American Indians at Poplar
to Berks County Historian Kathy Scogna, author of The Ford at
the Schuylkill, the Lenape and their Algonquian progenitors
inhabited Poplar Neck for 9,000 years before the first Europeans
settled there in the 1740s. Stone age people thousands of years
ago made use of outcroppings or rock ledges for shelter. A little
disturbed site was discovered on the Raudenbush Farm at Poplar
Neck in the 1930s.
Known as the Raudenbush Rock Shelter, the site had a seventy
to eighty foot overhang with a ledge projecting twelve feet.
It was excavated in the summer of 1937 by Earle L. Poole, Assistant
Director of the Reading Museum, with the assistance of Sam Wishnieski,
a museum staff member. As Wishnieski dug to a depth of eight
feet, each inch of ground was examined.
Among the artifacts recovered were a variety of stone and bone
tools, pieces of pottery and the charred bone fragments of animal
that had been eaten. All evidence of human habitation was carefully
cataloged and taken to the Reading Museum where it remained
on display until 1992.