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Caughnawaga Indian Village Site - Fonda, New York
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member swizzle
N 42° 57.253 W 074° 23.569
18T E 549527 N 4755909
Quick Description: Caughnawaga Indian Village Site - The site of an Indian Castle
Location: New York, United States
Date Posted: 9/22/2009 1:18:32 PM
Waymark Code: WM79AG
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 1

Long Description:
Also known as Gandaouage; Kachnawage. This is not the first thing you think of when you hear the word Castle. The word Castle actually means "fortified place" and this was the Native American's form of a Castle. This particular castle was in use between 1666 - 1693. The area offered an overlook onto the Hudson River below while being very close to a natural spring.

To find this site go west on Route 5 just past the Village of Fonda. Just outside of Fonda's main village you'll see a road that veers of on the right and goes up a fairly steep incline. On that incline is a fairly sharp corner so be careful. As you near the top of the hill you'll see 2 open fields. The site is the second one on the right. I wouldn't advise doing this one in the winter.

1666 CAUGHNAWAGA CASTLE SITE 1693 DECLARED A NATIONAL HISTORICAL PLACE, AUGUST OF 1973 Archeological investigations of this site were started in 1943. This consisted of surface searching only.

In spring of 1945 the field was plowed. During June of 1945 a test trench was opened within one of the many evident darkened areas on the surface. A number of post molds were discovered in the soil, but none to indicate a stockade line.

The Van Epps-Hartley Chapter of the N.Y.S. Archeological Association dug a trench 60 feet long and 5 feet wide in 1948. The stockade lines, however, were not located.

Beginning in 1950 the native American Village (Castle) of Caughnawaga was thoroughly excavated by Fr. Thomas Grassmann, a Conventual Franciscan Friar, with the help of the N.Y.S. Archeological Association. It was completed in 1956.

The Turtle Clan of the Mohawk lived in this "castle" of Caughnawaga. A castle refers back to a European term meaning "fortified". This castle was surrounded by a wooden stockade, 15 to 18 feet high, protecting from intruders. Caughnawaga means "on the rapids" or "on the water," referring to the Mohawk River. This castle is the only completely excavated Iroquois Village in the world.

It was here in this castle that Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha lived a good part of her earthly life and during this time she was baptized and dedicated her life to the Lord.

WHITE CONCRETE PILLARS these are surveyor markers.

SMALL WHITE METAL POST or Markers these post form an archeological grid over the whole site area for record keeping, What has been found within each square of the grid has been accurately kept.

SMALL GREY POSTS these go into the tops of the post molds which formed the stockade. You will note that the castle was doubly stockaded. 3,041 post were used. The main gate was in the wall, there were no openings in the north and east walls.

SMALL REDDISH POSTS these post mark the post molds of the outer walls of the longhouses. There were 12 longhouses, the longhouses were covered with elm bark.

SMALL YELLOW POSTS these post marks the post which supported the benches or beds which ran along the interior walls of each longhouse.

Street address:
Hickory Hill Rd
Fonda, New York United States

County / Borough / Parish: Montgomery

Year listed: 1973

Historic (Areas of) Significance: Information Potential

Periods of significance: 1650-1699

Historic function: Domestic

Current function: Recreation And Culture

Primary Web Site: [Web Link]

Secondary Website 1: [Web Link]

Privately owned?: Not Listed

Season start / Season finish: Not listed

Hours of operation: Not listed

Secondary Website 2: Not listed

National Historic Landmark Link: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Please give the date and brief account of your visit. Include any additional observations or information that you may have, particularly about the current condition of the site. Additional photos are highly encouraged, but not mandatory.
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