After I had my coffee at Bob & Ruth’s in Naples, NY, I walked around in the little park nearby. The old cemetery is quite impressive and contains the remains of many of the early settlers to the area. In fact, the Naples Memorial Town Hall was erected in 1872 to honor the more than 200 local men who had served in the Civil war.
Not far from the cemetery which is surrounded by a stone and iron fence there is another marker. This marker sits all by itself near Main Street and was put in place in 1924. It reads: Memorial of Canesque Chief of the Senecas at Nundawao Village who came from the Genesee Reservation in 1794 to die and be buried in his beloved Kiandaga Valley. Naples was once the site of an ancient Seneca Indian Nation named “Nundawao” (click here).
In early times according to the Finger Lakes Travel Guide, Naples, NY was considered among the least desirable territories to settle in due to its barren and mountainous terrain and these early settlers purchased the land for 12 cents acre. Now according to this same publication, Naples, NY is voted (the) most beautiful wine region in the world!
I’m thinking that the old Indian Chief knew something that the early setters weren’t even looking for in their quest to acquire land and wealth in the New World: the treasure of Kiandago Valley was not in its gold or silver but in the beauty of the tree covered hills, and its sparkling lakes and rivers which were given freely by the Great Spirit for all to enjoy.