Dr. Lee Stocks, Jr.Williamsport- The Thomas T. Taber Museum of the Lycoming County Historical Society will host Dr. Lee Stocks, Jr. at the September Coffee Hour, Thursday, September 14, 2023 at 10am. The talk, free and open to the public, will be held in the Community Room of the museum.

Dr. Stocks is an Associate Professor of Geology at the Commonwealth University, Mansfield. His talk will be “Using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) in on”. During the Spanish Influenza outbreak of 1918, thousands of people died. Sadly, a number of them were children. There was an overwhelming need for coffins and the industry that produced them simply could not keep up. A localized study of the impact of the Spanish Flu indicates that some of the children were buried in baskets and became known as ‘Basket Babies’. The baskets were produced locally at the Gaines Basket Factory in Tioga County. Dr. Stocks was instrumental in finding the probable location of these graves.

According to an article in Mountain Home (September 2019) magazine, “Using the active burial site as a control area, Dr. Stocks and his students divided the land into grids and used the radar equipment to send and record electromagnetic pulses that sought “heat signatures”—evidence of a body’s location—underground. Fortunately for the team, the soil was low in clay content (clay has a high conductivity, meaning it absorbs sound waves and limits penetration) and the equipment functioned perfectly…. there was evidence of little bodies lying in baskets next to one another. Having studied other cemetery grounds, Dr. Stocks says the discovery was not abnormal. ‘What we’ve found,’ he says, ‘is that there are a lot of clandestine graves.’ “ There is evidence to support that there is also an adult burial ground, victims of the Epidemic, on the same property. According to statistics, sixty-seven thousand Pennsylvanians lost their lives during the Epidemic, fifty million worldwide. Dr. Stocks will explain this fascinating advancement in technology.

The Coffee Hour is one of fourteen lectures hosted by the museum. The lecture series is sponsored by Van Campen Motor Company. The museum is located at 858 West Fourth Street, Williamsport. Parking is available behind the museum or on the street.

For further information about the museum, please call 570.326.3326.