Native Americans and the Greater Wappingers Falls Area
The Wappingers Historical Society was the recipient of an extensive collection of Native American artifacts, many of which stem from the Stoneco/Clinton Point and Bowdoin Park area in the vicinity of the Town of Wappinger. This collection of artifacts, which was once considered to be the largest private collection in New York State, belonged to Mr. & Mrs. Henry Taylor. It was generously donated to us by their son-in-law Kenneth VanVoorhis in memory of the Taylor’s daughter.
The collection consists of over 2000 objects, many of which are projectile points (arrowheads and spear points). Some of these have been found to date back 8,500 years! It also includes tools such as scrapers, knives, axes, and hatchets.
The collection was catalogued and examined in 2012 by Professor Thomas Lake, an archaeologist and anthropology professor at Dutchess Community College. By identifying and dating the items in the Taylor Collection, Professor Lake helped put a face on the people who lived here thousands of years ago.
The land surrounding the Wappingers Creek and Hudson River provided fertile farming and hunting grounds for the Wappinger (Wappani) tribe. The name Wappinger comes from “Wapinkw”, which means “Opossum” & "Eastern People”, and tribe was related to the Algonquins. The “-er” ending was added by the Dutch, who always used this name ending to refer to nationalities. The Wappinger tribe could be found on the east side of the Hudson River, from New York City to Albany.
A small portion of approximately 100 pieces of the Taylor Collection are on display at the Mesier Homestead and can be seen as part of our guided tours of the Homestead.
Daniel Nimham, Wappinger Sachem and American Revolutionary War Hero
This Sculpture is a representation of sachem Daniel Nimham, which was created by area sculptor Micheal Keropian. Daniel is a local hero of the American Revolution. This small scale bronze sculpture is on display at the Mesier Homestead in our Native American Collection room. Click here to learn more about Daniel and his impact in the history of our area.
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