The History Center on Main Street, 83 N. Main Street, Mansfield PA 16933
Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
Indian Trails
Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA

This marker on Route 20 in New York State records the road's history from its origin as an Indian Trail

Article: Indian Trails
Article by Helen Mac Dougall Samson (1909-1995) in 1976
Sent in by Walt Samson
Retyped by Bob Saftenberg
Photo by Joyce M. Tice 1999
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Our Heritage of Freedom
Indian Trails
By Helen M. Samson

When the earliest settlers arrived in this area, the methods of travel available to them was very limited. Their selections were reduced to travel by river, or the use of the Indian trails that crisscrossed the area connecting tribal settlements many miles apart.

The most used trail in this part of the state may have been Catherine’s Town or Seneca Lake Trail. Early maps indicated this route followed Catherine Creek south, midway between the town of Horseheads and Veteran. One branch turned sharply west toward the town of Assinesink near Corning, while the other branch proceeded south to the Chemung River.

Middle Road follows this old trail for a distance, after which the path went over the hills to avoid the swamps.

A lesser known trail in this area was Pony Hollow. One branch connected with the Catherine’s Trail and another section came from Cayuga Inlet. These two joined and turned directly south. The Pony Hollow path is in part the present day main road to Ithaca.

This trail was used by Co. William Butler’s 600 man expeditionary force in 1779, sent to attach the Six Indian Nations, allies of the British during the revolution.

The Forbidden Path ranged from Binghamton to the Indian settlement of Genesee, and traveled west along the Alleghany River. It crisscrossed present day state lines and finally died in the town of Jenushadego.

This great network of large and small paths were used by the settlers to the fullest advantage. As westward expansion increased, travel blossomed and these old paths were eventually widened and straightened, and today constitute a part of our highway system.

The young moccasined braves that blazed these early trails had given way to loaded oxcarts, with families and starry eyed children, heading west to make a new life for themselves.

The settlers learned much from his predecessor, the not so simple child of the forest.

First Added to the Site  on 30 DEC 2002
By Joyce M. Tice

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The History Center on Main Street, 83 N. Main Street, Mansfield PA 16933