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Page 1 THE SRAC JOURNAL Volume 4, Issue 3

Volume 4, Issue 3 December 2008


Birdstones and Bannerstones 1
Coming Events 6
Special Day with Jack Holland 7
One of the most interesting categories of
The Vatican 1831 Wampum Belt 8
Native American artifacts are carved and
Hill Collection Added to SRAC 9 polished stone objects that have long been
Local Indian Rock Art Published 10 identified as representing sitting or nesting
birds, hence the name “bird-stones” (or
SRAC’s New Board Member 10
“birdstones”). I do not know when that term
Tioga Central History Club Visit 11 was first applied to these objects, but in “Brooding Ornament” illustrations from The Mound
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony 11 1892 the Rev. Stephen D. Peet illustrated Builders by Stephen D. Peet (1892)
two examples under the title “Brooding Or- David Pieterszen De Vries reported seeing
Drumbeats Through Time 2008 12
nament.” Charles Willoughby, in 1935, de- natives, probably Susquehannock, playing
The Atlatl 14 termined that these “bird” shaped items flutes. Francis Daniel Pastorius reporting
Thanks to Our Contributors 15
were intended to represent singing birds, on the Lenape at the end of the 1600s,
and probably had been fastened to flutes. observed that “they diverted themselves
SRAC Journal Sponsorship 16 Examples of native flutes are noted in the with fifes, or trumpets, in unbroken idle-
SRAC Gift Shop 17 ethnographic literature from North America ness …”
and others can be found in museum collec-
tions. A few accounts written by early trav- Ethnographic examples of flutes demon-
ow! elers and explorers record the use of flutes strate that the tradition of making flutes
o nlin e n
SRA o to among Native Americans. In the 1630s (Continued on page 2)
Join join
n te
.SRA day!
The 1936 flood exposed this site, locally
known as the Bridge Site in Kingston Bor-
ough, Luzerne County, Pa. WPA archae-
ologists and local laborers combined to
form a massive research team with the
intention of locating the bounds of the site
or sites. At the present time, information
and artifacts collected at that time have
not been located leaving the exact location
of the site a mystery. Collectors have
found numerous artifacts just inches below
the surface with others several feet deep.
• Our Vision We have visited a number of collections
The Susquehanna River Ar- Site lies behind the trees. The levee system can be and found that the site or sites is quite ex-
chaeological Center of Native seen in the background behind the site. A road has
been built along the railroad recently over a small
tensive, south and possibly north of the of
Indian Studies (S.R.A.C.) is dedi-
portion of the site that was probably stirred up dur- the Wilkes Barre Connecting Railroad
cated to education, research and
ing the previous construction of the railroad bridge. Bridge over the Susquehanna River. The
preservation of the Native
Test pits 150 feet south of the bridge have pro- collections contain projectile points of the
American archaeological, cul-
duced artifacts. This seems to be the extent of the Archaic through the Late Woodland peri-
tural and historical assets of the site downstream. No excavation on the north side of ods. Since some of the stratigraphy of the
Twin Tier Region of Northeast- the bridge has been done in the past 30 years to the (Continued on page 5)
ern PA and Southern NY. author’s knowledge.

The Susquehanna
BecomeRiver Archaeological
a member of Center
SRACof today!
Native Indian
See Studies
back ~
page for more ~ email
Page 2 THE SRAC JOURNAL Volume 4, Issue 3


(Continued from page 1) objects had been intended as banner-

like decorations on staffs, like orna-
ments used by Roman legions. These
are found throughout North America,
but finds in useful contexts are ex-
tremely rare. For decades the ar-
chaeological community has accepted
the idea that these bilaterally symmet-
Birdstone from Lang Collection 1921,
rical stones were used as counterbal-
ances for atlatls, or throwing sticks found in Nichols, NY
used to propel small spears. Since the avoid detection. Thus holes now can
bow and arrow is a late arrival in the be drilled using a wooden dowel
American Northeast, becoming part of mounted in an electric drill, together
native armaments only about 1,000 with crushed and pounded quartz as
Birdstones Found in Tioga Center, NY AD, throwing sticks would have been an abrasive, to avoid telltale micro-
common hunter’s gear before that scopic evidence of a metal bit.
decorated with wooden ornaments that The two pieces in the Toledo collec-
resemble birdstones was alive through- tions in 1965 had such bilateral sym-
A Birdstone and a Bannerstone now
out the nineteenth century. Artifacts of in Toledo, Ohio metry that I suspected them to be
similar size and shape to ancient stone fakes. Slate pieces of this type are
“birds,” but carved from wood, are For more than a century, birdstones common throughout northern Ohio and
found bound to many examples of Na- have been considered important southern Michigan, and in general
tive American flutes, suggesting that atpieces by “collectors” of Native Ameri- around the southern and western mar-
some time in the past the stone vari- can artifacts. By the 1960s the world of gins of the Great Lakes. Both pieces
ants may have been fashioned for the collectors had bid up the prices on were donated to The University in
same decorative purposes. These these pieces to the point where forgers January of 1965. The donor, who
flutes can be found in the Museum für could make a reasonable living by con- wished to remain anonymous, claimed
Völkerkunde, Berlin, the Museum of verting raw stone into examples for that he was told that both pieces had
Mankind in London, and in the Victor F. sale or auction. Since SRAC has re- been “found” in southern Michigan, five
Evans Collection in the Smithsonian ceived a number of examples of these or ten years before they were given to
Institution. unusual artifacts, consideration of their him in 1938 or 1939.
individual histories is important. More
In 1909 C. Brown offered a compilation than 40 years ago I first inspected a The University of Toledo banded slate
of information on “bird-stones,” then birdstone and a bannerstone at The “birdstone” (9B-1) is made so one dark
common in collections throughout the University of Toledo, fashioned from layer on each side appears to form an
northeastern United States. Associat- exactly the same type of hard banded “eye.” This example has a maximum
ing them with ancient flutes awaited slate. I did not know then that this length of 84 mm from the tip of its beak
Willoughby’s insightful review. Exam- stone was available only a few miles to the farthest point on the tail. The
ples interred with their owners are away at the Bannerstone site in Mon- middle of the bird’s body has a semi-
known from very few sites. In 1993 roe County, Michigan. When I first saw circular cross-section, with a minimum
David Stothers and Timothy Able sur- these pieces in the collections of The height of 20 mm. The base is roughly
veyed artifacts from such contexts, all University of Toledo (objects 9B-1 and trapezoidal in shape with a maximum
of which appear to be cremation buri- 9B-2) I suspected that the pair had length of 46 mm, a width at the head
als of the Archaic period. been made recently, and by the same end of 22.5 mm, and at the tail end of
forger. I decided to publish both as ex- 17 mm. The bird measures 35 mm tall
A related category of stone artifact is amples of modern forgeries (Becker to the top of its head and 28 mm to the
the “bannerstone.” The term derives 1965). I then noted that as we come to top of the tail. Both the head and the
from the early belief that these small know more about the types and tail are laterally narrower than the cen-
sources of stones used by the ter of the body. I pointed out (Becker
native peoples to make such 1965: 118) that the tail on this piece is
911 Earth artifacts, and demonstrate the wider in the vertical than the horizontal
Goods for healing self and planet specific stone working tech- direction, whereas just the reverse is
niques that were used, we pro- common to living birds as well as to
404 N. Main St., Athens, PA 18840 vide forgers with increasingly most birdstones. The head is relatively
570-888-3297 useful information for replicat- thin, tapering to a point at the beak.
ing these pieces in ways that
(Continued on page 3)

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Page 3 THE SRAC JOURNAL Volume 4, Issue 3


(Continued from page 2) appears to be dirt, but

this may have been
The maximum diameter between the added to give the impres-
outset (“bulging”) eyes is 13 mm. Both sion that these were re-
eyes stand away from the head ap- covered from the ground.
proximately 1 mm at the lower margin
(toward the base) and about 2 mm at The color of these two
the upper margin. The surfaces of objects in Toledo is olive
these bulging eyes are not parallel, but gray; both could have
rather form planes that if extended for- been fashioned from the
ward would meet slightly above the same section of a single
beak. The right eye has a diameter of geological deposit such
12 mm while the left has a diameter of as in nearby Michigan.
12.5 mm. The birdstone has very Birdstone Head from Cowles/SRAC Collection
dark vertical banding run-
The base of the Toledo birdstone is ning diagonally from the front right to been held in a private or public collec-
pierced by two biconically drilled holes the rear left. The dark bands make a tion before coming to Toledo. Most of
along the midline (cone-shaped holes precise color evaluation very difficult. A the letters are so small that they would
drilled from each end that meet at a lighter colored spot appears on the be undetectable, and even when noted
small connecting point toward the mid- right side near the center of the base. they are difficult to see with the naked
dle). Both are drilled at approximately The surface is unusually smooth, but eye. These letters also appear pati-
45 degree angles from the line of the the piece is entirely covered with many nated to the same extent as the rest of
base, and the holes are both perfectly small scratches that are neither the the piece, which had seemed to indi-
parallel with the centerline of the base.. result of machine work nor anything cate some age. This subjective analy-
Both holes appear to have been drilled like a plow scar. They may have been sis was not tested by any scientific
with hand tools, but close inspection deliberately added to a polished sur- method.
indicates rough margins toward the face in order to give the impression
centers of a type that suggests that two that the piece is old and had been bur- The companion piece (9B-2) is a
different bit diameters were used. Such ied in the ground. The scratching is banded slate “bannerstone” of a very
rough margins would be worn smooth most evident at the centers of the dark gray color. If these were made by
in a hand drilled hole. The fore hole eyes, and also around the lower mar- the same crafter, they made have been
has a maximum diameter of 8 mm at gins of the eye stalks, and in a de- artificially patinated by soaking them in
the entry at the base, and 7.4 mm at pressed area on the right side of the a uric acid solution, urine, or some
the entry under the neck. The rear hole beak. These locations suggest that the other agent that might stain or erode
has approximately the same dimen- scratching may have resulted from use the surface. The darker color of this
sions. Both holes have traces of what of a wire disk used to fashion the bird- piece may reflect a different time of
stone and that final polishing removed immersion, or may simply be a result of
them from most of the final surfaces. derivation from a different portion of
In Loving Memory of Three imperfections are noted. One is the banded slate source material. In
at the tip of the tail and two appear on the bannerstone the banding passes
Barbara Twigg the base. One of the two on the base through the artifact in a vertical pattern
SRAC proudly accepted donations may be the result of accidental contact but running parallel to the long axis of
made in memory of Barbara Twigg. with a grinding wheel. A very faint the piece. This creates concentric
She will be missed by many, but not crack is located along the left side ex- “circles” on each of the nearly flat
forgotten. tending from the center of the tail down sides. One side, however, has a mot-
to the base, where the crack appears tling at the center that is the result of a
to divide. Then both aspects of the dark band being near the exposed sur-
crack run close to one another with face of the piece.
both ending at the read hole.
The maximum length of the banner-
Most telling is a minute inscription on stone is 116 mm. The wing or “bit”
the right side of the base, with letters edges are almost perfectly symmetri-
slightly over 1 mm tall: “MADE IN cal. One has a maximum width of 54
USA”. This faint inscription was noted mm while the other measures 52 mm.
only after an intensive search was The distance between the opposing
made for catalogue numbers of some
(Continued on page 4)
other indication that this piece had

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Page 4 THE SRAC JOURNAL Volume 4, Issue 3


(Continued from page 3) Creek at Inwood

(Baker Field),
ends of the wings is 92 mm in both cases. The thickness Manhattan in
at the center of the piece is 18 mm. The width parallel to 1937, also was
the drilled hole in the center is 31 mm on the reverse side, carved from stea-
but just over 30 mm on the obverse side. The distance tite.
above the drilled hole, to a 92 mm imaginary line connect-
ing the tips of the wing, is 11 mm. On the opposite side Note should be
this distance is 12 mm, reflecting the nearly perfect sym- made that a pos-
metry of this object. The diameter of the hole at the upper sible prototype of
end is 11 mm, and it then tapers very gradually over the the Toledo ban- Broken Birdstone Tail Section (Redrilled)-
31 mm width of the piece to emerge as a hole only 10 mm nerstone, said to Cowles/SRAC Collection
in diameter. be from Ohio,
was first published by Peet in 1892 (his Plate VI, facing p.
A total of eight nicks are noted along both bit edges, but 273), and also was included in George Gordon’s later
only two of these are as large as 1 mm. A hairline crack compilation of objects that have the form of bannerstones
can be seen in the very center of the right half of the piece (1916). The proportions appear to be exactly the same.
as it appears in an illustration (Becker 1965: Figs. 3 and These vary only slightly from another bannerstone in-
4). Deep scratches are noted on both side of this piece, cluded by Gordon that is said to have come from Wiscon-
but none alone either of the surfaces through which the sin. Modern techniques of microscopic study and metal-
hole is drilled. The scratches primarily run parallel to the seeking trace element analysis may be a more simple way
long axis of the bannerstone, but several of the deeper to confirm my belief that the two items in Toledo (Becker
scratches appear to be erratic in direction. Toward the bit 1965) were the products of a modern crafter living near
edges, or wings, these scratches disappear. Once again,
the final grinding process seems to have removed
scratches that may have been part of the process to
“rough out” this item. No telling inscription appears on the
bannerstone. The perfection of dimensions as well as of
the lines indicates that modern machines were involved in
the production of both pieces.

The vague and limited histories that came with the two
items in Toledo do not, in and of themselves, provide con-
clusive evidence for the modern production of these
pieces. Analysis of component elements in the designs,
form, and even of the techniques of manufacture for a se-
ries of similar artifacts of known provenance would provide Incised, Winged Bannerstone From the Ted Keir Collection On
some basic information against which these data might be Display at the SRAC Exhibit Hall
compared. What is remarkable is that during the 43 years
since these two items were first described in print few the western end of Lake Erie, probably copying the forms
studies have been undertaken to better understand or from objects in known collections.
analyze these categories of artifacts. One half of a banner-
stone was recovered ca. 20 years ago during excavations Only artifacts excavated from controlled situations can be
at Pennsbury Manor at the eastern margin of Pennsyl- sufficiently well documented to provide a wealth of ar-
vania (36 Bu 19; see Becker 1988). This is one of the few chaeological information. Reliable surface collections,
examples for which we have a mineralogical analysis, from specific and well documented locations, provide a
demonstrating that the steatite (talc) from which it was limited but significant amount of important information.
made may have derived from one of the many outcrop- Entire surface collections that may be associated with an
pings of this mineral that are exposed in southeastern excavation, as well as those from a documented and re-
Pennsylvania and northern Delaware (Becker 1988: Fig. corded site that has not been excavated, are of consider-
1). Steatite exposures are well known from Washington, able value in reconstructing the vanishing past. Many of
DC up into eastern Canada and were extensively utilized these surface collections do not represent an ancient na-
by native peoples during many periods of prehistory, as tive village, but reveal the location of a favored encamp-
well as by European immigrants. I suspect that half of a ment area that was used perhaps once or twice each year,
bannerstone of similar shape, found on Spuyten Duyvil and often for 15,000 years or more! The loss or discard of
(Continued on page 5)

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Page 5 THE SRAC JOURNAL Volume 4, Issue 3


(Continued from page 4) ticularly supportive of the efforts being made by the staff at
the SRAC to gather and preserve collections that reflect
only one or two stone tools each year can produce fantas- the diligence of individuals in a local region to gather up
tic numbers of artifacts at a site that has no associated the evidence of our rich Native American heritage. We are
sub-surface features (shelters, caches, burials). Yet these at a point in time when these collections are subject to
surface finds can be very revealing of the history of such a sale and division. Every effort made to preserve and docu-
site. Nothing can replace the information provided by the ment these collections contributes to our understanding of
recovery of even one or more artifacts from a context that our own heritage.
is carefully recorded, whether it be a knoll on which there
were encampments each year or a location where a settle- ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
ment once existed. Observing artifacts from a surface col-
lection or from the contexts of burials, caches, or other This paper provides an updated version of one of my first
“social” situations such as trash pits provides impressive publications (Becker 1965), intended here for a well in-
insight into the meanings that these items may have had formed general audience. Readers interested in a full bibli-
for the people who made and used them. ography may write or e-mail me for a copy. Sincere thanks
are due to Jonathan King (Museum of Mankind, London)
How many of the “intact” artifacts that appear in private and to Prof. Richard Swain (Director, Francis Harvey
collections are forgeries is difficult to determine. Farmers Green Library) and his entire staff, and to Jeannie Carpen-
and other surface-collectors who gathered native artifacts ter for her important contributions. My sincere thanks also
on their own property, or from the lands of friends and are due to the members of the Congress of The United
neighbors, are far less likely to include deliberate fakes. States of America for their support of tax laws that stimu-
For collectors who bought and sold artifacts the numbers late and encourage research in this and other areas of
of fakes entering their collections was probably propor- enquiry. The ideas and interpretations presented here are,
tional to the amounts they were willing to spend. I am par- of course, solely my own responsibility.


(Continued from page 1)

sight had been compromised by improper excavation and

the rush of the overflowing Susquehanna River, Fran Garra-
han and I decided in 1995 to test several areas to see if a
straigraphy did exist. Upon selected test pits, we were able
to identify a Late Woodland horizon. We did not feel it was
the proper time to continue any deeper. If the uppermost
component was intact, we could assume that the lower lev-
els should be possibly also untouched. Luckily strong winds
and bad weather had dropped a number of large trees
across most of the site over the years, actually protecting the
site from any unorganized excavation.

This past summer (2008), Al Pesotine, Pan Cultural Associ-

ates; Dr. Jerry Reisinger, Edythe Gozdiskowski, president of
the Frances Dorrance Chapter No. 11 of the Society for
Pennsylvania Archaeology; and myself did a cursory investi-
gation of the site. Net weights, choppers, hammerstones and
other stone tools were found surface hunting. We concurred Large downed trees from previous construction upstream and
that the site is still partially intact and can tell us a great deal storms protect the site for future professional excavation
about the people who had camped and possibly lived here.
was like a little state with its own government. It was nothing
One of the questions that always occurs with multicompo- more than the old English form of Lords and Vassals. The
nent sites is “Why did they keep coming back to this site for Lords were the Penns and the Vassals were the people who
thousands of years?” We were lucky to find the possible an- eventually ended up renting from the Penns. The plan of the
swer from the State Archives located in Harrisburg. In the Penn family was to own 10 per cent of all the land called
1770’s the Penn family had issued a number of “Manors” Pennsylvania.
with the permission of the King of England. Each of these
(Continued on page 6)
was some of the prime lands across Pennsylvania. A Manor

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Page 6 THE SRAC JOURNAL Volume 4, Issue 3


inger has spent a lifetime trying to create a natural area
(Continued from page 5)
here based on the early Native American traditions. The
Fortunately, two Manors lay on each side of the Susque- site has proven to be an aid in getting more groups in-
hanna River at this site. They had been surveyed and volved in the project. The area is hoped to be a summer
maps had been issued. At the exact location of the site, school for archaeology classed from our local colleges and
the ancient maps showed a shallow waterfall. This was high schools.
most likely one of the few crossings of the Susquehanna
River for miles. It also provided a place to funnel water Recently we had the honor of hosting Tracy Shenandoah,
and net and trap migrating fish through narrow opening in Faith Keeper of the Onondaga Nation and Dar Dowdy,
the submerged rock ledges. The fires from the camps at Faith Keeper of the Seneca Nation. They both came down
night might have looked like a small city. People from dif- from New York State to do a Thanksgiving ceremony at
ferent groups meeting together swapping stories while the site. The late Paul Waterman, chief of the Onondaga
they smoked their fish. They would probably only spend Nation had visited our area on several occasions, relating
that period of time at the falls until the migrating fish com- to us that our Wyoming Valley has great ancestry with the
pleted their run. Then they were off to take advantage of Iroquois people. He spoke of the legend of Hiawatha, the
what other cycle of food mother nature was going to pro- peace maker, who he believed was born on Monoconock
vide, berries in late summer and nuts toward fall. Deer Island, just upstream from the Bridge Site.
bones prove to be the most numerous bones found at
It seems to be ironic, that the Battle of Wyoming or locally
sites in the Wyoming Valley. Of course, they could hunt
called the Wyoming Massacre,
them any time of year with no migration to wait for. The
was fought along the same
dried and smoked fish provided them with food for many
stretch of river in the Wyoming
months, seasonally.
Valley. The Battle of Wyoming
The ledges in the river are still visible today. This was also was a harbinger of things to
the reason for building the Connecting Railroad Bridge at come. The ancient ones would
this location. The solid rock ledges across the whole river be avenged for their part in the
bottom provided a solid base for railroad bridge pillars. battle. Their houses were
burned, their crops destroyed
The site might have been quite extensive; however, a and they were forced to leave
levee system was built years ago to protect the low lying their homeland. What we have
flats along the river. Since that time construction of a rec- left are the artifacts left behind
reation building, a small shopping center, and a number of by them and their forefathers.
offices has compromised any archaeology beyond the The archaeology we do today
levee system. This leaves the land between the river and is the history of the once
the levee still covered with trees and basically untouched proud people who lived and
for nearly a mile. The Borough of Kingston has shown in- roamed the great Northeast. John Orlandi, Author and
terest in creating a park along this stretch. Dr. Jerry Reis- Amateur Archaeologist

History's Mysteries - Every First Tuesday of the Month! Presentations TBA
Mineralogy - Marty Borko - February still working in this one
SRAC Archaeology Border Meeting w/ NYS TriCities and PA Andaste Chapters of Archaeology - will occur bimonthly at
SRAC and are open to the public and FREE!!!
February 16th from 6:30 - 7:30, Deb Twigg will present a little known
yet amazing site, "The Murray Garden." The actual garden of Louise
Welles Murray, this site actually is known for being the place where a
"Great Indian Chief" was unburied and on display in the Tioga Point
Museum for many years. It is also known to be the site where the
strange shell-tempered pottery with faces were uncovered that to this
day have never been found anywhere else in the world. This along
with other strange burial practices and unique finds will keep the au-
dience amazed at this local site that has been long forgotten by

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Page 7 THE SRAC JOURNAL Volume 4, Issue 3


Zebehazy, arrived at SRAC before neered." (
noon. SRAC board members Tom Val- Public_Programs/Pioneers/
lilee, Ted Keir, and Dick Cowles spent Pioneers_2008.html)
what was left of the morning hours in
At 5:00 p.m. they were still studying the
the exhibit hall pouring over artifacts.
collections and chatting away in the
On her lunch break, Deb joined them at
exhibit hall. In the end, Ted gave Jack
a local restaurant to listen as Jack told
a piece of Pennsylvania jasper that
of his specific interest in chert
Jack didn't have yet and Deb gave him
(otherwise known as flint) and how he
a copy of her "Spanish Hill" book. But
was the only person who had chased
the greatest gift came from Mr. Hol-
this lithic material across all 50 states.
land, as he honored SRAC by making
In fact, Jack has the only library in his
the trip and in the end telling us how
laboratory that covers the whole coun-
impressed he was with what we have
try, which researchers use on their own
lithic materials.
To sum the day up, many friendships
In fact he has been recognized by the
were made as were promises to get
Hauptman-Woodward Medical Re-
Jack D. Holland, Research Fellow, back together soon and to stay in touch
search Institute in Buffalo, NY as a
via email and phone. Tom, Ted and
Buffalo Museum of Science "Pioneer of Science" in 2008: "Holland
Dick all commented on how much they
has made fundamental contributions to
learned from Jack in just the day's visit.
The 2008 meeting of the New York the study of prehistoric stone tools, and
It was an honor to meet Jack Holland
State Archaeological Association the analysis and classification of the
and to share our like passions. Al-
(NYSAA) was in Western New York at lithic (stone) materials. As a young
though you can read about him in
the Holiday Inn in Lockport, NY. One of man, Holland moved to Buffalo to work
many articles and write ups on the web
the highlights of that meeting included at the Ford Stamping Plant. Following
and from other sources, what they
a lithic session honoring Jack Holland. retirement from his engineering posi-
might not tell you is that he is a true
After his visit to SRAC in November, tion, he pursued an atypical largely self
gentleman and a credit to world of ar-
we can understand why. -taught second career to become a
leading expert in the field he pio-
Jack, who lives in Buffalo, NY called
Deb Twigg recently to say he wanted to
visit SRAC as soon as he could. He
said that he was very interested in
lithics; and Deb him that she’d make
sure Ted Keir could meet him when he
came for a visit, because Ted has over
100 pieces in a lithic library from Penn-
sylvania. Jack said in a very gracious
manner that he would be very glad to
see Ted again and that he himself has
around 30,000 pieces from all 50 states
in his lithic library. Later Deb Twigg
reflected on this conversation stating,
“Yes, I did feel stupid for not knowing
that!” At any rate, Jack didn't seem to
mind that she was not aware of his ce-
lebrity status in the NYS Archaeology
sector and in fact made it to SRAC in
two days after that phone call.
The fact that Mr. Holland contacted
SRAC, and visited from so great a dis-
tance, is great proof of the reach that
SRAC has established in Pennsylvania
and New York. The trip alone was at
least 3 hours, one way; but Jack and Wendy Zebehazy, Tom Vallilee, Dick Cowles, Ted Keir, Joe Sullivan, Jack Holland, and Deb
two friends, Joe Sullivan and Wendy Twigg at recent visit to SRAC

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Page 8 THE SRAC JOURNAL Volume 4, Issue 3

The Vatican 1831 Wampum Belt: A Day of Study at the Vatican Museums, 9 December 2008
lections under her care. During this me to G. Pizzorusso in Rome. By
review two wampum belts were identi- chance, Pizzorusso, who specializes in
fied. One of these bands had been native peoples who came to Rome,
seen in Rome by David Bushnell had just found the documents relating
nearly a century earlier, and published to the fabrication of this wampum band
twice in his works. Bushnell’s studies in 1831 as a gift to Pope Gregory XVI.
had led me, as early as 1975, to look
At that same time a group of Mi’kmaq
for the elaborate band that he illus-
in Canada were falsely claiming in
trated. Twenty five years later three
court that this wampum band, known
disparate sets of activities converged
only from the Bushnell illustrations,
to reveal a great deal about this puz-
was an early treaty belt between their
zling wampum band. The first set was
people and the Vatican. This false tes-
the actual re-discovery (Becker 1999)
timony was withdrawn when the real
and publication (Becker 2001) of what
history of the belt was revealed (see
we now identify as the VATICAN 1831
Becker 2006). Despite withdrawal of
wampum band. The other two activi-
his testimony, the Mi’kmaq who made
ties are as different as night and day.
the court claim continued to make pub-
When I identified the VATICAN 1831 lic claims regarding this band, which
band, I thought that this elaborate ex- was in no way related to the Mi’kmaq.
ample of an “ecclesiastical wampum In fact, the Mi’kmaq never used wam-
band” must be documented some- pum bands in any context before 1930.
where in the vast Vatican archives. All
In December the audience listened
the known ecclesiastical bands, identi-
politely to all these presentations re-
fied by the presence of a Latin cross
garding the history and origins of this
at the center, were made by mission-
In 2008, the 400th anniversary of the large wampum band. But, who were
aries at convert communities to be sent
founding of Quebec, the province they to believe – a bunch of academics
to another convert group or to religious
sponsored a wide range of activities at in their suits and ties or a genuine na-
centers in Europe. Two of the finest
home and abroad. As part of this cele- tive fabulist, with his long braid in the
examples are now at Chartres Cathe-
bration the Mi’kmac claimant was modern “Indian” fashion and his mod-
dral in France. I contacted Prof. Luca
treated to a visit to the Vatican to see ern beaded artifacts made of commer-
Codignola in Genoa, an expert on na-
the wampum band that he continues to cially tanned skins?
tive peoples in Canada, who directed
allege (but not in court) was part of his
“cultural heritage.” Dr. Console used
the visit to organize a formal “Day of
Study” at the Vatican, to which schol-
ars and museum people from all over
Italy could assemble. During the day
scholars from as far away as Poland
met to hear about the history of this
impressive wampum band, which was
the last example made by natives for
any traditional purpose. Professors
Luca Codignola, M. J. Becker, and oth-
ers presented formal papers, while a
Mi’kmaq colleague offered a story
completely unrelated to any of the evi-
dence, but claiming that he has special
knowledge of these things, possibly
through his grandmother.
This “Day of Study” began in 1999
when, as part of a program of research
focusing on Native American objects
held in the Vatican Museums, Ester Replica Wampum Belt in Reversed Colors
Console took me on a tour of the col-
(Continued on page 9)

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Page 9 THE SRAC JOURNAL Volume 4, Issue 3

The Vatican 1831 Wampum Belt: A Day of Study at the Vatican Museums Cont.
*Photos courtesy of Dr. Bartosz Hlebowicz of underlining was lost on the non-literate people who con-
structed the band. They faithfully reproduced the image in
*References available on request.
wampum beads, where, if the text is read upside down, the
~ SIDEBAR ~ underlining appears to represent accents. The inability of the
natives to “read” the writing or to decode the convention of
The impressive VATICAN 1831 wampum belt, commis- “underlining” points out why this word was included on the
sioned by priests of the Sulpician Order as a gift to Pope
“Christian” (European) side of the cross. Literacy, as repre-
Gregory XVI, has a Latin cross at the center that clearly sented by this “text,” was then part of the European world,
identifies it as an ecclesiastical band. One half of this long where it remained for centuries.
band bears symbols relating to the Catholic Church. These
include a figure of a church as well as the Catholic symbol
representing the keys to St. Peter’s. On the other side of the
cross, among the symbols representing native culture, are a
bow and arrow and other elements. In recent years the brief
text that appears next to the church has been interpreted by
various Native American groups as representing their own
language or a treaty made by their ancestors with the Vati-
can. Not one of these modern claimant groups was involved
with the peoples at the Lake of the Two Mountains (Oka)
where the belt was made.
Although David Bushnell had published excellent illustrations
of this band a century ago, no one could “read” the apparent
“text” on the band until recently. It reads “Whọmpọm”. The
word, like the symbol of the keys of St. Peter’s, is inverted!
The priests who commissioned the belt provided drawings of
the images they wished to include on the band. They even
underlined the word “Whompom” with a series of four short Wonderful shot by Dr. Bartosz Hlebowicz of the word
dashes to indicate which way was “up.” But the convention “WHOMPOM” on the actual belt. (Note: Text above is intended to
illustrate the word on the belt below.)

Hill Collection Added to SRAC Exhibits

The Susquehanna River Archaeological Center (SRAC) has
recently received another donation of Native Indian artifacts
by a local collector. George W. Hill of Lowman, New York
donated approximately 300 artifacts and several books after
attending SRAC’s “DrumBeats Through Time” event on Oc-
tober 25th. This event included the opening of the SRAC
Exhibit Hall which displays thousands of locally found arti-
facts donated by many collectors from around the region.
SRAC is dedicated to education, research and preservation
of the region's Native American archaeological, cultural and
historical assets for the communities within the Twin Tier
Region of Southeastern NY and Northeastern PA. Prior to
the Hill donation, the 5 year old organization had 7 collec-
tions donated to them, which until the opening of the Exhibit
Hall was created at the Center, remained in storage off site
for safe keeping.
Because SRAC is dedicated to preserving local collections,
a unique feature of the collections on display includes the George Hill, Ted Keir, and Tom Vallilee
collector’s name and picture next to their artifacts. SRAC’s
executive director explained, “At this year’s DrumBeats we tors know that we understand that these artifacts, that many
recognized each collector that donated their collections to have found themselves, sometimes over a lifetime, are not
us to date. In the future, we will make a special portion of only scientific evidence, but mementos of a person’s life;
each DrumBeats event to recognize the collectors for that and they deserve to be recognized in that way.”
year.” She added, “We do this to make sure that our collec-

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Page 10 THE SRAC JOURNAL Volume 4, Issue 3

Local Indian Rock Art Published in "Making Pictures in Stone"

"Making Pictures in Stone
E l l s w o r th
- American Indian Rock Art
Cowles in 1933,
of the Northeast," was
a "grid stone"
written by Edward J, Lenik,
tablet from the
and published by the
Ted Keir/ SRAC
University of Alabama
Collection, and
Press, Tuscaloosa,
a blue slate
Alabama. Lenik is a
amulet from the
registered professional
archaeologist and well-
collection that is
known author of several
incised with
works concerning
many designs Gridstone Tablet from Keir/SRAC Collection
American Indian rock art.
including a wolf Published in "Making Pictures in Stone"
This book is an illustrated
or bear figure.
resource concerning rock
art created by the Indians Deb Twigg, SRAC's Executive Director explained, "It is
of Northeast America for both exciting and very significant that our local
Lenik’s books are available at research purposes. archaeology is being used as a resource for ongoing and most book Remarkably, some of the research on a national level." She added, "This is just the
retailers. examples used to beginning
represent notable rock art now that
in the book are local rock art supplied to the author by the SRAC finally
Susquehanna River Archaeological Center (SRAC.) has their
Rock art is a term used for various forms of human artistic
accessible to
expression by incising, etching, painting, pecking, or
the public at
otherwise physically changing the faces of rocks, the walls
our new
of caves, or simply by
center in
moving or piling rocks on
the landscape to form a
design or pattern. Rock A n y o n e Animal-Shaped Effigy Hearth Discovered by
art subsets include interested in Ellsworth Cowles in 1933 and Published in
petroglyphs, pictographs, learning more "Making Pictures in Stone"
engravings, geoglyphs, about these
and petroforms. artifacts or others found in our region can visit SRAC at
345 Broad Street in Waverly, NY. The center houses
The specific rock art from
thousands of locally found artifacts and is open from 1-5
our region that was used
Blue Slate Amulet Published in Tuesday through Friday and from 11-4pm on Saturday.
in Lenik's recent book
"Making Pictures in Stone" Anyone with questions are asked to call 607-565-7960, or
includes an animal effigy
hearth discovered by

SRAC would like to welcome Mark Madill to
the SRAC board. Mark is President of the
Andaste Chapter of Pennsylvania
Archaeology as well as a board member for
the Wyalusing Valley Museum in
Wyalusing, PA. Mark has also been On a cell phone?
involved in many historical projects
concerning Bradford County, PA and has
taken part in archaeological digs in this
region as well.
SRAC is honored to have Mark accept the
position with SRAC, and look forward to his
help in fulfilling our mission in the future.

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Page 11 THE SRAC JOURNAL Volume 4, Issue 3

Tioga Central History Club Visits SRAC

Eric Gutierrez, an 8th grade history teacher and

advisor for the club at Tioga Central School in Ti-
oga Center, NY had visited SRAC recently. Within
weeks he returned with a busload of students and
members of the school's History Club.

SRAC's Ted Keir gave a short lecture about our

local archaeology and prehistory and later gave
the students a tour of the SRAC exhibit hall where
thousands of local Native American artifacts are on
display. While touring the exhibit Hall, the students
were also challenged to take a quiz about artifacts
and historical information on exhibit and all stu-
dents that submitted quizzes with perfect scores
received a prize.

SRAC’s Deb Twigg explains, "We started offering

school tours just recently, and hope that many
schools will take advantage of the opportunity we
offer to all schools for free." She added, "We want
to thank Eric Gutierrez for bringing his students
down to SRAC, I think Ted and I enjoyed it as
much as the kids did!" Students and adults alike enjoyed SRAC’s Exhibit Hall during the recent
school field trip.
The SRAC Exhibit Hall is open Tuesdays through
Fridays from 1-5pm, and Saturdays from 11-4pm. If you SRAC, call the Center at (607)565-7960, or email
would like to schedule a special school or bus trip to for more information.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at SRAC

SRAC proudly participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony acknowledg-
ing their membership in the Valley Chamber of Commerce. The cere-
mony was led by the Valley Chamber of Commerce at the center at
345 Broad Street in Waverly, NY on Thursday, November 20, 2008.
Although the Center has been open for some time having lectures, gift
shop hours, and so on, the addition of the Exhibit Hall has completed
the first stage of SRAC’s existence. With the Exhibit Hall stocked full
of thousands of artifacts and open to the public on a regular basis, it
was finally time to begin directing the public to it!
Exhibits are available to be viewed from 1-5pm Tuesdays through Fri-
days and Saturdays from 11 am—4 pm. Admission fees are $3 for
adults, $1 for seniors and students. SRAC members can view our SRAC Board Members Deb Twigg, Dick Cowles, Ted
exhibits during regular hours for free. Keir, Mary Ann Taylor, and Tom Vallilee at Ribbon
Cutting Ceremony
Would your group like to schedule a special visit to our Center?
We are happy to facilitate bus trips or educational tours. Presentations about our local history can also be added to the
scheduled visit with advance notice and an additional donation of $1 per person attending if your group is not a school.

Teachers - Would you like to schedule a class trip to our Center? We are happy to facilitate your class trip to our
Center for free throughout the school year! All we ask is that you work with us to schedule this in advance.

Please contact us to learn more! Call Deb Twigg at 607-727-3111 or email us at

The Susquehanna River Archaeological Center of Native Indian Studies ~ ~ email
Page 12 THE SRAC JOURNAL Volume 4, Issue 3


On October 25th 2008, we held our 5th annual event at SRAC that we call "DrumBeats Through Time." Over the years
we have done many things at DrumBeats, but this particular year was special in that we were able to hold it in our very
own building at 345 Broad Street in Waverly, NY, which we purchased in December 2007.

To date we have a huge gift shop, lecture hall, and during our DrumBeats event this year, we unveiled our Exhibit Hall
filled with thousands of artifacts that will rotate constantly as well as a huge mural funded by the DEC Art of the South-
ern Finger Lakes grant.

The event began with our membership meeting/luncheon, followed by a presentation by Dr. Dee Wymer of Bloomsburg
University called "Flowers for the Dead.” Then we had authentic Native American dance and songs presented by the
"Buffalo Creek Dancers" who were from the Seneca Nation of New York. Lastly, we unveiled our wonderful mural after a
dedication was made by Dick Cowles. Several hundred attended the event.

We hope you enjoy a gallery of images from the event. If you had the chance to
attend, I hope that it brings you the fond memories that it brings to those of us at
SRAC. Thank you to all the folks that sent photos to make this possible!

Young Visitor in Exhibit Hall

Expert Presenter, Dr. Dee Anne The Mirans Helping Out with Marcia Cowles
Wymer, Bloomsburg University

The Audience Joins In With the


The Susquehanna River Archaeological Center of Native Indian Studies ~ ~ email
Page 13 THE SRAC JOURNAL Volume 4, Issue 3


Board Member, Janet Andrus, Happy

Guy Abbell, Beryl Cleary, and Maryann to be Working Her First Drumbeats!
Gloria Dicks and Friends

Caterer, Kim Glab With Erik

Marty Borko

Unveiling of the New Mural!

Dick Cowles & Ron Cole

Daryl Stratton
Dick Jackson

Collector’s Setting Up in the Exhibit Hall The Vanderlaans The Sloats

The Susquehanna River Archaeological Center of Native Indian Studies ~ ~ email
Page 14 THE SRAC JOURNAL Volume 4, Issue 3


*Editor’s Note: An atlatl is a spear throwing
device used by the earliest hunters in North
America. It predates the bow and arrow,
which only began being used in the north-
east around 1000 AD, by thousands of
years. SRAC member Jack Rowe has
Contact Us! been a big part of the revived interest and
use of the atlatl in our region. In the follow-
ing article, Jack explains.
Our Headquarters My interest in collecting Indian artifacts has
snowballed in many ways. I've learned to
Mail: flint knap, make cordage, fire-by-friction,
SRAC make pottery, brain tanning, and many
PO Box 12 other ancient technologies. My favorite an-
Sayre, PA 18840 cient technology by far is throwing darts.
The atlatl is fun and a great family hobby
Phone: that I promise you too would enjoy.
607-727-3111 It all started in 1993 after "the storm of the dozen years later. I'm learning more of
Email: century" when a buddy asked if I wanted to those technologies that all our ancestors hunt for arrowheads. Well I found some! Let used. And I'm now making atlatls, darts and
me tell you I was hooked. I spent the rest of other things primitive and selling them on
that year hunting artifacts, everyday, until the World Wide Web; old and new tech-
Our Center the snow fell. This went on for a couple nologies working together.
years. I was learning things primitive, but
Location: There are two types of atlatls, and the way
never saw how arrowheads were made.
345 Broad St. to tell the different types apart is in the way
There was a stone tool show going on in
it's held. The split-finger grip atlatl, the type
Waverly, NY 1996 that I visited in Letchworth State Park
I use, you split your fingers around the han-
in New York, where I could see firsthand
Phone: dle, like this.(Picture 1) Or it could have a
how arrowheads were made. On my way in
hole (or two) like this. (Picture 2)
607-565-7960 to the show I saw the atlatl range. When I
left the stone tool show, I had an atlatl and The hammer grip atlatl is held as the name
a dart. Now I knew a little something about implies. (pic3) There are many variations of
Our Website flint knapping and atlatls. So here we are a the two types; each as individual as the per- son using it. Most atlatls average between
19 and 25 inches long. Each has a handle
and a spur.
Our Online Giftshop The spur, located near the top rear of the atlatl, could be made from antler, wood,
bone and even stone. The spur is inserted
into a cup like depression on the dart and
Online Membership helps to hold the dart in place. My 88 inch
darts, which look very much like arrows, are made from river cane. They average 5
ounces. Darts could also be made from
Our Blog wood saplings, hardwood dowels scarfed
together or modern materials like aluminum and graphite.
The atlatl I call the Lamoka on my web site
Online Donations are copied from the artifacts that were
found in burials at Indian Knoll in Kentucky by William S. Webb. It's a hammer grip at-
latl of a type I believe was commonly used

Jack Rowe With Part of His Collection (Continued on page 15)

The Susquehanna River Archaeological Center of Native Indian Studies ~ ~ email
Page 15 THE SRAC JOURNAL Volume 4, Issue 3


Picture 1 Picture 2 Picture 3

(Continued from page 14)

are known as Basketmaker atlatls. It is believed the Anasazi
during the archaic period. It's a three piece atlatl made from people used this type for hunting. The Chemung is the atlatl
whitetail deer antler and wood. type I use in competition and would use for hunting if it were
legal. Mine is 24 inches long and weighs 8 1/4 ounces. A
Many people make this type of atlatl with a round wooden
stone weight is attached 6 inches back from the spur. The
shaft between the antler handle and spur. The thought is
dart rest, located near the grip is a modern adaptation and
the bannerstones found with the antler handle and spur in
helps to hold the dart firmly in place. The grip is comfortable
the burials excavated by Webb were attached to round
and feels as if it's a part of you, throughout the throwing
wooden shafts on atlatls as atlatl weights because the ban-
motion. In a hunting situation I could hold the atlatl and dart
nerstones have a round hole drilled through them. I think
ready for a long period of time. Not many split-finger grip
the "so-called bannerstones" were used for many things but
atlatls are used by atlatlists these days.
not weights. A 1/2" wood atlatl shaft could be used to throw
darts but would be quite stiff. My wooden shafts are flat and The Genesee is a copy of a prehistoric atlatl also. A groove
have flex, which is important in the performance of the at- runs the length of the atlatl for quick loading of the dart. It's
latl. A stone weight is usually attached to the atlatl some- an Aztec atlatl. Maybe one like this was used to fight the
where between the handle and spur. This is to offset the Spanish who feared the atlatl.
darts weight forward of the atlatl. I do this by having some-
Atlatls are a short range implement. I can throw accurately
one place the stone weight on different areas of the atlatl
out to about 30 yards. After that my accuracy decreases.
shaft while I'm set as if to throw, until I feel the chemistry
Darts can fly a very long distance. The world record dis-
between the atlatl and dart. What that means is the dart and
tance throw with an atlatl and dart is over 840 feet.
atlatl feel as one. You don't want to feel any of the dart
weight out in front. For more information on atlatls and darts visit my web site
The Chemung (Picture 1) is a split-finger type atlatl. Many
of this type of atlatls were found in the arid south west and


Special thanks to the following for In addition, two donations were
their support: made in memory of our Executive
• Jack Andrus Director’s mother, Barbara Twigg.
• Michael Belzer and Charlotte • Diane Menio
Cowles • The Lunch Club
• Rural Amity Lodge No. 70
• Janet Andrus

The Susquehanna River Archaeological Center of Native Indian Studies ~ ~ email
Page 16 THE SRAC JOURNAL Volume 4, Issue 3


Many of you are familiar with our quarterly journal, and the quality and volume of educational information we try to bring to the commu-
nity throughout the year. In fact our range of readership includes high school students to retired persons as well as professional scien-
tists and local universities. The journal has grown into a well read and respected publication; and we hope that it will continue to grow
and be a resource of educational and entertaining material for years to come. Obviously, with this continued growth not only in content
and pages but distribution, there are added costs associated. For this reason, we have decided to offer sponsorship by local individu-
als, families, and businesses who want to help us in our efforts. We currently publish and distribute 1,000 copies each quarter ~ that's
currently 4,000 copies each year, with our coverage mainly in Bradford County PA and Tioga and Chemung Counties in NY, but we
have readership that reaches far beyond these boundaries as well.

How Can You Become a Sponsor?

1.) Choose your level of sponsorship and how many issues you would like to sponsor below. If you
would like to sponsor multiple quarterly journals (4 per year) or even a whole year, just multiply the
sponsorship level.

2.) Tell us what you would like us to print

3.) Include your check along with this completed form.

Thank you for being an active supporter of this worthy cause!

• Platinum $500.00 Our top level of sponsorship! With your donation of $500 you will be facilitating 1,000
copies of one quarterly journal. Your donation will be recognized with a full half-page gray-scale or black and
white ad that can measure up to 7 1/2” wide by 5” tall. (Sorry, but we can accept only one Platinum sponsor
per issue; however, you can reserve for future issues.) Please email artwork and text you wish included to

Please circle the level of sponsorship you wish to make; and

indicate what you would like your sponsor recognition to say in
• Gold The Leadership Company the space below…..anything you like!
$100.00 234 Main Street
Your Town, USA
123-4321 LINE 2

• Silver The Hollowell Family
$50.00 Jan, Christy
Ryan, Allison, and Tommy LINE 4
(Limit lines to 35 characters. Gold level can include logo if space
allows. Please email logos to

• Sup-
The Johnson Family
In loving memory of our dad John
Send check along with this form to: SRAC
For additional information call Deb PO Box 12
Twigg at 607-727-3111 or email Sayre, PA 18840
• Friend
$10.00 The Lucky Penny Club

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Page 17 THE SRAC JOURNAL Volume 4, Issue 3


Looking for something special for that history buff or that person who is hard to buy for? Visit SRAC's Gift Shop at 345
Broad Street in Waverly, NY! It is open from 1-5pm Tuesdays through Fridays and 11-4pm on Saturdays! And while you
are there, stop in and visit our exhibit hall, filled with thousands of locally found artifacts!

Handmade beaded jewelry! SRAC has a huge assortment of titles

Incredible wood carvings by Bill Underwood!
in stock relative to our region's early
history! We also have maps!

Huge variety of rocks, minerals, geodes, etc. from all over the

Fabulous collection framed artwork from

artists including Sue Hakes, Albert White,
Lee Thompson, Ed Cordes, and more!

Variety of art objects, func-

tional and decorative, by
artists including Gloria
Riegel, Bill Underwood, Craig
Maurey, and more!
Lots of fun things for the kids!

• Deb Twigg • Tom Vallilee
• Dick Cowles • Janet Andrus
• Ted Keir • Mary Ann Taylor
• Susan Fogel • Mark Madill

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Page 18 THE SRAC JOURNAL Volume 4, Issue 3
The Susquehanna River Archaeological Center of Native Indian Studies
PO Box 12
Sayre, PA 18840

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Type Annual Fee Benefits

Student $15.00 Quarterly newsletter, special events, exclusive offers, and special discounts.

Senior (65 and

$15.00 Quarterly newsletter, special events, exclusive offers, and special discounts.

Family $25.00 Quarterly newsletter, special events, exclusive offers, and special discounts.

Individual $20.00 Quarterly newsletter, special events, exclusive offers, and special discounts.

Research Partner Quarterly newsletter, special events, exclusive offers, special discounts, and online data-
(Ind.) base collection access.
Corporate or
$250.00 Quarterly newsletter, special events, exclusive offers, and special discounts.
$500.00 Lifetime membership and quarterly newsletters, special events, exclusive offers, and spe-
One Time cial discounts.

Become a member of SRAC!
• Please check the type of membership you wish to apply for.
• Fill out the information above.
• Submit this form with a check for the appropriate amount to: SRAC, PO Box 12, Sayre 18840

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