War Party: The Mohawk Valley


Attack, counter attack, fever carrying mosquitoes in summer, bitter, death defying cold in winter – that was the rebellion raging in the Mohawk Valley in 1776.  We’re here with the film, “First Allies”, telling the story of  Native Americans who were forced to choose between the British and the Colonists during the American Revolutionary war.

Looking for locations and researching the story, “re-enactors” explain it all.   Every historic house seems to have someone in authentic dress who knows how to make candles out of beaver fat, operate a wood cheese press or carve a pair of big chunky wooden clogs out of a log – watch out for splinters when you try them on.

General Nicolas Herkimer’s  (1728-1777) perfect Georgian house.  Like a lot of Revolutionary War freedom fighters, he kept slaves.
  his rather grave monument
Herkimer died in his bed after a botched amputation!
Here’s where he got the doomed idea to march out and save Fort Stanwix from British invasion, but his troops were ambushed in the Battle of Oriskany.  
the  Klock House was fortified with 4′ thick walls and loop holes to shoot at the enemy
The Klock barn would make a cool loft
Old Palatine Church 1770
We hope you believe the old Syracuse Hotel looks like Whitehall banqueting hall where Mad King George III meets the great Indian Chief/British officer, Joseph Brant 
Sainte-Marie among the Iroquois is a an old Catholic Mission from the 1600’s with rather lean accommodations
don’t try putting these leather mugs in your dishwasher
imagine the scent of dried fish and bear jerky hanging off the rafters all winter
 poor little dried beaver pelts
Wood communal bed – duvet is stuffed with straw. Can’t wait to get my next  Bed Bath & Beyond 20% off coupon and remedy this.
this is the only part of the world where Rome is next door to Poland
SIDE BAR: My journey  from Los Angeles to New York City to Syracuse was not without drama.  At LAX, my rolling carry-on bag caught on that annoying 3 inch gap between the accordion hallway and the door to the plane.  Clunk! Clunk! My tote bag flipped over  and spewed out my in-case-of-hijacking-emergency-supplies  in front of 47 passengers.  My IPOD catapulted into the air and disappeared down into the gap, clattering sickeningly onto the tarmac 15 feet below the plane.   A steward rushed over worried I might be stoned by the impatient mob crowding the gangway. She hauled me away and a half hour later my IPOD (with 85 downloaded audio books) and I were reunited. Miraculously, it still worked.

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