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Susquehanna Life

Clinton County Hidden Histories

Apr 30, 2015 02:12AM ● By Susan Emeline Bills
Sometimes it is the forgotten monuments that evoke the deepest emotions when we stumble upon them.

On a recent visit to my brother's home in Woolrich, near Lock Haven, I found myself driving several times down the same stretch of road.There was something compelling in the stark beauty of the open fields and the wide sky above. It was though it was a place out of time with some rich and mysterious tale to tell. I could almost hear voices in thousands of whispers floating just beyond earshot.

When I told my brother about my fascination with that road and those fields, he told me I had been driving and re driving through the historic Indian lands of Great Island.
 Great Island was long ago a gathering place and home to thousands of Indians from hundreds of tribes who would come to the island via many well-traveled paths during the 1700's.

 It is no wonder I was feeling so much life force emanating from that land; so many richly varied cultures and diverse tribes had found common ground on this small island! 
I truly believe echoes of those lives and times remain there to this day.

My brother is as intrigued by the mysteries of local histories as I am and so he was more than happy to share some more points of interest that he knew I would enjoy given my reaction to Great Island.Our first stop was in beautiful downtown Lock Haven.

On the second floor of Lock Haven City Hall in a very unassuming glass case, there is an impressive little collection of Indian artifacts gathered during an archeological investigation in the area about 15 years ago. 
Wow! Just imagining the hands that shaped those tools and vessels so long ago has inspired me to learn more about them.

We next took a drive along the river to a dirt road and parked at the entrance to a footpath.

 There was no marking at the start of the path indicating that anything of interest might lie ahead. Luckily for me my brother had walked this way many times and knew just where to lead me to see a remarkable stone monument marking the site of the ancient capitol of the Lenni Lenape Indians.The capitol of an Indian tribe that dates back 10,000 years!

The marker was put in place at the spot in 1913 and sits inconspicuously surrounded by the wild growth along the river. The obscurity adds to the mystique somehow. I was awestruck when I considered the significance of this humble stone structure.

Unfortunately, I only had one day to indulge in my explorations, but I look forward to continued adventures on my next visit to historic Clinton County.
There is so much to be learned there about the way a place is shaped by the people who have lived there and how the people are shaped by the land that sustains them

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