Cumming Nature Center > Programs & Events

Family Archaeology & History Day

At Family Archaeology & History Day, you will have access to an active archaeological excavation at an abandoned 19th century homestead! With blacksmithing demos and old-timey games, you’ll learn all about life at Frost Town.

  • Cumming Nature Center

  • August 10

  • 10am-4pm


At Family Archaeology & History Day, there will be activities for people of all ages to discover how the Nature Center landscape has changed in the past 250 years. You will explore the history of Frost Town, an abandoned 19th-century sawmill town, through hands-on activities, hikes, and exhibits.

Participants can…

  • Work with archaeologists at an active archaeological dig
  • Learn about childhood at Frost Town through games, dress-up, and other activities
  • Explore life and craft through blacksmithing demonstrations


10am-4pm | Archaeology Dig (hands-on activity)
Are you ready to get your hands dirty for the sake of history? Join students and archaeologists from the team at Frost Town Archaeology as we search for artifacts at the site of an old homestead. Participants will have a unique opportunity to get down in the trenches as they dig, brush, and sift the earth looking for objects that can tell us more about life at Frost Town. This is a family-friendly activity!

Wear clothes that can get dirty. Tools will be provided.

10am-2pm | Blacksmithing Demonstrations
Join blacksmithing instructor and reenactor Jonathan Bernard for live blacksmithing demonstrations to learn about the craft of blacksmithing in a historical context.

10am-4pm | Children’s Games & Family Activities
Learn to play old-fashioned games led by CNC educators!

Ongoing | Frost Town: History & Ecology of a Ghost Town (exhibit)
Learn about the history of Frost Town through images, words, and interactive elements. This exhibit will delve into the history of how the landscape around the nature has changed over the last 250 years. It will focus on Frost Town, a 19th-century town built around the timber industry, and explore why this town was eventually abandoned.

Additional activities to be announced soon!

EVENT Admission

$5 per person

Tickets available online or at the door.


Dr. Alexander Smith, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at SUNY Brockport, has been working with the Nature Center to study the historic Frost Town property for over 5 years. He founded Frost Town Archaeology in 2019 as an accessible field school for archaeology students that offers a special emphasis on public outreach and interpretation.

Dr. Smith received his Ph.D. from the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World at Brown University in 2015. He studies the persistence of indigenous culture in the face of Carthaginian and Roman colonial interactions in the late first millennium B.C.E. in the Mediterranean, as well as the social and environmental impacts of 19th-century Euro-American expansion in Western New York.

About The Event

  • Cumming Nature Center

  • August 10

  • 10am-4pm


  • $5