One Hundred Years Ago – August, 1914
Indian relics unearthed
It has been 157 years since Fort William Henry, the military fort that once dominated the southern end of Lake George, was burned by the French and it now lies in ruins. The only sound to be heard since than has been the wind blowing through the trees and far away, the sound of agony and death that took place on Sept 8, 1757, when French General Montcalm’s Indian followers, the Ottawa, Abenaki and Potawatomi, brutally massacred around 200 Colonial American soldiers, men, women and children near Bloody Pond, who were trying to flee the fort on the 15 mile trek to the safety of Fort Edward, can be heard no more.
This summer, in 1914, an out of state professor from Knox College in Galesburgh, Illinois, has undertaken an archaeological study on the adjacent hill next to the Fort George, near Fort William Henry, where a military site once stood, searching for Indian artifacts.
Professor Edward Clark, an expert in Indian lore, has discovered and collected Native American artifacts there that are thousands of years old. His finds have come from the lands of Benjamin C. Greene whose shorefront property is just northeast of Fort George. Tens of thousands of American, British, French and Indians camped on the land in early days during various military campaigns. Professor Clark believes that due to the sharp edged lithic (stone) flakes discovered at Snug Harbor and also the finished chert (flint) artifacts that were collected, that there was an arrow manufactory near the waterways’s southeast corner.
One hundred years after Professor Clark’s quest for Indian artifacts, today, in the summer of 2014, local archaeologist David Starbuck is conducting yet another one of his excavations in the Fort William Henry area as he has previously done four times, this year with a team of two dozen SUNY students in the area of the Battlefield Park. Fort George was constructed in 1759 and was the largest smallpox hospital in North America. While a bayonet, musket barrel and military compass has been discovered in past excavations, this year mostly pieces of 18th century wine bottles have been found.