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Seneca Indian Village Site of Kanadesaga
Posted By Dennis Partridge On In Native American,New York | No Comments
From Canoga the warriors headed north to the Great Trail and then west to the City of Geneva. At Geneva, Mr. Robert Breed, a member of the Geneva Historical society and a friend of the Indian People, personally took the warriors to several ancient Seneca village sites and memorials among which were the following:
At the White Springs Farm they visited the site of the main village of the Senecas known as Ganechtage. Here they saw the ancient Indian Springs known as The White Springs. This water supply was the reason for the location of this old village. As the warriors passed over the brow of a nearby mound, which was an ancient Seneca burial mound, they were told that this was probably the view that the first white men ever had of Seneca Lake. The old Seneca Indian Trail from the west to the east, connecting the main villages of the Iroquois League, ran past these Indian springs. Not far from this ancient village site, the warriors visited the later Seneca Indian village site of Kanadesaga, located along Castle Creek. Near this ancient village site the Mohawks saw the Seneca Burial mound of the Indian town. Kanadesaga means, A New Settlement Village. The marker that the warriors saw on top of the burial mound was placed there in 1908 by the Fortnightly Club of Geneva. The inscription reads, “Kanadesaga, burial mound of the Seneca Indians.” Here Grahta, the Old King, the most famous Seneca Chief of his day is buried. Mr. Breed told the boys that it is known that this chief’s bark house was located on the site of the village toward the lake and near the outlet. He was probably chief Sachem from about 1760 until his death soon after 1779. His name in the Seneca tongue was Guy-yah-gwah-doh which means, “He carries the Smoke,” because he alone carried the brand by which the council fires of the Senecas were lighted. After the Revolutionary War, for many years, a band of Indians came regularly, just as the leaves began to fall, to this mound and to the one at The White Springs Farm and there spent hours in silent meditation. Many interesting legends gather about this mound.
Leaving their friends the warriors headed west out of Geneva. Passing numerous other Seneca village sites they headed south toward Keuka Lake. Near Keuka Park they visited an Iroquois bark house erected by students of Keuka College. Near the Village of Branchport they visited another Seneca Village Site that some claim to be the birthplace of Red Jacket. At one time he lived there; but his birthplace was at Canoga. There is also a monument erected to Red Jacket at the Branchport site.
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