Friday, May 30, 2014

Saber Tooth Tiger Added To SRAC's Woolly Mammoth Exhibit

Kara A. Ray, social worker and Eddie Ostroski
The Ice Age is alive and well at the Susquehanna River Archaeological Center (SRAC) at 345 Broad Street in Waverly, with a new addition of a saber tooth tiger created by Eddie Ostroski, a local artist, SRAC volunteer and member of the Youth Advocate Program (YAP). The saber tooth tiger is made of foam core and was drawn and painted by Ostroski.

Eddy comes in every Friday and works on projects with us. His artistic ability became apparent as he began to show us illustrations that he was drawing of dinosaurs and so I asked him if he would draw a saber tooth tiger for me. The result is a 4 feet long saber tooth tiger that we will add to our Ice Age/ Woolly Mammoth exhibit and he already told me he has ideas for other artwork he wants to do in our Center...We are very  lucky to have him working with us at SRAC!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Waverly's Attic Planned for August 9th

SRAC's largest fundraiser has become "Waverly's Attic" - a community festival where tons of craft, antique and food vendors (here is a vendor application) come to Waverly and setup on Broad Street while there is an auction that takes place midday.

The event has been planned for August 9th this year and will include many more things this year to include a dunking booth hosted by Waverly's teachers a Chinese Auction, and Bike Tioga, which is a chance for people to take their bikes for a grand tour of Tioga County as well!

SRAC is also looking for donations of items for the auction at this time. Please contact Deb Twigg at 607-727-3111 if you have gently used household items, lawn equipment, vehicles, antiques, basically ANYTHING that SRAC can sell at this event to raise funds.  We will pick it up! (sorry no pianos, tv's or clothing)

Thanks for whatever you can do!

The Largest Private Collection of NYS Fossils donated to SRAC

A few months ago we had Paul Krohn, former curator of the Museum of the Earth come to SRAC and ask us to come to his home and see his lifetime work - which happens to be the largest and most significant private collection of NYS fossils. Ted Keir, Don Hunt and Tom Vallilee took the ride with me and we were amazed at what we saw - a house FILLED with fossil exhibits and research materials. Thousands of incredible pieces, carefully collected, cleaned and stored in display cases and huge flat drawer cabinets.

We all hit it off immediately of course, and before it was over - Paul let us know that he invited us up so that we could discuss the possibility of him donating his collection to us.

Since then, a deed of gift has been signed and we are in the middle of receiving the collection by the truckloads and developing a space for Paul to have alongside our artifact collections team in our cellar to be able to process and work with his fossils. The collection is literally so large that a new arm of SRAC will be created for fossils and paleontology and we will develop another collections team dedicated to it to include Paul, Ted Keir and hopefully a couple other specialists in the Valley as well.

The next phase is seeking community support and funding for exhibiting the collection, and Paul is drawing up some plans he has for an ancient ocean bed with layers of time explained by his collection. (We are also looking at doubling the capacity in the artifact area as well....)

As you can see this is a very significant event for SRAC and for the community and I look forward to the future of SRAC. If you are able - please consider volunteering a few hours a month or donating to our giving campaign. We are ALL volunteers working hard to keep this unique museum (there is no other in the northeast like it!) alive while being the place where people like Paul and other collectors can count on us to help them preserve their collections for generations to come.

Here is just a little taste of the Paul Krohn/SRAC collection.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014



Monday to Friday, June 16 through July 11, 2014

We are looking for volunteers to help excavate at Wiawaka Center for Women at the southern end of Lake George, New York  in the Adirondack Mountains. We will be documenting the early years of this historic Holiday House by looking at the materials the visitors, staff, and organizers left behind. Wiawaka Holiday House (now Wiawaka Center for Women) was founded in 1903 to provide affordable vacations for the working women in the factories of Troy and Cohoes, New York. My dissertation research looks at the intersections of class and gender in the early twentieth century.

No previous archaeological experience is necessary; you will learn archaeological techniques hands-on at the site. All equipment will be provided.

If you have no previous archaeological experience, please agree to volunteer for 3 or more days; 18 years of age or older only.

Accommodation and meals are available at Wiawaka Holiday House for a fee.* There is no charge to volunteer.

What can you expect?
This summer, we will be excavating in three areas of the site to document the experiences of visitors, summer staff, and of the year-round caretakers.

Excavation involves the following physical activities: shoveling, crouching or kneeling on the ground, lifting buckets of dirt to pour into a screen, shaking the screen to separate artifacts from the soil, and filling the hole back in once all the information has been recovered. We will spend 8 hours a day Monday through Friday excavating, taking one hour for lunch in the middle of the day. Instruction will include archaeological methods, note taking, and basic artifact identification and interpretation. Rain day volunteers are more than welcome to help process artifacts in the lab. Participants can either purchase lunch at Wiawaka* or pack a lunch to eat on-site. There is no smoking permitted anywhere on Wiawaka property.

Excavation Dates:
Monday to Friday, June 16 through July 11, 2014

Megan Springate, excavation director, is a PhD candidate at the University of Maryland.

For information and to sign up for this unique opportunity, contact Megan Springate at or 732-768-2985
Find out more about the excavations at and follow The Wiawaka Project on Facebook.

* Volunteers are welcome to stay overnight at Wiawaka for $75 per night prior to June 19. Meals are available only after June 23rd, but volunteers will have access to a kitchen to store/prepare their own meals. After June 23rd, the room rate per person is $110 weekdays and $125 weekends, including meals. Volunteers who wish to purchase meals onsite after June 23rd may do so: $8 for breakfast, $12 for lunch, $16 for dinner.

The Wiawaka Center for Women website is
Megan Springate, MA
PhD Candidate
Department of Anthropology
University of Maryland

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Tuesday June 3rd: Archaeology of a War of 1812 Soldier’s Hut at Cantonment Saranac, Plattsburgh, NY

Timothy Abel, PhD
Adjunct professor of anthropology at Jefferson Community College and SUNY Canton, NY by Timothy Abel, PhD will present  “I Wish You Could See the Style in Which We Live:” Archaeology of a War of 1812 Soldier’s Hut at Cantonment Saranac, Plattsburgh, NY at the Susquehanna River Archaeological Center at 345 Broad Street Waverly, NY on Tuesday June 3rd from 6:30 - 7:30pm.

In the summers of 2012 and 2013, archaeologists and students from Clinton Community College conducted excavations at the Zagreb site, part of Col. Zebulon Pike's 1812-1813 winter cantonment in Plattsburgh, New York.  Excavations have revealed a modest structure roughly 12'x16' with several architectural features apparent.  Artifacts found in the cabin corroborate the documentary record of the camp's destruction in the summer of 1813, as well as giving details about the lives of soldiers that occupied it.  This evidence, combined with historical accounts, paints a picture of misery for the army camped there 200 years ago.

Admission donation for the presentation of $6 for general admission and $4 for SRAC members is appreciated. Doors open at 6pm with the opportunity for all visitors to tour the SRAC exhibit hall as a part of the night's event for free.
Timothy Abel, PhD will present  “I Wish You Could See the Style in Which We Live:” Archaeology of a War of 1812 Soldier’s Hut at Cantonment Saranac, Plattsburgh, NY at the Susquehanna River Archaeological Center at 345 Broad Street Waverly, NY on Tuesday June 3rd from 6:30 - 7:30pm.