Cultures at the Confluence

17th-18th Native American Settlements of the Susquehanna River

 
   
   

Gahontoto

"In 1750, Bishop Cammerhoff and David Zeisberger, two Moravian missionaries, journeyed from Wyoming up the North Branch of the Susquehanna to the Onondaga Council. On the 6th of July, they passed Wyalusing Falls, which Cammerhoff describes as "a dangerous cataract, extending across the whole Susquehanna. The water falls down as from a mountain, and makes the current very rapid. . . . On proceeding, we came to a place called Gahontoto by the Indians. It is said to be the site of an ancient Indian city, where a peculiar nation lived. The inhabitants were neither Delawares nor Aquanoschioni [Iroquois of the Five Nations], but had a language of their own, and were called Te-ho-ti-tach-se. We could still notice a few traces of this place in the old ruined corn-fields near. The Five Nations went to war against them, and finally completely extirpated them. The Cayugas for a time held a number captive, but the nation and the language are now exterminated and extinct. The Cayuga told us that these things had taken place before the Indians had any guns, and still went to war
with bows and arrows".Beauchamp gives the meaning of Gahontoto as a place where it was necessary to lift the canoe (i. e., in order to pass the Wyalusing Rapids safely), and as such that name may have had no particular application to Tehotitachse, the ancient town which stood there."

-(From Charles Augustus Hanna's, The Wilderness Trail)

 

 

 
 
 
 

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