Early Explorers

Prior to the Fort Stanwix pact, itinerant pioneers were the only white men to traverse the valley wilderness. Among them were some of early Pennsylvania's most famous explorers: James LeTort, John Davenport, Christian Frederick Post, George Croghan, Conrad Weiser and Col. John Armstrong, who later defeated the Indians at their Kittanning stronghold.

As early as 1731 LeTort reported to Governor Patrick Gordon that he found 45 Indian families living on “Connumach Creek,” also referred to in the colonial era as “Cough-naugh-maugh,” “Connumah,” “Ko-ne-ma,” or “Gunamonki,” to name a few of the derivitives.

Other early traders and explorers stopped off at Kickenapaulin's--a name applied to an individual as well as to his Indian settlement. Early maps place Kickenapaulin's at the present site of Quemahoning Dam in Somerset County. It is possible that Kickenapaulin also may have settled for a time near Johnstown as his tribe moved westward.

Whether Johnstown proper was once the site of a permanent Indian village is disputed among historians and researchers. Nevertheless, there is evidence that the Delawares and Shawnees (or Shawanese) frequently passed through and near the area. An old Indian trail--the Conemaugh Path--extended from Bedford to Johnstown and thence through the Conemaugh Gap westward to the Ohio Country.

Back to History Page

Johnstown Pennsylvania Information Source Online
Designed by Michaels Computing
Send Email To: