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Timeline - Ganondagan State Historic Site

The following is a brief chronology of the events and the efforts of many dedicated individuals to preserve and create Ganondagan State Historic Site.

1909     An historical marker in the shape of a crucifix was erected at the intersection of Boughton Hill Road and State Route 444. The monument was raised to commemorate the Jesuit missionaries who worked among the Seneca at Gannagaro.

1932     Alexander McGinn Stewart successfully lobbied for the erection of State Education Department marker at Boughton Hill.

1935     The Rochester Museum undertook an archaeological survey of the Boughton Hill area under the direction of A.C. Parker and with the assistance of J. Sheldon Fisher.

1959     In August Ontario County Historian, J. Sheldon Fisher, an adopted Seneca, submitted plans to the National Park Service for the preservation of Boughton Hill, Fort Hill, and an alleged battlefield site of the Denonville expedition.

1963     The Regional Archaeologist of the Northeast Region of the National Park Service, John L. Cotter, wrote on the Nation Survey of Historic Sites and Buildings form for Boughton Hill that it "is a site well deserving preservation, and should receive no less than National Landmark status. It is of as much national significance as any of the Indian pueblos of the Southwest now given National Monument status."

1966     In October Boughton Hill was entered on the National Register of Historic Places as the site of a significant seventeenth-century Seneca village and an important locale on the itinerary of the Denonville expedition of 1687.

1967     In March the Gannagaro Association was formed to promote the preservation of the site at Gannagaro. Members were drawn from the Tonawanda Band of Senecas, the North American Indian Club of Rochester, and the residents of Ontario County.

1970     In April an appropriation in the amount of $350,000 for the acquisition and preparation of Gannagaro State Historic Site was incorporated in the Executive Budget for the fiscal year beginning April 1, 1970.

1976     A regular meeting at Onondaga, on June 5, 1976, the Six Nations Grand Council recommended to the State of New York that it purchase Fort Hill.

1977     Administrators from the Office of Parks and Recreation met in November at Fort Hill with representatives from the Tonawanda Band of Senecas to walk the bounds of a parcel to be acquired for Gannagaro State Historic Site.

1978     In September the site of Totiakton, a major Seneca village contemporary with Gannangaro, was entered in the National Register of Historic Places.

1980     Project Director Ben Kroup, on behalf of the Division of Historic Preservation, submitted an application to the National Endowment for the Humanities Museums and Historical Organizations Program for a Planning Grant to hire Native American consultants to plan the interpretive facility at Gannagaro State Historic Site. The planning group's members were: George Abrams (Anthropologist), Robert Dean (Archaeologist), Rick Hill (Artist), Oren Lyons (Museologist), Ron Melchert (Landscape Architect),  John Mohawk (Journalist), Corbett Sundown (Sachem), Dennis Sun Rhodes (Architect), Robert Venables (Historian, non-native), and Carson Waterman (Artist). This grant was funded on 12/15/80.

1985     G. Peter Jemison, (Seneca) artist and curator was hired as Site Manager

1987     Ganondagan State Historic Site was formally dedicated July 14, 1987, 300 years to the day after Denonville invaded the town.

1989     Friends of Ganondagan, Inc. was formed by 25 people in April as a not-for-profit educational organization to provide physical, spiritual, and financial support to Ganondagan State Historic Site and to promote the message of peace. Incorporated under NYS Education Law.

1990     Gift shop opens

1992     Plans for the Longhouse construction are under way

1994     A Longhouse Fund Drive is started

1997     Construction for the Longhouse starts in April

1998     July 15th -  First Lady Hillary Clinton visited Ganondagan during the White House Millennium Council Tour

             July 24th - Seneca Bark Longhouse officially dedicated 

2002     Acquire 12 acres of Corey property, south-side Boughton Hill Rd at Murray Rd

2004     Initial plans begin for the new Seneca Art & Culture Center at Ganondagan

2005     New York State acquire 33 acres in front of Fort Hill base - Beechler property

2006     New York State takes over North Family farmhouse

2007     First Native Foods Feast held

2008     Collaboration with Rochester Institute of Technology begins

2015     The Seneca Art & Culture Center opens to the public

Total acreage for Ganondagan - 569 acres