Archive for Places

I really enjoyed reading your article on the Susquehannocks.  My grandfather, of Pennsylvania Dutch stock, used to take me on walked along the Chiques area near Columbia/Klinesville, and we would find lots of arrowheads and other things in the tilled soil of the farmland.  He knew a lot about the Susquehannocks–like your article said, stuff not taught to us in the local schools–but when he died I couldn’t find one book or anything where he got this knowledge.

I am currently writing a book that is a pictoral history of religion in Lancaster County.  (I’m a professor at Lebanon Valley College.)  I’d like to include something of the Susquehannocks.  The information you provide here will help point me where to go to find more information–specifically to Conestoga.  I thank you for this.

I am wondering if I could also have permission to use the photographs of one or both of the historical markers in Maryland.  I’m not sure if I can use them in the book, and the photos would be credited.  I would also include your website URL if they’re used.

Thanks for your time and for the great article.

I grew up along the southern Susquehanna in a small town called, York Haven. On the island (Brunner’s Island) formed by the Conewago Creek and the Susquehanna was the remains of a reputed Susquehannock Indian village as evidenced by the many artifacts uncovered over time, as well as during the construction of PP&Ls coal-fired electric generation plant on the island in the late 1950s/early 1960s. Arrow heads, complete battle axes, etc, were found by anyone who wanted to take the time to look. Attending school in York county, I, too, never recall studying the tribe.

The following article originally appeared on LancasterOnline.com. The article is no longer available on their website.

by James Buescher

“We’re still here, and we’re watching.” American Indian groups couldn’t stop the auction Thursday of land that includes important archaeological sites related to the Susquehannock tribe. But the presence of about 20 Indians, some with homemade signs, sent a clear message to any potential buyers who might have plans to develop the parcel. In the end, the 26-acre Leibhart property at 534 Boat House Road in York County’s Lower Windsor Township was sold Thursday to a Dover couple, Teresa and Donald Grove, for $1.51 million.

The property, just across the Susquehanna River from Lancaster County, includes a historic three-story farmhouse and three dozen lots that are rented for riverside recreation, bringing in about $37,000 per year, according to auctioneer Bradley K. Smith. The Groves must pay 10 percent of their winning bid immediately, and the rest within 60 days, Smith said.

Interviewed right after the auction, a trembling Mrs. Grove said she was “elated, excited” about purchasing the historic property. “I’m not sure what we’re going to do. My immediate plans are to first tell my husband that I bought the property and then, second, go and try to calm down with a margarita,” said Mrs. Grove, who burst into tears right after she placed the winning bid. “It’s a beautiful property,” she said. “But the real reason I bought it is because we have family nearby and we wanted to be close to them.”

On the property are remains of an important 17th-century Susquehannock settlement, as well as at least four Native American cemeteries. The property was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984, according to the National Park Service’s online archives. Researchers say the Indian settlement existed on the property between 1650 and 1675, with a peak population of about 900.

Local activists fear the sale of the historic site could open the consecrated native land to development, damaging or destroying what Paul Nevin, president of the Lancaster-York chapter of the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology, called “arguably one of the most archaeologically significant sites in the commonwealth.” The Susquehannock site “encompasses 18 acres on the upper part of the property. Whether the land could be developed remains to be seen, but it does appear to be possible,” Nevin said Thursday. “The importance of this site and the importance of preserving it cannot be overstated,” he said. “Once sites like this are destroyed, the knowledge we could gain from studying them is lost forever.”