Friday, July 14, 2017



Donald A. Windsor

Prior to 1791 an old Indian trail went between what is now White Store (Town of Norwich) and Rockdale (Town of Guilford), a straight-line distance of 7.2 miles. Part of the route appears in a map in the recent book by Tom Gray. In 2006 Tom and I walked the part of this trail from Gonza Road, off of County Road 37, south to Fred Utter Road. This section lies at elevations between 1400 and 1700 feet. White Store is 4.4 straight-line miles southeast from the White Site and Rockdale is 11.0 miles.

Unfortunately, this trail is almost entirely on private property. No archaeological sites along this trail are mentioned by Ted Whitney.

However, Mert Brownell (1896-1976) mentions posthumously in 1977 that he found artifacts along this trail.

The only Indian trail marked on the 1789 survey map of the Twenty Towns is the “Iroquois Trail”, which ran between what are today Polkville and White Store. County Road 33 + White Store Road approximate this trail.

Brownell says that an Indian trail followed White Store Brook. This trail would be approximately where County Road 34 is today. The White Store Brook flows from near the White Site and the Johnson Creek flows through the White Site and through Polkville.

All of these connections lead me to see a wide swath of potential archaeological sites in the towns of Guilford and Norwich. However, our Chapter spent the summer of 2006 digging at the Lasky Site on a hill west of the White Store Brook and north of Burdick-Medbury Road and found nothing.

I intend to find more of Brownell’s writings and see what he says.

References cited:

Brownell, Mert. Indians of the Valley. In: Unadilla Valley. White Store to East Guilford 1788-1976. [Location not disclosed.]: Unadilla Valley Historical Society. 1976. Pages 1-5.
Brownell, Mert. [Indians] Glimpses of the Past (Newsletter of the Unadilla Valley Historical Society) 1977 February 16: 1, 13, + [Next issue]: 7-8.
DeAngelo, Gordon ; DeAngelo, Barbara. Two plant studies: the Lasky/Scott Site and the Cameron Site. [Bulletin of the] Chenango Chapter NYSAA 2012 September; 33(1): 31-63.
Gray, Thomas A. Living Near The River. A Detailed History of the River Hamlets of Guilford, NY. Guilford, NY: Self-published. 2017. 178 pages.
McElligott, Corey C. ; McElligott, Darren C. ; McElligott, Patrick R. Water Man. A Native People’s History of the North East. [Guilford, NY]: Waterfalls Press. 2011. [Unpaged. 354 pages.]
Whitney, Theodore [“Ted”] The Indian occupations of Chenango County to 1975. [Bulletin of the] Chenango Chapter NYSAA [New York State Archaeological Association] 1974 November; 15(3): 1-33.