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 Local Indians


First Visitors

The first human visitors to our Grandview Heights neighborhood may have been nomadic tribes of Paleo Indians, who followed herds of caribou north towards Canada.  These visitors arrived at about 10,000 B.C. as the last of the Labradorian glaciers receded.  At about this same time, fill -- which had been dumped by the receding glacier -- diverted the flow of the Genesee River away  from the Irondequoit Valley to its current channel..  Indian hunters and fishermen visited the area sporadically over the next few thousand years.  At about 1300 A.D.,  Algonquin and Iroquois Indians established campsites in the areas currently known as Braddock Bay and the Greece Ponds.


Indian Trails

The Greece Ponds used to be surrounded by cranberry bogs.  Hence the name Cranberry Pond.  A number of Indian paths cut through our neighborhood.  One of these paths ran along Lake Ontario, along the marshes, and back and forth between our ponds.  The trail wound around Braddock Bay and continued in the direction of Niagara.  

Portions of a number of area roads lie over former Indian trails. Probably the most notable of these is the Ridge Road, a major trail of the Iroquois.  Purportedly, it wasn't any wider that fifteen inches.  The modern day Ridge Road follows essentially the same path.  This trail followed the shoreline of an ancient glacial lake.


Indians Visit Lowden Farm

The first white settlers in our neighborhood were members of the Lowden family.  Their farm included the site where our Grandview Heights neighborhood is located today.   Now when the Lowden's first arrived, they discovered the frames of temporary Indian shelters.  And each summer for awhile after that, Indians would arrive and repair the shelters covering them with elm bark, skins, or reed mats.


Indian Campsites

A map presented to the Rochester Historical Society by Harrison C. Follett in 1918 reveals two aboriginal village campsites along the south shore of Cranberry Pond  and two additional aboriginal sites along the south shore of Long Pond.  The approximate locations of those former sites are indicated by red X's in the aerial image below.  A reproduction of the map appears below the photograph.



Aboriginal campsite locationsAboriginal campsite locations



 A map of Indian campsites and trails is reproduced here with the permission of the Greece Historical Society.  It is copied from the book, Eight Miles Along the Shore, referenced at the end of this page.




Archaeological Sites

A 1920 map drawn by Arthur C. Parker identifies the locations of several archaeological sites within the area of our neighborhood. The map can be found in the book referenced below.  It has also appeared in the New York Museum Bulletin.


Shultz Site at Cranberry Pond

Among the Indian artifacts, which have been discovered in the area, is a pipe bowl with the image of a face on it.  The pipe bowl was found in the Cranberry Pond area and is now in the Rochester Museum and Science Center.  (It is not currently being displayed.)

pipe bowl artifactpipe bowl artifact



Panoramic Display of Summer Camp on Long Pond

Among the exhibits at the Historical Society of Greece, NY, is a panoramic display of how a Seneca Indian summer camp; overlooking Long Pond at the outlet to Lake Ontario; might have looked around 1720.  Those Indians probably wintered in the southern part of state, perhaps near what is now Horseheads, NY.

The Seneca Indians were part of the six Iroquois Nations.   Those nations  had joined together to promote peace.  In additional to the peaceful relations with each other, the Iroquois had by 1600 developed friendly relations with Dutch settlers.  The Dutch supplied the Indians with "metal pots and sail cloth for teepees."  They also introduced the Indians to firearms, which the Indians used for hunting and protection.

The aforementioned panoramic display shows the Indians in various activities of every day life.  You see the Indians preparing food for future meals, hiding from the sun in a "shade room", carrying a papoose, creating a dug out vessel, telling myths, sewing, exercising, and many other things which were part of their culture.  A brochure, available near the display, provides vivid explanations of everything that is going on.  The display is well worth seeing.

It should be noted that the Seneca's are just one of several Indian cultures which  visited our neighborhood during the past 12,000 years.

The Historical Society is open on Sundays from 2:00 p.m. until 4:30 p.m.  It is located at 595 Long Pond Road in Greece.



Most of the written contents on this page are paraphrased and borrowed from a wonderful book entitled,

Eight Miles Along the Shore: An Illustrated History of Greece , NY

The book was written by Virginia Tomkiewicz and Shirley Cox Husted. 

This book contains lots of information about geologic history, Indians, early white settlers, community development, early recreation, area myths and legends, and more.  It contains lots of intriguing maps, drawings, and photographs.  The book is well worth reading.  You can purchase a copy at the Greece Historical Society.