This is a small museum that is an adventurejust to get to. Once there, you are greeted with the hills and natural beauty that originally made York attorney John E. Vandersloot become smitten with this tract of land. His interest inspired him to purchase this property, its cabin and two smaller cottages nearby—the original Indian Steps “cabin.” While gardening at Indian Steps, Vandersloot unearthed arrowheads, stone tools, pottery, and many other native artifacts of the “long winding river.” He also gathered artifacts his neighbors shared with him, amassing a mighty collection. During the construction of Vandersloot’s “cabin,” more than 10,000 of these artifacts were embedded in the masonry walls to form Indian patterns, birds, animals and reptiles and tell the story of Indian inhabitants. Mr. Vandersloot had an idea….what better way of preserving his collection of artifacts than to construct a building that would “contain” it-in the fullest sense-by imbedding it in the walls?
The exhibits include over 10,000 Indian relics embedded in the outside walls, walkways and indoor floors and other parts of this great building, The Kiva Room (a reproduction of a chamber generally used by the Hopi Indians for secret religious assemblies and lounging), a central gallery dedicated to tracing the evolution of early Indians who lived by or passed along the nearby Susquehanna River, exhibits that show how the first human beings came to North America and how they eventually spread to the area we now call the Susquehanna Valley, hunting tools used by early people to hunt for food for their families are explained in detail, shards or parts of ancient pottery are also on display, clothing worn by Native Americans, numerous displays of artifacts found locally, along the shore and the fields which border the Susquehanna River, baskets and other forms of Indian handiwork, WPA Models and Dioramas, Holtwood Dam and Hydroelectric Facility, Susquehanna and Tidewater Canals, a room specially dedicated to John Edward Vandersloot and much more.
And be sure to walk the grounds. The tranquility of the Indian Steps Museum property is nestled in a quiet hollow along the Susquehanna River.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.