Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Iroquois Era

(Written Circa Fall 2005)

A new tribe was formed in the late 1600s or the early 1700s and moved into the Schoharie County. This tribe consisted of Mohawks, Mohegans, Stockbridges, Oneidas, Tuscaroras, and Delawares and was headed by Karigh Ondonte. Karigh Ondonte’s name is spelled several ways.

A Mohawk village of about forty people, named Eskaharie, was twenty-four miles south of the Schoharie Creek junction with the Mohawk River. Also, under Vroman’s nose is where Karigh Ondonte’s village stood. John M. Brown, a historian, said the tribe consisted of about 300 people, but other speculation places the number at 2200. In Schoharie County, there were five major footpaths by the early 1700s. The Schoharie Valley was a “crossroads of Indian activity.” The valley’s proximity to the Delaware, Susquehanna, Hudson, and Mohawk rivers, and their trails, made the area “one of the cosmopolitan centers of Indian life.”

The Schoharie tribe was put together by several villages. These villages included two at Central Bridge, opposite each other on the Schoharie Creek, Karigh Ondonte’s village under Vroman’s Nose, and one composed of Mohegans at Little Schoharie. The village, in Central Bridge, on the west side of the Schoharie Creek was seeded by a man by the name of Lambert Sternbergh. With him he brought a skipple of wheat, about three peck, which yielded 83 skipples. Before to long, wheat fields joined Indian corn fields.
Karigh Ondonte’s village was the principle Indian settlement. In it there grew fruit orchards, corn fields, and a burial ground. Interestingly, Sir William Johnson built a 100 square foot “castle.”

Legend of the Stone Heap: Hundreds of years ago, an argument arose between two Mohawk braves, and ended with one killing the other. On that spot, to commemorate the event, Indians erected a pile of stones and it became custom that all warriors who passed by it left a stone, and thus the pile grew. In fact, a marker along route 30A marks the site of the stone heap. Sadly, the marker is on the wrong side of the road.

I would believe it to be very interesting if we started the stone pile anew. We could start our own stone pile, minus the killing part.

1 comment:

Alezend said...

I think the killing part should stay.