Ebbert Spring Heritage Park & Archaeological Preserve,
Antrim Township, Franklin Co, PA
In 2010, The Archaeological Conservancy (a national 501(c)(3) organization) acquired from a developer a 3.4-acre parcel – a portion of Ebbert Spring, “a multi-component site with artifacts spanning from the Paleo-Indian period to the 19th century.” On August 29, the Conservancy acquired five more acres known as the Bonnell parcel, which includes “the heart of the prehistoric component of the site,” including an 18th century farmhouse and reconstructed springhouse.
Ebbert Spring was first excavated by a chapter of the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology in 2003 . Over the course of the next ten years they recovered tens of thousands of historic items and prehistoric lithic, ceramic, and bone artifacts at the site ; as well as various intact features such as postmolds, hearths , and refuse pits predominantly from the Middle and Late Woodland periods.
The prehistoric component of the site helped redefine thinking about how prehistoric people utilized this portion of the Great Appalachian Valley. Most Native American habitation areas in the region have been found near tributaries of the Potomac River, but Ebbert Spring is one of several documented sites in the valley located next to springs
On August 30, 2017, Andy Stout, Greencastle native and Eastern Regional Director of The Archaeological Conservancy (TAC), and Bonnie Shockey, President & CEO, on behalf the board of directors of Allison-Antrim Museum, Inc (AAMI), signed a 99-year lease between TAC and AAMI, which transfers the care of the standing structures, within the Ebbert Spring Heritage Park & Archaeological Preserve, to Allison-Antrim Museum. The original house (on the left), with three-feet thick walls, was built c. 1753 by William Allison, father of John Allison, founder of Greencastle.
It was the wish of the late Al Bonnell, owner of the property for 50 years, that the grounds, structures, and archaeological artifacts, and its archaeological history be preserved not only for the Greencastle-Antrim Community-at-large but also for Pennsylvania and American History.
Al passed away in April 2016 and since then his son Terrance “Terry” Bonnell worked diligently to bring his father's wishes to fruition. Other partners in the overall project include the Antrim Township, Greencastle-Antrim School District, Shippensburg University, and Greencastle Area Franklin County Water Authority.
The archaeological sites have been dubbed a "super site" by the state. The artifacts range from prehistoric to early contact with white men. The archaeological artifacts are housed in Allison-Antrim Museum’s climate-controlled storage area.
Over the next two years, TAC will create trails with archaeological, historical, geological, ecological, and environmental history kiosks throughout the property. The trails will be completed by Old Home Week 2019.
Allison-Antrim Museum, Inc
365 South Ridge Avenue, Greencastle, PA 17225
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