Is our history lost? Maybe not.
— Is our history lost? Maybe not.
We walk on history every day. Our footsteps tread above the footprints of our ancestors. It's there, waiting for interested people to discover.
Many people say "let it be! Junk!" while others are excited to find artifacts telling us how those people lived.
A Lookout resident, Steven Woll, has been involved in this search since he was 12 years old.
Starting his collection of Indian relics in Passaic and Sussex counties in New Jersey, he grew more excited by every find.
As a lay archeologist he was allowed to excavate native sites for the Girl Scouts of America, the New Jersey State Parks Department, the Passaic County Historical Society, along with many private land owners and groups in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.
One of these sites he named "The Twin Creeks Project" which is located just across the Delaware River in Sullivan County and is part of the Historic Settlement of Cochecton.
He said, "It was at this place that my interest in historical archeology began about 20 years ago. Some of the many things that were found represented the personal possessions of the earliest setters of our area, both Native and European. These items were not fully understood and many were discarded or lost over the years. But, fortunately, some wise collectors appreciated the treasures they had found, but, are hidden away and undocumented. So, that information is not available to add to our knowledge.
"Like most important discoveries, such as the Twin Creeks Site, they are identified by accident and there are no finite lines to follow, they simply happen that way."
By the use of a more historical approach and working backwards in our known history, in time the site revealed itself.
The process was long and frustrating, but, the rewards perhaps represent the only fully documented Native Habitation Site in this part of the Upper Delaware River Valley.
Steve would like to share what he believes to be part of the earliest representations of people both Native and European who co-existed in this part of Wayne County, Pennsylvania and Sullivan County New York for all to see, in the near future, at an appropriate facility in our area.
Included in this assemblage there are parts of iron kettles, metal and glass arrow heads and tools, strike-a-lights, metal spoons, pewter items, buttons, tacks, hook and eye fasteners, glass bottles and beads, a 'cootie comb,' keys, a 17th century knife, pottery, kaolin pipes, a meat skewer, gunflints, lead shot, ceramics, coins, Jew harps and many other treasures.
Steve would like any collectors out there who think they may have found items relating to the Native Colonial occupation of our area to give him a call. He will gladly identify them for you. Call (570) 224-6458.
Steve's future hope is to use this assemblage as a learning tool for our local schools, historical societies and the community in general.
It's never too late to learn.