The Story Of Painted Post, NY

The Story Of Painted Post, NY

What's In A Name?

How does a town get a name of "Painted Post?"  There's an easy answer to that...and a longer story.  The quick answer is the town was named after a post placed there by Indians. The real reason why the post was placed is not exactly know. But one speculation is that is was painted in a color combination suitable for some primitive type of communications. What's also not know is when the original was put in place.

The naming of this community in Steuben County, adjacent to Corning, NY, goes back to the Colonial Days and the Revolutionary War.  At that time, white men visiting the area found, on this very site, (the small park at the Community Square) an oak wood post which was square to a height of four feet and then octagonal to the top.  The surface was painted red and decorated with black figures, about half without heads.  There were numerous references to this "painted post" by the early settlers who found several explanations from the Indians who put it there.  For some it was regarded as a memorial to a fallen chieftain, for others a marker for assemblies and, a "war post" around which dances were held.

That original post endowed this place with a name which will endure as long as recorded history. By 1808, the first namesake had disintegrated and a fitting substitute was put up.  Since then there have been several other replacements and time, wind, and weather have taken their toll.  The present monument goes back to about 1950.

The Indian with the bow waves a greeting to visitors at the Community Square in Painted Post today, which is in the heart of the downtown business district.  It's not far from a major industrial property where an Allegheny field service team was working. During a lunch break, the pictures you see here were taken.

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