NHA Podcast Episode 3.4: Early American Indian History in the Susquehanna National Heritage Area

Petroglyph depicting a human figure near Safe Harbor along the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania
More than 1,000 petroglyphs have been identified along a 23-mile stretch of the Susquehanna River within the Susquehanna National Heritage Area, making it the highest concentration of petroglyphs in the northeastern United States.

Susquehanna NHA

Philadelphia, PA (August 29, 2019) – The fourth and final episode of Season 3 of the National Heritage Areas Podcast is now available. This episode continues with the season’s theme of telling all Americans’ stories by exploring early history of American Indians in the newly designated Susquehanna National Heritage Area in Pennsylvania.

4th grade field trip at Native Lands County Park, site of Susquehannock town
Fourth grade field trips hike to Native Lands County Park, once site of the largest Susquehannock town. They learn about the Susquehannock people and John Smith’s interactions with them in the 1600s. Smith’s map contains the only known contemporary illustration of a Susquehannock Indian (center).

Susquehannock NHA

In this episode, Jules speaks with Paul Nevin, Manager of the Zimmerman Center for Heritage and local petroglyph expert, about the unique petroglyphs that line the Lower Susquehanna River—distinguishing this 23-mile stretch of river as having the highest concentration of petroglyphs in the northeastern United States—and what we know about the American Indians who made them. She also learns about the Susquehannock tribe that lived here in the 1600s, with their largest town situated in what is now known as Native Lands County Park. Paul describes his experiences leading field trips to that site to help students learn more about the Susquehannock Indians and the other stories the river has to share.

Park ranger swears in a group of Chesapeake Trail Junior Rangers at the Zimmerman Center for Heritage
The Zimmerman Center for Heritage serves as a visitor center for both Susquehanna National Heritage Area and the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. Students and visitors can participate in the National Park Service’s Junior Ranger Program.

Susquehanna NHA

Later in the episode, Jules sits down with Jackie Kramer of the National Park Service to learn about the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. She learns about John Smith meeting representatives from the Susquehannock tribe during his explorations of the Chesapeake Bay in 1607-1608. Jackie also tells her about the Trail's partnership with the National Heritage Area and explains how the Zimmerman Center became the Trail’s official visitor contact station in Pennsylvania.

Learn about the Susquehanna National Heritage Area and its early American Indian history by listening to Episode 3.4 of the National Heritage Areas Podcast.

Last updated: August 29, 2019