The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

July 22, 2012

Professor tells of Valley’s early years

Transplanted expert has passion for Susquehanna River stories

DANVILLE — Stories of the Susquehanna River came alive for festival-goers at a program hosted by a Bucknell University professor.

Katherine Faull, a professor of German and humanities, specializes in the pre-history of the Susquehanna River region. She shared her knowledge with Iron Heritage Festival visitors at a presentation in the borough ballroom on Saturday.

The goal of Faull’s presentation was to inform visitors about the “stories of the Susquehanna River,” which she called “America’s forgotten river.”

The river was recently designated a natural historic trail by the federal government.

Historical figures

Faull introduced her audience of roughly 20 to “the people I work with on a daily basis,” 18th century figures of the Susquehanna River Valley, such as Count Nicolaus Zinzendorf, a leader of the Moravian church, Conrad Weiser, an interpreter of local Native American language, and Iroquois chiefs.

Faull spoke at length about Chief Shikellamy, an overseer and member of the region’s Iroquois Confederacy tribes and the namesake of the Shikellamy School District. Though the school’s team name is the Braves, historically Shikellamy did not have warriors at his command, Faull said. He was actually a diplomat, and one who was friendly with early Moravian settlers.

“He was a great leader, a great diplomat and a great human being,” Faull said.

Although he was often called Shikellamy, his preferred name was Swatane, which meant Light Bringer in his native tongue.

For more details, see Monday’s edition of The Daily Item.

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