The museum where you can be part of history: York County, PA’s Indian Steps [classic article]

(As first seen on There’s a gorgeous place along the Susquehanna River in southern Pennsylvania that helps discover what Native American life was like going back 10,000 years. A hundred  years ago — in the same era when Teddy Roosevelt was heralding the conservation of antiquities and natural treasures — lawyer and bon vivant John Edward Vandersloot made his own mark on history. Having spent years hunting and fishing in the area, as well as finding native artifacts, Vandersloot built a cabin that became the base of what is now Indian Steps Museum.

Don’t think of this cabin as being a Lincoln Logs structure where you would have gone camping! The architecture is artistic and ornate, with sensuous sculptured columns, carved cornerstones and exquisite stained glass. Inside is housed the treasures discovered onsite, thoughtfully displayed. A winding staircase ends up at a cupola that overlooks the Susquehanna.

The outside grounds are special! A grove of trees opens out onto a stunning river vista. There are hills to climb, picnic tables and an adjacent nature trail. The museum’s “season” runs from mid-spring through Fall. There are loads of events during this period, celebrating Native American culture, nature and music with pow wows, dream catcher making classes, birdwatching, campfires, creek studies, full moon celebrations and live bands.

However, probably the most unique aspect of Indian Steps Museum is their archaeology program where you can help excavate both pre-historic and historic sections. To participate, you have to join the Conservation Society of York County. You’ll receive intense training to help save the precious finds.

You can rent the grounds for your special events, like family reunions and weddings.

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