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Working with artifacts and ghosts.....

Maya Taylor '26     

My name is Maya Taylor and I am a student at the University of Lynchburg and I work at the Sandusky House. I am currently in my third semester of working at Sandusky and I couldn’t be more pleased with what I am learning.  I am a Biomedical Science major but I have always been fascinated with history and artifacts.  This fascination led me to an interview at Sandusky spring semester of my freshman year.  Since joining the team, I have had many opportunities open for me and I have created lasting bonds that I hope to last for many years.


As an employee at Sandusky I have had lots of opportunities.  When I first joined the staff I was working on letters.  Letters is the starting role here at Sandusky that consists of deciphering letters that we have collected that were written by different families that have lived in the house  over 100 years.  Letters are not as easy as they may sound.  They are quite challenging due to the English dialect being slightly different, sloppy cursive writing and damages to the paper or ink.  Once a letter has been deciphered, we then research instances that were discussed in a letter to find connections to where the families were located and timelines in history.  Letters are a vital role in appreciating history and unlocking the past.  Through doing letters for a little over a semester I have learned how each family member would behave and I have almost figured out their personality. This makes history connect with me on a deeper level because it is no longer a name you are reading but a person with feelings and triumphs.

My second role I have had here at Sandusky is working in the archaeology lab.  Our lab is located in the historic house and I was very excited to start my lab work.  Since I am a Biomedical Science major, Greg Starbuck suggested that I work in the lab so that I understand how many different science labs behave and commence daily.  I have loved working in the lab for the past two semesters and have been able to learn a process called “picking floats.” This job isn’t the cleanest but it is very rewarding.  During digs the archaeologists will have a water slough and small debris and artifacts will float to the top and are collected.  I later go through the items collected.  So far I have found items such as teeth, bones, beads, birdshot pellets, fish gullet stones and glass.  These may seem like odd artifacts but they have told us about the eating habits of those on the property and also what was available at the time.  This is my favorite role I have done at Sandusky thus far due to its ability to be calming and relaxing especially after a long day of classes.

Picking floats and deciphering letters is not all that I do as an employee at Historic Sandusky. I also help with community outreaches such as children's archaeology day camps, Christmas events, archaeology digs and Halloween events.  These events help us to connect with the Lynchburg community and introduce why history is important to today's youth.  When I am asked about my job by students and family I always get the question “Is the house haunted?” and the answer is yes.

We have several ghosts that haunt the house and its surrounding property.  Don’t be scared though because they are quite kind and goofy at times.  After reading letters and witnessing the ghosts I have started to be able to tell which ghost is who.  For instance, I was decorating the house for Christmas and I didn’t place all the decorations on the tree, so I placed the leftover ornament box on a flat bench.  I walked about ten feet away and started talking with another employee when the box came flying off the bench and landed at my feet.  I then made sure I put all the decorations on the tree.  I had a feeling this was one of the Hutter family daughters who haunts the stairs and front area of the house. My interactions with the ghosts are some of my favorite memories of working at Sandusky because I never thought it would happen to me or even that ghosts exist.  Sandusky has taught me so many amazing things that I hope to take with me throughout life after my years at the University of Lynchburg.

1 commentaire

I had an interview dordle at Sandusky during my first-semester spring semester because of my passion. I intend to build long-lasting relationships and take advantage of the chances that have presented themselves to me since I joined the team.


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