Allison-Antrim Museum gets archaeology collection from Ebbert Spring

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot
Andy Stout, left, holds a reconstructed pot from the middle Woodland era. It could have been made between 500 B.C. and 0. He is joined by another representative of The Archaeological Conservancy, Kelly Berliner, and Bonnie Shockey from Allison-Antrim Museum.

The stuff in the ground which was unearthed by archaeologists, then stored for some time, has found a permanent home at a museum.

Cumberland Valley Chaper 27 of the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology has conducted several digs at Ebbert Spring, on property owned by Al Bonnell. The area was known as the settlement of Greencastle’s founding family, the Allisons, and before that had been the home of native Americans. Discoveries revealed items dating to Paleo-Indian times over 10,000 years ago.

The society stored its cache, and in March this week turned them over to Allison-Antrim Museum. The collection included pallets of field notes, maps, artifacts, soil samples, bones, projectiles and more.

Andy Stout, eastern director of The Archaeological Conservancy, has been the force behind a project to turn the original site into The Ebbert Spring Archaeological Preserve and Heritage Park. A part of the workload is to save the collected materials, bring them up to professional standards and catalogue them.

“The museum is climate-controlled,” said Stout. “The only other site would be in Harrisburg. We want these in a public repository so future generations will have access to it.”

Bonnie Shockey, president of the AAMI board, welcomed the collection.

“Having visited the site during the digs, and having a portion of the collection on exhibit before, it is phenomenal to see the items here now,” she said. “Many are prehistoric. It is an incredible amount of history not only for Greencastle, Antrim Township and Pennsylvania — this is American history and it’s from our own backyard.”

Stout will facilitate the next step for the items, and has contacted Shippensburg University for history student help in researching and caring for the collection.

“This could result in several masters degrees,” he said.