Oneida Nation Turtle Clan Council Member Dale Rood and Ron Patterson (Wolf Clan), manager of the Oneida Heritage Center, recently attended the unveiling of the “Native Pathway Historical Marker” in Jefferson County. The marker recognizes the history of American Indians in the region between the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario and the significance of local waterways to the original inhabitants of the area.
Waterways were an important means of travel to Haudenosaunee in pre-colonial times, providing crucial access to hunting and trade. The region’s vast network of rivers allowed Haudenosaunee to travel almost anywhere by canoe.
The original marker commemorating the trail, placed at the intersection of State Route 12 and County Route 179 in Depauville in the 1930’s, vanished more than 40 years ago, leaving its whereabouts unknown. It had been placed as part of the New York Historical Association celebration for the 150th anniversary of the Revolutionary War, to “designate sites that are of historic significance in the colonial, revolutionary or state formative period.” The new marker was arranged and paid for by the Depauville Free Library in hope of educating the community and tourists about the important local history.
The marker reads:
For millennia, Indigenous Tribes traveled this inland route between the Saint Lawrence River and Lake Ontario, canoeing French Creek and the Chaumont River, with four miles of connecting portages.
The new marker was dedicated on July 28, 2018.