Opinion: Community involvement made archaeology dig successful, says SUNY Potsdam professor
Now that the digging phase of the 2019 SUNY Potsdam archaeology field school (which was held at Camp Union, Potsdam’s Civil War training ground site) is complete, I wanted to take this opportunity to express my thanks to those in the community who made the work possible.
A huge thank you must go to Bryan Wolofsky, owner of Meadow East Apartments, who gave us permission to dig on his property to learn more about Camp Union’s history. Simply put, the project would not have been possible without Bryan’s enthusiastic support, and I could not be more grateful to Bryan and his staff (especially Rich Tenace and Dave Monahan) for being so generous to myself and my students while we carried out the work at Meadow East. Thanks also to John Barstow for supporting testing on one part of his property as well. I am lucky to have worked with landowners who have such a deep appreciation for the importance of archaeology and for what is gained by preserving local history.And I am immensely grateful for the Potsdam Public Museum staff and board, who initiated the project back in 2015. It was such a pleasure to work with Jan Wojcik, the chairman of the museum’s board, whose enthusiasm for Camp Union and its history was contagious. Thanks to Jan for sharing his knowledge and energy with us in the field. Thanks also to Potsdam Public Museum’s Director Mimi Van Deusen for helping us learn more about our site through the museum’s collections as we prepared for our excavation.
The community is lucky to have all of you as caretakers of its history.
And finally, I am grateful for the college’s support of our program and our students, as well for the many community members who visited the site to share their knowledge and to watch our progress. It was really energizing to receive so much support for our work and to see so much interest in the history we were uncovering.
Many, many thanks!
Anthropology Dept., SUNY Potsdam