Celebrating 40 years!
The FIRST Township in Allegheny County
Click here to find our more about Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village:
Dr. James Adovasio, Acclaimed Archaeologist!
A few members of the Moon Township Historical Society had visited Meadowcroft Village only the year before, but upon hearing that Dr. James Adovasio, Ph.D, archaeologist of international acclaim since the excavation of the site in 1973 would be coming to speak at the Smithsonian affiliated site on June 27, 2015, Patty Zerishnek, MTHS Secretary, took it upon herself to help lead another trip to Avella, PA, in order for more MTHS members to have a chance to hear a first-hand account of the fascinating story of what we now know as the oldest continuous habitation site in North America. Everyone who participated agreed it was a marvelous chance to view/hear history from the most knowledgeable expert who has impacted the lives of so many!
Mim Bizic and sister, Rose Gantner, were excited to pose with Dr. James Adovasio at the Rockshelter site, June 27, 2015.
Mim Bizic, MTHS web site originator, was proud to share the fact that her son, Nick Bizic, along with fellow student, Robert Kluz, both students in Quaker Valley School District's Gifted program at the time, were selected by the Governor's School of Pennsylvania to work with Dr. James Adovasio in their sophmore, junior and senior years, which would have been in the Fall, 1985-to Spring, 1988 years, under the direction of the Dr. Adovasio and the University of Pittsburgh. One day each school month, the two traveled to Pitt and the shelter instead of attending a regular school day. Nick utilized his early computer skills to input data, and Robert used his artistic talent to draw imaages of what was discovered as it happened. Mim says, "They were an exciting part of Meadowcroft's History!"
And Dr. Adovasio said he was always so grateful for the help of ALL his interns, some of them working EVERY day, 10-12 hrs. per day!
President of MTHS, Earl Edwards, right, shares with the Meadowcroft Nature Ranger, photos of the arrowheads and spear points found in our Moon Township area.
Walking to the reconstructed Indian site.
They didn't have axes to cut down the trees, so they toppled them and then burned off the tops. The ash from the burning was used as fertilizer for the crops...
Mim and Earl with one of the many skins on display. Raccoons were also hunted in Moon Township as a way of life.
Such a wide variety of animal skins! Almost every small game animal you can think of, including bobcat and mink and beaver!
Lora Dombrosky, right, Civil Engineer with Moon Township, learns from our guide that this is not a tipi or teepee in the background, but a brushed hut, a temporary shelter.
A more permanent housing unit would be like this wigwam shape, made out of reed bark.
The THREE (3) SISTERS: Corn (maize); Peas and Squash. First the Indians would plant the corn and then wait until the stalks were so high. Then they would plant the peas right next to each stalk! (Built in supports!) And then they would add the squash in between the corn stalks to help with the weeding! (Less work, more bounty!) We loved this lesson!
Rose learns how to use the spear and atl from our guide. Almost, for Rose, almost! But it was Earl and Lora who would have brought back the meat for us THIS day! Both of them had arrows piercing the animal!
Rose, Earl and Lora
What better way to end our visit than with a memorable visit to "BREEZY HEIGHTS" Restaurant, one of the closest to Meadowcroft Village, even though 5+ miles away! The 89 year-old proprietor greets all guests. The huge restaurant inside (once a ballroom!) holds stuffed animals inside as her husband was a big game hunter. Mistakenly, we entered through this black door in front, which was the entrance to the bar room. The room was filled with heads of deer, elk and a great big MOOSE! Try the broasted chicken if you visit!
Just learned that this restaurant/golf course is owned by Patty Zerishnek's cousin! It IS such a small world afterall!
Meadowcroft Rock Shelter and Historic Village in association with the Smithsonian Institute, 401 Meadowcroft Road, Avella, PA 15312
To enlarge any photo on this site, simply click the bottom right hand corner of the photo.
The beautiful quilt depicting the history of Meadowcroft Village awaits at the Visitor's Center.
These beautiful BLUE BALLOON flowers are outside of the Visitors Center, bidding everyone a joyous "WELCOME!" Gorgeous! The photo doesn't do them justice enough.....
The longtime Director of Meadowcroft Museum, David R. Scofield, talks about the history of the site...He said it all started with a groundhog hole....
Be sure to click the lower right hand side of the photo if you find the story hard to read....
Dr. Adovasio's map explaining the movements.
A slide for orientation from Adovasio's slides.
Another slide from Dr. Adovasio, showing the little button-like markers at the Rockshelter, each one representing a special find.
Walking up (or DOWN!) the overhang reminds you of something out of Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater! We all thought the beautiful wood structure was so exquisitely done! While we were there, there was a busload of people and many archaeology students also.
Climbing the steps to the Rockshelter. Come on, Rose, you can make it! Notice how far below the cars are. But the steps were well done. Lots of room to rest and the grading is easy to climb.
Dr. James Adovasio explaining the various areas of the Rockshelter, via Lights operated by computer.
So much to see and learn!
N ote the button markers lower right hand side.
Leaving this area to explore the next level up!
Patty and Keith Zerishnek at the overhang on the Meadowcroft Rockshelter. Happy Birthday, Keith! :-)
Alex and Dan also know this is a great place for a photo.
Dan in front of the left-side ledge.
An even closer look up the rock ledge, past Dan.
If you look closely (or enlarge the image by clicking on the lower right hand corner, you will see some of the wild berries like the Native Americans used to eat...
Located at the bottom of the Meadowcroft Rockshelter.... just another thing to remind you just a little bit of Fallingwater.....
There's a church, a blacksmith shop, and an old school house you can visit too!
We all had a wonderful day and hope you see fit to visit this great Pennsylvania/ American natural treasure!