Abington Resident Unearths the Past at Oldest Home Still Standing in Berks County

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Abington resident Richard White and Exton resident Gene Delaplane are among a group of volunteers who are working at the oldest house in Berks County to uncover remnants of everyday life in the 1700s, writes Susan Miers Smith for the Daily Local News

“Although things like coins — super fancy, super sexy — are what everybody likes, as a professional archaeologist, the information we can take from the deposits that we’re excavating, that can tell us the story about the people who live here, is the most interesting thing we’ve found,” said Richard White, 57, an Abington Township, Montgomery County resident who works at A.D. Marble of King of Prussia, an environmental, cultural and engineering group.

For Delaplane, 82, a former history teacher and the president of the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology’s local chapter, the most interesting artifacts unearthed thus far from the 1716 Mouns Jones House in Douglassville are coins. 

“We have found five coins dated between 1680 and 1731, plus one in 1807,” he said. 

Other items that have been recovered from the home include shards of 18th- and 19th-century pottery and corroded straight pins. 

The group has also found evidence of possible architectural changes that were made to the house itself during the late 18th or early 19th century. One such change is where the door facing the river was located. 

“We could tell on the inside and on the outside and when we dug down, we found steps going up there that were more modern,” said Delaplane. 

Read more about Richard White and the Pennsylvania Archaeology’s Berk’s dig in the Daily Local News

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Some of Pennsylvania’s leading archaeologists offer their views on the great depths explored by archaeology in the Keystone State, by the
Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.
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