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History surfaces in Perry County, scoop by scoop - abc27 WHTM

History surfaces in Perry County, scoop by scoop

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  • Book Trilogy Traces Elizabethville Woman's West Virginia Roots.

    Book Trilogy Traces Elizabethville Woman's West Virginia Roots.

    Book Trilogy Traces Elizabethville Woman's West Virginia Roots.

    Friday, August 22 2014 8:59 AM EDT2014-08-22 12:59:44 GMT
    For many of her 87 years, Anna Jean Bennett Ditty was told, "You ought to write a book!" So, ten years ago, she did. In fact, she needed three books to cover her life, starting with "The House on the Hill," about growing up with three siblings in a small West Virginia town during the depression, with a hard-working mom and an absentee father.Browsing through her first book, Ditty paused to point out a childhood picture of her baby brother Dickie."He's my baby brother," she said. "My momma alw...More >>
    For many of her 87 years, Anna Jean Bennett Ditty was told, "You ought to write a book!" So, ten years ago, she did. In fact, she needed three books to cover her life, starting with "The House on the Hill," about growing up with three siblings in a small West Virginia town during the depression, with a hard-working mom and an absentee father.Browsing through her first book, Ditty paused to point out a childhood picture of her baby brother Dickie."He's my baby brother," she said. "My momma alw...More >>
  • Perry County Church Given New Life

    Perry County Church Given New Life

    Perry County Church Given New Life

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 11:02 AM EDT2014-08-19 15:02:59 GMT
    A big reason why Darlene Barrick fought to save the Mahanoy Union Church from bulldozers lies in the small cemetery next to it."This is Ulysses Grant Baker. My grandfather Baker," said Barrick, pointing to one of several headstones in the church cemetery with direct family ties. "He helped build the church."At another stone she added, "This is my Uncle Albert who fought in World War One."Since closing in the early 1960's, the church suffered heavily from neglect and vandalism. But stepping in...More >>
    A big reason why Darlene Barrick fought to save the Mahanoy Union Church from bulldozers lies in the small cemetery next to it."This is Ulysses Grant Baker. My grandfather Baker," said Barrick, pointing to one of several headstones in the church cemetery with direct family ties. "He helped build the church."At another stone she added, "This is my Uncle Albert who fought in World War One."Since closing in the early 1960's, the church suffered heavily from neglect and vandalism. But stepping in...More >>
  • Chancel Makeover Marks Dillsburg Church Centennial

    Chancel Makeover Marks Dillsburg Church Centennial

    Chancel Makeover Marks Dillsburg Church Centennial

    Friday, August 15 2014 9:17 AM EDT2014-08-15 13:17:26 GMT
    St. Paul's Lutheran Church is an easily recognized landmark of downtown Dillsburg, standing high on a hill, with large stain glass windows and an adjacent prayer garden.But it's inside the church where a remodeling project marks the celebration of the building's 100th anniversary.The most noticeable change is the altar area, now several feet wider, and easier to access.Pastor Lois Van Orden says the centennial seemed like the perfect time to modernize the chancel and choir area."The thing tha...More >>
    St. Paul's Lutheran Church is an easily recognized landmark of downtown Dillsburg, standing high on a hill, with large stain glass windows and an adjacent prayer garden.But it's inside the church where a remodeling project marks the celebration of the building's 100th anniversary.The most noticeable change is the altar area, now several feet wider, and easier to access.Pastor Lois Van Orden says the centennial seemed like the perfect time to modernize the chancel and choir area."The thing tha...More >>

For a group of Perry and Cumberland county youngsters, it was a chance to dig into history. Literally.

"Each one of you are going to have a square. Okay?," asked Victor Hart, director of the Historical Society of Perry County's archaeological team. "You're going to have a unit."

Hart was addressing a group of home schooled youngsters about to participate in a supervised archaeological dig on the grounds of the centuries-old Clark's Ferry Tavern building in Duncannon, all looking for direct links to the property's past.

The three hour dig was part of an on-going dig on the borough-owned property that has been underway for a year. The weekly excavation sessions are conducted by history buffs, students and scouts, under the supervision of volunteers from the archaeological team.

Volunteer Tom Prescott says getting young people involved is crucial to the project's future. "Nine years ago when we started this project in western Perry County, the whole premise was to get kids hands-on experience with archaeology. We wanted to get them out in the field to see what it's really like. And that's still our main purpose."

As the junior archaeologists sifted the soil through a screened tray, Hart, a retired West Perry school teacher, encouraged them not to miss even the smallest of items. "Give it a good shake," Hart said to the kids. "It's not going to hurt anything."

Throughout most digging sessions, most items found are not historically significant. But, they're still exciting.

"I have a pocket knife that I found," declared one young digger. "It's pretty rusty, but it was a cool find."

Another digger loved her find, too. "A perfume bottle," she said, holding it up to her nose. "It has a broken cap so you can still smell it."

But, sometimes, the newly uncovered treasures do open eyes.

"The biggest surprise, probably were the projectile points that we found just two weeks ago that date back to about one-thousand B.C.," said Prescott, pointing to carefully labeled clear plastic bags holding ancient artifacts.

Of course, it's exciting finds like these that keep diggers digging.

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