Near Fonda in Montgomery County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Castle 1667 Ruled By
Turtle Clan. Jesuit
Mission of St. Peter's
Destroyed in Raid of 1693
Erected 1932 by New York State Department of Education.
Location. 42° 57.232′ N, 74° 23.594′ W. Marker is near Fonda, New York, in Montgomery County. Marker is on Hickory Hill Road, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Fonda NY 12068, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A Liberty Pole (approx. ¼ mile away); Veeder Home (approx. 0.4 miles away); Peggy Wemple Tavern and Mill (approx. 0.6 miles away); Wemple Tavern (approx. 0.6 miles away); Mohawk Area (approx. 0.7 miles away); Johnson Hall - 1763 (approx. 0.7 miles away); a different marker also named Mohawk Area (approx. ¾ mile away); Herkimer Home - 1764 (approx. 0.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fonda.
An interpretive sign on the site states the following:
1666 - 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.
Small-White-metal-Posts or Markers-these posts form an archeological grid over the whole site are 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 posts were used. The main gate was in the wall, there were nop openings in the north and east walls.
Small Reddish Posts-these posts 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 posts mark the posts which supported the benches or beds which ran along the interior walls of each longhouse.
National Kateri Tekakwitha Shrine, Route 5 Fonda, NY
Also see . . . National Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Shrine. (Submitted on July 27, 2013, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York.)
Categories. • Colonial Era • Forts, Castles • Native Americans •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 27, 2013, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. This page has been viewed 560 times since then and 17 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on July 27, 2013, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.