Tuesday, May 2, 2017



Donald A. Windsor and A. Gail Merian

We found a hill that we suspect is where the Indian Castle (alias Canasawacta Castle) was located. It is along the eastern bank of the Chenango River in the Town of Norwich, south of the City. We followed the Surveyor’s notes from the Survey of the Twenty Townships 1788-89. The photo below shows Gail pointing to an eroded patch on the hill.

The hill is about 35 feet above the water, which was high when we were there on 28 April 2017. The photo below shows a closer view of the hill.

 The photo below shows the river bottom rubble just downstream. Most of the other banks in this area are alluvial soil. 

 The rest of the area is much lower and flatter. It seems to be overgrown with woody trees and shrubs. The photo below shows Gail pointing to this shrubby area.

The Castle site is private property. We were not on the site and artifacts purported to be from the Castle may not be, because the exact locations where they were found are not recorded. Nevertheless, the hill we report here seems like a good place to dig a test pit, should we ever get permission from the landowner.

This site was seen by the surveyor 229 years ago. Rivers meander and change course. The topographic map for this area was printed in 1943 and has contour lines 20 feet apart. The elevation of this hill is about 1020+ feet. A meandering river has a cliff side and a beach side. The Castle hill is on the cliff side on a right angle turn, so the river has been washing it away. Perhaps much of it has already been removed. We were standing on the beach side on mud. A former river channel was behind, west of, us. The original Castle hill could have been where the river channel is now. The 1903 topographic map shows a much smoother curve for the river.

We intend to revisit this site in summer when the river is at its lowest water levels.