"Found the Fort" Stay up-to-date on the progress of the Juniata College Cultural Resources Institute archaeologists as work continues on the Rediscovery of Fort Halifax! As updates are available we will also publish on the Facebook page, see below for any current progress.
Please check back here for updates as the 2023 Rediscovery of Fort Halifax continues! Dr. Burns and the Juniata Field School students will return soon to further "rediscover" more of Fort Halifax. The date for this year: June 4-24. If you wish to volunteer or provide a meal, please click here and let us know. Thank you!
April 22, 2023
Fort Halifax Park was host to another outdoor classroom experience. Dr. Jorden Hayes from Dickinson College, Dr. Jonathan Burns and Dr. Ryan Mathur from Juniata College, and Dr. Martin Helmke from West Chester brought students from each of the schools to experience and learn via hands-on techniques for ground-penetrating radar, magnetometry, electrical resistivity, and drone-based topographic surveying, to name a few. These educators along with Mr. James Stuby from Stuby Subsurface Investigations will now evaluate the results from these tests. And what better classroom than that of an archaeological site - as the "rediscovery" of the historic 1756 frontier fort, Fort Halifax (June 4-24) continues!
FoFHP thanks everyone who continues to work on, and be part of this amazing project!
photo credits: Vicki V
October 20, 2021
Another informative article, Part 2 of 2, written by Maria Pauline and Sarah Paterno and published by the PA State Historic Preservation Office.
October 13, 2021
This informative article, Part 1 of 2, is written by Juniata College field school students Maria Pauline and Sarah Paterno and published by the PA State Historic Preservation Office.
July 13, 2021
This link includes some additional media coverage of the "Rediscovery of Fort Halifax".
Ashley Stalnecker of LancasterOnline!
Jillian Pikora of Dauphin Daily Voice
Thank you for your coverage!
July 7, 2021
Thank you, David Sassaman and Duane Good of the the Upper Dauphin Sentinel, for the wonderful in-depth article about finding Fort Halifax!
June 30, 2021
To see the article in PennLive/The Patriot News by Marcus Schneck, published June 30/July 1, 2021 click here. Thank you Marcus Schneck and PennLive/Patriot News for your coverage!
Article in The Upper Dauphin Sentinel - see below.
June 28, 2021 - Day 15
Day 15 - the end! The 2021 Juniata College Fort Halifax Rediscovery Field School is over. Tent City came down. Dr. Burns and the students went home. We were sad to say goodbye, but look forward to seeing these wonderful people again! Happy that "Find the Fort" became "Found the Fort". Hopeful for 2022 and beyond!
June 27, 2021 - Day 14
Day 14 - Last full day for the field school! More Fort evidence was uncovered again today, even though it was a wrap-it-up day. FoFHP members will miss this great group of young people and wish them all a successful and happy future! We have truly enjoyed every minute they have been here! Dr. Burns, Joe Baker, Sonja, Thomas, Isiah, Joe, Rolland, Maria, Madelyn, Chase, Buu, Dion, Sarah, Sarah, Chloe, Conner, Nick, Kris, Amanda, and Kate you guys rock (no punn intended!)!
Thanks today for the wonderful FoFHP breakfast and delicious dinner from Beth Hogan. We have all gained a few pounds over the last 14 days! Thanks again to the volunteers for all the help with meal set-up and clean-up.
There are so many people who volunteered and supported this huge 15 day effort in so many ways, too many to name here, but please know we are grateful to all of you!
June 26, 2021 - Day 13
Day 13 - Another truly amazing day. Among the things found... pipe stems, pottery, military (?) Button, more nails, French gun flint, etc., etc., etc.... And most importantly a possible log sill. How incredible this dig has been!
June 25, 2021 - Day 12
Day 12 - So in case you missed the Press Conference announcement today evidence of Fort Halifax has been found! The daily mantra of "find the fort" had been realized! Dr. Burns, the field school students, assistants, metal detectorists, archaeology experts, and volunteers have all done an incredible job over the past 12 days! There are two more days to go. What a great group of people to work with!! Congratulations to all involved! Some more finds today, coins, buttons, and of course nails. Look for articles in the UD Sentinel and Pennlive/Patriot News.
Today's breakfast provided by Valley UCC. Dinner provided by Appalachian Kayak, Stephanie Hoover! Thank you both for your delicious meals! Thanks to our many volunteers too!
June 24, 2021 - Day 11
Day 11 - So many flags. So many bags. So many artifacts to evaluate! Only a few days left, but the students have learned alot; about this site, about Fort Halifax. What has been learned? What has been found? Hmmm.
Tomorrow, June 25 is another Press Conference from 10am to 12pm.
Thanks to Bob Keefer for the wonderfully delicious breakfast, and Nicole Rickert for an equally wonderful dinner! Many thanks to all the volunteers for all the help too!
June 23, 2021 - Day 10
Day 10 - another good day at FHP! Students are still finding artifacts and are working hard.
Also, again tonight, the students enjoyed after dinner music from Drew the professional banjo player! Thanks, Drew.
Today the students were treated to another delicious hot breakfast from Bruce and Sharon McDonald Henry and a pizza dinner was provided by Mid Penn Bank. Thanks, Bruce, Sharon, and Nicole!
June 22, 2021 - Day 9
Day 9 - A very good day today at FHP! Even though the morning was a rain-out the school students worked together to learn all about the artifacts: the proper cleaning methods, identifying them, recording them, and organizing them. The field work to find artifacts began after lunch! And after dinner they enjoyed a demonstration and presentation from flintknapper Steve Nissley, and music from Banjo player Drew followed. Thanks to Steve, and Drew!
Delicious meals today were provided by FoFHP and Joe and Vicki Vitolo - thank you!
June 21, 2021 - Day 8
Day 8 - Hot and humid. We had a wonderful visit from Lynn Otto who gave an informative 1700's frontier forts (Halifax, Augusta, and Hunter) history lesson for the students during their lunch break. Thanks, Lynn! And for those who don't know, Lynn portrays Colonel Burd of the Augusta Regiment during the Colonial Fort Halifax Festivals!
This exciting dig continues this week with the students learning how to dig, excavate, and measure units along with ongoing instruction on cleaning and documenting artifacts.
Today's meals were provided by FoFHP, and Mr. & Mrs. Mager/Enola Grill. Thanks to both for these yummy meals!
June 20, 2021 - Day 7
Day 7 - Student recharge day! They worked hard last week. They learned alot. They ate well and had fun too!
This afternoon they had career instruction with Joe Baker, Amanda Rasmussen, and Chris Montgomery. Tomorrow is back out in the field!
Thanks to Messiah Ladies Aid and Uplift Community Church for breakfast and dinner meals today, soooo good!!
June 19, 2021 - Day 6
Day 6 - Hot and humid at the site. Lots more archaeology work, and instruction, until the rain came...
Thanks to Messiah Ladies Aid and United Methodist Church for providing wonderful meals again today!
June 18, 2021 - Day 5
Day 5 - Today we welcomed representatives from some local press and media outlets. Thank you to ABC Channel 27 News for their news coverage of the field school work being done by Dr. Jonathan Burns and the students of the Juniata College Rediscovery of Fort Halifax project! Your coverage made our archaeology students cheer after a rewarding, successful, and hard-working week! Some additional items found today were more coins, nails, a wagon spoke, and for one week of work hundreds of items to evaluate. Great week and a great group! On to day 6 tomorrow...
Many thanks to our breakfast ladies from Messiah Ladies Aid who have been making sure (ALL WEEK) that everyone has a good breakfast to start the day!
Thanks to FoFHP member John Esch and family for the wonderful dinner tonight!
Thanks again, to all the volunteers who have been coming out to the park each day to help!
See the Fox43 News Video here
See ABC27 news coverage here
Thank you ABC27 and Fox43 for your coverage!
June 17, 2021 - Day 4
Day 4 - Each day gets better and better! Hundreds of period artifacts have been found so far! Large and small lead balls, French coins, a prehistoric blade, a Native American hearth feature, and the list keeps growing! A lot of archaeology work going on at Fort Halifax Park. The students are really enjoying this wonderful opportunity to learn about the history surrounding the Fort and the park. Today the students and volunteers enjoyed a presentation by Andrew Dudash of Penn State’s Patee Library. Mr. Dudash explained primary and secondary sources from Fort Halifax including a 1757 period letter from the Fort commandant. The reason for the letter (?) - complaints from the garrison over the shortage of rum! .
Tomorrow will be a press conference from 10am to 12pm.
Again, we would like to thank Messiah Ladies Aid for a wonderful breakfast, Uplift Community Church for the delicious dinner, and all the volunteers helping FoFHP and the school.
June 16, 2021 - Day 3
Day 3 - A very successful dig day at Fort Halifax with each day getting better! The students were joined by two volunteers from the Veterans Curation Program doing Metal Detecting surveys. Students are receiving field lab instruction on cleaning, identifying, and cataloging items. Some items found today were forged nails, lead balls, and ceramics, to name a few. Watchers are always welcome to observe and maybe even have a chance to get their hands dirty.
Heartfelt thanks again today to Messiah Ladies Aid for a delicious breakfast, the Halifax Area Historical Society for a delicious dinner, and also to ALL our volunteers!
June 15, 2021 - Day 2
Day 2 - The students are receiving daily on-the-job training and instruction. We welcome dig watchers who would like to see what an archaeology school dig is all about. Watchers may even have a chance to get their hands dirty. Today so far the students have found lead balls, a remnant lock from a flintlock, and many other assorted items. The students are also learning what items are keepers!
Today a big thank you to the organizations who provided breakfast - Valleys UCC Church and Messiah Ladies Aid!
Also, for the delicious dinner provided by Uplift Community Church of God!
And last, but not least ALL the volunteers!
June 14, 2021 - Day 1
Day 1 - The students are receiving instruction today on what, for many of the students is their first official dig. They worked on their first "unit" and began new ones and were rewarded with 2 lead balls and a broken spearpoint!
Thank you to Messiah Ladies Aid for a wonderful breakfast to get the group started today!
Dinner is courtesy of Herb Deuchar - thank you!
June 13, 2021 - Arrival of The Juniata College Archaeology School
All of the students arrived and set up their tent "city" for their two week school. So nice to see such eager future archaeologists ready to get started and find Fort Halifax!
Thanks to FoFHP member Bob Keefer for dinner!
June 8, 2021 - Article in The Upper Dauphin Sentinel