Welcome to NCC8

Welcome to the official website of Northcentral Chapter 8 of the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology. During spring and summer, NCC8 hosts an archaeology dig for its members and the public.

Join us for the 2013 Archaeology Dig from 5:30-7 p.m. Thursdays during spring and summer 2012, at the Canfield Lane site. (See the map at right for directions.)

The Glunk Site: End of the Second Season Notes

Lycoming College archaeology student Steph Bowen uncovers
an interesting feature in her excavation unit during 2012 Dig.

By Tank Baird

Northcentral Chapter 8 of the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology, in cooperation with Lycoming College’s North American Archaeology Department and volunteers from various community service groups, have completed the second year of excavations at the Glunk Site in Loyalsock Township, Lycoming County.

Located on Bull Run near the Susquehanna River and approximately one kilometer west of Loyalsock Creek, this site is owned by Paul Glunk.  Although it is in close proximity to the Ault, Canfield Island, and Bull Run sites, excavated by NCC8 under the supervision of Jim Bressler, this particular parcel of land has never been excavated.  To say that this is a choice location for all things archaeological may be an understatement. The entire Bull Run estuary seems to be a hot bed of prehistoric and Contact Period Native American occupation.  

Mystery Artifact Found

By Tank Baird
President, North Central Chapter 8

Imagine going back 1,000 years ago to the banks of the West Branch of the Susquehanna River. At that time, the area was inhabited only by Native Americans.

These people were the first land clearers in the region and farmed corn, beans and squash in open fields, some of which, kept cleared by subsequent cultures, lasted until the coming of the Europeans, a full 600 years from that point. It might be noted that knocking down huge trees (some of these trees were 10 feet in diameter) in virgin forest with stone axes was a daunting task but probably started with using bark as a building material and ended in girdling and burning the tree to bring it down.

Stroll the Heritage Trail

A stroll along the James P. Bressler Heritage Trail on Canfield Island is invigorating and educational. It's also tranquil, this quiet spot along the Susquehanna River's West Branch.

The trail is part of Loyalsock Township's Riverfront Park and is dedicated to James P. Bressler. A scholar and educator beloved in his community, Bressler carved a niche for himself in the region's prehistory and history books with his archaeological investigations.

Archaeologist James Bressler visits Riverfront Heritage Park named in his honor. Located on Canfield Island, the park contains a significant prehistoric Indian village in Loyalsock Township. Bressler and members of Northcentral Chapter 8 of the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology excavated prehistoric sites in the area for many decades and Bressler is responsible for having the island listed with the National Register of Historic Places

"That is, in my estimation, one of the best-kept secrets in the county," Bressler said about the trail in a previous interview. "This is a unique attempt to integrate a number of different things. First of all, local history is really not being taught in our schools because there are too many competing things to teach. I understand that. But this is a unique way to combine a pleasant walk, a history lesson, and nature study. It's just a pleasure to walk around there."

Previous Posts

The Loyalsock Historic Complex

West Branch of the Susquehanna River, looking toward Canfield Island.

By James Bressler
Northcentral Chapter 8, SPA 

The following elements comprise a listing of sites and events that chronicle the human experience in the designated area over at least 7,000 years and contain much that is worthy of commemoration. From this list can be drawn those that collectively make this section of Lycoming County unique in character and historically important in our state and nation.

The Loyalsock Historic Complex
A Rationale for Commemoration

Defining and Understanding

From a hypothetical point in Loyalsock Creek where it merges with the West Branch of the Susquehanna River we scribe a two-mile arc beginning on the river bank to our west and thence the arc till we touch the river again to our east. The area enclosed, then, is here going to be referred to as the Loyalsock Historic Complex. It is indeed a special place, as we shall see, that deserves to be recognized as part of our historic heritage.
Often, when we think of historic places we immediately visualize such sites and events as Gettysburg where the thought of the horrors of a three-day battle of the Civil War have a profound effect on all the generations.
Or, perhaps, Valley Forge comes to mind where the depressed forces of the rebel Americans under Washington spent a grueling winter while General Howe and his British forces regaled in comfort in nearby Philadelphia.
Or it may be Bushy Run, where Colonel Bouquet in a clever military maneuver routed the attacking Indian forces and thus effectively ended Pontiac's rebellion.
There maybe others important to you, but they all have one common element, they are singular events occurring at one time and important to the development of our nation and its people. Our complex is different, for we not only honor the singular events that in themselves merit our attention, as they relate to the founding and growth of a County and Nation; but also the unfolding story of man's coming to this land and the evidence he left behind. For man first set foot on the Complex some 12,000 years ago as compared to our appearance scarcely more than 250 years ago. It seems reasonable, then, that here we should include in our recognitions of heritage the people who occupied this land 98% of human time to our 2%.