Lance and Robin Van Auken

I’m Robin Van Auken, a writer and an archaeologist, living in the Pennsylvania highlands. I write books on historical topics, and I write novels. My nonfiction books focus on local history and baseball. My novels (sometimes using the pen name Madeline Sloane) are romantic adventures, thrillers and mysteries.

I’m also a freelance media consult and historic project specialist, working solo or with my husband, Lance Van Auken. Our combined background is in education, anthropology, communications and sports management.

Local History

If you enjoy Pennsylvania history, feel free to explore my local history books. I’ve co-authored several books with my husband, Lance, and also with our friend, Lou Hunsinger Jr. We have an assortment of narrative and photographic books I’m happy to share with you, including my tribute to Grit: America’s Greatest Family Newspaper and Play Ball! The Story of Little League Baseball®.

Operated by Robin Van Auken, Hands on Heritage Co. helps its clients develop a variety of products including exhibits, interpretive panels, signage, promotional material, Internet websites, mobile apps,  and books (digital and print).

Other services include archival searches, investigating census records and other documents, and interviewing people about their knowledge of the past (oral history). If you have an interesting company or family history, or would like us to help you compile your family’s, your company’s, or your town’s history into a book, please contact us for a quote.

We have experience in developing print books, eBooks, websites, mobile sites,  photo scrapbooks, video scrapbooks, multimedia projects, brochures, pamphlets, and manuals. We are “digital archaeologists” and enjoy working with and preserving old photographs.  Contact us for a free consultation and quote today. Click here to visit HOH >>>

News of Yesteryear (formerly Historic Williamsport) is a web site by Robin Van Auken dedicated to educating and entertaining visitors of all ages with stories and illustrations of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and its surrounding towns.

Throughout the years, many interesting stories about the people and places of Williamsport and Northcentral Pennsylvania have been published. Many are reprinted here, with permission from the Lycoming County Historical Society, the James V. Brown Library, Little League Baseball, Inc., the Williamsport Sun-Gazette, and various individuals. We hope you enjoy your visit. Click here to visit NYY >>>

Robin Van Auken’s Books

Free Novel!

Read West Wind for FREE!

Would you like a free novel?

If you’re a fan of romantic fiction, I have a free book available that introduces my series, When Love Speaks. Check out my romantic novel West Wind.

Fate calls heiress Sabrina Windham to her grandmother’s hospital bed where she hears a confession of betrayal and death. Sabrina learns of another, heartbreaking family legacy: the Zephyrus. Built by Don Windham and Derek West, the classic sailboat is lost to time.

Download West Wind
Robin Van Auken books

Williamsport Sun-Gazette: A Pictorial History

To honor the City of Williamsport’s Bicentennial, the Williamsport Sun-Gazette produced a three-volume, pictorial history. Most of the images have never been published in book form. Primary resources are Grit, Williamsport Sun, Gazette and Bulletin and the Williamsport Sun-Gazette archives.

Robin Van Auken’s Blog

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Grub Hub Camp Kitchen

If you’re in the market for a camp kitchen, you should be looking at the Grub Hub Outdoor Camping Kitchen. This amazing, patented contraption is easy to setup and is packed full of features. The price isn’t for the faint […]