“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Fonda in Montgomery County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Caughnawaga Castle Site


— Declared a National Historical Place, August of 1973 —

Caughnawaga Castle Site Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Doda, June 1, 2019
1. Caughnawaga Castle Site Marker
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. Several post molds were discovered in the soil, but none to indicate a stockade line.

In 1948 the Van Epps-Hartley Chapter of the NYS Archeological Association dug a trench that was 60 feet long and 5 feet wide. The stockade lines, however, were not located.

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

The Turtle Clan of the Mohawk lived in this "castle” of Caughnawaga. A castle refers 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

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excavated Iroquois village in the world.

It was here in this castle that Saint 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 Posts or Markers - these posts form an archeological grid over the entire 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 posts were used. The main gate was in the wall; there were no 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 which 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.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Anthropology & ArchaeologyNative AmericansSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical month for this entry is June 1945.
Location. 42° 57.25′ N, 74° 23.567′ W. Marker is in Fonda, New York, in

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Montgomery County. Marker is on Hickory Hill Road (County Road 33) 0.4 miles west of State Highway 5, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2430 Hickory Hill Road, 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. Caughnawaga (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Caughnawaga (within shouting distance of this marker); Liberty Pole (approx. 0.3 miles away); Kateri's Home (approx. 0.3 miles away); A Liberty Pole (approx. 0.3 miles away); Veeder Home (approx. half a mile away); Peggy Wemple Tavern and Mill (approx. half a mile away); Wemple Tavern (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fonda.
Credits. This page was last revised on December 12, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 12, 2020, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio. This page has been viewed 285 times since then and 134 times this year. Photo   1. submitted on December 12, 2020, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.

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Sep. 28, 2023