Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Genesee Falls in Wyoming County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Council Grounds Ca. 1907...and Under Restoration

 
 
The Council Grounds Ca. 1907... image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, July 24, 2014
1. The Council Grounds Ca. 1907...
Inscription. Letchworth's purchase and relocation of the Seneca Council House to the Council Grounds in 1871 inaugurated several decades of his collecting Native American Material. Over the years, the Council Grounds became a showcase for these collections. In 1898, Letchworth had a fireproof museum constructed on the Council Grounds in which he displayed the vast number of objects he had acquired. The Council Grounds became such a popular visitor destination that in 1895 Lethchworth had to hire a caretaker.

Original Museum (1898 - 1913)
Letchworth displayed many of the artifacts in his 1898 museum on the Council Grounds that you can see in the William Pryor Letchworth Museum today, including the Pike mastodon.

Rustic Entry Lodge (1873 - 1913)
This photograph shows the Rustic Entry Lodge with the original Rustic Entry Stairway. Between 1880 and 1884 the lodge was relocated and attached to the corner of the Nancy Jemison Cabin.

The first Rustic Entry Stairway, constructed in 1873, was 35 feet long and 5 feet wide and connected the Rustic Entry Lodge with the road below. The rustic arch that appears in the photograph was formed of tree trunks and stood on one of the stairway's three landings.

Nancy Jemison Cabin
In 1880, Letchworth purchased the ca. 1800 log cabin that Mary Jemison had

...and Under Restoration Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, July 24, 2014
2. ...and Under Restoration Marker
built for her daughter Nancy on the Gardeau flats. The cabin was rebuilt on the Council Grounds in 1884.

Big Tree Pavillion (1878 - 1914)
The Big Tree Pavillion housed a section of a huge white oak trunk 11 feet in diameter. The oak had towered over the 1797 treaty negotiations at which the Seneca sold most of their holdings west of the Genesee River. The slab from the oak tree was a gift to Letchworth from the Wadsworth estate in in Geneseo, New York. The tree slab was permanently damaged in 1914 while it was undergoing repair.

Viewing Pavillion (1873 - 1913)
This rustic viewing pavillion provided a spot where visitors could contemplate the view over the railroad trestle and Upper Falls.

Swiss Cottage (removed in 1911) The Swiss Cottage was relocated to the Council Grounds from the plateau between the Upper and Middle Falls in 1895 to serve as the Council Grounds caretaker's home. Courtesy of the Dr. Charles Bartlett Collection, Castile, New York.

This plan shows the Council Grounds in 1910 prior to the removals of several structures by the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society.

[second board]
After Letchworth's death in 1910, most of the structures on the Council Grounds were removed by the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society to create more open space. Only the Council

The Council Grounds Ca. 1907...and Under Restoration Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, July 24, 2014
3. The Council Grounds Ca. 1907...and Under Restoration Marker
The pedestrian path leads to the parking lot in the background. The path lead to the Council House, Mary Jemison Cabin and Mark Jemison Statue to the right. The opposite side of this marker has the Welcome to the Seneca Council Grounds and Mary Jemison boards.
House, Jemison Cabin, and Mary Jemison's grave and statue remained; only the grave and statue were in their original locations.

In recognition of the 100th anniversary of Letchworth's donation of his property to the State of New York, the park undertook a major project, funded by a Save America's Treasures grant. In 2005, the grant money was used to restore the log structures, which had deteriorated over the years, and to relocate them to their original positions on the Council Grounds bluff.

In 1913, the Nancy Jemison Cabin was moved from its original location to the southern edge of the bluff by the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society so that the bronze statue of Mary Jemison would be more visible to visitors arriving from the parking area. It remained in this location until 2005, when it was put back in its original position just west of the Council House

In 1913, the American Scenic and Historical preservation Society moved the Council House approximately 19 feet west and 4 feet south of its original location. According to the society's annual report, the building's new location on higher ground "shows it to increased advantage and gives a better balance arrangement of the Council House Grounds." In 2005, the building was relocated to the spot it occupied in 1871, when Letchworth first brought the building to the Council Grounds.

Over the

The Council Grounds Ca. 1907...and Under Restoration Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, July 24, 2014
4. The Council Grounds Ca. 1907...and Under Restoration Marker
View from parking lot. The access road is left. The Council Grounds is right. The marker is to the left of the pedestrian path in the distance, behind foliage.
years, water soaked and rotted the bottom logs of both buildings. Both required bracing to hold them together.

A Save America's Treasures grant funded the purchase of new logs for the historic Council House and Nancy Jemison Cabin. Using 18th-century tools and techniques, new logs were carefully hewn to replace the rotted ones. The structures now resemble the buildings William Pryor Letchworth reassembled here at the end of the 19th century.
 
Erected by Letchworth State Park.
 
Location. 42° 35.16′ N, 78° 2.597′ W. Marker is in Genesee Falls, New York, in Wyoming County. Marker can be reached from Council Grounds Access Road 0.2 miles west of Park Road. Touch for map. This marker is two panels of a four-part shelter style board. Marker is located in Letchworth State Park at the Council Grounds. The Council Grounds access road is off of the main Park Road just north of the Glen Iris Inn at the southern end of the park. Ther eis an excellent sign for the Council Grounds road at the main Park Road. Marker is in this post office area: Castile NY 14427, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Welcome to the Seneca Council Grounds (here, next to this marker); Mary Jemison (here, next to this marker); Nancy Jemison Log Cabin

Council Grounds Sign on Park Road image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, July 24, 2014
5. Council Grounds Sign on Park Road
(within shouting distance of this marker); To the Memory of Mary Jemison (within shouting distance of this marker); This Ancient Seneca Council House (within shouting distance of this marker); In Grateful Memory of William Pryor Letchworth (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Genesee Valley Canal (approx. 0.4 miles away); William Pryor Letchworth 1823 - 1910 (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Genesee Falls.
 
Also see . . .
1. Council Grounds - Letchworth State Park History. (Submitted on August 5, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
2. Letchworth State Park - New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. (Submitted on August 5, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
 
Categories. Charity & Public WorkNative Americans
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 5, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. This page has been viewed 213 times since then and 27 times this year. Last updated on August 9, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on August 5, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement