|WHAT IS SPANISH HILL?
What was it used for?
There are several thoughts as to what Spanish Hill was used for, the following is one of the current most popular thoughts on the possible uses of the hill during the earliest periods we currently know of. I do not believe that any one of these discounts the possibility of any of the others. Certainly, all of these uses could have actually have had their place in the history of Spanish Hill:
Fortified Village or Citadel: Because of it's size, shape, and location, Spanish Hill has been believed to be an excellent location for a defensive stand for an attack, and therefore naturally would have been used by early civilizations for mere survival. It also has a view of many miles in each direction around it because it stands alone on the flat land surrounding it, as can be seen from the above picture. For this reason, many believe that Spanish Hill was either a Susquehannock village site or site of refuge during attacks during at least the 1500's and 1600's. Evidences of campfires, and village remains have been located on the hill to include "fortifications" which also support this school of thought.
This is also the use that would most support that it it is the place that Brule visited in 1615. As you can see on the Champlain map (right) that shows "Carantouannais" and was drawn based on Brule's trip, there is an eerie drawing of a huge area on the west branch of a major river system that to some can only represent our own Spanish Hill.
It is said that there were stockades built around the top of this hill (fortifications) around the 1600's, and a moat or ditch was built around the bottom. It is also said that some Indian villages had two or three levels of stockades built around them, and this hill may have had more than one as well. I have also been told by several historians that were involved in "digs" on the hill that there was a covered stockade area going vertically down the hill on the west side to a natural spring that was about 1/2 down the side from the top. Thus making all assumptions that the hill could not have been a village site because there was no access to a water source totally incorrect!
Note: While the image at the right is not meant to represent exactly what existed atop of Spanish Hill, it does illustrate the basic structure of these types of fortifications. Click here to see the shape of the fortifications on Spanish Hill as they were surveyed in 1878 by General John S. Clark.
I can only imagine what a grand site that must have been.
To learn more about Carantouan, use the following link: http://www.spanishhill.com/Carantouan/default.htm
Please use the following links to learn more about what we know about the hill today: