New Lebanon in Columbia County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Mohican Blessing Fountain
Thé Mohican Blessing Fountain was erected by the New Lebanon Garden Club in 1941 to give thanks to the Mohican Indians for their gift of the healing waters of the thermal mineral springs to all people forever. The Mohicans were the original inhabitants not only of New Lebanon and Columbia County but of a vast territory encompassing significant parts of New York, Massachusetts, Vermont and Connecticut.
The first reported gift of the water was in 1756 when Mohicans living at their village at Stockbridge, Ma. carried the first European to bathe in the healing springs to cure a debilitating illness. This person was James Hitchcock,a member of the British army stationed near Stockbridge, who had a severe skin disease that doctors could not cure. The Mohicans brought Hitchcock to the healing springs, bathed him and tended to him for a few weeks until his symptoms disappeared.
The second recorded gift of the water was when the Mohicans sold the land of their former village of Kaunaumeek, present day New Lebanon, to Charles Goodrich in 1759 with the assurance from Goodrich that the healing waters would remain free for all
Since that time, there have been three court cases related to ownership of the springs brought before the NYS Supreme Court. In all three cases, the Supreme Court ruled that "the waters of the springs will be free for all peoples forever". When the New Lebanon Garden Club decided to honor the Mohicans with a monument in the form of a fountain, they hired the renowned sculptor, Henry Hudson Kitson, design the fountain and create the bronze sculpture which adorns it. Kitson painstakingly searched the area for the boulders and stones that would make up the base of the fountain but it is the beautiful bronze likeness of a Native American drinking water from his cupped hands that make this fountain a one-of-a-kind work of art truly reflective of the Mohicans' gift of the waters and their vast contributions to our town, our state and our country.
Kevin Fuerst, New Lebanon Town Historian
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Native Americans
Location. 42° 28.749′ N, 73° 22.408′ W. Marker is in New Lebanon, New York, in Columbia County. Marker is on New York State Route 22, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: New Lebanon NY 12125, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Lafayette's Tour (here, next to this marker); Town of New Lebanon War Memorial (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Ezra Gates (approx. 3.1 miles away); Shaker Color (approx. 3.8 miles away in Massachusetts); Hancock Shaker Village: Powered by the Sun for Over 200 Years (approx. 3.8 miles away in Massachusetts); Hancock Shaker Village (approx. 3.8 miles away in Massachusetts); Glen Douglas Farm (approx. 3.9 miles away); Former Church (approx. 4.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New Lebanon.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 11, 2019. It was originally submitted on June 9, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. This page has been viewed 732 times since then and 103 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on June 9, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.