What’s the Story Behind the Big Rock on Route 5?
We've traveled past the big rock with the sign reading "Skenandoah Boulder" dozens of times over the years. Today, because we weren't doing much on a Saturday and we were also one blog post shy of our quota for the week, we stopped.
Here's what we learned about the Central New York landmark honoring one of the Empire State's icons and the namesake of Skenandoa golf club in Clinton, all captured on the rock's inscription:
This marks the site of the last home of Skenandoah, chief of the Oneidas. "The white man's friend." Here he entertained governer Dewitt Clinton 1810, and many other distinguished guests, and here he died in 1816, aged 110. He was carried on the shoulders of his faithful indians to his burial in the cemetery of Hamilton College, Clinton N.Y., and laid to rest beside his beloved friend and teacher Rev. Samuel Kirkland.
Maybe the most remarkable aspect of the epigraph is that distinguished guests were still being "entertained" by Skenandoah when he was 104.
The rock was dedicated in 1912 and still sits atop a crest alongside Route 5, just east of Oneida and west of Sherrill in the village of Oneida Castle, the approximate geographic center of New York State.