Miles Avery Davis.

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History of Jerusalem.

Containing and Treating of


Iraces, of Pre-Historic People ; Aboriginal
Occupation ; Geological Outlines ; Indian
Villages and Trails; Early Settlements
and Settlers ; Organization of the Town-
ship; Topographical Features; Pioneer
Sketches ; Land Tracts ; Early Industries:
Red Jacket ; Coates Kinney ; Abandoned
Villages ; Gu-ya-no-ga Valley ; Springs ;
Streams ; Saw-Wills ; Schools ; Recession
of Lake Keuka ; The Big Gully ; Various
Notes; Electric Railway; Post Offices;
Pioneer Incidents and Events; Asa Brown;
and many Other Matters bridging the
chasm of time from primal evidences of
Man, unknown to the Indian, till the
Race with ax and plow subdued the wil-
derness, erected the Log Cabin, and
speedily founded the first known Civili-
zation upon the soil of Jerusalem.






Entered according to act of Congress in the year 1912, by


In the oflBce of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C.



More than ten years ago an effort was made to ascertain the extent
of encouragement which the publication of a History of Jerusalem
would receive. Responses were sufficiently favoring so that plans
were entered into for issuing the work. While they were in progress,
correspondence and trade papers revealed the fact that prices on
paper, binding, and all that entered into the cost of production had
advanced 40 to 60 per centum above rates existing when the pre-
liminary canvass was made. It was therefore deemed inexpedient to
bring out the work till some later time. During these intervening
years much new and valuable material has been developed which
has been prepared and added to the original work, more than doubling
the size of the volume.

It is hoped and beiieved by the writer that this form of preserva-
tion of many important facts will be more fully appreciated as time
goes on. The place of one's nativity naturally appeals to the loyalty
and pride of the average citizen. The first home realization of life
leaves a lasting impress rarely effaced in subsequent years. While it ia
confessedly impossible to obtain all that may be anticipated or con-
siderately set forth in this work, it is well to bear in mind that there
must be a limit to the volume; also, that however conscientious its
preparation, some facts would elude all memory and research. There
is an ever present tendency in human affairs toward vanishment into
the Lethean stream of forgetfulness.

Jerusalem is remarkably rich in historic material, a considerable
proportion of which is of more than local moment. Full treatment
could not be compassed in a single volume. It is with regret that
much of such matter has to be omitted.

It is with profound pleasure that the writer acknowledges his
obligations to Mr. H. C. Earles, editor of the Penn Yan Democrat, for
placing the matter of this work in type and printing it.

Grateful thanks are due Dr. James C. Wightman for his most
kindly and efficient aid and encouragement and in enlisting the inter-
est of many good people in Jerusalem and elsewhere in this produc-

It was originally contemplated embodying in this work all
family lines, wholly or partly within the township of Jerusalem; but
it was found inexpedient to take up so large a portion of the volume
to the exclusion or subordination of other essentially relevant fea-
tures. Besides, as now, after the lapse of about three generations
beyond the ancestral pioneer period, it would probably afford no


special satisfaction to the widely scattered descendants, many of
whom would never see the printed record. Genealogy seems properly
a division or subject by itself. Furthermore, the groundwork of fam-
ily history, in this township, was so fully set forth in Stafford C.
Cleveland's "History of Yates County," that it seems in nowise essen-
tial to traverse the same ground over again.

Reverting to primal ownership of the soil of Jerusalem, it cannot
logically be claimed that present ownership holds title, except the
shadowy one, vaguely obtained, through the supplanting of Aboriginal
possession. The Indian title is precedent, farther back than history.
Neither pride, popularity, nor prestige can extingmsh the light of
the council-fire that burned through centuries of time and still glows
upon the unwritten scroll of reason and unrecorded narrations in the
equity of duration. Treaties may obliterate titles, but they can-not
erase the lines of the ages. Mankind perpetually rotates, but the
stars and the mountains abide.

In some points of view the present is a continual evolution. The
links, of which we are, individually, but the momentary one in view,
in the endless chain of time are unfolded one by one, neither end of
which mortal eyes behold. The past is a succession of events which
we can at best but inadequately imagine or dimly perceive in the
records once made by hands that are now dust, or handed down
through the silent ear-drums of vanished generations. The present
is a perpetual outpushing or unfolding of the parchment of the past
that rolls up with every sunset in a continually closed circle as rapid-
ly behind as it is spread out before us. In the cycles of the ages
there is no pause.

The individual is the product of his or her predecessors, how-
ever differentiated by conditions or environments or to whatever
tendencies subjected. Primogeniture never wholly yields the line
in the perpetuation of the human species. All observation is concur-
rent that only in the total obliteration of a type of life is there a
failure in the reproduction of some distinguishing physical traits of
similarity which are still unlike any one of the interminable factors
in perpetuation. Largely, in life, every generation is indissolubly
identified with a previous one. Though man lives not in the past, he
cannot, if he would, escape or forego its potential influence or the
fiat of inheritance. MILES A. DAVIS.


It is by no means conjectural or a figment of imagination that a
race or races of people inhabited what is now Jerusalem previous to
the Aboriginal Men. To what classification in anthropology they
should be assigned, canmot be stated, as the only evidences of their
existence lies in various works of art concealed in the great book of
the earth, of which here and there a torn fragment of leaf is found.


Who built the "Old Fort" in Sherman's Hollow, and for what
purpose? What people constructed the curious earthwork on Bluff
Point, and what could it have been made for? No one living,
reasoning from facts brought to light, can answer these questions
conclusively or with any degree of certainty which leaves no shadow
of doubt.

That the "Old Fort" of Sherman's Hollow, whose history "no
man knoweth," was constructed by a highly civilized people inhabit-
ing this country long before the Red Man, is a logical inference
from certain facts which will be given in this chapter. The Indians
had no knowledge of who built it, or for what purpose, as they have
stated to the writer, who has interrogated some of the old Senecas
in other localities. Bartleson Sherman asked some of the Indians
who were living in this locality in an early time, who built it, and for
what purpose. They knew nothing about it. Some nations of Indians
were known to erect fortifications as a place of rendezvous and van-
tage ground against pressing enemies, but they were generally made
by falling trees in such a manner as to form a barricade through
which a pursuing enemy could not pass without attracting the atten-
tion of those in the enclosure, who were thereby afforded an op-
portunity to dispose of the assailants.

The situation of this ancient fortification seems to indicate that
it was constructed for some other purpose than defense in war. There
may have been a two-fold object the builders had in view. The ele-
vated lands to the east would evidently have afforded besiegers a
chance to hurl destructive missiles into the "fort" with more or less
deadly effect, while, if it had been constructed solely as a stronghold
of defense, the site would naturally have been chosen overlooking
the surroundings in every direction. Yet why the fortification should
have been erected for other purposes than are involved in war, does
not seem clear. The earliest settlers relate that there was a deep
trench all the way around the outside of the work, a'nd that large
timbers were placed on the embankment, fitted firmly together, and
where the timbers were joined the whole enclosure was strongly
palisaded with heavy posts. As in the case of all fortified enclosures
intended for permanency, an excellent and never-failing spring of
water was made accessible to those within, and in this instance it was
at the foot of a steep bank, naturally protected, on the west side.
The spring is still there. The late Joseph N. Davis, who passed away
in 1890, remembered when very large trees were growing in the bot-
tom of the trench, then some four or five feet below the level of the
ground. The trench was filled up and leveled down long ago, and
there is no distinct trace of it now.

Many curious works of art have been found on the site of this
ancient fortification (if such it was) wjhich plainly belong to a period
of peace and actual civilization. Many years ago — during the pioneer


period — an iron box was unearthed upon the site by a man by the
name of Weston who had been digging there during a number of
nights. It was in the earliest days of spring, and on the night of the
find there was a fall of six inches or more of snow. 'He was on the
ground with a yoke of oxen and an ox sled, and the next day the
tracks of the sled were observed by some who visited the loca-
tion, and they stated that the sled runners cut down through the
snow into the softened surface of the earth as though he must have
gone out witih a heavy load. Some declared they saw the spot where
the iron box was taken out. That it contained a considerable amount
of coined money is a reasonable inference from the well attested
fact that he went right on out of the country hereabouts, and, though
a poor man, unable to buy any land, while here, he went away into
another state, where he immediately purchased a large tract which he
paid for in coined money at the time of purchase. Civilized people
only are producers or users of coined money. This event was fully
related to the writer by an early pioneer of Jerusalem, in 1873, whose
word was unquestioned; and it was also related to the writer by a
reliable resident of the locality.

Specimens of ancient pottery have been found at various times
en the site, which seems to indicate that the builders or occupants
of this fortification, or whatever it was, were a civilized race with a
curious knowledge of arts quite different from any known of the

Once in walking over the ground the late Joseph N. Davis found
a perfectly shaped stone pipe, which was evidently the work of the
artisans of the stone age.

In 1880, Dr. Samuel H. Wright, A. M., a gentleman of eminent
scientific attainments in| nearly all branches of knowledge, made a
careful survey of the plot and site of this ancient work, and the fol-
lowing is his published report thereon:


A-a Aboriginal earthwork in Jerusalem known as the "Old Fort,"
we find by well recognized works and pointed out by the oldest in-
habitants of ihe locality, is an ellipse having 545 feet transverse dia-
meter from north to south and 485 conjugate diiameter from east to
west. The outside was a raised earthwork, having twelve gateways
nearly equally distributed around, the narrower being eight feet wide
and alternating with t|he wider ones about fourteen feet wide. A
deep, wide trench ran around the work. The enclosure contained
four and three-fourtih acres, and there are two dwelling houses and
a school house on this ground. (Latei< a church has been erected
upon the site.)

A large opening in the enclosure about fifty feet east of the
springy was seventy feet wide, and in front or west of which is
a steep bank of coarse gravel, into wihich a bay has been dug out by
a large spring which is about eight to ten feet below the edge of the
bank. The land east and north of the spring is a series of extensive


sand banks, the Aboriginal enclosure itself being a low bank and ris-
ing everywhere gradually to the center.

We found fragments of Indian pottery in a large quantity of old
ashes near by, in which was also found recently, by the owner of the
land, a broken bowl of a pipe made of baked clay. A French gun
lock was also found.

In the recollection of many persons these grounds were covered
with a dense forest of pinep, and an old stump of an oak nearly four
feet in diameter now stands on the edge of the embankment.

Many years ago a Seneca chief told Bartleson Sherman that his
Nation knew nothing of the origin of the work, and that it was there
when his people first knew of this land.

We surveyed and mapped this work for the Smithsonian Institu-
tion on the 28th of July, 1880. SAMUEL HART WRIGHT.

A copper ax was found by James A. Belknap a number of years
ago while pulling stumps on the Ellsworth estate in the Guyanoga
Valley near Branchport. A very large pine stump had been pulled
which was about four feet in diameter. He counted the grains of
the stump at the top, and found that they numbered 250, which shows
that the tree must have been that number of years old when cut. It
took four yoke of oxen to turn it over after it was pulled. Under this
stump, after it was hauled out, was found the copper ax, which was
about four inches in length of blade and tapered wider to the edge.
There was no place for a ihandle. He thought it might have been
broken off at the eye, or that it was attached with withes to a handle.
The ax wasi long and narrow and somewhat curved. What people
made or used such an implement 250 years or more before the life
of the tree began?

On the Ellsworth place was also fouTid a grave of primitive origin,
as related by Daniel Lynn to the writer. It was also found under
a pine stump. The stump was about a foot and a half in diameter.
The burial place was laid up with round burnt sandstone, laid regu-
larly on top of each other in most instances. Human bones, a skull,
and one arm bone were found in it, demonstrating that it was a burial
place. This was found in 1869. (From the full account of it as re-
lated, it was evidently a mausoleum of some people long before the
Red Men occupied this region.

The late Dwight Ddckinson found a curious stone near his house
a few years ago, and placed it in the wall under his barn for safe
keeping. The stone had several parallel grooves cut in the smooth
surface, about one inch in depth and extending diagonally across it.
The stone was afterward taken out of the wall and conveyed away
by some relic hunter. What use was made of thisi curiously carved
stone by the people of the Stone Age, is a question the text-books
have not disclosed in the researches of the writer. It seems reason-
able to suppose, from the regularity of the grooves, that they were
made thus in evenly shaping or edging some of their stone imple-

Up the Guyanoga Valley on the east side, near the Potter line, on


the premises of Henry Hyatt, a rare stone relic was found a few
years ago. It was evidently a stone cover to a crock or kettle, the
cover of stone plainly having been shaped out of a piece of native
rock. It was beveled from the center to an edge at the outer rim all
around, and had an iron handle in the center of the cover projecting
about an inch and a half above the surface and bent so as to clinch on
the opposite side. This stone cover is smoothly polished, and by careful
measurement the writer found that from the little more than half of
it which was obtained by the finder, the cover must have been about
ten inches in width across it, and it was about an inch thick at the
center. Whatever people made It had some knowledge and use of
iron as well as stone. The writer has satisfactory ground work for
the conclusion he jhas reached that the Indians made none of the
stone arrow heads, axes or other implements attributed to their work-
manship. These numerous implements found here and there in the
earth, belonged to the people of the Stone Age, and were made by
them. Afterward they were found and used by the Red Men all over
the country. Has any white man ever seen an Indian making one of
those stone arrowheads? They shaped their arrows and used these
smooth, sharp and pointed flint arrow heads in them. But what proof
is there that they ever made them? It is not the province of this
work to attempt to offer decisive evidence concerning debatable sub-
jects, or to formulate technical or ingenious theorems as to the prob-
able race of people designated as belonging to the Stone Age, wheth-
er of the New or Old, or to review the uses to which their discovered
works of art were applied in that indefinitely long period covering
the American continent before there was any record written or oral,
of human intelligence or art. It may be well to add, however, that
some years after the writer came to the conclusion stated in refer-
ence to the making of flint arrow heads and other stone implements,
he found his views fully corroborated by an emjinent Chippewa In-
dian, Dr. Jones, of Canada, with whom the writer conversed several
hours at his residence in Hagersville. Later, Dr. Eastman, of South
Dakota, a full-blooded Sioux Indian in the employ of the government
among the Indians of the West and Northwest, who is a college grad-
uate and well versed dn all Indian lore, made a public statement over
his signature that the Indians never made the arrowhead's, &c., at-
tributed to them.

Of object lessons, locally, in the fascinating study of stone relics
of a former age, Frank Botsford, of Guyanoga Valley, and William
Dinehart, of Sherman's Hollow, have each an interesting collection.

Stone implements of various kinds have been found here and
there in the soil of Jerusalem, and the most prolific field has been
that of Dr. James C. Wightman, at Branchport, which was tlhe site
of an Indian village. Arrowheads, pestles, mortars, pipes, skinning
knives, smoothing stones, sinkers, crockery and various other ar-


tides have been found there. The late Lynham J. Beddoe stated to
the doctor that in his boyhood days and through his life parties came
every year from places far and near, with baskets to carry home their
easy finds of stone relics of almost every kind, and since Dr. Wighb'
man has been in possession of the place, tlje Reliquarian societies
have sent people to these grounds from Buffalo, New York, Utic&|
Syracuse, Seneca Falls, Geneva, Prattsburg, Pulteney, Penn Yan,
Hammondsport and other places, who have been successful in secur-
ing relics.

It was generally supposed for a number of years that there was
an ancient fort on Bluff Point, and some of the early settlers alluded
to it as such. Pertaining to that singular earthwork. Dr. Samuel H.
Wright, A. M., in a communicatjion to the writer of this volume, under
date of March 28, 1898, says: "It is the strangest work known in
anthropology. Nothing Icke it." The learned doctor made a thorough
and careful inspection of the work, and his report thereon, with a
diagram was published in the 35th annual report on the New York
State Museum cf Natural History, and is as follows:


The accompanying diagram represents an ancient work in the
town of Jerusalem, on Bluff Point, in lots numbers 5 and 6, on the
farm of Harris Cole (formerly Howland Hemphill).

Bluff Point is a high and sterile region, lying between the two
arms of Lake Keuka, its ridge being about 800 feet above the lake.

This Aboriginal work occupies about seven acres of la'nd, extend-
ing from the highway on the top of the ridge westward or toward
the west arm' of the lake, having a slight descent westward. The
sedimentary shales and flags of the Portage group are only one or
two feet below the surface.

The curious structure consists of (what I may call for the want
of a better term) graded ways, of from three to eight feet wide and
now about one foot high, with a vast number of large, flat stones set
in the ground edgewise on each side of the ways, the stones leaning
toward the middle of the ways. The indications are that these grad-
ed ways have never been over two feet high. All the areas between
these ways are depressions in which water remains till evaporated,
the nearness of the rock below often being only twelve or fourteen
inches, preventing its absorption. These areas, or many of them,
contain bogs of carex and some grass, but in the summer are dry and
afford a fair pasturage. The dirt used to make the ways was taken
from these areas, causing the depressions, and the rock beneath was
ho doubt at that time completely laid bare and furnished the flat
stones that are set in on each side of the graded ways.

All that portion of the work in lot number six ha,s never been
plowed, and the ways are easily traced w:hen the grass has been re-
moved. Those lying in lot number five have been destroyed, but are
traced from the quantity of small fragments of stones still on the

I have not been able to find any relics in this work, which is one
of the strangest structures in the state. I find nothing similar to it,
figured in any work on archaeology.


No trees are in the structure except a few young ones. There is
no living spring of water nearer than a mile at the southwest.

The purpose for which this structure was made, and the race who
built it, are matters of conjecture. Had -interments been made in the
ways, the fact would have been disclosed by the destruction of all
that portion in lot number five. But none of the oldest inhabitants
of the region have ever seen any relics of bones there. The soil has
not depth enough anywhere in the seven acres (being seldom more
than eighteen inches deep) to allow of human interments.

Its rectilineal divisions, some of which are over five hundred feet
long, are made with almost mathematical accuracy, and indicate a
skill we can hardly attribute to the Red Men. This work may be-
long to the age of the Mound Builders and be one of the many cur-
ious structures of that people.

A skeleton was exhumed twenty feet below the earth's surface
recently, i-a Wayne County, by workrmen on the barge canal, near the
village of Clyde, which a learned archaeologist, after careful and
thorough examination, announced as that of a human being of great
antiquity, long before there was any history of man, and from faunal-
life indications in the soil, the conclusion was deducted that the re-
mains belonged to the Mesozoic period of geological sequence.


Less than half a century previous to the discovery of the Ameri-
can continent, the territory now comprising the greater portion of the
State of New York was in the throes of an Aboriginal Revolution.
The Algonquin Nation held sway over a large proportion of the
country east of the Allegany Mountains to the borders of New Eng-
land. The possession of much of their territory was contested by the
then unorganized but warlike Iroquois who were driven from their
river holdings by the Algonquins, and wa turn were pressing in upon
the latter's domain from several points of compass. Before the colo-
nial settlements effected any clearings in the forests the indomita-
ble Iroquois through conquests acquired a large proportion of the
lands of the Empire State. The famous League of confederation
entered itato by the Six Nations, ushered into existence the first pure
Republic ever known among a pagan people. It is a wonder to
Btudents of Indian history howi so firm yet elastic a compact could be
made by unlettered people, and comprising at least six different
dialects, neither one of the S(ix Nations of the Iroquois undepstandi'ng
the language spoken by either of the others.

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