Painted Post Memorial

Painted Post Memorial (HM1PNL)

Location: Painted Post, NY 14870 Steuben County
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Country: United States of America
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N 42° 9.471', W 77° 5.625'

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During the Colonial period the valleys of the Chemung River tributaries comprised the domain of the Senecas. This unit of the Iroquois Confederacy was called a door of the Six Nations through which passed communications with the west & the south.
The Border Wars brought the White Man into this region. Visitors to this area during the American Revolution found on this site an oak post which was square to a height of 4 feet & then octagonal to the top. The surface was painted red & decorated with 28 black figures without any heads & 30 black figures with heads on. Numerous allusions to the painted post regarded it as a memorial to a fallen chieftain, a marker for assemblies, & a war post around which dances were held.
The original post endowed this place with a name which will endure as long as recorded history. By 1808 the first namesake had disintegrated & a fitting substitute was deemed necessary. In 1824 Capt. Samuel Erwin commissioned John Wygant to fashion a symbol for the site of the painted post. This memorial was carved from sheet iron & depicted an Indian tribesman attired in head dress, jacket & leggings. For half a century this quaint figure swung on a pole near the place where the first post stood.
In 1880 a second sheet iron Indian was erected at the southeast corner of Water & Hamilton Streets. This life size figure represented a chief dressed in a red jacket & buckskin trousers & equipped with a bow & tomahawk. The warrior was attached to the top of a tapered octagonal post which was 18 feet high & painted red. This symbol served as a landmark for 4 decades. A later memorial supplanted this figure which was removed after W. War 1.
In the summer of 1893 a subscription was circulated for the construction of a stone monument surmounted by the metal replica of an Indian chief. This memorial was dedicated June 21, 1894. The purposes for which it was erected were inscribed on its face:
"To perpetuate the name of
Painted Post
preserve its traditions
and honor the memory of
its early settlers"

On Nov. 20, 1948 a violent wind toppled the chief from his pedestal & shattered the figure. At a town meeting held Apr. 7, 1949 citizens of the Village of Painted Post & Town of Erwin approved a proposal to replace the damaged monument. This memorial was modeled by Norman B. Phelps and erected in 1950 by popular subscription to commemorate the founding of Painted Post & to preserve for posterity the traditions of its heritage.
Series This marker is part of the Markers Attached to Sculpture series
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, November 29th, 2015 at 9:02pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)31N E 166021 N 0
Decimal Degrees42.15785000, -77.09375000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 42° 9.471', W 77° 5.625'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds42° 9' 28.26" N, 77° 5' 37.5" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)607
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 109 W Water St, Painted Post NY 14870, US
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