History of the Lower Chemung River Valley
Carried over from home page
The landscape of New York State was formed by glaciers during the late Paleozoic Era, in what was called the Pleistocene Epoch, lasting from 1.8 million to 11,000 years ago, known as the ice ages. Carved out by these glaciers, the Chemung is an old river that winds through the Southern Tier of New York and North East Pennsylvania before feeding into the Susquehanna River below Athens, PA It eventually empties into the estuary, Chesapeake Bay and eventually into the Atlantic Ocean. The history is rich along the old Chemung. The Lower Chemung River Valley has long been a home to Native Americans. The Iroquois Six Nations with mainly the Seneca Tribe and perhaps Cayuga being the most prominent...
An Iroquois Village was uncovered (1998-2007) by an archaeology team from the Binghamton University, known as the Thomas-Luckey Site in the Town of Ashland, NY located along the Chemung River. Long houses and food pits dated back to the Late Woodland Period (AD900-1550).
Long before accounts of humans inhabiting this area of the country, fossils and artifacts have been uncovered, indicating a rich prehistoric existence of mammals. In the banks of the Chemung River, a mammoth tusk was found. The word Chemung originated from Shumounk, meaning "place of the horn".
By the mid-eighteenth century, several Native American village locations were documented along the Chemung River. One in the Town of Chemung. Traveling west, about three miles up the river near Lowman, another one, two miles beyond that in an area called Middletown. Several were located in the City of Elmira. To the east there were more villages in the area of Wilawana, PA, Tioga Point (Athens), PA and Factoryville (Waverly), NY
Many artifacts have been uncovered in the Wilawana area belonging to the Lamoka People. The Susquehannocks were neighbors to the Senecas from the Athens/Waverly area and after 1700 the Iroquois permitted the Lenape people to reside in the area as well. The Seneca and Cayuga protected what was known as the western and southern doors of their nation, in the lower Chemung River Valley. The Chemung River was considered by the Iroquois as the "Forbidden Path" to Genesee and Niagara.
The American War of Independence
First Pioneer Settlers to the Area
For more history please check this site:
Chemung County Historical Society - http://www.chemungvalleymuseum.org/
A History of the Valley and County of Chemung, Ausburn Towner, D. Mason & Co., Printers 1892/W.E. Morrison & Co. Printers 1986
History of Bradford County Pennsylvania 1891-1995, Curtis Media, Inc. 1996
Bradford County: The Story of it's People, Dr. Marcella M. Hyde, Grit Publishing Co., Williamsport, PA 1985/1988
New York History Net, Webmaster Stony Brook Search Engine, Stony Brook State University of NY
New York State History, Albany, NY
Old Fort Niagara Association, Youngstown, NY in cooperation with the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, CCNN Web Design
Public Archaeology Program, Binghamton University, SUNY
Quotes from "History of Waverly, NY and Vicinity", Capt. Chas L. Albertson, Waverly Sun, 1943
Sayre and Early Valley History, Elizabeth G. Wilcox, Franklin Craftsmen, Inc., Phila, PA 1958
Great Lakes Information Network, http://www.great-lakes.net/teach/geog/shoreline/shore_1.html
Many thanks to countless friends and acquaintances who shared a wealth of information with me, so I could share this with you.
Special thanks to Mike Tuccinardi, Jackson Robbins, and Larry Lanterman for sharing their photographs.