How did Lamoka Lake get its name?

Lamoka is a word that you don’t see used much other than for the lake itself, and the prehistoric archaeological culture found along its shores. Does anyone know where its name came from?

On early maps, including the 1829 Atlas of New York and the 1869 New Map of the State of New York, Lamoka is named Mud Lake, and Waneta Lake to the north is called Little Lake. By 1874, in an atlas of Schuyler County, Lamoka Lake appears on the map, although Little Lake is still used for Waneta. In the 1879 book History of Tioga, Chemung, Tompkins and Schuyler Counties, New York, “Lamoka” is used repeatedly, and Little Lake has become “Wanetta.”

1874 Map of Schuyler County.

I’m not surprised they changed the name – there are at least 30 other Mud lakes in New York, and Lamoka has a nice sound to it—but I’d like to know where they got the name from.

If anybody knows, or has any clues, please leave a comment!

Albany Rural Cemetery

Founded in 1844, the Albany Rural Cemetery is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. I don’t normally seek out cemeteries, but this is the second major rural cemetery I’ve visited in the last month or so.

President Chester Arthur is the most famous resident. New Jersey governor and U.S. Supreme Court justice William Paterson (namesake of the university in New Jersey) is also buried here.

Albany Rural Cemetery, Menands, New York.

Tomb of President Chester A. Arthur. Arthur benefited from political patronage and machine politics, but when he became president after the assassination of James Garfield, he threw his support behind the civil service reform movement. The 1883 Pendleton Act would lead to civil service jobs being awarded based on merit, not personal connections.


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Scholarship for New York Archaeology Undergraduates

For New York state undergraduates interested in a career in archaeology,  the Daniel H. Weiskotten Scholarship Fund 2018 awards $750 and a 1 year membership in the New York State Archaeological Association

To apply for this award, a student must be a New York state resident enrolled in an accredited New York state college or university undergraduate anthropology or history program. The student applicant must have completed a minimum of 30 credit hours; be majoring in anthropology or history; and be intending to pursue a career in archaeology (prehistoric, historic, military, industrial, underwater archaeology or museology); and have a financial need.

Details are at New York State Archaeology

The Scholarship is administered by the William M. Beauchamp Chapter of the New York State Archaeological Association

Archaeology on the Pastoral Islands of Lake Champlain

Suzanne Carmick writes in the New York Times Travel Section about visiting the Pastoral Islands of Lake Champlain.  The Vermont islands of South Hero, North Hero, and Isle La Motte, are on the border of New York and just south of Canada.

Carmick mentions the long history of Isle La Motte, which was occupied by Native Americans long before Samuel Champlain first recorded it in 1609.  In A.D. 1666, the French built Fort St. Anne on Isle La Motte. The fort was occupied for as little as two years before being abandoned. In the late 1800s, the Catholic Church purchased the land, which became St. Anne’s Shrine.  A Vermont priest, Father Joseph Kerlidou excavated the remains of the French fort.

In 1917, archaeologist Warren Moorehead conducted excavations near the shrine, finding Woodland period ceramics. At another location, Reynolds Point, he found artifacts from the earlier Archaic period. In the early 1960s, a cremation burial site attributed to the Archaic Glacial Kame culture was accidentally uncovered by workers on the island. New York State Archaeologist William Ritchie examined the artifacts found with the ochre-stained human bones. The grave goods included Native copper adzes, copper beads, shell gorgets and beads, and over 100 pieces of galena.

For more on Fort St. Anne, see Enshrining the Past: The Early Archaeology of Fort St. Anne, Isle La Motte, Vermont