Preservationists are hosting a private gathering and a public display to showcase artifacts found during the 1979 archaeological dig of a site that served as a prisoner of war camp during the Revolutionary War.

The Friends of Camp Security are hoping the events drum up financial contributions toward the purchase of a Springettsbury Township site they want to preserve, said president Carol Tanzola.

On display will be a sample of the more than 10,000 artifacts found during a dig on just two of the 47 acres comprising the Hunter's Crossing property, which was bought from a land developer last year, she said.

The artifacts, on loan from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, include 18th-century coins, buttons, clasps and ceramics dug up at the site.

Also shown will be original documents and reproductions of drawings attributed to Sgt. Roger Lamb of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Lamb was imprisoned at the camp and escaped in 1782.

The exhibit opens Friday, April 19, with a private showing that will be attended by writer Rita Mae Brown, a Hanover native who's best known for her first novel, "Rubyfruit Jungle."

A friend of Tanzola's, Brown will attend to show her support for the preservation effort as a York native. She won't be signing books, Tanzola said.

"She has heard this saga since it started and has said she would do anything she can to help," Tanzola said. "She's basically coming home to see what this is all about because she was born in York County."

The public exhibit runs 9 a.


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m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at the York County Heritage Trust's Museum and Library building, 250 E. Market St.

Fundraising push: The Conservation Fund, a nonprofit preservation group, bought the Hunter's Crossing property off Locust Grove Road last May from developer Timothy Pasch.

The group has been holding the property until the money could be raised to turn it over to the township, which would open it to the public.

Township officials recently pushed back the closing date on the sale from May 8 to Aug. 21, giving local preservationists more time to raise the $1.05 million needed to turn over the property.

The Conservation Fund still needs about $600,000 to fund the purchase. But Todd McNew, Pennsylvania state director of the group, said a large thus-far anonymous donation will put preservationists in reach of the remaining fundraising goal.

Tanzola said last week that Friends of Camp Security had only raised about a tenth of its $400,000 goal toward the effort, but an Associated Press story drummed up donations from as far away as Alaska. She said Thursday she wasn't sure how much the group still needs to raise.

To donate to Camp Security, send checks to Friends of Camp Security, PO Box 20008, York, PA 17402, or visit www.campsecurity.com.

- Reach Christina Kauffman at ckauffman@yorkdispatch.com.