Sunday, July 31, 2011

Iona Island hike on Sep 3rd rain date Sep 4th at 10am.

Doc Bayne is all set to do the Iona Island hike on Sep 3rd rain date Sep 4th at 10am. 

The entrance is off Route 9W, 1.5 miles South of the Bear Mountain Bridge. Park in lot next to the West Shore railroad tracks, leaving, of course, sufficient clearance for trains.

Doc Bayne, renowned local historian, photographer and educator, will again lead a hike around Iona Island in the Hudson River below Bear Mountain.
From evidence of native Americans on the island through the colonial farms and settlements, when it was known as Salisbury Island, and later as Weygant's Island. In the late 1800s it attracted tourists with an amusement park, hotel, and picnic grounds. Iona Island served as a major Northeast United States Naval arsenal from 1900 to 1965, complete with explosions, saboteurs and of course, the famous mothball fleet following WWII. Since 1965, when the Palisades Interstate Park Commission took possession, much of the island and surrounding marshes have become a wildlife preserve, providing valuable habitat for many species, including winter nesting for Bald Eagles, during which the Island is off limits to human visitors.

2011-07-31 at the Florist dig

 In cleaning a spot for the screen today, Gary spotted a suspected Bear Island point on the surface!

Loosen the soil as he might…
Digging with hope of another in sight… 

Alas, but the one he found, be it…
So proud of his find - indeed - documented with all his might.

With all of this excitement over Gary's find, a reminder that life goes on flew into view. This hornet, stopped on a nearby piece of bark with her dragonfly prey today. Could a similar scene those thousands of years ago grabbed the attention of the one who dropped that point?

Due to scheduling conflicts: No dig next Sunday, August 7th.

Plan to be there to continue the study in the following weeks.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Florist Site 2011-07-24

We started line "K" today, which didn't produce a lot of stuff. This was expected, since we were so close to the old roadways and swale. 
Although not much came out of today's test pits, these three beautiful jasper flakes all came out of the same pit.

Just after noon, as the sky darken, Steph got a call warning us that it was pouring in Ottisville and the thunderstorm was probably headed our way. So we took heed and packed up. Sure enough, the rained reached us on the way home.

See ya next week.

No dig August 6th, due to scheduling conflicts!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Florist Site 2011-07-17

 After a spring of moist, clingy soil, July weather finally dried the soil! Of course, now we complained about the heat and humidity!

Dave sifts another load, under Gary's eagle eyes.

 Perhaps the most interesting find of the day was this piece of shale. This otherwise ordinary rock has a notch on the right side that was suspiciously smooth, almost polished.

Laying in line "K"

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Ray retires!

Ray retired from the post of Chapter Treasurer at the club picnic!

The Executive Committee met and:

His resignation was accepted and Ray was thanked for the many years of work and dedication he has given to the chapter. A motion was made and seconded to appoint Jon Leonard to the position of treasurer until the next regularly scheduled election of officers and at that time can run for this position.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:10 PM
Respectfully Submitted,
Priscilla Johnson, Secretary

Congratulations Jon for accepting this responsibility!  The Chapter's assets are in good hands.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Florist dig 7/10/2011

At the florist site today we had 2 of the members attend from the Mid-Hudson Chapter who I met at the last meeting, Polly and Pat. While my camera was not functioning today and was unable to take pictures, the best find today came from the screen (I believe by Polly) and was a large beautiful jasper flake. There were several other small flakes and the weather was beautiful.

Friday, July 8, 2011




 Hosted by

(A LIAM Design/Build photo)

Archaeologists and historians, professional and avocational, are invited to speak at Saturday’s conference.  Presentations  should be no more than 25 minutes long and may be illustrated with slides or other graphic materials.  A PowerPoint projector is available.  Kindly submit a title and abstract to Edward J. Lenik, Program Chair, via email at or snail mail at Edward J. Lenik at 100 Deerfield Road, Wayne, NJ 97470-6414 by September 1, 2011 to be considered for the program.  Kindly include your affiliation and a brief biography.

Traditionally, this conference features a morning hike or field trip in the Highlands and an afternoon of papers on topics in Northeastern history or archaeology.
Questions?  Call Ed Lenik at 973-835-0770 between 9AM and 4PM Monday through Friday.

REGISTRATION:  The conference is free and open to the public.  No registration is necessary.

BOOKROOM:  Books on historical and archaeological topics will be available for sale. Please let Ed know if you would like to set up a display in the book room.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Joe Devine passes!

Renowned local authority on Orange County mastodons, Joe Devine, died  July 3, 2011. Joe lived in Montgomery and was a tireless advocate for our region's mastodon heritage!

Pictured here as he spoke before the Chapter at the "Centuries of Orange County Archaeology" symposium in 2009.

His obituary was been published by the Times Herald-Record on July 5th:

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Critical NYS Museum staff face layoffs!

    Critical NYS Museum staff face layoffs as Gov. Coumo seeks to slash museum funding. Unless agreement is reached and the Governor relents, layoffs will take effect July 22nd. Among those jobs to be eliminated are the positions held by Dr. Jon Lothrop and by Dr. Christina Riech.  Both have been extremely supportive of the Orange County Chapter for several years.  Recently Christina arranged the funding for the excavation of the Tunkamoose Mastodon tusks, dated at 14,000 BP and the second longest tusks on record,  and Jon directed the Cultural aspect of the excavation. This was the first in situ scientific excavation of a Mastodon in NYS.  All others were disturbed by construction or farming equipment prior to recovery.

  At this time, Jon is engaged in a project to survey and record Paleo artifacts found within NYS.  This past Wednesday he came to Washingtonville and recorded the Russell Hallock Collection as well as two Clovis points owned by Bruce Decker. His work Wednesday has confirmed that a local site where Russ found seven fluted points is among the most significant Paleo sites in NYS.

  Just last Tuesday Jon and Andrea Lain spent two hours with members of the Orange County Chapter guiding us through the thousands of artifacts stored at the Museum in the "back rooms."

  The Orange County Chapter has spent years building relationships with NYS Museum staff.  Our primary function as a Chapter is to be the ears and eyes of the Museum.  The level of trust which fosters that relationship is the result of our conducting our Chapter activities as responsible members of the archaeological community and not simply as as artifact collectors.  The loss of these professionals will be a major loss to our Chapter and to the Archaeological community.
Harold Ray Decker, Past Pres. IOCCNYSAA