MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV)– There’s a lot of history in Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania and some of it is right under your feet.
Archeology students are digging up that history in Monroe County. Eyewitness News Reporter Anja Whitehead gives us a look into the past.
For more than 200 years, the Stroud Mansion has stood at the corner of 9th and Main Streets. Now, the Monroe County Historical Association wants to uncover the history that is beneath the land.
“I think a lot of us travel very far places to go explore history in other communities and other states, but we need to take time to reflect that there is a lot of history right here in your own backyard,“ said Amy Leiser, Executive Director Monroe County Historical Association.
Before the mansion was built, Fort Hamilton was just down the road. Scholars believe soldiers camped out near where the mansion now stands.
“When I heard that there is a 1756 fort commissioned by Benjamin Franklin just off-site of this backyard I knew there could be a halo of artifacts associated with that right here on the property,“ said Dr. Jonathan Burns, Archeologist, Professor Juniata College.
Through a grant funded by the state, the association was able to partner up with Juniata College and a number of other schools to give archeology students a field experience they won’t forget.
“The way to get young people and students interested is to take them to really excellent sites where they are going to get jazzed about what they are finding,“ said Dr. Burns.
So once the digging is done, you take the bucket of dirt and bring it over and they’ll sift for some artifacts.
The students tell Eyewitness News, this is what they work so hard for.
“People are very intoxicated by the idea of ancient Greece and ancient Rome but really we have our own history right beneath our feet… We’re definitely finding a lot this early on in the excavation so it’s very exciting,“ said Haley Hoffman, Teaching Assistant/ Grad Student William and Mary.
The students have already found artifacts that date back to the 18th century. The digging will continue for the next three weeks and wraps up in July.
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