One brief century ago but a faint wave of civilization ha broken upon the primeval forest surrounding the picturesque lake which lies nestled among the hills of Otsego. Only was heard the fierce howl of the wolf and the savage su-sa-quan of the Indian warrior. The circling smoke arose from many an Indian wigwam; the hunter bounded through the forest after the deer and moose; beavers, otters, and martins were in abundance; the salmon smoked at every camp-fire; the waters of the lake were parted by the birchen canoe, and the dripping oar of the Indian glistened in the sunlight. Here was the red man in all his glory. This was a portion of the Indian Eden, and as far s his unsophisticated vision extended, destined to remain.
The first white man who passed through this region was Cadwwallader Colden, surveyor-general, in the year 1737. Sixteen years afterwards, 1753, Rev. Gideon Hawley was sent to this locality as a missionary to the Indians. He says, "We met with difficulty about getting a canoe, and sent an Indian into the woods to get ready a bark, but he made small progress. In the afternoon came from Otsego lake, which is the source of the Susquehanna." (The History of Otsego, HY, by Duane Hamilton Hurd, 1878)
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Transcribed by Holice B. Young
Copyright Debbie Axtman and Holice B. Young
December 24, 1999