Monday, March 29, 2010

Unveiling of the Woolly Mammoth Exhibit This Saturday!

The finishing touches are being applied to the SRAC woolly mammoth exhibit that includes two murals, movie kiosk, 3D landscapes and a woolly mammoth ten foot tusk, jaw and teeth that were excavated at Spring Lake, near Wyalusing, PA in 1983. The exhibit is the result of months of work by several artists, carpenters, and volunteers and is set to be unveiled this Saturday, April 3rd during an event that will run from 5-9pm.

The exhibit is based upon an excavation that occurred in 1983, in Asylum Township, Bradford County, PA near Wyalusing, when a worker was using a drag line that scooped up and moved the mud in a large bucket to clear an area at Walter and Jane Newton's Spring Lake. One of those scoops when emptied, dropped out a 30 - pound jaw of a Jefferson Woolly mammoth. This discovery excited the local archaeological Chapters and soon Carnegie Museum was heading up an excavation that would later be dubbed the most important excavation in Pennsylvania history.

During the summer and early fall of 1983, volunteers, professionals and local archaeological chapters worked side by side and uncovered many parts of the skeleton - but only bits and pieces of a broken tusk. It wasn't until they were ready to close the excavation that the other tusk would be found - in perfect shape and ten foot in length.

This past fall, the Allen Pierce Foundation donated $5,000 to the Andaste Chapter of PA Archaeology to get perfect replicas made by Carnegie Museum from the original jaw and tusk of the Jefferson woolly mammoth excavated at Spring Lake in 1983 to be on display at SRAC for generations to come. The tusk and jaw will be part of a huge exhibit dedicated to the archaeological chapter and others who were a part of that dig as well as to educate our community about the woolly mammoths and what life was like in our region 12- 15 thousand years ago.

The unveiling ceremony will include a brief opening ceremony that will include Pennsylvania Representative Tina Pickett, President of Andaste Chapter of PA Archaeology Mark Madill, SRAC's Deb Twigg and Ted Keir, and a news reel from the actual excavation in 1983. The unveiling will follow immediately thereafter. The night will also include a photo collage of approximately 200 photos from the actual excavation that will play in the lecture hall throughout the night. The public is invited to attend at any time throughout the event.

SRAC will also be conducting a fund raising raffle on the evening of April 3rd as a part of the grand opening of the new Woolly Mammoth Exhibit. There will be many items to win, and tickets will be available for $1 apiece. Buy as many chances to win as you like! There’s lots to win!

Lambert Chocolatier has donated a $95 milk chocolate Easter Bunny made from the finest chocolate in the region! It weighs nearly 4 pounds and is around 18 inches tall. You can see much more of what Hal and Janet have to offer at They have long been friends of SRAC……who can forget the chocolate arrow points!

SRAC wants to thank our new friends at the Ever After Store for their donation of the HUGE Jellycat Truffle Woolly Mammoth! We discovered the Ever After Store while searching for woolly mammoth toys. They have tons of awesome, high quality, toys and gifts. Check them out at You can also become a fan on their FaceBook page (and you can see all of their great deals!) One lucky person will win our adorable 30” stuffed woolly mammoth………but now you know where you can get one if you don’t win…..;o)

In addition, the raffle will include a handmade baby quilt, an afghan, and various gift baskets including a wine basket, an Italian pasta basket, a welcome Spring gardening basket, a traditional Easter basket chock full of your favorite candy, and many more! Take a chance and support SRAC with your raffle ticket purchases!

Commemorative DVD's will be available at the event that will include the photo collection from the dig, newsreel from 1983, and a short video by Ted Keir about the excavation.

The event is free to attend and the agenda for the night is as follows: 4-5 pm - doors open to lecture hall; 5 - 6:15 - Unveiling of exhibit; 7:30 pm - REPLAY: News Reel from 1983; 8:30pm Raffle winners announced. Ongoing raffles/basket raffles, food and refreshments, & pictures from the 1983 dig playing in lecture hall throughout the night.

SRAC is located at 345 Broad Street in Waverly, NY. To learn more, visit or email

Friday, March 26, 2010

SRAC Exhibit Hall Closed Until Unveiling - and an UPDATE!

At the end of the day today, the SRAC Exhibit Hall will be closed until the Woolly Mammoth Exhibit unveiling on Saturday, April 3rd from 5-9pm. The finishing touches to include painting the floor to resemble walking along a river path and other things that need to have a no traffic area so you'll have to wait until the unveiling event to see the finished product! Trust me when I say that this will be the talk of the Valley!

This past fall, the Allen Pierce Foundation donated $5,000 to the Andaste Chapter of PA Archaeology to get perfect replicas made by Carnegie Museum from the original jaw and tusk of the Jefferson woolly mammoth excavated at Spring Lake in 1983 to be on display at SRAC for generations to come. The tusk and jaw will be part of a huge exhibit dedicated to the archaeological chapter and others who were a part of that dig as well as to educate our community about the woolly mammoths and what life was like in our region 12- 15 thousand years ago.

The exhibit is more than the artifacts themselves however and includes work done by a team of several artists on a massive project that was designed by Brian Denlinger of Denlinger Designs. The team includes muralist, Peter Quiles, construction lead, Tom Vallilee and 3D art specialist, Frank Evans as well as Craig and Rita Maurey of Creative Designs who built the display case that the mammoth remains will be housed in. The exhibit is many months of hard work and community support with most of all the work done by volunteers. I think the community will be amazed at what we have created, as it will allow visitors young and old to feel as if they have walked into the past as the exhibit will come out from the walls with trees, water, and rock ledges...

The unveiling event will begin on Saturday, April 3rd at 5pm with an opening ceremony to include a news reel from 1983 at the actual excavation, special guest, PA Representative Tina Pickett, and others that will lead up to the unveiling at 6pm. The public is invited to visit throughout this free event.

Event Agenda

5 - 6:15 - Opening Ceremony

6:15 - Unveiling of exhibit

- Ongoing raffles/basket raffles, food and refreshments, & pictures from the 1983 dig playing in lecture hall throughout the night. Raffle tickets can be purchased for any item starting at 1pm on Tuesday, March 30th at 1pm and will continue through the unveiling event.Winners need not be present to win.

Items include several incredible raffle baskets as well as this huge 30-inch stuffed woolly mammoth donated to us for this special event by! He sells for $59 regularly and can be yours for just one lucky $1 ticket!

Hal and Janet Lambert also donated a $95 milk chocolate easter bunny made from the finest chocolate in the region! They tell me it is nearly 4 pounds and is around 18 inches tall. Again, raffles begin on Tuesday!

7:30 pm - REPLAY: News Reel from 1983

8:30 pm - Raffle drawing winners announced

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Update on the Woolly Mammoth Exhibit

Those of you that have been following the updates on the exhibit might recall that Tom Vallilee and Don Hunt were finishing up the overhead gridwork that will house the lighting over the murals and the storyboard.

In the meantime Frank Evans finished the trees and is working on the rock facing that will go on the front of our river system in front of all of the murals.

This past Saturday I was really glad to see my nephew Erik Franklin who came in - and got roped into helping me -- I have had a horrible cold with inner ear stuff going on to the point that being on a ladder was just asking for me to fall off...but work needed to be know the way things go...

From noon to 4pm, Erik and Sam Ayers worked to get the blue paper up to cover the gridwork that Tom and Don hung all last week...(Note also the black curtains that Maryann Taylor is sewing to hang from the ceiling all the way around the exhibit!- - )

But WAIT - - that was just SATURDAY!

Enter - our muralist Peter Quilles on Sunday - who made the blue paper continue into the land (and time) of the woolly mammoth...

The next week will include adding the lights and then the storyboard and Maryann will be finishing the curtains around the top...The storyboard will soon go on the top edge of the blue facing into the room and the lights will be hung in the clouds between the mural wall and the storyboard.

The final week will cause us to close the exhibit hall completely until the unveiling as we need to paint the floor and do some other final touches such as put the tusk, jaw and teeth in the case and choose the images to place the case with them from the exhibit, and so much more.

With all of this going on you'd think we'd be going crazy -- - but the truth is that we have a great bunch of talented people who know what needs to be done and will do it. Although we have a time-frame we need to finish in, we have planned and worked long enough together that we feel confident that we will see this through - and that we will all be glad that we were a part of this incredible experience and resulting exhibit that undoubtedly will be the talk of the region for generations to come.

While some would call this work...we call it an experience we will be proud to have been a part of for the rest of our lives.

( ;

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Even MORE Spring Lake Pictures!

This time we are previewing some of the photos that we had made from slides from the archaeologist that ran the excavation at Spring Lake, Dr. Stan Lantz. Special thanks to Stan for sending these great images to Ted just a week or so ago...Here's one of Dr. Lantz with the ten foot tusk ready to be moved. As many of you know this is the same tusk that was the highlight of the whole excavation and will be represented in our exhibit for generations to come.

Remember that ALL of the 200-some photos that we have pulled together from many sources will be on display on the big screen all night at SRAC at the Woolly Mammoth Exhibit Unveiling on April 3rd and dvd's with the collection of photos will be available. At that time we will be unveiling the huge exhibit that includes the Carnegie Museum perfect replicas made from the original ten foot tusk, jaw and teeth from the Jefferson mammoth excavated in 1983 at Spring Lake as well as two murals, kiosk with movies about the dig and our prehistory and so much more. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Easter Bunny Raffle - Buy your Tickets NOW!

As many of you know - the unveiling ceremony for the Woolly Mammoth Exhibit is free to the public. During the event however we will offer some opportunities for anyone who is interested in supporting SRAC with raffles and so on...We have some pretty incredible baskets being made up - and we also have some other items that should really be popular...

In fact right now, we have just opened the raffle on a chocolate 3 1/2 - 4 pound & approximately 18 inch tall milk chocolate Easter bunny shown here beside Janet Lambert in their shop, "Lambert's Chocolatier."

The bunny was donated by Janet and Hal Lambert who are nationally known for their incredible chocolates that are only available at certain times of the year. This bunny is heavy and she tells me it is semi hollow and if they HAD one for sale it would be priced at $95. Instead this is the only one and it will be go to some lucky soul Saturday, April 3rd (the day before Easter!) at the Woolly Mammoth Exhibit Unveiling event between 8 and 9pm.

The good news is that if you are not going to be able to attend, you can still buy raffle tickets and a chance to win between now and the event for $1 per ticket by using the paypal button below:

or by mailing a check for however many tickets you want to:

SRAC Easter Bunny Raffle
PO Box 12
Sayre, PA, 18840

I want to thank Hal and Janet for donating the rabbit that will be at SRAC starting next week but can be seen at Lambert's Chocolatiers in downtown Sayre until then...

Their shop is a magical place at Easter time as well as Christmas and is stocked to the ceilings with chocolates of every kind.

It is amazing to know that the chocolate will actually be sold out usually before the holiday arrives even though they are still making it for a while yet!

They have huge deliveries to NY City and so on as well....

And if you can't have the sugar - - NO WORRIES! They even have platters of sugar free chocolates!

I hope you stop in and see this magical place in downtown Sayre, and when you do - thank Janet for donating such a wonderful item to SRAC to use as a fundraiser.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

More Pictures from the Spring Lake Mammoth Dig!

There are just a few weeks before we will unveil the huge woolly mammoth exhibit and just as a reminder, we are still taking photos from you to have on display during the event! The event will take place on Saturday, April 3rd from 5 - 9pm. Hope you plan to attend!

Dr. Stan Lantz, who ran the dig in 1983 has sent us a bunch of slides that we are currently having scanned and digitalized - and we want to thank him for being so thoughtful! We hope that he and many others from the dig in 1983 plan to attend the event as well!

We are closing in on 200 photos now that will be available the night of the event on dvd as part of the celebration. If you want to add that the collection, just place your name on the back of your photos and mail them (make sure to write your return address on your envelope so that we know who to return them to and where!) to:

SRAC Woolly Mammoth Photos
PO Box 12,
Sayre, PA 18840

Here are are some more of the photos that we have received! Stay tuned for more!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Shots from the Tanglewood Presentation at SRAC

We want to thank Bridgette Sharry and the Tanglewood Nature Center for presenting a wonderful program yesterday at SRAC - the following are images and a video from the Animals on Our River System event!

Thanks to everyone who came - It was a great time had by all!


Kids of every age enjoyed the event!

The hawk was a HIT!


(We ALL got a chance to pet her too!)

Watch here!

The Daily Review did a nice write up here.

Monday, March 8, 2010

SRAC :The River Runs Through It

At the Susquehanna "River" Archaeological Center - the rivers have always been a big deal. The rivers are the reason that our region is so rich with resources and why even 14,000 years ago, it was a great place to live.

That is also the reason that we wrapped the river into the Woolly Mammoth Exhibit set to be unveiled on April 3rd - because without the meeting of the rivers, we would be just like any other region in the northeast...(which many researchers have mistakenly taken us for !)
As a result, it is not by mistake that the next phase of the exhibit is the river and riverbank.

The following pictures are just the beginning of that part of the exhibit that I am very excited about and thought I'd show you how it is coming along:

Someone asked today me if we were taking donations towards the exhibit - the answer is YES! We have financed all but the tusk and jaw that were donated by the Andaste Chapter with the help of the Allen Pierce Foundation - - so we can use all the help we can get!

You can mail donations to:

SRAC Woolly Mammoth Exhibit
PO Box 12
Sayre, PA 18840

or use the following button to donate online:

SRACis a 501(c)3 - and a non-profit organization
This means that appropriate donations to SRAC are tax deductible!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Photos From Today

Today was a busy Sunday at SRAC - - and now that we are counting the weeks until the unveiling - I doubt that there will be a day that it won't be this way - The good news is that we all have become great friends and the exhibit will be an awesome illustration of great talents and minds coming together to create something very special...

Throughout this past week Tom Vallilee with the help of Sam Ayers and Don Hunt has been getting the structure built to support the backlighting and storyboard that will run around the top of the whole exhibit:

I stopped in one day at lunch and shot this picture of Sam sitting on top of the ladder helping Tom:

Today was the next shift of Craig and Rita Maurey, "Big Al" and Brian Denlinger. Craig and Rita are building the case for the tusk and jaw and so on - and in the picture below Brian is watching as they are cutting plexiglass for the case... Brian is the overall designer and coordinator among everyone to keep each separate job all jiving with the overall design we have for the whole exhibit...

Craig and Rita have been working for weeks now on this case and I can tell you that it is an amazing piece of craftsmanship that they have created and is just one example of how we at SRAC continue to be amazed at the talent that we have been blessed to have want to be a part of this Center and its successes.

Before we added the plexi- we decided to place the tusk in the case - - it wasn't long before I had second thoughts about this thought and we took it back did however give me a chance to see how the tusk will fit in the case - and it was perfect...

I want to thank the Maurey's and Big Al and Brian for stopping in and working so hard today ... with less than 30 days left before the unveiling - it is an awesome feeling knowing that Tom and all of you guys have us covered!

As you can see - - these are incredibly exciting times for us - - and although we will all need a long vacation after it is all finished, the excitement and fun continues as we keep working to make our unveiling date of April 3rd.

Oh - - by the way - EVERYONE that I named in this post are VOLUNTEERS. When you see them - give them a pat on the back for us!

( ;


Saturday, March 6, 2010

LIVE ANIMAL SHOW - Saturday, March 13th

Saturday, March 13th from 2-3pm
LIVE ANIMAL SHOW - Animals on Our River System,
by Tanglewood Nature Center
at the Susquehanna River Archaeological Center, 345 Broad Street, Waverly, NY

Tanglewood Nature Center returns to SRAC with a live animal show - this time bringing live reptiles, birds and mammals that live along and from our river system and it's resources such as hawks, owls, turtles, and many more! These events are educational and entertaining for all ages!

The doors will open at 1pm, with the program running from 2 – 3pm. Admission is $5 Adults, $4 for SRAC members and students, kids under ten, $3. **Is your family having a budget crunch? Call us and we will work something out for your kids to be able to attend! The public is advised that the SRAC gift shop and exhibit hall will also be open during this time as well and to please consider arriving early to browse these areas before the program. For more information, call 570-565-7960 or email

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Mammoth Delivery Arrives at SRAC

A mammoth delivery arrived at the Susquehanna River Archaeological Center (SRAC) in downtown Waverly, today. In fact it was a woolly mammoth delivery to be exact.

The shipment began in the early hours at the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, PA where molds had been created from the Jefferson woolly mammoth remains that were excavated at Spring Lake in Asylum Township, Bradford County, PA in 1983. Throughout that summer, many professionals and amateurs worked side by side as they uncovered the remains of the great beast that lived approximately 14,270 years ago.

Actual photo from 1983 dig

After the excavation in 1983 was over, all of the original remains of the mammoth were delivered to Carnegie for research purposes, and this is where they remain today. Because this excavation was so important in Pennsylvania’s history, the Bradford County Andaste Chapter of PA Archaeology, with the help of a grant from the Allen Pierce Foundation, funded perfect replicas of the original tusk , jaw with teeth, and tooth to be placed in the SRAC exhibit hall for future generations to learn about this excavation and the woolly mammoths that lived in our region.

The delivery made its way to SRAC after nearly six hours in the back of one of the Carnegie Museum’s vehicles and was accompanied by Norman Wuerthele, who was the same technician for Carnegie that wrapped and packed the original mammoth remains for delivery to Pittsburgh in 1983.
Carnegie Museum’s Norman Wuerthele and SRAC’s Tom Vallilee and
Ted Keir pose with the new additions to the SRAC Exhibit Hall.

The items will soon be a part of a huge exhibit including two murals, kiosk with movie shorts, and realistic landscape from the time when the mammoths roamed our area. The exhibit will be officially unveiled during a ceremony and celebration at SRAC on Saturday, April 3rd from 5-9pm. The public is invited to attend throughout the evening.

SRAC’s Deb Twigg stated, “Over the past decade, Ted Keir has presented a slide show about the excavation that took place at Spring Lake to just about every club in the region, and he had always hoped that there could be an exhibit complete with the ten-foot tusk for public display. I am just grateful that after over a quarter of a century it finally happened. We all owe him a big thank you for his diligence in finally finding a way to make it happen.”

SRAC is located at 345 Broad Street , Waverly, NY. To learn more, visit

Monday, March 1, 2010

Ghosts of Gettysburg!

Tuesday March 2nd, from 6:30 - 7:30 pm -
History's Mysteries

"Ghosts, spirits and other paranormal activity at Gettysburg"
by John Trice and Pat Karas

at the Susquehanna River Archaeological Center, 345 Broad Street, Waverly, NY

SRAC presents a night for all of the history buffs who enjoy the recent surge in Ghost Hunting. Those present will examine photographs of orbs, ectoplasm and paranormal smoke on the battlefield, Sachs Bridge and the Daniel Lady Farm. John and Pat will also discuss and demonstrate the art of dowsing rods along with cadaver dogs that have been employed to locate Civil War soldiers buried on private land outside the battlefield park.Join us for a night filled with educational information, fun and the paranormal!

John Trice is the former D.A for Chemung County, current Appellate Counsel for New York State Supreme Court and Elmira College Instructor of Criminal Law.

Pat Karas trains cadaver dogs which are used to discover remains in arson investigations. Her dogs were used in a Pennsylvania Research Project to locate Civil War Soldiers buried on private lands outside the battlefield park. She is the owner of the Heritage k-9 Search and Rescue located in Van Etten, NY.

The doors will open at 6pm, with the program running from 6:30 – 7:30pm. Admission is $5 Adults, $4 for SRAC members and students. The public is advised that the SRAC gift shop and exhibit hall will also be open during this time as well and to please consider arriving early to browse these areas before the program. For more information, call 570-565-7960 or email