April 2016

The Mound Builders of Western New York - An Unknown Tribe

Saturday, April 30, 2016
The Mound Builders of Western New York - An Unknown Tribe
Excerpts from Aboriginal Occupation of the Lower Genesee Country by George Henry Harris - 1884
The discovery of several tall, 7 and 8 foot skeletons in multiple 
burial mounds around Western New York
Near the top of a high ridge of sand hills, in the town of Pittsford, south 
of the Irondequoit valley, and about one mile east of Allen's creek, stands a 
great heap of limestone boulders, evidently of drift origin. They are the only 
stone of that character in that vicinity, measure from two to three feet in 
diameter, and are heaped one upon the other in a space about twelve feet 
square. They occupied the same place and position sixty or seventy years 
ago, and old residents say the heap existed in the same form when the ground 
was cleared. Indians who passed that way in early days regarded the stones 
with superstitious awe, stating, when questioned, that a people who lived there 
before the Indians brought the stones to the hilltop. 
"On the shore of Lake Ontario, on a high bluff near Irondequoit bay, in 
1796," says Oliver Culver, "the bank caved off and untombed a great quantity 
of human bones, of a large size. The arm and leg bones, upon comparison, 
were much larger than those of our own race."' The bluff mentioned by Mr. 
Culver was the seaward side of an elevated spot that might properly be 
termed a natural mound. It was one of the outlying range of sand hills or 
knolls, then existent along the shore of the lake in that locality, and long 
years ago succumbed to the never-ceasing encroachment of the lake waters. 
Its location was immediately west of the angle formed by the present west 
line of Irondequoit bay and Lake Ontario; as late as 1830 human bones of an 
unusually large size were occasionally seen projecting from the face of the 
bluff, or lying on the beach where the undermined soil had fallen. The tribe 
of Seneca Indians living in Irondequoit in 1796 could give no information 
concerning these bones, stating their belief that they were the remains of a 
people who dwelt about the bay before the Indians came there. 
In 1880 a sand bank was opened in the side of the ridge, and that part 
covered by the mounds has since been entirely removed. During the course 
of excavation a laborer came upon human remains. Parts of eight skeletons 
were exhumed, each surrounded by fine black soil. These were concealed and 
all evidence of the find destroyed; but the discovery of a bone of unusual 
size, together with a curious pipe, was brought to the attention of Mr. Brewer. 
The laborer could remember few details of the position in which the remains 
were found, and the opportunity for careful investigation was lost. 

The Mound-builders were inveterate smokers, and great numbers of pipes 
have been found in their mounds. The skill of the makers seems to have been 
exhausted in their construction, and no specimens of Indian art can equal those 
of the lost race. Many pipes of a shape similar to those discovered in the 
mounds of the Ohio and Mississippi valleys have been found in various parts 
of the country. 
Figure 1 is a greatly reduced representation of an article of stone, evidently intended for a pipe, but unfinished, found near Mount Morris, in the Genesee valley, and sent to the New York state cabinet at Albany by Mr. Squier, who says: "It is composed of steatite or 'soap-stone,' and in shape corresponds generally with the pipes of stone found in the mounds of the Mississippi valley. One or two pipes of stone of very nearly the same shape have been found in the same vicinity, but in point of symmetry or finish they are in no way comparable to those of the mounds."' The pipe taken from the ridge mound in Rochester is of the distinctively characteristic, or primitive form^ peculiar to the Mound-builders, and is represented in figure 2.
It is, or was originally, five and one-half inches long, one and three-fourths wide, and one inch and seven-eighths from bottom of base to top of bowl. The lines are slightly irregular, but very perfect for a hand-made article. The material is steatite, very close grain and quite brittle.
In the color it is a deep, rich brown, with blending patches of lighter shade, 
and every particle of the surface is so beautifully polished that it might easily be 
mistaken for marble. It was the only article of any description found with the human 
remains, though other relics may have been unnoticed. Close questioning elicited the 
fact that nearly all the graves were near the south slope of the ridge, and from two to 
two and a half feet below the original surface, while the large bone, a humerus, 
was nearer the surface and perhaps more directly beneath the center of the west 
mound; from which it may be inferred, though not definitely proven, that the 
mound was built over that particular bod)' with which the pipe was buried, and 
the other bodies interred in the side of the mound at a subsequent period. 
The condition of the remains would seem to fivor this view, the humerus 
being the only remaining part of the body to which it belonged, while several 
portions of skeletons from the other graves were, though very much decayed. 
quite firm in comparison; one skull (figure 3 being preserved entire.)
Mr. Brewer presented this skull and pipe to Professor S A. Lattimore of the Uni- versity of Rochester, to whom we are indebted for their use. In March, 1882, a human skeleton of large proportions was unearthed near the former location of the east mound. The laborers, astonished at the great size of the bones, engaged in a discussion as to whether it was or was not the remains of a human being, and, with true Hibernian method, broke the skele- ton into fragments to prove the ease.
Read the Rest, including the discovery of a skeleton over eight 
feet in height at Samuel Truesdale's farm in Greece, in 1878

Women of the Revolutionary War - Nancy Morgan Hart

Monday, April 25, 2016
Women of the Revolutionary War - Nancy Morgan Hart
Nancy Ann Hart (née Morgan) was born in 1735 in North Carolina to her parents Thomas and Rebecca Morgan (née Alexander). She came from a family line of well-known figures in our nation's history, including General Daniel Morgan (her cousin and Revolutionary War hero) and Daniel Boone. Around the year 1760, she met and married Benjamin Hart.

Nancy Hart's Childhood

Not much is known about her childhood, but it is clear that she was raised in a family of proud and independent frontier people. Nancy Hart was a spirited and fearless young woman, and she would need all of her courage in the years to come.

Nancy Hart - The Heroine

In her mid-30s, the 1770s, she and her family moved to Georgia, to the region of Elberton. This was after Nancy and Benjamin Hart were married in 1760. Their home was near the Broad River and they owned more than 400 acres of the land, with some of it along the banks of the Wahatchee Creek. The name of the creek, meaning War Woman, was said to be named for Nancy by local Native Americans. Though this may not be true as the name for the creek seems to have existed before she moved there.

Nancy Hart
Nancy Morgan Hart and Sukey against the Tories
By Illustrator not credited. [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons
Nancy Morgan Hart was a intimidating red-haired woman who stood over 6 feet tall. Her face was scarred from getting smallpox when she was younger. She was also hard-headed and could stand up to and swear with the best of men. Due to this, she became notorious in her area and also respected by many. Before the Revolutionary War, she learned to shoot well and to do the job of a doctor, treating her family members and neighbors when needed. She grew a garden of medicinal herbs to help her in her doctoring. She was also a very patriotic women and was very anti-Tory. She ran her farm as her husband spied on the Tories . She'd also done the same on a few occasions by playing a role of a stupid person and spying on Tories in their own camps. Another time, she gained information, for the Continental Army, while posing as a seller peddling houseware and eggs. She also got information for Major General Benjamin Lincoln and Henry Lee III.

What earned her status as a heroine of the Revolutionary War was on a day when she was doing work around their homestead, along with her 13-year-old daughter Sukey, when some Tory soldiers showed up at their home and demanded to be fed. Nancy went on to tell them that they only had one living turkey since previous Tory soldiers came and took turkeys. So, in response, the Tories took her last turkey and shot it and told her to cook it. She had no choice but to cook the turkey since it was clear that they were not leaving. As she cooked, she told stories to the Tories to put them at ease as they drank. While eating and drinking some more, Nancy saw that they relaxed enough and sent her daughter out to get water from their well. Before her daughter left the home, she whispered to her to blow their conch shell horn by the well to alert their neighbors that they needed some help. The sound alerted her Nancy's husband Benjamin, who was at work nearby, It also alerted their neighbors at the same time.

This is while Nancy, still in the house, was carefully gathering the Tories guns and concealing them in her skirts and then sliding them out through openings in their walls that were used to shoot through in defense of the home, during Indian raids and other assaults on their home. Unfortunately, what she was doing was seen by one of the soldiers and they tried to pull their guy, thinking that Nancy wasn't watching. He was quickly shot by Nancy. Another soldier tried to pull his gun and was shot by Nancy, all the same. Help finally arrived, her husband and the neighbors, and then they were about to shoot at the Tories. It's said that Nancy decided shooting them would be too good for them. Especially after her hearing that they shot a neighbor of hers, Colonel John Dooly. They took the Tory soldiers behind her home and hung them all from a tree.

The incident was never written down and was instead passed along as some tall tale. That is until around 150 years after the incident, in 1922, the burial spots of the Tory soldiers were discovered when ground was being graded for the railroad.

Today, a replica of Nancy's cabin, built on the same site as the original in the 1930s, are part of a 5-acre park in Elberton, Georgia. In nearby Hartwell stands a statue of Nancy Morgan Hart. There's also a section of a highway named in her honor and the county of Hart was also named in her memory. Nancy Hart is buried in the Book Cemetery in Henderson, Kentucky

More about Nancy Morgan Hart:

Feisty Females: Nancy Morgan Hart, War Woman
Nancy Hart Revolutionary Heroine
Nancy Hart 1735-1830 "Poor Nancy-she was a honey of a patriot, but the devil of a wife!"
Northeast Georgia Mountains / Elberton - Nancy Hart Log Cabin
Hart, Nancy Morgan  - American Revolution Reference Library, 2000 From U.S. History in Context

Nancy and Benjamin Hart's Children: 
Sons: Morgan, John, Thomas, Benjamin, Lemuel, and Mark
Daughters: Sarah, Keziah, and Sukey.

Deborah Sampson Gannett - Women Soldiers of the Revolutionary War

Friday, April 22, 2016
Deborah Sampson Gannett - Women Soldiers of the Revolutionary War
While their stories and bravery are something to acknowledge (and have been widely covered), one would think that men were the only ones that bravely took part in the Revolutionary War. Endless numbers of women, and even children, took care of soldiers in time of need. Many volunteers whose names have been lost to time. They were probably not even that well known during the active years of the war against the British crown. Yet, it doesn't make them any less important to our nation's history. In many cases, they are a very important part of history

Sybil Ludington, who i'd already written about at Sybil Ludington - The Female Paul Revere. She is considered to be the female Paul Revere. At 16, she was involved with alerting a militia about British troop movements. Her night ride lasted through a rainy night and she traveled a distance of 40 miles, stopping off at multiple areas. Her alert aided the militia to push the British soldiers back in battle and caused them to retreat to their ships near Long Island, New York.

By Engraving by George Graham. From a drawing by William Beastall, which was based on a painting by Joseph Stone. Used as the frontispiece of The Female Review: Life of Deborah Sampson, the Female Soldier in the War of Revolution, by Herman Mann (1771-1833). [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Deborah Sampson (Gannett), in her late teens, was present at Boston and probably working as a teacher when she saw the British take more control over the city, including controlling citizens' speech and freedom of movement. She also saw the movement of British troops into the city and setting up in private homes, seizing them from their owners. She was also present at the reading of the Declaration of Independence. It was those words that inspired her to also become a part of the fight alongside military-aged men. SO she dressed up as a man and looked to enlist into the military. In 1782, she had enlistment papers and signed them but, out of nervousness, didn't show up to report for duty the next day. Not much in the year of 1782, she got past the nervousness and signed enlistment papers against. This was on May 20, 1872 and she joined up with the 4th Massachusetts Regiment under the name Robert Shurtleff. Her disguise was good enough to get her mustered into the Captain George Webb's force.

Meanwhile, in Boston, word of her entry into the military spread around and her church, seeing her actions of dressing up as a man to get into the military as un-Christian, they excommunicated her. A "punishment" that was common amongst men and women alike back in those days. The company she was with were headed to lower New York where guerrilla attacks were happening regularly. Their company was tasked with helping other companies in the area in halting these attacks. Near Tarrytown, a larger battle broke out and she was wounded in the head and her thigh when they were retreating. Not long after, she was brought to a field hospital and they took care of her head wound but she didn't tell them about her leg wound. Instead, she tried to treat her thigh wound on her own but couldn't get the musket ball out of her leg. She just left the musket ball in her thigh and it caused her thigh to not heal properly.

After a few weeks though, it was healed well enough for her to head back into action. Not long after returning to active duty, she came down with an illness and was sent to rest at the home of the doctor. As her was treating her, he discovered that she was wasn't a young man and the doctor passed the information on to a Fort Knox General. She was then honorably discharged not long after, on October 23, 1783. As "Robert", she gained a lot of respect from them as a soldier but they never knew her secret.

After the war, she married Benjamin Gannet but their marriage was rough because they always had money troubles. They had to borrow money pretty often and Paul Revere, who was her good friend of hers, heard about their situation and had the Massachusetts government give her a back pay of 37 pounds. Though it wasn't enough to help them with all their debts. So she began to travel and do lectures. Which was another great achievement since she was the first female to do so in the colonies. She would travel around cities speaking about her experiences during the Revolutionary War. It still wasn't enough to pay off debts but she was given a veteran's pension in the early part of the 1800s. A pension that afforded her $4 a month. After her death on April 19, 1827 in Sharon, Massachusetts (at 67 years old), her pension was passed on to her husband and he was paid monthly until his death.

Elba, New York's Role in the Underground Railroad

Monday, April 18, 2016
Elba, New York's Role in the Underground Railroad
The Underground Railroad in New York State played a big part in helping slaves escape and throughout NYS, many smaller towns served as stops for escaped slaves to make the way on to Canada. The Town of Elba's involvement isn't well-documented and that's somewhat due to the secrecy of its participation at the time.

Small Town !

The route in Western New York passed through Rochester from Farmington. From Rochester, they would either continue on to Gaines and on to Lockport or to Elba on to LeRoy. These escaped slaves would make their way to stop points under the cover of night. Marking these stops, one such stop being in Elba, were tree branches. The branch markers would be around 2 feet in height and inconspicuously stuck in the ground near a fence near a roadway. They were also stuck on a street corner in such a way to also tell the direction for them to turn and head to find their stop.

In Elba, three buildings were used to shelter and hide escaped slaves before they continued on to LeRoy. These buildings are on North Main Street and were the Warren Shamp house, the home of Colonel Elias Pettibone, and the Willis Tavern. In the Pettibone home, a dutch oven hid a tunnel in the cellar that connected under the street to the Willis Tavern. There was also a second tunnel in the Pettibone home that led to a long torn down barn that stood behind the Presbyterian Church. The tunnel at the former Pettibone home was covered over by solid flooring but still exists. As the tunnel was likely never filled in.

At the tavern, the was a trap door where the escaped slaves would have been hidden. As for the Shamp home, its history wasn't discovered until 1993. This was after a pre-sale inspection of the home lead to the discovery of a small area under one of the rooms. This small was was also walled off in the basement by a stone wall.

As i said, the Underground Railroad in Elba isn't all that well documented. Yet, it played a crucial part as slaves made their way to Canada or tried to shake slave catchers on their trail. To this day, the town takes pride in playing their part in aiding slaves in escaping their captors. When i was younger, elementary school aged, our class took a history tour through the town in the early 90s. We didn't get to see inside the buildings where the tunnels were but the history of Elba's Underground Railroad has stuck with me since then. It's the town i grew up in and its rich history makes me proud to have experienced living there.

Queen Aliquippa - Seneca Leader and Ally of George Washington

Friday, April 15, 2016
Queen Aliquippa - Seneca Leader and Ally of George Washington
Queen Aliquippa (also spelled Allaquippa) was the leader of the Mingo band of Seneca. Many places have been named for her, including the town of Aliquippa in Beaver County, Pennsylvania. She'd also lived in that region prior to the 1750s. It is believed that one of her children, as son, was named Canachquasy (Kanuksusy). She and her husband visited the founder of Pennsylvania, William Penn, at New Castle, Delaware prior to him leaving for England, for the final time, in the autumn of 1701.

Washington and Gist visit Queen Aliquippa. 1756
By Rogers, John, ca. 1808-ca. 1888 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
It wasn't until the summer months of 1748 when Queen Aliquippa was mentioned again. Conrad Weiser, who was in the region of Logstown was looking to enter tribes into a treaty with Pennsylvania. At the time, Queen Aliquippa was living in a village on the north bank of of the Allegheny River and a short distance from the Monongahela River.

She is mentioned in an August 27th, 1748 entry in Weiser's journal, as such: "Set off again in the morning early. Rainy weather. We dined at a Seneca town where an old Seneca woman [Queen Allaquippa] reigns with great authority. We dined at her house and they all used us very well."

Weiser left Queen Aliquippa's house and arrived at Logstown in the evening. At George Groghan's trading post, he made it into his headquarters for as long as he was was in Logstown. During his stay, he'd reached out to the Kuskuskies near Sauconk. He'd also met with Queen Aliquippa again between the end of August and September 19th (the day he left Logstown).

The entry in his entry was written: "The old Sinicker Queen from above, already mentioned, came to inform me some time ago that she had sent a string of wampum of three fathoms to Philadelphia by James Dunnings, to desire her brethren would send her up a cask of powder and some small shot to enable her to send out the Indian boys to kill turkeys and other fowls for her, whilst the men were gone to war against the French, that they may not be starved. I told her I had heard nothing of her message, but if she had told me of it before I had parted with all the powder and lead, I could have let her have some, and promised I would make inquiry; perhaps her messenger had lost it on the way to Philadelphia. I gave her a shirt, a Dutch wooden pipe and some tobacco. She seemed to have taken a little affront because I took not sufficient notice of her in coming down. I told her she acted very imprudently not to let me know by some of her friends who she was, as she knew very well I could not know by myself. She was satisfied, and went away with a deal of kind expressions."

By the Summer of 1749, Queen Aliquippa was seen by Pierre Joseph Céloron de Blainville near Shannopin's Town. Which was located on the east bank of the Allegheny River and also in the region of Pittsburgh. He wrote is his journal: "I re-embarked and visited the village which is called the Written Rock. The Iroquois inhabit this place, and it is an old woman of this nation who governs it. She regards herself as sovereign. She is entirely devoted to the English."

The Commissioners of Virginia, going by the names of Lomax, Fry, and Patten, arrived in the area of Logstown in 1752 and were looking to meet with Queen Aliquippa. She now was living on the south bank of the Ohio River and below the mouth of Chartiers Creek. They met on May 30, 1752 and she presented them with wampum and a 'fine dish of fish' and other provisions for their continuance on to Logstown. In return, they presented her with a brass kettle, tobacco, and other items and went on their way.

George Washington had also visited Queen Aliquippa in 1753. At this time, she was living in the area of present-day McKeesport, in Allegheny County. Washington traveled three miles to the mouth of the Youghiogheny River to visit her. During the visit, her presented her with a match coat and a bottle of rum. Washington expressed in his journal, about the gifts, "...which latter was thought much the better present of the two." He visited her out of his appreciation for her, her son, and warriors from her Mingo band for traveling to Fort Necessity to aid him. Though they did not play an active role in the Battle of Great Meadows.

After Washington's loss (as part of the British command leadership) against the French and their Native allies, he surrendered at Fort Necessity on July 4th, 1754. Meanwhile, Queen Aliquippa left the fort and moved on with her band and other tribes from the Fort Necessity region. They settled in Aughwick Valley in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania. She was found dead on December 23, 1754 and it was thought she had passed prior to this date. George Croghan, in charge of Indian affairs at Aughwick, wrote to Colonial Authorities: ""Alequeapy, ye old quine (queen), is dead."

Her birth year is unknown, but it is estimated to be between the year 1670 and the early 1700s. Being that she and her husband may have visited William Penn in 1701, she was possibly born in the 1680s.


Sybil Ludington - The Female Paul Revere

Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Sybil Ludington - The Female Paul Revere
Ludington statue 800
Anthony22 at the English language Wikipedia
[GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or Public domain],
  via Wikimedia Commons
Sybil Ludington, whose father was Colonel Henry Ludington, is not know to most. On the night of April 26, 1777, word got out that British troops were preparing to invade Danbury, Connecticut. The 16-year-old Ludington took off on horseback that and traveled first to Danbury to warn its citizens. From there, she continued on to alert the militiamen under her father's leadership. The whole trip was around 40 miles and more than twice the distance that Paul Revere had to travel on horseback.

Thanks to her, she may have saved the lives of many in Danbury. The afternoon after Sybil traveled through Danbury, the British troops reached the city and burned down three buildings and an unknown number of houses. Unfortunately, some citizens in Danbury were killed by the British though. According to family recollections, as written by her great grandson, she left at 9 PM and didn't finish the ride until the sun was rising. She followed a path from Carmel and on to Mahopac. From there, she went onto Kent Cliffs, to Farmers Mills and back home. She had a stick with her that she used to keep her horse going, to knock on doors of citizens to warn them, and to even fight off a highwayman (a thief that robs travelers). She'd returned home tired and rain-drenched after warning the militia force of 400 troops and her father of the British movements.

The militiamen didn't make it in time to defend Danbury, but were able to push New York Colonial Governor General Williams Tryon and his men back to the Long Island Sound. For her brave actions, she became deeply respected in her neighborhood, by her friends, and was even thanked by George Washington, a general at the time.

Other facts about Sybil Ludington:

- Her name is spelled "Sibbell" on her gravestone at Maple Avenue Cemetery, Patterson, New York
- There is a historical marker at the cemetery telling of Sybil and Henry. Both of whom are buried in the cemetery
- A statue is dedicated to her in Carmel, New York.
- She was born on April 5, 1761 in Kent, New York and died on February 26, 1839 at the age of 77 in     Catskill, New York.

More about Sybil Ludington at historicpatterson.org

Shikellamy - Oneida Chief and Iroquois Representative in Pennsylvania

Friday, April 08, 2016
Shikellamy - Oneida Chief and Iroquois Representative in Pennsylvania
Appletons' Swatane
By Jacques Reich (probably based on an 
earlier work by another artist) 
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Born around 1690 in New York State, Shikellamy (sometimes spelled Shikellimy, also known as Swatane) was originally a member of the Susquehannock tribe. Though Susquehannocks referred to themselves as Andastes. When the tribe settled at Conestoga, they gave up war and disagreeing members left the tribe and joined other tribes. Shikellamy was one of the individuals to leave the Andastes and joined up with the Oneida. He became a part of the Oquacho (Wolf Tribe). It's said that he rose quickly within the tribe and was a leader amongst the tribe. By the year of 1728, he was the representative of the Six Nations in dealings with the proprietary colonial government. He even became favorable amongst the English.

In the summer of 1745, Shikellamy visited Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and spent three weeks there. During the time, he met with many men and made friendships with them. Of all the visitors in that summer, he was the one that was most revered, impressive and respected in the eyes of the English there. Shikellamy was shown the schools and met with students in the (back then) small town. 

After the visit, Bishop Spangenberg, Conrad Weiser, John Joseph, David Zeisberger, Shikellamy, his son John, and Andrew Sattelihu, traveled on to Onondaga, an Iroquois settlement. On this journey, Shikellamy gave the Bishop the name T'girhitonti which meant "row of trees'. John Joseph received the name Hajingonis (one who twists tobacco), David Zeisberger got the the name Ganonsseracheri (on the pumpkin). This would've been around June 10, 1745. Shikellamy served as the voice between the English and the Iroquois in Onondaga. He was also a guide to Conrad Weiser for many years.

He moved to Shamokin (near modern-day Sudbury) in 1742 and spent his last years there, dying on December 6, 1748

Read More about Shikellamy:

Best sources:
Otzinachson: A History of the West Branch Valley of the Susquehanna

On the Frontier with Colonel Antes: Or, The Struggle for Supremacy of the Red and White Races in Pennsylvania

Bishop J. C. F. Cammerhoff's narrative of a journey to Shamokin, Penna. in the winter of 1748

Quick facts:

Central Pennsylvania's Standing Stone Trail

Friday, April 08, 2016
Central Pennsylvania's Standing Stone Trail
Windy View, Standing Stone Trail

The Standing Stone Trail (2), once known as the Link Trail, began its planning stages, and was 'constructed' between 1978 and 1982. Its creation was headed a group of dedicated hikers. Once finished, the trail was 68 miles long. It was that length up until 2014 when the Greenwood Spur became part of the trail and increased the length of the trail to around 80 miles. The trail has varying altitudes ranging from around 660 feet up to 2380 feet at its highest place. The Standing Stone trail is also connected to the Tuscarora Trail and the Mid State Trail. Furthermore, the trail is one section of the massive, 1,800 mile Great Eastern Trail that begins near the border of Florida and Alabama all the way to the large Finger Lakes Trail in New York State.

The trail goes through four State Game Lands, the state forests of Rothrock and Buchanan, and Rocky Ridge (near Mapleton). It also passes through the countries of Huntingdon, Mifflin and Fulton. Some sections of the trail goes through private lands whose owners have permitted use for the trail.

If you're traveling north on the trail, and heading through Fulton County, then you'll come upon Vanderbilt's Folly. It is an uncompleted rail that was being built under the guidance of William Vanderbilt to give competition to the Pennsylvania Railroad. This was in the latter-1800s. Many train tunnels were dug through the mountains but the rail was never completed due to the the bankrupting of the rail project. After 1940, many parts of the unfinished railway and a few tunnels became a section of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Today, one of the tunnels has been abandoned since the Turnpike bypass in 1968.

The name of the trail possibly comes from a Native American trail that was called the Standing Stone Path. It connected Fort Littleton to Fort Standing Stone. Fort Standing Stone which later became Huntingdon. In the mid-1800s, industrialization came to the area and the forests were made into lumber for buildings and homes being built in the area. The forest wood was also used in furnaces to melt the iron ore from the area. Iron became very profitable and the furnaces began to be built all over Central Pennsylvania. The Standing Stone Trail makes use of some of these trails that were used for long-gone railroad grades and logging trails.

At Mapleton, aka Mapleton Depot, the trail goes across the Juniata River at Jacks Narrows. Nearby is the well-known Thousand Steps. The steps were built in the 1950s by workers from the ganister stone. The quarry itself has existed since 1900 and was said to had its most success in the early 1920s. Up there you'll also find an old quarry building.

1000 steps: Dawn over Jacks Narrows

Around a mile eastward from the Thousands Steps were two Native American trails that were called the Frankstown Path and the Juniata Path. In 1744, the trader Jack Armstrong was killed during a time when tensions were high between Native Americans and Settlers. Armstrong was killed in relation to his trading activities with a Delaware. Shikellamy and Conrad Weiser helped keep tensions low by fully investigating the murder. In memory, Jacks Mountain and Jacks Narrows are named after him.

From the highest point and over Jacks Mountain there is beautiful scenery to be seen. For rock climbers, there are a few areas that are good for a challenge. One such 'challenge' is the yellow-blazed trail that leads to Hunter's Rocks. This trail section is also great for hikers and features rare and endangered flowers, including Obolaria, and the endangered Putty Root Orchid. Also, Lady Slippers are in abundance in this area.

The next part of the trail leads to the Stone Mountain and Hawk Watch and also provides excellent views. This section is an easier part of the trail, as the trail is more level for miles. The trail then heads into Greenwood Furnace State Park. The furnace existed from the mid-1800s and was the last to stop being used. In fact, the furnace and many structures from those days are still standing and provide a great visual history. Greenwood Furnace State Park is also a great place to take a rest, have a swim, and have a picnic in the warm summer months.

If you head north on the Greenwood Spur section of the trail, you'll pass the historic Greenwood fire tower. Past that, you'll be in he Alan Seeger Natural Area. It was named after Alan Seeger, who was American poet and WWI French Foreign Legion Volunteer who died in the Battle of the Somme. It was Colonel Henry Shoemaker who named the area. Also, Alan Seeger was the uncle of Pete Seeger. This part of the trail continues on and connects to the Mid State Trail at the Detweiler Run Natural Area.

Alan Seeger Natural Area (Revisited) (3)

Notable places along the trail:

Jacks Narrows and Thousand Steps
Rocky Ridge Natural Area
Stone Mountain and Hawk Watch
Vanderbilt's Folly
Monument Rock
Butler Knob and Throne Room

Waxhaw Massacre - Loyalist Forces and the Continental Army Clash

Tuesday, April 05, 2016
Waxhaw Massacre - Loyalist Forces and the Continental Army Clash
Battle of Waxhaws
See page for author [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons
The Waxhaw Massacre went by many names, The Battle of Waxhaws, Buford's Massacre and the Waxhaws. It was a battle that occurred while the Revolutionary War was in full-swing, on May 29, 1780. The battle took place around the area of Lancaster, South Carolina. Abraham Buford was the leader of the Continental Army forces and Banastre Tarleton led the Loyalist forces. British officer Tarleton sent forward a demand for Buford and his forces to surrender and Buford refused. Tarleton's calvary attacked Buford's men and some of them began to surrender. There was a truce and Buford tried to surrender. That truce ended when a shot hit Tarleton's horse and Tarleton was trapped under his now dead horse. The shot caused the Loyalists and the accompanying British troops to begin an attack. This kept going as Tarleton was still trapped and had no control over his men. Continental soldiers, including those who previously surrendered, were attacked by the Brits. 113 Continental soldiers were killed with sabers, 150 other Continentals were severely injured and were left where they were, and 53 were taken as prisoners by the British forces.

It was the Waxhaw Massacre that became a part of a campaign to increase recruitment in the Continental Army. The massacre also created a lot more anger against the British. The act of his own men is something Tarleton knew was a mistake and once he was no longer trapped, he aided some of the Continental soldiers through ordering medical treatment for them. Casualties on the British side were 5 killed and 12 wounded.

For a more detailed account of the Waxhaw Massacre, see:

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