Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

1920 Publication Listing Native American Sites Near Pelham

The history of Peham includes, of course, its "prehistory" -- that is, its time before recorded history that began during the 1600s. A rich part of that prehistory involves evidence of Native American life in the area. Many such sites have been studied and documented. For those who would like to read about such sites, see:

Bell, Blake A., Native Americans of Pelham and Surrounding Areas, The Pelham Weekly, Vol. XIII, No. 3, Jan. 16, 2004, p. 11, col. 1.

In 1920, the New York State Museum Bulletin published an article by Arthur C. Parker, an archaeologist. The article, entitled "The Archeological History of New York". In it, the author listed known Native American sites in many areas of the State and provided maps keyed to the listings. Among those listings were a number describing Native American sites near Pelham. Today's Historic Pelham Blog posting provides an excerpt from the article as well as an image of a map keyed to the pertinent listings. Most, though not all, of the sites listed below are located within today's Bronx County in areas that once were part of the Town of Pelham but which were annexed by New York City in the 1890s.

"Bronx County
List of Sites . . .

2 Village site and shell heap at Pelham Bay Park. The shell heaps are scattered all along the shore here and several have been excavated on the electric line between Bartow and City island by M. R. Harrington. This is near two large glacial boulders. . . .

4 Shell heaps at City island, reported by M. R. Harrington.

5 Shell heaps at Hunter Island.

6 Burial place three-fourths of a mile south of Bartow's station on two small knolls. There is a shell heap 40 feet in diameter just behind the larger knoll.

7 Camp site on the Hutchinson river 1 mile south of Pelhamville station. Many stone relics have been found here.

8 Shell heaps on the west side of East Chester bay near the mouth of a small brook. This is just south of Baychester Station. Most of the sites along this shore have been explored by M. R. Harrington, who has described them to the writer and also furnished notes to the American Museum of Natural History and to Doctor Beauchamp. . . .

12 Extensive shell heaps on City island reported by M. R. Harrington.

13 Shell heaps in Pelham at the entrance of Pelham Neck.

14 Shell heaps along the Hutchinson river and along Pelham bay, about one-fourth of a mile above the railroad bridge. There are numerous relics in this vicinity with evidences of village sites and burials."

Source: Parker, Arthur C., The Archological History of New York, N.Y. State Museum Bulletin Nos. 235, 236, plate 147 and pp. 488-90 (Jul.-Aug. 1920).

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