Adventures in Archaeology

Our Buddy Bison Student Ambassador, Sarah Hullihen, visited Brandywine Springs Park in Delaware this month to take part in an archeological dig with The Friends of Brandywine Springs. Not only are parks a great place to explore outdoors, but they also help protect and preserve our shared history and culture. Read Sarah’s story below to find out what  “dazzling” history Sarah helped unearth:

“When you visit Brandywine Springs Park in New Castle County, Delaware, you will see tall trees, a beautiful creek, and many different types of wildlife. But what you might not know is that there once an amusement park here, with a boardwalk, roller coaster, carousel, and much more.

This park and historical site is one of my favorites so far. In the early 1800’s, there was a hotel where the parking lot of the park is today. People came to drink water from the Chalybeate Spring, and the water there was supposed to help keep you healthy. Later in the 1800’s, the amusement park opened and stayed open until 1924.

The Friends of Brandywine Springs is a volunteer group that does archaeological digs in the park. They have put up signs with pictures around the park to show the locations of different rides and buildings from the amusement park. When I was there, I helped with an archaeological dig to find the location of a ride called the Razzle Dazzle. The ride would be pulled manually with ropes for the ride to go up, down, and around.

During the dig, we were looking for a curb to show where the Razzle Dazzle ride would have been. We used tools, such as shovels, trowels, and brushes to dig around the area. We eventually did find it, and some other cool things too, like the end of a lightbulb, some electrical wire, and pieces of roofing. I also found out that archaeology can be very challenging, and many times when I thought that I had found something it turned out to just be a rock. The Friends of Brandywine Springs will be back to continue the dig here. The entire dig was a lot of fun and a great experience for me, so if you have a chance to do an archaeological dig like I did, I hope you give it a try!”

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