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http://www.whec.com/article/stories/S26 … ml?cat=565
Posted at: 11/27/2007 05:40:56 PM
Updated at: 11/27/2007 06:48:29 PM
By: Ray Levato
Indian burial grounds
Could 23 acres of farmland off Route 64 at Thornell Road contain a Native American burial site? It's been part of the folklore of the town for years, but no one knows for sure.
The possibility of an ancient Indian burial ground being on the property is holding up a proposed housing development in Pittsford. It came to light at a planning board public hearing Monday night. And it shines a light on efforts to preserve those sites.
"Rochester, Pittsford, Victor, all fall within the heart of original Seneca territory," said Peter Jemison, director of the Ganondagan state historic site in Victor only a few miles from the building site. "The Seneca people who were a major occupant of this land believe that our ancestors remains are sacred, and we'd rather not have them disturbed."
The development is called The Cottages at Malvern Hills, by Ketmar Development Corporation. Owner Marie Kenton says she is sensitive to the concerns. And in fact, her company tested its Malvern Hills development across the road and found Native American fire pits that the company paid to have preserved.
State historic preservation law requires a site be investigated and if an actual burial site is found, it is not to be disturbed. The town of Pittsford says that can be done with the existing site plan. "Part of the zoning within the town of Pittsford, half of the property needs to be retained as open space," said Paul Schenkel, Pittsford commissioner of Public Works which oversees the planning department. "So they could make modifications to their open space plan so that maybe perhaps that open space falls over any sensitive area."
Jemison says the Iroquois peoples inhabited this part of western New York for hundreds of years of recorded history, and thousands of years before that. "So you had many towns over many hundreds of years that were occupied here. And that's why whenever there's development, people have to investigate to be sure that they're not getting into something that is sacred to our people."
The process now begins to find any literature or written records of an indian burial site there. But when the town did its Greenspace initiative years ago, it studied 95 parcels for various past and present uses. And it did not find any known archaeological evidence at the site.
The Rochester Museum and Science Center told News 10NBC its archaeological team is often called in when remains are found.
Mark would surely know about this. My son & his wife found a "mound" down here on the Catt rez. It was written that thousands were executed and dumped in a mass grave here . They're wondering where.
Oh gee . I often wonder about places around here, I don't think anyone would even do anything in the area.
Don't you recon that all of Mother-Earth is one big "Burial ground"??? With the way the government slaughtered our people long ago and never respectfully buried our "Ancestors". As we were told by a young man from South Dakota, because history doesn't write the Native's point of view. This man was a decendant of "Sitting Bull" and when the calvary of "Custer" attacked the Lakota's, the men distracted the army and it was the Lakota women that "Killed Custer"!!!! The women of today need this strength now more than ever!!!1