Ancestral Roots: Local Woman Preps Site for a Tree, Replacing One Her Grandfather Grew Decades Ago

Dan Weckerly
Tree Planting at Aquetong Spring Park, Bucks County
Image via Nancy Stock-Allen, Bucks County Herald.

Barbara “Bluejay” Michalski, a Native American storyteller from Langhorne, paid homage to both her biological grandfather and her spiritual Earth Mother, according to the Bucks County Herald

She lovingly prepared the soil by the Aquetong Spring for the planting of an Eastern red cedar. As it grows, it will replace a decayed cedar originally tucked into the ground by her grandfather, Chief Whippoorwill (Bill Thompson), 30 years ago. 
Cedar and sugar maple trees were special additions to Aquetong Spring Park. The Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania requested them for use in tribal ceremonial practices. Aquetong Spring was a site of Lenape activity for centuries before the Europeans arrived. It continues today to play an important role in tribal ceremonies. 

According to the Solebury Township Historical Society, “The spring known as Aquetong by the original inhabitants of the land, the Lenni-Lenape, is just off Lower Mountain Road in Solebury Township. European settlers later dubbed it Ingham Spring.

“The spring water that flows at the rate of 2,000 gallons per minute powered mills along the Aquetong Creek. 

“In 1870, a dam was built to create the lake. That dam has been removed, and the creek will return to its natural, pre-1870 state.” 

More on this multigenerational gardening project in the Bucks County Herald.