Dennis Farm

Archaeology, Animation, and Visual Effects

By Zachary Stockmal, Digital Media Freshman Westphal College
Drexel University Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

July 24, 2013

I am a freshman studying Animation and Visual Effects at Drexel University. This summer I am participating in the Drexel STAR (Students Tackling Advanced Research) Scholars Program. Justin Wu, another Drexel student in the same major and I are currently working with Digital Media professor Dr. Glen Muschio and archaeologists Dr. Patrice Jeppson and Wade Catts. Together we are working with Denise Dennis, the 1st child in the 8th generation of the Dennis family.  The project we are working on concerns the archaeological remains of The Dennis Farm Charitable Land Trust. It is a 153-acre property that used to be owned by the free African-American family of Prince Perkins and is now owned by descendants of the Perkins-Dennis family.

Today, we went over a feature map made by McVarish and Catts of John Milner Associates (Historical Preservation and Cultural Resources Services). The map shows architectural remnants of a barn and other structures on the Dennis Farm. We matched that information with photographs of the structures we took of the site 2 weeks ago. This information is going to be used to digitally recreate the barn into an interactive 3D model.

Today was a great start into delving into a rich historical site, and the excitement and encouragement we have received from our mentors is going to make this a worthwhile project.Zachary Stockmal photographs detail of the Dennis Farm barn stone wall. (Photo by Justin Wu.)

African American Archaeology and 3D modeling

By Glen Muschio Associate Professor, Westphal College of Media Arts and Design, Drexel University Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA  (Posted by the Philadelphia Archaeological Forum webmaster)

Wednesday July 24, 2013

I am a media producer and cultural anthropologist teaching Digital Media at Drexel University. Today I met with Zachary Stockmal and Justin Wu Digital Media STAR (Students Tackling Advanced Research) students preparing a 3D digital modeling project that will reconstruct a barn, a silo and other structures that once stood on the Dennis Farm (see  Work is underway with guidance from archaeologists Dr. Patrice Jeppson, Cheyney University and West Chester University, Wade Catts, John Milner Associates, and in consultation with Denise Dennis. The long range plan is to develop a 3D interactive environment that will help tell the story of the farm founded by a free African American family in the Endless Mountains of Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, 1793.  The farm has remained in the family for 8 generations and family plans are underway to develop it as an educational and cultural center.