susan Fogel, and I worked to get the first coat of paint on the new walls we made along our east wall:

Meanwhile Ted Keir was cleaning up an old magazine rack we found in the basement:

Anne Meikle later primed it all to get it ready to paint next weekend!

At the back of the building, Dick Cowles and Jack Andrus worked on the old conveyor belt that we want to get ready to send to auction in our next shipment for Bostwick's Auction. Please remember to look through your garage and attics when you get a chance and let us know if you have anything to donate to us for auction to raise cash!

And Tom Valillee worked out in the back room area where we are trying to figure out if we can save the ceiling or not:

Also - Jack Rowe and Angelo Mazzarene spent the day removing metal stuff from the cellar that can go to the scrap yard.

Other stuff:
In the afternoon - Sharon Franklin and Brian Denlinger came to have a meeting concerning another fundraiser we are planning, Jessica Quinn and Susan Fogel met with Gloria Reigal to discuss plans for items, pricing etc in the gift shop, and artist sculptor Dave Ackerman came in to discuss adding his artwork to our gift shop, making molds for some of our artifacts, and even possibly painting a mural for us....

At the end of the day - we have all of the remaining walls on the west side primed and ready to paint:

And our East (new) walls have their first coat of paint: The pink insulation comes down once it gets warmer to reveal beautiful lead glass windows!)

We have also had Naasco Flooring in to measure and see if they have anything they can do to get our gift shop area covered for us, so cross your fingers on that one!

But that doesn't mean we didn't spend alot of time sharing ideas and thoughts and excitement about what we are creating to fulfill our mission as well as to enhance our community!

If you are not a part of all of this -- you are really missing out on a really exciting part chapter of our local history we are creating right now at 345 Broad Street, Waverly - Stop in to see what all the excitement is all about any Saturday from 10 am to 2pm - or consider supporting us by joining or donating to SRAC today!

Our next workshop will be this Saturday coming up February 9th at 345 Broad Street in Waverly, NY from 10am to 2pm.

YES! We Plan to Open Our Doors in March!
Yes - we will open our doors in March and have some events as well as have our gift shop visitor center open!

If you are an artist that makes natural/cultural items or artwork please contact me so that we can discuss how to get your items in our gift shop! Your art does not have to be Native Indian to be in our gift shops or events!

We will also be having our first of many fairs where vendors and artists can display and sell their work for a day sometime in march, we are working on that date right now - - again just contact me to be a part!

Stay tuned for SRAC events being announced for March soon!

Our Official Grand Opening however will be later in the summer so that we can facilitate having dancers, etc outside as well as inside!