About Robin Van Auken

I’m Robin Van Auken, a writer and a public archaeologist. Most days I work on writing, and I've authored more than a dozen books. Topics range from nonfiction history to fictional novels. I teach American Archaeology at Lycoming College, Williamsport, PA, and direct multi-year, public archaeology projects, working with hundreds of students and volunteers, and educating thousands of visitors. I also teach Communications/Media Writing at Lycoming College, and direct its summer youth program, Lycoming College for Kids and Teens. With my husband, Lance Van Auken, I operate Hands on Heritage, a consulting firm that helps its clients discover, explore, celebrate and share their cultural heritage through a variety of unique projects. Offering a range of historical research and interpretive services, we can help you tell your story in the format that suits your needs, while adhering to the highest standards of historical practice.

Kitchen Sink Bars

I like Lara Bars, but I don’t always pick them up while grocery shopping. They’re not outrageously expensive, but they are a treat and when I’m shopping, I’m already spending a third more than most other folks because I choose organic and whole foods.

I get a hankering, though, and I have to satisfy it with […]

Kickstart Your Writing with a Retreat

I’ve been on a hiatus from my fiction writing career. It wasn’t intentional; I let other tasks and chores get in the way, and failed to prioritize.

My writing is important, and if I want to wrap up my current series and move onto the next one, I need to get back into the groove.

One way […]

Williamsport: Boomtown on the Susquehanna

Williamsport: Boomtown on the Susquehanna
(Robin Van Auken and Louis E. Hunsinger, Jr., Arcadia, 2003)

This book relates the history of Williamsport, as well as many towns and boroughs of Lycoming County. Williamsport, a struggling frontier village that grew into a town with a taste for success, eventually molded itself into a magnetic and vibrant city. Thousands […]

Play Ball! The Story of Little League Baseball®

Play Ball! The Story of Little League Baseball
By Lance and Robin Van Auken

Play Ball! The Story of Little League® Baseball is the remarkable story of Little League® Baseball, from the first diamond in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, to the playing fields of the world.

On any given spring evening, 360,000 children around the world can be found on the […]

Sunday Grit

Make room on the shelf for another book about local history. Written by author Robin Van Auken and published by Ogden Newspapers, parent company of the Williamsport Sun-Gazette, “Sunday Grit: A Newspaper Legacy” is the fourth volume in a limited edition, commemorative series about area newspapers.

Richly illustrated, the new 136-page book features nearly 200 images, […]

Williamsport: Grit Photograph Collection

Williamsport: The Grit Photograph Collection
(Van Auken, Robin and Louis E. Hunsinger, Jr., Arcadia, 2004)

This book is a look through 100 years of Grit newspaper history. Dietrick Lamade, a German immigrant and self-made man who settled in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, published Grit a Sunday-morning staple and America’s favorite family newspaper. The first year of Grit was one […]

The Little League Baseball World Series

The Little League Baseball World Series
(Robin Van Auken, Arcadia, 2002)

This book is a photographic companion book to Play Ball! The Story of Little League Baseball (Penn State University Press 2001). It profiles more than five decades of the World Series. In 1947, when the first Little League Baseball World Series was played, there were 17 […]

Read the Original Sunday Grit Newspaper

For decades, tens of millions of people in small-town America depended on Sunday Grit to tell them the news of the world, long before television became widely available. Sunday Grit correspondents were on hand to record momentous events from a turn-of-the-century city on the rise, through the end of the lumber boom, World War, Depression, […]

Lycoming County’s Industrial Heritage

Lycoming County’s Industrial Heritage
(Robin Van Auken and Louis E. Hunsinger, Jr., Arcadia, 2005) 

This book reviews Northcentral Pennsylvania’s rich industrial history, first in lumber and then in manufacturing. After the Lumber Boom, many company towns collapsed. Boards of trade were created to entice manufacturers to the region. During the first half of the twentieth century, Lycoming […]

Muncy Postcard History Series

Muncy (PA) (Postcard History Series)
(Robin Van Auken, Arcadia, 2006)

Muncy Postcard History Series by Robin Van Auken examines the small river town of Muncy, Pennsylvania. Founded shortly after the French and Indian War, Muncy was the earliest European settlement in the West Branch Valley of the Susquehanna River. By 1769, land speculator Samuel Wallis had acquired […]

Kickstart Your Writing with a Retreat

I’ve been on a hiatus from my fiction writing career. It wasn’t intentional; I let other tasks and chores get in the way, and failed to prioritize.

My writing is important, and if I want to wrap up my current series and move onto the next one, I need to get back into the groove.

One way […]

Paleo & Primal Bookstore

The Paleo Pool collects, curates and shares content and links to quality information about the Paelo / Primal Lifestyle. We encourage the use of organic, whole foods and healthy living.

We recommend the books in this Amazon bookstore. We own them and have read them. If you’re just getting started, consider Perfect Health Diet by Paul […]

Crash Site Remains Worst Airline Disaster in Lycoming County History

One man’s quest to memorialize the victims of the worst airline disaster in Lycoming County history, the crash of Allegheny Airlines Flight 371 on Bald Eagle Mountain, is coming to an end. The crash site has received designation from the Commonwealth as an official archaeological site. In addition, plans are under way for a monument to […]

Just Below Your Feet

A year ago, during American Archaeology Field School, one of my students asked about Cultural Resource Management in Pennsylvania. I told her about CRM and about PA Act 70, which has devastated professional archaeology in the Commonwealth, and encouraged her to research the topic as an independent study, a capstone project for her American Studies […]

Ricketts Glen State Park

Ricketts Glen State Park in Benton, PA, is a haul up to the top of a mountain, but it's worth it!

Market Square: Postcards of Yesteryear

This postcard gallery  is from the collection of Richard and Miriam Mix, authors of “A Bicentennial Postcard History of Williamsport.”  You may send one of these postcards via email to your friends and family, sharing your enthusiasm for local history. Simply click on the link beneath the card of your choice and “send as e-card.” […]

Grant Supports World of Little League ®

Pennsylvania Historical Museums Commission
Grant Supports World of Little League ®
 

Language professionals are among those who teamed up with the World of Little League® Museum and Official Store for the audio tour guide project that is now available in eight languages.

The interactive, multilingual audio tour guide is among the most recent attractions at the Museum, which reopened in […]

Birthplace of Little League Baseball® Listed in National Register of Historic Places

Birthplace of Little League Baseball® Listed in National Register of Historic Places
As the celebration of the 75thAnniversary of Little League® comes to a close, the organization’s first home, Carl E. Stotz Field at Memorial Park in Williamsport, Pa., better known as, The Birthplace of Little League Baseball® has received the distinction of being listed on […]

Lights, Action, Camp!

Camping in the dark isn’t fun. Sure, you have a fire, but when you’re sitting around the campsite, especially if you have a canopy or awning, a string of lights not only increases visibility, it creates ambiance.

Now, we’re not full-time RVers with a awning; we’re part-time campers with a canopy set up next to our […]

Crash Potatoes

I know, they’re completely unacceptable when you’re living the Paleo lifestyle, but they’re okay on special occasions when you’re adhering to the Primal lifestyle.

Crash Potatoes are cooked potatoes that are smashed, drizzled with a bit of olive oil, sprinkled liberally with sea salt and fresh ground pepper, then topped with a little cheese. In this […]