GENERAL HERKIMER HOME.
Turnpike Mileage Distances.
By Detour Tribes Hill - Fort Hunter to Fonda - Fultonville.
(Over West Shore R.R., N.Y., 174 m; Buff., 252 m. Pop., about 150; sea elevation, 278 feet).
Auriesville Mileage Distances Over Turnpike and New York-Buffalo Highway.
Eastward: Tribes Hill - Fort Hunter 2 m., Fort Johnson 5 m., Amsterdam 7 m., Schenectady 23 m., Albany 38 m., New York 187 m.
Westward: Fonda - Fultonville 5 m., Johnstown (by detour north from Fonda) 9 m., Gloversville (by detour north from Fonda) 13 m., Yosts (the Noses) 11 m., Canajoharie - Palatine Bridge 17 m., Stone Arabia churches (by detour north from Palatine Bridge) 21 m., Fort Plain - Nelliston 20 m., Palatine Church 23 m., St. Johnsville 26 m., East Creek 29 m., Gen. Herkimer Homestead (by detour) 34 m., fink's Basin Bridge (Fall Hill) 34 m., Little Falls 36 m., Herkimer 43 m., Mohawk 44 m., Fort Herkimer Church (by detour) 46 m., Ilion 46 m., Frankfort 48 m., Utica 58 m., Whitestown 62 m., Oriskany 65 m., Oriskany Battlefield 67 m., Rome 73 m., Syracuse 108 m., Buffalo 262 m.
The next important point west is Fonda-Fultonville, 5 m.; east is Tribes Hill-Fort Hunter, 2 m.
A two mile run from Fort Hunter over the south shore river highway, brings one to Auriesville, where the Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs is located, marking the martyrdom pf the French Jesuit missionary, Isaac Jogues, in 1646. This is a religious center of Roman Catholic faith visited by thousands, particularly during the summer months. It is an important point of Mohawk Indian life and its relation to the early missionary work of the French Jesuits on what they considered the southern borders of New France.
The foregoing brief description of the Mohawks fits in well with that of Father Jogues, who engaged in missionary work here at their castle of Osseruenon, at present Auriesville, where he suffered martyrdom in 1646.
The Aurieskill enters the Mohawk here. On its banks lived an old Mohawk Indian named Aurie (Dutch for Aaron), who gave his name to the kill (creek) and the hamlet.
Auriesville is a West Shore R.R. station with a telegraph and express office. Mail comes via Fort Hunter.
Father Isaac Jogues at Osseruenon, 1642-1644, 1646.
In 1642 the Mohawks captured Father Isaac Jogues, a French Jesuit priest, and two civilian companions on the shores of the St. Lawrence. The savages marched their captives to the Lower Mohawk castle then located here and called Osseruenon. Here Father Jogues and his companions were cruelly tortured. With the help of the Hollanders at Fort Orange, Father Jogues, in 1644, escaped to France. Undaunted by the horrors of his Mohawk captivity, this intrepid priest returned to Osseruenon in 1646 to resume his missionary labors, and here he was slain. The Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs commemorates the martyrdom of Father Jogues and his missionary work among the Indians. "The Jesuit Relations" cantains the journals of the Jesuit priests who labored in the Mohawk castles or were there held captive. Ondessonk was the Mohawk Indian name of Father Jogues, pronounced "zhog."
Statue of Father Jogues.
On Oct. 14, 1922, a statue of Father Jogues was erected here by the Order of Alhambra, which here is shown in an illustration.
On one side of the boulder base of the Father Jogues statue is a tablet to Dominie Megapolensis, the clergyman of the Albany Dutch Reformed church, who aided in the escape of Father Jogues from the Mohawks in 1644.
Statue of Tekakwitha.
Sept. 9, 1923, a statue here was unveiled to Kateri Tekakwitha, which is illustrated here. The statue is a replica of the one which stands in the hall of Dunwoodie seminary, designed by Joseph Sibbel. It is not intended for a religious, but for a civic monument, because Kateri rendered a very memorial civic service to her people. Her ardent religious fervor was not merely of mystical benefit to herself; it inspired her fellow-tribesmen with an exalted idea of morality and incited them to imitate what they saw possible in one of their own blood.
See "The Life and Times of Kateri Tekakwitha, the Lily of the Mohawks," by Ellen H. Walworth, Albany, N.Y. It is a very intersesting story of this Christian Mohawk maiden as well as a perfect picture and record of Mohawk Indian life from 1656 to 1680. Tekakwitha's name is variously spelled.
The inscription placed on the mound tells the whole story in brief:
Lily of the Mohawks.
Born at Osseruenon Caastle,
Situated Here, A.D. 1656.
Dwelling at Caughnawaga Castle,
Fonda, A.D. 1667-1676.
At Caughnawaga, Canada, A.D. 1677-
Dying There April 17, 1680,
In the Fragrance of Holiness.
Known by her tribesmen as
fairest flower that ever bloomed among
Valley Jesuit Missions, 1642-1684.
The three scenes of French Jesuit missionary labors in the Mohawk valley during the seventeenth century were at Osseruenon, at present Auriesville (1642-4-6); Kahaniaga or Caughnawaga, just west of present Fonda (1667-1684); Tionondogue, the upper Mohawk castle probably located at present Wagners Hollow, 2 m. n.e. of Fort Plain (from about 1670-1684). In 1700 all Roman Catholic priests were banished from the Province of New York by the British Colonial authorities. Disobedience of this order was punishable by death. The Jesuits in the Mohawk valley left their missions in 1683-4. Father Lemoyne was a prisoner at Tionondogue 1657-8.
Osseruenon, 1642-1659; Gandaouage, 1659-1666.
At the time of the captivity of Jogues, the Mohawks held three castles on the south shore, the lower castle of Osseruenon, the middle castle of Andagoron (probably a mile west of Fultonville), and the upper castle of Tenontogere (on the hill above Sprakers). The Auriesville shrine marks the location of this Lower Mohawk castle of Osseruenon from 1642 until 1659.
Osseruenon was the Turtle Clan castle; Andagoron, the Bear Clan castle; Tenontogere (or Tionnontogen) the Wolf Clan castle.
Osseruenon was occupied by the Turtle Clan of the Mohawks from 1642 until 1659, when they moved to the west side of the Auriesville and built a new castle called Gandaouage, where they lived until it was burned in the raid of 1666.
The removal from Osseruenon was because of a terrible plague of smallpox there in 1659.
Both Osseruenon and Gandaouage were also called Caughnawaga, which is interpreted "At the Turtle Village" and "At the rapids."
The Mohawks were at constant war with the Algonquin tribes of present New York State and its surrounding country and, by 1650, they had conquered a great part of the Indian population of North America and they were constantly harassing the French settlements of Canada. To suppress or eliminate this menace to American-French empire a French-Canadian war party, of 1,500 French and Indian warriors, raided the Mohawk valley in 1666, and destroyed their three castles, including Gandaouage. The Mohawks never fully recovered from this blow. After it they built four castles on the north Mohawk shore, the lower one being Caughnawaga, (1666-1693) at present Fonda. (See Fonda for early Mohawk Indian history and Caughnawaga castle. See Sprakers. Read the Mohawk tribal description under Fort Hunter just before Auriesville.)
After the south side castles were burned in DeTracy's raid of 1666, the Mohawks spent a miserable winter in or around their old castle and in the spring of 1667 began to build new castles, as follows: Caughnawaga (west side Cayadutta creek at Fonda) , Canagora (on Briggs Run, between Fonda and Noses) , Canajorha (on Knauderack creek, at upper end Schenck's Hollow) , Tionnontogen (also called Tionondogue) , on the Garoga at Wagners Hollow, two miles northeast of Fort Plain.
Four miles west of Auriesville, over the south shore highway, and six miles west of Tribes Hill-Fort Hunter, on the Mohawk Turnpike (north side) , lie the twin villages of Fonda-Fultonville.
AURIESVILLE NAME INDEX.