Skip to comments.Flood waters unearth 18th century fort in Montgomery Co. (NY)
Posted on 12/13/2011 2:30:15 PM PST by NYer
Irene’s flood waters tore up the parking lot at the Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site, uncovering remnants of an 18th century fort.
“For the first time we now know where one block house of Fort Hunter was,” said Archeologist Michael Roets with the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
Roets talked to reporters Tuesday while standing in middle of a block house, built by the British to accommodate about 20 soldiers.
“We never would have had this exposed without the flood,” Roets said.
During Irene, raging flood waters ripped up the parking lot and unearthed the foundation of a 24-by-24 foot block house and curtain wall.
Roets said they had found remnants of a Mohawk Indian village in the past and knew there was more artifacts on the property.
“For us, we didn't know how much remained under that parking lot,” Roets said.
Archeologists and residents always knew the British built a fort back in 1712, hence the name, Fort Hunter. But the big question remained, where exactly was it?
The recent discovery is a big hint.
“We’re hoping that when people come visit they are in awe and they can actually see a bit of history, and in a sense feel a bit more connected to their environment and their town,” said Archeologist Kristin O’Connell who was busy excavating the property on Tuesday.
Experts aren't just interpreting the stone structures, but dozens of artifacts like cuff links, musket balls, and colonial coins made into jewelry. Plus, smoking pipes and wine bottles, all of which help to paint a picture of what life was like in the mid-1700s.
“Being a soldier out here, I would imagine you have lots of time to get into trouble,” Roets said laughing. “There was a lot of drinking and smoking, and historical accounts of confrontations between the Indians and soldiers.”
Experts say the new findings will help write history about the British and the Indians cohabitating in the Mohawk Valley.
The site will be preserved through winter and will eventually be open to the public as part of the Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site.
The State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation just received a grant to help restore all the landmark signs destroyed by Irene.
Montgomery County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York bordering the north bank of the Mohawk River. It was named in honor of Richard Montgomery, an American Revolutionary War general killed in 1775 at the Battle of Quebec. The county seat is Fonda.
Very cool, NYer! Thanks for posting!
I often wonder what lies beneath our feet from other times.
Well, it is Montgomery County, so there’s plenty of room...side of the road, the field next door, etc...
Lol! Since NYS Parks and Recreation is funding the restoration, you can rest assured they will provide AMPLE parking for visitors. Tourism drives upstate NY.
The story of Fort Hunter begins in 1709, when Peter Schuyler, the mayor of Albany, took five Mohawk Indian chiefs to England to be presented at the court of Queen Anne.
I took a ride up there a few weeks ago. Believe me, they could never replace the parking lot and there’s still be plenty of room to park. The flood damage to the landscape was incredible, though.
I took a ride up there a few weeks ago. Believe me, they could never replace the parking lot and there’d still be plenty of room to park. The flood damage to the landscape was incredible, though.
Nothing new here . We have paved over Most of Our History. And will continue to do so. God Bless the Bulldozer.
|GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach|
Thanks NYer and Sacajaweau.
At the same time the German Lutherans, the Swedish Lutherans and the Dutch Reformed shared the same church buildings. One known as the Old Yellow Church was featured in Drums along the Mohawk.
My NY ancestors feature prominently in that area ~ none of them were English. The Oneida adhered to the American side in the Revolution.
My German Palatine ancestors were from the Schoharie area. Very few of them survived the Revolutionary War. Between the British and especially the Indians, led by Chief Joseph Brant, it’s a miracle I’m here at all! They had the Old Stone Fort for protection.
I am a native New Yorker but from downstate, primarily Long Island, also rich in colonial history. Since relocating mid state, I have been fascinated by history, especially as reflected in city, town and village names. My residence is in Watervliet (Dutch), my parents reside in Loudonville (Fremch), and a good friend resides in Cohoes (Indian). Not far from here is the Albany Rural Cemetery where President Chester A. Arthur, the 21st President of the United States, is interred. Another famous cemetery resident is General Philip Schuyler, Major General in the Continental Army, Delegate to the Continental Congress, and one of the first two United States Senators elected from New York. A popular tourism spot is the Shaker Heritage site in Latham.
I’m glad that it is already on the grounds of the historical site, and not the parking lot for Anabelle’s Sundries and Knick Knack shop.
These guys were regular Spatznetz types ~
Schoharie Valley was a critical theater during the War of Independence. There is an excellent history of the valley up to about 1820 available online. I highly recommend it for a view of what the war was really like. We tend to get a highly sanitized version of it these days.
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[Posting this from an Amtrak train going about 85 mph between NYC and Washington DC somewhere in the wilds of NJ...the WiFi works...and it's free!! Whatta country America!]
Thanks for your personalized info on this post; just want to emphasize a point you made about the Oneidas for those that may be unaware of their singularity: when the rest of the Iroquois Confederacy supported the Brits, the Oneidas were the only tribe supporting the patriot side. If you have a chance to support them, please do. While some remain in NY State, I believe most now live in Wisconsin.
One of their characteristics that is very noteworthy is they had an immigration policy and allowed European origin people to move in, set up shop to do stuff, and to farm, or teach farming.
That was their downfall as well. About 1830 New York, always greedy for more land to give away to illegal aliens, declared that the Oneida were thoroughly "white". They then seized the Oneida lands on the grounds that "whites" were not allowed to own reserved Indian lands.
The former Oneida territory turned to poop as everybody moved away.
It was up on milk crates, but that was okay, I’d stolen it from Al Gore.