Ancient Iroquois Earthen Fort Described in Livingston County, New York

Ancient Iroquois Earthen Fort Described in Livingston County, New York



It occupied the ''summit of a commanding hill a position well chosen for defence. Twenty years ago, where the lines of entrenchments were crossed by fences and thus preserved from the encroachments of the plow, the embankment and ditch were distinctly visible. General Adams, who had often been over the ground before the removal of the forest, states that the ditch was then breast high."* Caches were laid open and many fragments of pottery picked up within the inclosure. The gateway opened toward the spring as shown in the engraving, and some indications existed of parallel embankments extending in that direction. Colonel George Smith, who was familiar with the works seventy years ago, is of opinion that the eastern ditch was straight rather than elliptical as in the preceding engraving, and ran due north and south, or nearly so. Within the fort, the ground was then smooth and was covered by a growth of small timber. A steep bank bounded the fort on the west, while to the north and south the ground sloped gradually away. From the western boundary of the fort to the present highway and beyond, the whole surface was a gentle descent. From the bottom of the ditch, in which stood several oaks, to the top of the bank was about five feet.