Historic Structures - Seneca Log House


Seneca Log House

(Currently closed to the public - will reopen in 2011 at the new Native American Interpretive Area at the Fenimore Art Museum.)

Date: 1785

Origin: Tonawanda Indian Reservation, Genesee County, NY

Builder: Unknown

Original owner: Bailey, Nick/ Clute, Charles (?-1900)/ Clute, Elizabeth Fish (?-1925)/ Sundown, Phoebe Fish/ Whelan, Frank/ Whelan, Helen

Info: The Seneca Log House is a single-family log house typical for most reservation Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) families during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Adjacent to the house is a "Three Sisters Garden" with corn, beans, and squash. In a separate area, Indian tobacco varieties and sacred herbs are grown. Medicinal plants are grown in their natural environment in the surrounding woodlands.

Provenance: The Farmers' Museum purchased the building from Helen Whalen, Pittsford, NY in July of 1996.
*In the 1950s, Frank Whelan purchased the house for $25 and placed it in his back yard on French Road in Pittsford, NY.
*The house was abandoned for several years until Nick Bailey sold the house to the City of Rochester before 1934.
*Phoebe Fish Sundown inherited the house from her mother Elizabeth Fish Clute in 1925. The house remained in her possession until her death.
*Charles and Elizabeth Fish Clute occupied the house during the late nineteenth century until their deaths 1900 and 1925 respectfully.
*The house was originally built in the Haudenosaunee settlement on the Tonawanda Creek, Genesee County for an unknown Seneca family.

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