TRIBES HILL - FORT HUNTER.
(Over N.Y.C.R.R., N.Y., 181 m.; Buff., 258 m.; sea elevation, 278 ft.; approximate population,
Tribes Hill 400, Fort Hunter 600.)
Tribes Hill - Fort Hunter Turnpike Mileage Distances.
Eastward: Fort Johnson 3 m., Amsterdam 5 m., Schenectady 21 m., Albany 36 m., New York 185.
Westward: Auriesville (by south side detour) 2 m., Fonda-Fultonville 6 m., Johnstown-Gloversville (by detour)
10 m., 14 m., Yosts (the Noses) 12 m., Canajoharie-Palatine Bridge 18 m., Stone Arabia churches (by detour) 22 m., Fort Plain-Nelliston
21 m., Palatine Church 24 m., St. Johnsville 27 m., East Creek 30 m., Fink's Bridge (Fall Hill) 36 m., Gen. Herkimer Home (by detour)
37 m., Little Falls 37 m., Herkimer 44 m., Mohawk 45 m., Fort Herkimer Church (by detour) 47 m., Ilion 47 m., Frankfort 49 m., Utica
59 m., Whitesboro 63 m., Oriskany 66 m., Oriskany Battlefield Monument 68 m., Rome 74 m., Syracuse 109 m., Buffalo 263 m.
The next important point west, on the south side road, is Auriesville, 2 m., and Fonda,
west on the turnpike, 6 m.
East is Fort Johnson, 3 m., Amsterdam 5 m.
Tribes Hill, on the (north shore) Mohawk Turnpike, is a station on the New York Central R.R. with a telegraph and
express office and a postoffice. The Schenectady Railways Co. electric trolley line here branches northward to Johnstown.
Fort Hunter is on the south shore turnpike and the West Shore R.R., with telegraph and express office and a postoffice.
Tribes Hill lies on the north side connected by a bridge over the Mohawk with Fort Hunter, on the south shore of the
river. Neither village is (1921) incorporated. They have an estimated combined population of about 1,000.
Og-sa-da-ga, 1693-1700 -- Mohawk Tribal Village.
In 1693 a French-Indian raiding party came down from Canada, burned the four Mohawk castles and defeated the Mohawks
in a bloody battle at the upper castle (See Palatine Church). The shattered tribe then built, here at present Tribes Hill, a single tribal
village, known as Og-sa-da-ga, which they occupied from 1693 until 1700, when they built three castles on the south shore at present Fort
Hunter, Fort Plain and Indian Castle, which were their final valley locations and which they occupied from about 1700 until 1775. From
the tribal village of Ogsadaga, the village of Tribes Hill takes its name.
Fort Hunter was named from the British governor, Hunter, who here (1711) built a fort to protect the frontier and the
Lower Castle of the Mohawks, occupied by the Wolf clan (1693-1775). It was also the Revolutionary fortification of Fort Hunter
There are several old houses at Tribes Hill, which is an old settlement, among them being the brick Fonda-Striker
home. Vaccination was first practised [sic] in the Mohawk valley at Tribes Hill by Dr.
Lock No. 12, Dam No. 8 - Barge Canal 12-Mile Level to Yosts.
Lock No. 12, Dam No. 8, Erie section Barge canal, on the Mohawk at Tribes Hill-Fort Hunter, is also known as the
Tribes Hill lock and dam. There is a 11-ft. rise from the river water level of 267 feet sea elevation below, to 278 feet above the
dam. The river level westward to Yosts is 12 miles long, the longest east of the summit level (from Whiteboro to New London) on the
Mohawk river section of the Barge canal.
About a mile west of Tribes Hill, near the Turnpike, is the glen of Dadanoscara creek where the Wolf clan is said to
have had its mystic circle where it worshipped the wolf spirit. (See Harold Frederic's Revolutionary story, "In the Valley," many scenes
of which are located hereabouts.)
The Visscher-DeGraff House, 1795 -- Dadanoscara.
The home of Colonel Frederick Visscher, commanding the Mohawk district battalion of the Tryon County Militia
(1775-1780) during the Revolution, stood near the outlet of the Dadanoscara, and close to the present DeGraff house. In Sir John
Johnson's raid of May 22, 1780, an enemy party attacked the Visscher house. The three Visscher brothers (Harman, John and Frederick)
and their mother were in the house and the men made a desperate fight against the odds. All four were finally overcome and tomahawked
and scalped and Indians set the house on fire. Harman and John were killed but Col. Visscher recovered and heroically managed to remove
his mother, still alive, from the burning building and then returned and dragged out his brothers' corpses.
After the Revolution, Col. Visscher here rebuilt his house which was later remodeled into the present DeGraff mansion,
known as "Dadanoscara." The latter name is said to mean "trees bearing fungi" -- mushroom growths.
In 1924 the Visscher-DeGraff homestead had been in the ownership of the family for more than 175 years and the house
for 130 years.
Scene of Frederic's Novel, "In the Valley."
This is the supposed site of the house of "Mr. Stuart," in Harold Fredric's historical novel, "In the Valley," and
the suppositious home of its hero, "Douw Mauverensen." Much of the action of this famous story takes place in and around this Dadnoscara
site and picturesque glen.
Detour to Johnstown-Gloversville.
From Tribes Hill the motorist, going west, can detour to Johnstown, 7 m., and Gloversville 11 m., both historic
spots of great interest and cities of commercial importance. The detour can also be made to these points from Fonda north. (See Summary
at front of book.)
DETOUR TO THE AURIESVILLE SHRINE.
By Way of the Tribes Hill Bridge to Fort Hunter.
At Tribes Hill, the motorist, going west, has the option of a detour to Fort Hunter, on the south side, and westward
to the Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs at Auriesville, two miles west, which marks the martyrdom pf the Jesuit missionary, Father Jogues,
in 1646. This detour continues to Fultonville, 4 m. west, crossing the Mohawk to the Turnpike on the north shore at Fonda, 8 m. (See
Summary of Points of Interest at front of book.)
Fort Hunter lies on the south shore of the Mohawk, just below the mouth of the Schoharie (Indian for "drift wood"),
the largest Mohawk tributary.
The Schoharie River - Howe's Cave.
It has a course of some seventy miles from the Catskills in the south through Schoharie county. It flows through the
beautiful agricultural valley of the Schoharie, which is also exceedingly wild in sections. This region has retained much of its old-time
character. The Schoharie river is the third minor stream of the Hudson, the Mohawk and Walkill outranking it. The Schoharie rises in the
Catskills, less than ten miles from the Hudson near Catskill. A number of Catskill mountain resorts are located on the upper Schoharie
river. In the Schoharie valley (on its main branch, the Cobleskill) is located Howe's Cave, an underground cavern of very considerable
size and interest. The Schoharie valley lies mostly in Schoharie county (beginning some ten miles south of here) and is a rich agricultural
and one-time hop growing section of much beauty. It is famed as the only county of New York state which, up to 1914, had always given
Democratic majorities in every election. Through the Schoharie valley to the mouth of the Mohawk, came the great Tory-British-Indian raid
of October, 1780, under Sir John Johnson and Mohawk chief Joseph Brant, the details of which are given at different points along your
route. The headwaters of the Schoharie in the Catskills are impounded for the Catskill water system of New York city and flow into the
Ashokan reservoir west of Kingston, showing that the world metropolis reaches out and affects the territory of New York state many miles
from the city itself. Palatine Germans settled on the Schoharie in 1711 and later some removed to Stone Arabia (see Palatine Bridge) and
other Mohawk valley points.
The area of the Schoharie watershed is 920 square miles, of the 3,485 square miles in the whole Mohawk river watershed,
of which the Schoharie valley is a part.
The Schoharie valley therefore forms about 27 per cent of the total area of the Mohawk valley, or a little more than
one-quarter of its watershed.
At Globoa, on the Upper Schoharie, in 1869, a freshet unearthed fossil tree stumps of the Devonian age - the most
ancient and wonderful fossil forest remains ever uncovered. Specimens are in the State Museum, Education building, Albany.
Fort Hunter, 1711.
Here, at Fort Hunter, Gov. Hunter built the first fort west of Schenectady, in 1711. From 1700, here was located one
of the two leading villages or "castles" of the Mohawk tribe of the great Iroquois confederacy. Schenectady was the New York colony
British frontier post until Fort Hunter was built in 1711, after which Fort Hunter was the western frontier post until 1722, when Fort
Oswego was built. When Fort Hunter was built in 1711, the settled portion of New York State comprised only the Hudson valley and the
eastern Mohawk valley.
QUEEN ANNE'S PARSONAGE, 1712.
This stone house is the sole remaining structure of the buildings
of Fort Hunter, 1711. Queen Anne's Parsonage, 1711, and the
Lower Mohawk Castle (1700-1799). It stands about a mile east
of the Schoharie river, on the South Shore Road.
Queen Anne's Parsonage -- 1712.
At Fort Hunter an Episcopal chapel was built around 1712. Queen Anne furnished a great part of it as it was to be an
Indian mission and it was called Queen Anne's chapel. It was destroyed by the building of the Erie canal in 1825. This famous little
stone church in the wilderness boasted the first church organ west of Albany, which was the wonderment of the valley red men. The chapel's
stone parsonage, erected about 1712, is still standing at Fort Hunter. When this house was built the Mohawk valley was practically a
virgin forest west of present Amsterdam. The parsonage is located about a mile from the site of chapel and fort.
The Mohawk's Old Bearskin Sunday "Cloathes."
The Mohawks petitioned the New York Colonial government for the establishment of this church and mission, which was
intended to serve the entire tribe. However, church attendance did not seem to appeal to these savages after a time or the regularity of
church worship did not coincide with the systemic irregularity of savage habits. In a council of Mohawks with Governor Hunter at Albany
(in 1714) a chief arose and spoke as follows (in the spelling of the old account):
"You put us in mind that we desired a Missioner in every one of our castles to instruct us in the way to eternal life. We own that
we desired it. But, when we consider that the Christians here - when it is Sabbath days - what fine cloathes they have when they
go to church, and that goods are still so dear that we can not purchase Sunday cloathes, but would be necessitated to go to
church with an old bear skin and deer skin. We have deferred that matter till goods are cheaper, that we may have cloathes suitable
to go to church withall."
Queen Anne's parsonage is the sole remaining one of the many structures comprising Fort Hunter (1711-1783) and the
Lower Mohawk castle (1700-1775). As one gazes on its ancient walls one can see the silent Mohawk in "an old bear skin," squatted by
the roadside watching the white settlers in their Sunday best riding gaily by on their way to service in Queen Anne's chapel with its
church bell, its wonderful organ and its silver communion service presented by Queen Anne herself.
Iconderoga - Lower Mohawk Castle, 1700-1775.
The lower castle of the Mohawks was located at Osseruenon (at present Auriesville, two miles west of Fort Hunter) from
1642 until 1666, when it was burned by a Canadian war party (see Auriesville). From 1666 until 1693, the lower castle was at Kahaniaga,
near present Fonda (see Fonda). In 1693 Count Frontenac's Canadian army destroyed Kahaniaga and the lower castle was later relocated at
Fort Hunter, where it remained until the Mohawks left for Canada, to join the British forces, in 1775.
All their villages were built in the river section between the Schoharie and the Nowadaga (at Indian Castle) with the
exception of one small village near Rome (1666-1693) and one or more small ones on the Schoharie.
Castles of the Wolf, the Tortoise and the Bear.
The Mohawks, after 1700, rebuilt their three "castles" at the following locations: Iconderoga, castle of the Wolf
clan, also called the Lower Castle, at Fort Hunter; Tarajorees, castle of the Tortoise clan, at Fort Plain; Canajoharie, castle of the
Bear clan, at Indian Castle, also called the Upper or Great Castle of the Mohawks.
Besides these they had occasional small settlements of a few cabins and temporary hunting, fishing and harvesting
I-con-der-o-ga is a Mohawk work meaning "two streams coming together," referring to the junction here of the
Schoharie with the Mohawk. The name is also spelled Tionderoga and Ticonderoga, as the famous Fort Ticonderoga, situated at the
Lake George outlet into Lake Champlain. Nearly all Indian names have had various spellings and many are interpreted differently
by different historical authorities.
The name of this site is variously spelled Teondeloga, Tiononderoga, Iconderoga, Dylondarogon, etc.
The foregoing were the three great families or clans into which the Mohawks were divided.
Figures of the wolf, tortoise and the bear were the totems of these clans and the chieftains of these families signed
all documents with the figures of their particular clans. Other Iroquois tribes, besides the Mohawks, had other clans as well as these
MOHAWK ARROWS AND SPEAR HEADS.
From the collection of Mr. C. Van Horne, Glen.
The Mohawks and the Iroquois.
Here at Fort Hunter was one of the strongholds of the powerful Six Nations and the motorist going west is now
well within their one-time country.
The Six Nations occupied land along the Albany-Buffalo route, from the Schoharie to beyond the Genesee. Their
order from east to west was Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas and Senecas. Of these the Mohawks were the most warlike and are said
to have been the highest type, physically and mentally, of the aborigines of North America. They
gave their name to the Mohawk river,
the Hudson's greatest tributary, whose valley carries for a hundred miles westward the great tide of traffic and transportation which
goes over the New York to Buffalo route. Prior to the Revolution the Iroquois or Six Nations had conquered a great part of the Indian
country of eastern North America. The Mohawks were important allies of the English through the French and Indian wars and the Revolution.
The successful example of this famous Indian confederacy is said to have had a great influence on the formation of
the United States of America. Everywhere along your ensuing route, in its names and history, you will find evidence of the occupancy
and rule of this powerful Indian nation. In 1711 the Tuscaroras were driven out of North Carolina and joined the Iroquois, making them
the Six Nations, although they had previously been the Five Nations.
It must be remembered that the Mohawks were the firm friends and allies in arms of the white settlers on the Mohawk,
for over one hundred years prior to the Revolution.
In 1775 the Mohawks left the valley and went to Canada to fight with the British army. The tribe (now over 3,000
strong) is now (1924) located on Grand River, Ont., Caughnawaga and Lake of Two Mountains, Que., with some Mohawks also on New York State
In 1779 Col. Van Schaick removed the last of the neutral Mohawks from the Fort Hunter castle, that date marking the
end of Mohawk occupation in the valley, as the Upper Castle Indians were removed at the same time.
The Iroquois Trail -- Albany to Buffalo.
Historically the Mohawks were doubtless the most important single tribe of North American Indians. They were the
"elder brothers" of the Iroquois confederacy and perhaps the original tribe of Iroquois. In 1609 the Iroquois or Five Nations numbered
about 15,000 with the Mohawks over 3,000 strong.
Because of location of the Iroquois on the Albany-Buffalo highway this route is frequently called the "Iroquois Trail."
Mohicans, First Known Valley Indians.
Eskimo and Mound Builders.
The Mohicans, an Algonquin tribe, were resident in the eastern Mohawk valley, probably east of the Schoharie, when the
Mohawks were driven from their location on the St. Lawrence at Montreal by the Algonquins about 1570. Following this the Mohawks entered
Vermont where they remained for a time recovering from their defeat by the Algonquins, following which, about 1600 or before, they entered
this valley, drove out the Mohicans and settled in the middle valley. The Mohicans fought several battles to regain their old homes but
were always defeated. Remains have been uncovered (east of Hoffmans) of Indians who occupied the valley prior to the Mohicans.
The remains of an Eskimo-like people are found on the upper Mohawk levels, where they probably lived as they followed
the retreating glacier northward.
Mound building Indians came into Western New York after the Algonquins and probably lived in the western Mohawk
Valley. They were driven out before or during the Iroquois invasion.
Ganegaono -- the Mohawks.
The Mohawks called themselves Ga-ne-ga-o-no, meaning "people or keepers of the flint," because they were the first
of the Iroquois to use the flint and steel for striking fire. They procured them from the Dutch at Fort Orange as they did the guns
which quickly made them masters of the neighboring Indians.
The general spelling of the Mohawk name is Ca-ni-en-ga.
The Mohawks brought flint from the shores of Lake Champlain, as there was none in their valley home. From this stone
they made weapons and this may have influenced their name.
See "The Mohawks," by S. L. Frey, a pamphlet published by the Oneida County
Historical Society, Utica, N.Y. "History
of the Now York Iroquois," by Wm. M. Beauchamp.
Mohawk means "Man-Eater."
The name Maqua or Mohawk is a name not used by the Mohawks, but given them by their Algonquin enemies. It means
"Bear" or "Man-Eater" and refers to their ferocity and cannibalistic practices.
Tenonanatche, the Mohawk River.
The Mohawk name for the Mohawk river was Te-non-an-at-che, meaning "river flowing through
Konoshioni, Cabin Builders -- Hodenosaunee, People of the Long House.
The Iroquois called themselves Ko-no-shi-o-ni, meaning "cabin makers;" the Iroquois name for their confederation
was Ho-de-no-sau-nee, signifying "people of the long house." The confederated Five Nations, lying along the Iroquois trail, they
poetically termed the Long House of which the Mohawks guarded the eastern and the Senecas the western door. The true tribal names of
the Iroquois nations follows: Mohawks, Ga-ne-ga-o-no, "flint owners;" Oneidas, O-na-yo-te-ga-no, "people of the stone" (a ceremonial
tribal stone); Onondagas, O-nun-dah-ga-o-no, "people of the hills;" Cayugas, Gue-u-ghew-o-no, "people of the marshland," about the
head of Cayuga lake; Senecas, Nun-da-wah-o-no, "great hill people," referring to a high hill near which their main early castle stood.
The letter C in Iroquois words always has the K sound and sometimes is better represented by G.
The Iroquois raised corn, beans, squash and a small potato, and of course used all nuts, berries and wild fruit they
could gather. They stored their corn in pits dug in the ground and lined with bark. Their clothing was of skins and their weapons of
flint. They made pottery in which they placed hot stones and boiled food, besides cooking on fires and in the ground.
The Iroquois built cabins of saplings sealed with elm bark. Some of these were several hundred feet long -- called
"long houses." Their "castles" were villages palisaded (walled) with upright logs, 12 or 15 feet high, set in the ground. The Mohawks
made canoes of elm (instead of birch) bark and dugouts or war canoes from logs hollowed out with fire. They cut trees by burning them at
the base and laboriously chopping the charred wood with stone axes.
The Mohawks and other Iroquois were typical stone age men when the Hollanders first settled at present Albany in 1614.
These Indians soon after gradually adopted the clothes of the white men and their degeneracy began with the liquor sold them by the
Dutch, who also traded guns for furs and thus the Mohawks were almost the first Indians of the colonies who secured firearms and with
them they conquered all the tribes of the present northeastern United States.
By Detour Tribes Hill - Fort Hunter to Fonda -
(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
STATUE OF FATHER ISAAC JOGUES.
By Joseph Sibbel. Erected in 1922 by the Order of the
Alhambra at Auriesville, where Father Jogues was slain by
the Mohawks in 1646.
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
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 Castle,
Situated Here, A.D. 1656.
Dwelling at Caughnawaga Castle,
Fonda, A.D. 1667-1676.
At Caughnawaga, Canada, A.D. 1677-1680.
Dying There April 17, 1680,
In the Fragrance of Holiness.
Known by her tribesmen as
fairest flower that ever bloomed among true men.
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
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 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.