Explore Revolutionary War History at The Cove

Did you know that Upstate New York played a pivotal role in the founding of the United States? Our region was home to many of the people, locations, and battles that defined the course of the Revolutionary War. In fact, the Oneida Indian Nation, the sovereign tribal nation behind The Cove at Sylvan Beach, played a critical role as the only Nation of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy to fight alongside colonial troops. 

If you have a passion for history, you won’t want to miss these sites and a special annual event commemorating the anniversary of the Battle of Oriskany during your stay at The Cove at Sylvan Beach. 

Fort Stanwix National Monument

Fort Stanwix Aerial ViewPhoto credit: U.S. National Park Service

Fort Stanwix was constructed within a six-mile area located between the Mohawk River and Wood Creek in the ancestral homelands of the Oneida Indian Nation. The Oneida people relied on this land, called the Oneida Carrying Place, to move watercraft between the two bodies of water. Today, a bronze sculpture commemorating the importance of the Oneida Carrying Place can be found just a short drive or walk from Fort Stanwix National Monument. 

Oneida Carrying Place Sculpture

European settlers would also come to rely on the Oneida Carrying Place to connect their trade routes, eventually constructing Fort Stanwix there in 1758. By 1777, the fort had been occupied by colonial troops and was eventually besieged on August 3 by British and loyalist forces. This failed siege would be one of two important local events that helped turn the tide in favor of American independence. 

Today, the Fort Stanwix National Monument welcomes visitors to explore the reconstructed fort and a visitor center. Kids can also earn a certificate and a badge to become a Junior Ranger during their visit. 

Oriskany Battlefield State Historic Site

Oriskany Battlefield State Historic Site

Photo credit: ILoveNY.com

The bloodiest battle of the Revolutionary War was fought in Oriskany, just three days after the siege on Fort Stanwix. Brigadier General Nicholas Herkimer called on a force of 800 militiamen and 60 Oneida warriors, all of whom fought bravely during the brutal conflict and faced heavy losses. Ultimately, their efforts drove opposing forces to retreat. 

The Oneida people have since been known as America’s First Allies for their support for the colonial soldiers and the new nation. An interminable bond was forged on the battlefield at Oriskany, and since then Oneida Indian Nation Members have proudly supported the United States Armed Forces and served in every major military conflict since. 

The Oneida at the Battle of Oriskany, August 6, 1777 by Don Troiani

The Oriskany Battlefield State Historic Site is home to a monument dedicated to all who fought bravely to achieve American Independence, as well as a visitor center and interpretive signage. Guests can request guided tours with park rangers and enjoy hiking trails and a picnic area during their visit. 

Shako:wi Cultural Center

Shako:wi Cultural Center

To learn more about the Oneida people and how they became America’s First Allies, add a trip to Shako:wi Cultural Center to your itinerary. The handcrafted white pine log building was constructed in 1993 and named for Richard Chrisjohn, a former Nation Representative whose Oneida name means “he gives.” The cultural center was created to share the gift of Oneida culture and history with future generations and all who visit the region. 

Shako:wi Cultural Center is home to a number of exhibits that showcase the rich lives, talents, and heroism of the Oneida people, from the role they played in the American Revolution to their efforts to revitalize their community and regain control of the Nation’s ancestral homelands. Visitors can learn more about lacrosse, wampum, basket making, and more, and the Nation’s Cultural Programs Coordinator is available to answer questions. 

Take Part in the 245th Oriskany Battle Anniversary Commemoration

On August 6, the Oneida Indian Nation will partner with Fort Stanwix National Monument and the Rome Historical Society to honor those who fought for the fledgling American nation and raise awareness about the diversity of all who contributed at the 245th Oriskany Battle Anniversary Commemoration. Guests at The Cove are welcome to attend a day of local history events that will include: 

Events will include: 

  • The Pivotal Role of the Great Oneida Carry at the Oneida Carry Monument in Downtown Rome, a presentation with Arthur Simmons, Executive Director of the Rome Historical Society and a representative of the Oneida Indian Nation who will discuss the history of the Great Oneida Carrying Place during the Revolutionary War. 
  • The Annual Solemn Commemoration of the Battle of Oriskany to recognize those who fought in this critical conflict with a presentation of wreaths and ceremonial offerings as well as guest speakers. 
  • Oneida Indian Nation Movie Night at Fort Stanwix will include screenings of the award-winning animated film “My Home: An Oneida Legend” and the documentary “People of the Standing Stone: The Oneida Indian Nation, the War for Independence, and the Making of America” inside the fort. 

For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page

Immerse Yourself in Upstate New York's Revolutionary History

If you’re hoping to make history part of your summer getaway, The Cove at Sylvan Beach puts you right at the center of it all. Countless historic sites and museums are within easy driving distance, as well as local events, arts and entertainment, outdoor activities, and so much more. Reserve your stay today to enjoy all our region has to offer.