The First Sermon
in Chautauqua County, I take to be as follows: At the close of the Revolutionary
War, the Rev. Samuel Kirkland, missionary to the Six Nations, found himself
wandering on the shores of Chautauqua Lake. At nightfall he bent his steps
toward a light he saw in the woods. He found it to be the cabin of an Indian
chief, where he was hospitably sheltered. In the morning after a good breakfast
of venison, the chief asked him to sit with him on a log in front of the
cabin. No sooner was he seated than he was asked to move along. This was
repeated, until Kirkland replied that he could not move farther without falling
off the log. "Well, said the Indian chief, "that is just the way you white
people treat us. We once owned all this land, but we have been driven from
place to place until there is no place left. The next push will drive us
into the lakes, and why are we treated thus?"
REFERENCE: "Centennial Story of Chautauqua County" 1904
CHAUTAUQUA LAKE - In July, 1888 at Bemus Point on Chautauqua
Lake, Frank Arnold, while fishing, observed a rod or two from shore, at a
depth of two to three feet, an object on the bottom which appeared to be
a curiously shaped log; on removing it for examination he found it to be
a massive bone which on reference to accepted authority was decided to be
the tibia (or shin-bone) of the mastodon, and is probably part of the skeleton
of that animal of large dimensions still remaining imbedded in the soil at
the bottom of the lake. It doubtless became detached, was thrown up, and
slowly washed in shore by the agitation of the waters of the lake during
violent storms and by the landing of steamers many times daily at this place.
The tibia in length was 28 inches; diameter at knee joint, 10 1/2 inches;
diameter at ankle joint, 8 inches; weight was 21 1/2 pounds. This Chautauqua
Lake specimen in actual life stood 10 1/2 feet in height at the shoulders.
Reference: Centennial Story of Chautauqua County, Vol. 1, pp. 589-594.
SOURCE: Loraine Smith, 2003