Franklin County Visitors Bureau sees history as the glue that connects centuries of Franklin County stories. Ebbert Springs is one of the earliest documented sites of Franklin County’s history. Stretching back 11,000 years, Ebbert Springs gives a glimpse of prehistoric Franklin County and fast forwards to show frontier life, French & Indian War era, and the Underground Railroad period. Named as a Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission archaeological super site, Ebbert Springs is set to become the centerpiece of an archaeological preserve and heritage park.
Partnering to make the Ebbert Springs Archaeological Preserve and Heritage Park are The Archaeological Conservancy, PA Department of Conservation & Natural Resources, Antrim Township, Allison-Antrim Museum, Atapco Properties, Greencastle-Antrim School District, Shippensburg University, and Greencastle Area Franklin County Water Authority. The site will include interpretive trails, plantings of native grasses and woodland flowers, educational kiosks, picnic areas, and restroom facilities.
Educational, interpretive themes include prehistoric, native American, the Allison-Ebbert Homestead, agricultural and farming, frontier and pioneer lifestyle, French & Indian War era, Underground Railroad activity, geology and natural resources, biology, ecology, and environmental stewardship. The interpretations will be a valuable resource for local school districts and will give the Franklin County Visitors Bureau a destination for heritage-cultural tourists and groups.
Andy Stout, Eastern Regional Director at The Archaeological Conservancy, is stewarding the project and recently received a $207,000 grant commitment from PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources grant for trails and educational kiosks, which is 5.02 acres. In 2010, The Archaeological Conservancy acquired 3.44 acres of property where a good portion of the prehistoric assets were found. Atapco Properties has expressed an intention to donate an additional 4.01 acres to the conservancy, making the total park size 12.56 acres. The project is expected to commence in mid-2017 with completion of acquisition, surveying, and mapping, Repairs and landscaping will follow, and work on interpretive panels will be coordinated with the school district. Trails and kiosks will be the focus of 2018 and the Ebbert Springs Archaeological Preserve and Heritage Park is expected to be open for the 2019 Greencastle Old Home Week.