Captain Visger House

After our hot and humid morning at Sackets Harbor, we were on the road again to the small town of Alexandria Bay.  I love small towns, and was impressed by the tender care of the old homes.  It is a welcoming town with many eateries lining the streets, as well as tourist and local artisan shops.

The real treat was Captain Visger B & B we found on the end of Church St. This old Victorian house sat on the corner and walking distance from the viewing park of the St. Lawrence River.

The owner “Sam” has an amazing array of antiques in the dining area. Also provided are old books and leaflets for reading local history. Sam is a very friendly face and loves to talk about food. In fact, she’s passionate about it!

We stayed in the Ella Room on the main floor. A beautifully furnished “bird room” which you can see on the website:

https://www.captainvisgerhouse.com

 

Just off the dining area is a small bar where you can enjoy drinks during the day or while waiting for dinner. If you happen to be coming and going during the day, you may smell some fantastic aromas coming from the kitchen.

Sam cooks homemade, local, organic scrumptious foods. Breakfast is so filling you can save half for your lunch. I didn’t think to take a photo of my yogurt and berries, I was too overcome with the taste! But here is my frittata and muffin.

Tuesday night we ate dinner on the patio. I ate fresh perch, lightly dipped in cornmeal and fried, along with zoodles, (zucchini noodles).

Dinner is not served every night, but if you plan to come, Sam would love for you to make a reservation ahead to make dining more enjoyable.

Alexandria Bay has so many opportunities for views of Boldt Castle and tours are just down the road from Capt. Visger’s House.

It’s amazing that we lived on Lake Ontario for ten years and never took time to head up around the lake. Even from where we live now it was only a 3-hour drive. I hope we can make it again, and definitely would stay here again—the food is out of this world!

 

 

 

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A Moment in History: Remembering Rebecca Kellogg Ashley

On occasion I find a story that can’t be found in the classroom history books. I might not have known about Rebecca Kellogg Ashley–except that I love history.

I have lived in this town for fifteen years. My children started school in this district in 1998. I have never joined the local historical society, but I’ve learned much of the history of the area. I live just miles from where this history took place.

When we first moved here I met local Historian, Marjory Hinman who wrote a book called–Onaquaga: Hub of the Border Wars. That book graces my Iroquois Indian history shelf along with others.

During the 1700’s, the Oneida Indians lived as far north as the Albany area, spreading south, all the way to Windsor, New York. It’s beautiful country and from Cooperstown, the Susquehanna River flows down state into Pennsylvania and back up into New York. There was plenty of room for the tribes to enjoy the rich land, lakes and rivers.

Two tribes lived here: the Oneida and Tuscarora. It is the closest place where the Susquehanna comes to the Delaware River and has a low place in a bend in the river to carry across. Thus making it a great place for trading.

Deerfield, Mass. February 1704—

Rebecca Kellogg was captured at age eight, along with her brother, sister, and father. They were taken to the Christian Mohawk settlement near Montreal. She was adopted by the Haudenosaunee Mohawks, and there she married and had children.

Rebecca’s father and brother escaped, but Rebecca never returned to New England until she was thirty-three years old. She and her children visited her family, but never returned to live there. Apparently sometime during these years, her husband died. Rebecca began working tirelessly as an interpreter among native people in the Mission School at Stockbridge, Massachusetts where famous Rev. Jonathan Edwards was in charge of this Mission School.

In 1745 she married again, to a man named Benjamin Ashley. Rebecca was twenty years older than he, but it is possible they married, as it was the proper thing to do in those days.  Both of them accompanied Rev. Gideon Hawley to start a new mission at Onaquaga.

The Indians at Onaquaga adopted the white man’s ways of building and living in log cabins with stone chimneys, glass windows, and the people planted crops.

Public Domain
Chief Joseph Brant

Chief Joseph Brant had a farm with cattle at Onaquaga and married the daughter of an Onaquaga chief. If you remember in your history, Chief Joseph was highly educated, and a mastermind at military tactics. He chose to fight with the British against the Americans and Onaquaga was used as a base of his operations.

Susquehanna River at Onaquaga

During the years, 1748 to 1777 missionaries ministered to the people in the village. The Rev. Gideon Hawley left diaries containing valuable information after he left the settlement. He wrote a map of the village.

Little was written about Rebecca Kellogg Ashley’s work at the mission in Onaquaga. She knew the needs of the people because she had lived with them, she knew their language well, and had a heart for the Oniedas. Rebecca gave her energies into the service of others.

Rebecca Kellogg Ashley lived with the natives at Onaquaga many years and understood their needs completely. They fondly called her Wausaunia, which means the bridge.

Onaquaga Bridge
The bridge at Onaquaga.
Sign at the bridge.

There is no other white woman reported in that time of history, who lived among the Indians of Onaquaga. Rebecca spent the rest of her life there, and when she died in 1757 the people “lamented her loss.”

 

There is a stone marker on Dutchtown Road in memory. She is buried at the base of Onaquaga Mountain.

Rebecca Kellogg Ashley monument

Sadly, Gen. James Clinton came through in 1778 and destroyed the village of Onaquaga on the way to meet Gen. Sullivan at Tioga Point.