Native Americans



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The Indian Fort at the Flatts from a late 17th century sketch.
 (Courtesy of Colonie Town Historian)

Archeological as well as archival records demonstrate that the Schuyler Flatts was home to Native Americans both pre- and post- European contact. Work at the "Dennis Site" which was done in the late 1960's indicates that at least as early as 2210 BC (The Archaic Period), Hudson River Indians periodically habited the site. Artifacts indicate that this habitation lasted through the late Woodland Period (at least until the 14th century AD). This site was used most probably as a summer fishing camp.

Included among the 830 excavated items ( held in the collection of the NY State Museum) are projectile points, pottery, food, post-hole and burial remains - all baring silent witness to the hearths which burned for centuries on the Hudson.

While these native peoples inhabiting the Flatts were Algonquian, in 1695 the Flatts site now sold to the Dutch by the Mahican became home for a short time to the Iroquoian "Maquaas" (Mohawk). Archival records indicate that a stockaded Mohawk village was established inside the Schuyler family compound in 1694. The Mohawks loyal to the Dutch and British were under siege from the Hurons allied with the French. With their villages and warriors being destroyed the Mohawks took up residence on the Flatts.  

Last Updated 9/21/00        Copyright 2000 Watervliet City School District - All Rights Reserved