Aug 20, 2018

Camden, New York's Forest Park

I knew that Harden Furniture Company in McConnellsville
was in the process of being sold and thought maybe they would have some great deals in their showroom. The internet said that the company was open so John and I decided to check it out.  The factory was open but only operating on a limited basis but they hoped the changeover would be completed in a couple weeks and then they would be back in operation. We missed any bargains that might have been available because the showroom was closed.  

However, it was not a lost day.  On the way back, just before we entered Camden, we saw a sign for Forest Park. There is a driving tour of about 2 miles that passes by Emmons Brook and Cob Brook. The paved road is perfect for driving, jogging and biking. There were only a few people in the park when we were there but I imagine on a warm summer weekend there are many visitors. The day was overcast with a few light sprinkles that sounded pretty as they hit the leaves.

The park was owned and named after Alva Raymond. Today the park consists of 117 acres and has many pavilions, picnic tables, and benches where one can relax and enjoy the tranquil scenery.

 By the way, we wondered why Camden was called “The Queen Village.”  It was called “The Queen Village of Oneida County” because “seldom can be found a more beautiful place…” or so it was written in “Pioneer History of Camden” in 1897. 

The drive was not only pretty and relaxing it was also interesting.  There was a sign saying that the area was the pathway of the Oneida Indians.  Many of today’s roads were once the hunting and trading trails used by Native Americans. The creeks in the park must have been good for fishing and, most likely, the trails led to Lake Ontario for more fishing.  The trails were later used by pioneers and then developed into major
roads.  I noticed a “bent tree” and wondered if it could have been bent by the Oneidas as a trail marker.  It was a bit higher up on the tree than other ones I have seen so I am not sure.  It seems that the indigenous people bent the trees by taking a limb and tying it to the
ground and then inserting a piece of charred wood at the “elbow” so the tree would grow around it.  The culturally-modified trees served as navigational aids and also may have indicated that food and water were nearby or there was rough country or danger ahead.  There is a lot of controversy about the “bent trees.”  Were they natural? If so, it was a strange shape of nature.

There were several walking trails.  And, I thought I saw another possible Native America site – Standing Rock.  It was, in reality, placed
there in 1961 by the park commission as a tribute to friends of the park. 

One of the signs says: “Let no one say and say it to your shame that all was beautiful before you came.” I would like

to think that in a day of ecological awareness that it would not be necessary to remind people not to litter or destroy however I remember a former caretaker at Mexico Point Park remarking that the thing he hated the most was picking up soiled diapers people tried to hide in the bushes.