Browse by Images
Appaquogue is an important site that was once used to harvest cat-tail flag reeds for wigwam creation - thus receiving the name "a place where flags grow."Today, the pond is known as Lily Pond. On the edge of the water, a much more common reed known as Phragmites remains, though this plant is also known as wigwam roof material.
Ashawagh is a pre-contact Montaukett settlement on the edge of Copeces, now Hand's Creek. Shell heaps in the area suggest intense wampum manufacturing. This place was particularly important for hunting, fishing, and camping.
Ayeuonganit Wampum Ayimꝏup, Here, Wampum Was Made, also known as Parrish Pond, is the site of a former Shinnecock wampum-manufacturing site.In 2010, a protest led by Shinnecock tribal member Rebecca Genia began at Parrish Pond. Despite a peaceful protest, three Shinnecock tribal members were arrested on the first morning of protest, and a fourth was arrested the next day when, once again, protesters gathered at the site. This time, however, the tribe had won an injunction against the subdivision and called in Bob Zellner, co-chair of the Southampton Anti-Bias Task Force, to help mediate the situation. Zellner had barely introduced himself to the supervising officer when he was “knocked to the ground and brutalized” by police. He, too, was arrested.All four of the Shinnecock protesters and Zellner were either acquitted or had their cases dropped or dismissed.In 2014, Southampton Town Board agreed to allocate $900,000 from the Community Preservation Fund to preserve the 1.5-acre cultural site. During this year, Shinnecock Tribal Member and cultural activist Elizabeth Haile shared the importance of this site, as it had the perfect combination of a running stream and a particular species of heather grass that was used to polish wampum shells for beads.
In 1876, freight ship Circassian wrecked off the coast of Mecox Bay in Bridgehampton. Ten members of the Shinnecock tribe were among those who drowned.
Conscience Point is the approximate landing place of the first English colonists who arrived here in June of 1640. The Shinnecock Indians lived around the harbor for many centuries before the arrival of the English who subsequently settled in the vicinity of the present Southampton Village. Both the early settlers and the Native Americans benefited from the productivity of the marsh-bordered land and harbor.Conscience Point is owned by the Southampton Historical Museum.
The Corchaugs controlled the land to the east of the Setaukets. Their territory was bounded on the west by a line extending from Wading River to the center of the Island and east along the north fluke of the Island to Orient Point. They also occupied several of the necks of land along the north shore of Peconic Bay.
In 1952, The Great Cove Real Estate Company attempted to build houses on the Shinnecock Indian Reservation just south of Montauk Highway in an attempt to steal Shinnecock Land.The final court decision in 1961 resulted in success for the Shinnecock Tribe, preserving the land as part of the reservation. The foundations for the houses can still be seen today.
The Duke site, named after Anthony Drexel Duke, is a site that was excavated by the New York State Archaeological Association, L.I. Chapter in 1974. On this site, a shell midden was found, suggesting the presence of indigenous occupation in the area.Nearby is the well-document Ashawagh settlement site, located on the shore of Hand's Creek, west of Three Mile Harbor.
Eastville in Sag Harbor is a contemporary community, formed largely the descendants of Freed Native and black slaves, black and Native whalers, and European settlers. The neighborhood was first established in the early twentieth century by free people of color, who then increased in size as whites.Eastville, being located at a major whaling port, was the destination for many Montauketts seeking economic opportunities during the nineteenth century. Later in the twentieth century, community members worked in the local industrialized factories.[1. Allison Manfra McGovern, Termination and Survivance Among the Montauketts, pp. 226]The heart of Eastville - the St. David A.M.E. Zion Church (seen in first photo), was built in 1840.
A confused appreciation - In 1933, artist Elliott Brooks carved several relief sculptures, two in memory of the Montaukett and Poquatuck people of Long Islands east end. Later he describes desecrating a prehistoric burial,
".. while I dig around for Indian relics, it proved to be a ceremonial burial mound, and I like to imagine that the Indian spirits led me to the cache in appreciation of my carving the memorial."
The Fort Corchaug Site is an archaeological site showing evidence of 17th-century contact between Native Americans and Europeans, categorizing it as a post-contact site. The interaction between the Corchaug Indians and Eurocpeans (English and Dutch) primarily regarded the manufacturing and trade of Wampum.Fort Corchaug itself was a log fort built by Native Americans with the help of Europeans (by which some suggest the rectangle/square shape is influenced), potentially serving as protection for the Corchaug tribe against other tribes.The site involved possibly repeated seasonal occupation or year-round occupation by a large number of people during the period c. 1630-1660. Significance evidence of food preparation, site defense and a number of activities were uncovered during archaeological study.[1. R. Miller, 1990]Archaeologist Ralph Solecki described Fort Corchaug in 1992 as the best preserved historic Indian site on the eastern seaboard. At the time, the site had never been cultivated or disturbed in its 340-year-old history. He believed it was the last historic remnant of the Corchaug Indians on eastern Long Island, and the best preserved of the forts linking the confederacy of the north and south fork Indians [1. Solecki, Ralph Stefen. Letter to Ronnie Wacker. 13 Nov. 1992. MS. N.p.]Today Fort Corchaug is a National Historic Landmark, recognized on January 20th, 1999. Located on Downs Farm Preserve, which preserves 51 acres of scenic woodlands and tidal wetlands, serving as a valuable habitat for birds and other wildlife. [1. http://www.groupfortheeastend.org/what-we-do/education/downs-farm-preserve-nature-center/]
This sacred glacial erratic marks the location of what may have been both the Shinnecock Fort and June Meeting location in the Shinnecock Hills. There have been many references to a contact-period Shinnecock fort, but the specific location has likely been disrupted by development.June Meeting is a Presbyterian and Algonquian inspired celebration and gathering for Eastern Long Island tribes started by Reverend John Cuffee in the 1700s and continued annually on the first Sunday in June. It's a time of dance, feasts and the passing down of stories and traditions. The Unkechaug tribe continue this traditional seasonal celebration in the western town of Mastic.According to Shinnecock oral history, this site, similar to other council rocks, were the places for indigenous leaders to gather for important meetings.Today, this land is located off of the current bounds of the Shinnecock reservation. The town of Southampton bought and preserved the area using it's Community Preservation Fund for it's cultural significance.
A small 17th century flaking workshop was found here, north of a large village site. Three thousand stone scrapers were found on the surface, collected since the 1880s.
In 2003, a group burial was discovering during residential development and a house barn construction, dating back to between 1400 to 1640 AD. Shinnecock tribal members argued against further disruption of the soil, seeing the proposed barn as a cemetery site.Despite resistance, the private owners continued development while the remains were reburied in an undisclosed location on Shelter Island.
In 1657, houses were burned in Southampton village by two Shinnecock men and a black woman who served in one of the houses belonging to Eleanor Howell, widow of Edward Howell a founder of the town. The motive may have been in retaliation for the mistreatment of servants in the Howell home, or in response to roaming horses from Southampton destroying Shinnecock corn fieldsColonial authorities in Hartford sent a troop of nineteen men under the command of John Mason, who commanded the massacre of the Pequot at Mystic during the Pequot War. When Mason levied a fine of £700 on the Shinnecock community, Wyandanch went to Hartford and sent a representative to Boston to convince the authorities to reduce the £700 fine to £500. While the damage was minimal, large fines were often used as a form of control and land acquisition if indigenous communities couldn't pay the fine.
Indian Fields is a settlement site for the Montaukett Indians with evidence of occupation from the pre-contact Paleo-Indian period until May, 1885. This terrain of 1200 acres of rolling grassland and brush is now a Suffolk County Park.
Indian Island is a site of spiritual significance. During a 2005 storm, the beach eroded exposing burials and artifacts. The Shinnecock and Unkechaug, in cooperation with the Riverhead Park and Town supervisors, repatriated the remains.The area is within the Indian Island Park, used for camping.
The Jamesport Site is an Orient Period (1,000 - 1,300 BC) ceremonial burial ground.
During this cultural period, distinct spiritual and ceremonial burials were practiced; including “killed” steatite bowls, burial offerings, red ochre caches, and dog sacrifices.
In February 2017, Riverhead town purchased this site for due to its cultural significance. It is the last known Orient Period burial site still remaining.
Fort Pond in Montauk was once called Konkhunganik by the Montaukett Indians before and during the 1800s at its southern half and Quanuntowunk for its north shore.This site along the south eastern shore was occupied seasonally during the Late Woodland Period (1,200 - 350 years ago) as a recurring base camp for nomadic hunter-gatherers and their extended families.As early as 1661, the place name Konkhunganik was recorded from Montauketts during the creation of a land deed. The translation of Konkhunganik is currently unknown, but early 20th centruy anthropologist William Wallace Tooker believed the name translates to "at the boundary."
Around 1844, the “Little Church” is built on the reservation. It was a Millerite Church, a branch of the 7th day Adventist Congregationalist church. The Millerites were part of the great revival from upstate NY.Today, there is little evidence of the church beyond photographs.
Manhansack-aqua-quash-awamock, the traditional Algonquian name for Shelter Island by the Manhanset group who lived there from pre-historic time until the seventeenth century; is approximately 7907 acres in area. This island is unique for having the largest glacial erratic boulders on Long Island, resulting from the Wisconsonian glacier.[1. Englebright, 1982]
Manitou Hill is a sacred hill located on what is now known as Manetto Hill in Plainview, New York. An oral story, recorded by historian Gabriel Furman in 1874, describes a legend during a great drought. The Manitou instructs a sachem through a dream to stand at the top of Manetto Hill and fire an arrow into the air, and on the spot where the arrow lands, people should dig until they find water.The water spring that was found, called Mascopas, is now beneath a local high school athletic field.Manitou is known in traditional systems as the powerful and unseen power throughout the universe, being present during moments of the miraculous and mysterious.
Messemennuck was once a western territory boundary of the Shinnecock people. Cat-tail 'flag' reeds were gathered here to become roofs of wigwams, and the river was bountiful in Alewive fish, whose population has lowered due to their dependency on fresh-water sources for their spawning.
Missi Kesukut is a sacred site that was first preserved in 1991. In 2006, a skull was found in the area, identifying the area as a cemetery and at one time an Indian village. This discovery led to several years of local indigenous groups to dispute whether the area should be developed or remain as it is.Today, Missi Kesukut is protected by the town district who allocated Community Preservation Funds to purchase the land from the private land owner for it's preservation.
Now leveled, the Molly's Hill site is located in Springs where Fireplace Road and Gerard Drive meet; said to be named for Molly Pharaoh, Stephen Talkhouse's mother, who lived from 1819 to 1879.
The first known inhabitants of East Hampton and Montauk town were the aboriginal Montaukett -- a place name spelled a dozen different ways in early records. It was not a "tribal" name, but a place name which the colonists conferred upon them as they designated them as a "tribe." The meaning of Montaukett in William Wallace Tooker's Indian Place Names on Long Island is given as either the "high or hilly land" or the "fort country"-- both of which appear to fit Montauk topography and the presence of two fortified places. [1. Tooker, William Wallace, Indian Place Names on Long Island..., 1911, 1962, Ira J. Friedman Pub., p. 141.]The Montauketts are members of the large Algonkian language family and peoples who inhabited the Atlantic Coastal Plain from Canada to the Carolinas; they spoke a variant of the language of the Mohegan-Pequot, across the Long Island Sound from them.[1. Levine, Gaynell Stone & Nancy Bonvillain, Languages & Lore of the Long Island Indians, Vol. IV, Readings..., 1980, SCAA, p. 168.]
Niamuck was once the primary location of settlement for the Shinnecock people prior to the current Shinnecock Reservation. From the current Shinnecock Canal to the southern most land tip, the Shinnecock people existed before contact. This land was formally lost to the Shinnecock in 1703, but historical maps show continued indigenous presence until the mid 19th century.In 1791, Rev. Paul Cuffee organized a Congressional church in the Niamuck area. Part of the church remains in the area while the other half was moved to the Shinnecock Reservation and is still used today. Cuffee was buried on the spot where the church once stood.This place is now known as the Shinnecock Canal.
The territory of this chieftaincy was adjoined by the Matinecocks on the west and extended eastward from the Nissequogue River to Stony Brook and south to the center of the Island. Apparently, there was a disagreement for a time between the Nissequogue and Matinecock Indians concerning their boundary and, as a consequence, they did not always enjoy friendly relations. They had extensive villages at Smithtown and at several other places near the shore within the bounds of their territory.
The Orient Site is one of four known Orient Period (1,300 - 1,000 BC) burials on eastern Long Island.The cultural period receives its name from the fish shaped projectile points with distinct shoulders.During this period, the areas used for ceremonial burials were greatly removed from habitation areas, suggesting a reverence for their preservation. Oral stories support this hypothesis.
Patuckquapaug, located on the edge of what is now known as Round Pond in Sag Harbor, was once a village site for what was likely a subgroup of the Shinnecock.
Pesapunck has continuously remained as a farmland from the earliest colonial period to the present, but the place-name translates to “hothouse,” which once stood there. The 'hot-house' is now more commonly referred to as a 'sweat lodge.'On Long Island, they were described as six to eight feet tall, round, and built on the side of a brook or hill – with ten to twenty men entering and heating the interior to extreme temperature for cleansing their mind and body – sweat lodges are still used today.
Poquahoc Uhtuk is a place that was used prehistorically as a summer and fall "clambake" site. Food remains, shell heaps, fire pits, and ceramics were found in the area, showing evidence of indigenous occupation.
Ronkonkoma was once a fresh water pond with a prehistoric village settlement.Many nineteenth and twentieth century legends are associated with this site.Today, the water of Lake Ronkonkoma has been deemed too toxic for swimming.
Four prehistoric human remains were found at Reeve Farm Site in 1961, sparking public and archaeological attention. For decades following, local residents flocked to the farm in an attempt to uncover more remains and artifacts.The skeletal remains were purchased by the Bridgehampton Historical Society and displayed there for several years.
A single fenced grave marks the burial location of Reverend Paul Cuffee. This site was chosen for his burial as it was once the meeting place for the old Indian church location. It also exists within "Good Ground," the old name of Hampton Bays.Cuffee, a Shinnecock Indian, was a celebrated minister, like his grandfather Peter John, who preached to Indians of Long Island. Cuffee, during his youth, was an indentured servant to a Wading River farmer who then became an enthusiastic convert in his early 20s. Cuffee preached among Indian communities, including the Poospatuck Reservation (present day Mastic Beach); Canoe Place in Hampton Bays, and in the end, Montauk. These vigorous preacher's services were attended by large crowds.His broken grave marker reads: In testifying the Gospel of the Grace of God He finished his course with Joy on 7th of March 1812 Aged 55 years and Three Days.
"Sachem's Hole," also known as Buc-usk-kil, resting place, is the site where the late Manhasset Sachem Poggatticut was laid upon the ground as he was being brought from Shelter Island to Montauk for interment in 1651.From that point on, the area was always kept clear of leaves and debris by local tribal members traveling that route until the site was eventually destroyed by Turnpike 114.A historical marker erected in 1935 by the State Education Department stands on that spot today.
The Sebonac Creek Site is a Shinnecock settlement occupied from the Late Woodland period until the contact period. A stone pottery fragment resembling a Thunderbird design was found along with evidence of a large wigwam ( 15 by 20 feet ), accompanied by another smaller wigwam (15 by 10 feet) southeast. In the center was a fireplace. Also to the east, a burial was discovered, containing one body.Today, the Sebonac Creek site is situated on the edge of the National Golf Links of America.
In 1891, one hundred and fifty Shinnecock tribal members assisted in laying out the first 12 holes of what was to become the Shinnecock Hills Golf Club.Willie Dunn, Scottish Professional and course developer said several years into development;
The place was dotted with Indian burial mounds and we left some of these intact as bunkers in front of the greens. We scraped out some of the mounds and made sand traps.Material from the Sebonac and Woodland period villages were found in the area; including pottery and human remains that were sent to the American Museum of Natural History and Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation – now NMAI.
The Shinnecock Presbyterian church on the Shinnecock Indian Reservation has been described as “the oldest, ongoing Native American church in America.”A regular schedule of tribal gatherings occur here, including the annual June Meeting, Indian Thanksgiving dinner and harvest celebrations. For many years, tribal meetings and Tribal Council elections were held in the Parish Hall before taking place in the Tribal Community Center.The Shinnecock Powwow was first organized by the Presbyterian church congregation as a cultural celebration and fund raising event.
The Springy Banks site has been described as a favorite summer camping grounds of the Montauk.It receives its name from numerous delicious flowing springs of water that flow from the base of the cliffs here. Many an East Hampton and Three Mile Harbor residents speak with nostalgia of the sweet draughts of water that they enjoyed from Springy Banks when it was Town Property.
Known as the last building with direct connection to Freetown, a small village inhabited by freed African slaves and Montaukett Indians, St Matthew's Chapel,was attended by African, Indian, and whites local residents on Three Mile Harbor Road.In 1976, the building was purchased by Richard C. Sage and moved to the Maidstone Marina boatyard to be used as a chapel for mariners. The building remains today; however, the interior has been changed into a fitness center to accommodate guests.
The Stony Brook Site is a prehistoric Indian Village located in the town of Stony Brook, New York, often described as an area on the North Store of "Aunt Amy's Creek." Found in 1956 and later excavated by William A. Ritchie in 1959, Ritchie describes the component as "Indians [who] are believed to be of the pre-ceramic archaic group who wandered from one semi-permanent camp to the next from c. 3000 B.C to 1000 B.C." In 1981, Edward Johannemann, director of the Long Island Archaeological Project at the State University at Stony Brook, described the site as a 3,000 year old weapons factory. [1. Tracing L.I. Life 3,000 Years Ago. NY Times Judi Culbertson 1981]The written report of this site describes the contemporary landscape as an "Area possibly destroyed by housing development."
Sugar Loaf Hill is an Orient Period burial site facing south eastern, the only Orient burial site known outside of the North Fork of Long Island. During the 20th century, despite being known and marked on maps as early as 1797, the burial grounds were desecrated and developed for contemporary residence.
Once a Native American hunting and fishing ground, Sylvester Manor has since 1652 been home to eleven generation of its original European settler family with a long intact history of America's evolving tastes, economies, multi-cultural interaction, and landscapes.Sylvester Manor is a house first constructed c. 1652 for Nathaniel and Grizzell Sylvester, their eleven children, and likely several slaves and indentured servants. This original house remained intact until c. 1737, until Nathaniel's grandson, Brinley Sylvester, rebuilt the residence close to the same location.Today, the house and acreage are known as the Sylvester Manor Educational Farm. Their mission is to cultivate, preserve, and share the lands, buildings, and stories inviting new thought about the importance of organic food, culture and place in our daily lives.[1. http://sylvestermanor.org/our-manor/the-house/]
The Unkechaug Nation maintains a sovereign relationship with the State of New York, other Indian Nations in the United States and Canada and other foreign powers. The Unkechaug Nation is located on the Poospatuck (“where the waters meet”) Reservation in Long Island, NY.Under the provisions of colonial laws and later under the New York State Constitution (Article 12) the State of New York formally recognized the Unkechaug Nation of Indians in the 18th century. 1500 acres of land that had been long held by the Unkechaug and that continued from an original land agreement entered into with the King of England and the Unkechaug in the 17th century was set aside for the exclusive use of the Unkechaug. Today, that allotment has been stripped down to 55 acres; nevertheless, the affinity of the people to the land is as strong as in the past, if not even stronger today. The total population of tribal members, families, and extended relations is 450 of which approximately 250 reside on the Poospatuck Reservation. Housing density, and occupancy levels are unacceptable when measured against the rate of population growth and available land as well as the number of tribal members who want to return to their traditional homeland. The Unkechaug are faced with a rate of population growth greater than the national average and an increased demand for tribal services. Housing is an important priority but efforts to expand housing for tribal members are blocked by a lack of land. The Unkechaug are committed to increasing the land base in order to meet the needs of their members. [1. https://unkechaug.wordpress.com/about/]
The indigenous peoples who inhabited the general area of Noyack were a small segment of the Shinnecock, known as the Weckatuck (meaning "end of the woods or trees, or end of the cove or creek." Sometimes spelled Wickatuck, Wecutake, Wecatuck, Weckatuck, Weeckatuck) . Described by Southampton in a 1964 publication, they were peace loving Indians who settled in isolated groups and lived off shellfish and game. They farmed to a limited degree. Six or eight families lived on one site until the farming land was exhausted, or until collection of refuse became a serious problem. The largest known encampment of Noyack Indians was beside the Mill Pond, now known as the Trout Pond. The last known Weckatucks lived in a teepee back of Mill Pond shortly before the end of the nineteenth century. [1. Southampton, Long Island 325th Anniversary 1640/1965 pp 33]
West Woods is a forty acre beach and woodland area owned by the Shinnecock Tribe. The woodland and beach area is used for contemporary social gatherings, weddings, celebrations, camping, and sweat lodge ceremonies.In recent times, West Woods has been encroached upon with it's blurred boundaries. At the start of the 1747 100-year timber lease to the Shinnecock by Southampton Town, the land encompassed one hundred acres.
The West Woods sweat lodge is a contemporary ceremonial site for the Shinnecock Tribe.Located in West Woods, a private and shared area among the Shinnecock people, the sweat lodge is used for initiation ceremony for young adults transitioning to adulthood.
Whale's fin is a sacred site for the Shinnecock, located two and a half miles south west from the current reservation and two miles south east from Canoe Place. Here, the whales were known to beach, potentially as an offering for sustenance to the Shinnecock in the area.