Historic Indian Castle Church is set to celebrate its 250th anniversary with a variety of activities on June 14th through 16th at its 109 Dillenbeck Road location in Little Falls, NY.
The Indian Castle church was erected in 1769 by Sir William Johnson on land donated by siblings Joseph and Molly Brant, two prominent Mohawk in their village of Canajoharie, located on the south side of the Mohawk River.
The three-day event, commemorating the establishment of the Church by Sir William Johnson, will begin on Friday June 14 at 5 pm with an old-fashioned ice cream social (donations appreciated) and free hay-rides at 6 pm.
On Saturday the 15th , registration for “Run for the Bell” 5K Race/race begins at 7:30 am, with the start at 8:30 am. Between 10 am and 4 pm Mohawk cultural demonstrations will feature Akwesasne Mohawk singers and dancers, Mohawk storytelling with Kay Olan, “The Wampum Chronicles” by Darren Bonaparte, and Mohawk artisans from Two House Design Crafters. 18th century living history demonstrations will include Seneca Interpreter Glenn Bentz, Claus’ Rangers, British Indian Department, and Palatine Farmer/Militiaman Paul Supley.
On Sunday the 16th, Father Steve Scarcia will officiate a 10 am church service, ending with the “Ballad of the Indian Castle Church,” written and sung by Ken Gies. Fellowship will follow.
This 250th anniversary celebration is sponsored by the Indian Castle Church Restoration & Preservation Society and Johnson Hall State Historic Site.
This is a Path Through History Weekend event. Admission is free and open to the public – donations to support the event will be greatly appreciated.
Johnson Hall was the 1763 Georgian estate of Sir William Johnson and Molly Brant and their family. Sir William (1715-1774) was the largest landowner and most influential individual in the colonial Mohawk Valley. His success in dealing with the Six Nations had a lasting impact on their relationship with the English, and largely influenced England’s victory in the Anglo-French struggle for control of colonial North America.
His role in the British victory at the Battle of Lake George in 1755 earned him a baronetcy; his capture of Fort Niagara from the French in 1759 brought him additional renown. He served as the British Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Northern District from 1756 until his death in 1774. The main house and flanking stonehouses, originally surrounded by a 700 acre farm, now interpret the Johnson family through guided tours of the period room settings, educational programs and special events. Historic restoration of the Hall is on-going.
Illustration of Indian Castle Church.