Canajoharie (/ˌkænəəˈhɛəri/), also known as the "Upper Castle", was the name of one of two major towns of the Mohawk nation in 1738. The community stretched for a mile and a half along the southern bank of the Mohawk River, from a village known as Dekanohage eastward to what is now Fort Plain, New York.[1]

The Upper Castle historic district has been designated as a National Historic Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It contains the Indian Castle Church, built in 1769 for the Mohawk by Sir William Johnson, the British Superintendent of Indian Affairs, on land donated by his consort Molly Brant and her brother Joseph Brant, both leaders among the Mohawk. The site also has archeological resources related to Iroquois history. For a time the town was the home of the notable Mohawk leaders Hendrick Theyanoguin (1692–1755) and the Brants. According to Joseph Brant, Canajoharie means "a kettle stuck on a pole."[2] A modern etymology translates it as "a washed kettle".[1] It referred to actions of water in the Canajoharie Creek near where it empties into the Mohawk River.

The modern village of Canajoharie, New York was settled by European Americans a few miles to the east of the historic Mohawk village.[3]

In popular cultureEdit

Referenced by They Might Be Giants in their album Join Us.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Dean R. Snow and David B. Guldenzopf, "Indian Castle Church" Archived 2006-06-22 at the Wayback Machine. Accessed August 23, 2009.
  2. ^ Isabel Thompson Kelsay, Joseph Brant, 1743-1807, Man of Two Worlds (Syracuse, New York: Syracuse University Press, 1984), 46.
  3. ^ Dean R. Snow "Searching for Hendrick: Correction of a Historic Conflation" Archived 2008-05-20 at the Wayback Machine. New York History, History Cooperative, Summer 2007. Accessed August 23, 2009.

Coordinates: 42°54′16.6″N 74°38′28.1″W / 42.904611°N 74.641139°W / 42.904611; -74.641139