“Tioga,” variously translated from Native-American language, means “at the fork [of a river].”
Tioga was the name of a Native-American Iroquois village near the current village of Athens, Pennsylvania.* The village was burned in 1787 during the General Sullivan Expedition (commissioned by General Washington) up the Wyoming Valley of Pennsylvania and into the present-day upstate New York area, driving the tribes allied with the British into Canada. (See Dictionary of Naval Fighting Ships – Tioga was used during the Civil War; web address: http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/t6/tioga-i.htm , accessed 25 July 2008).
Counties in New York and Pennsylvania are named Tioga. (Other towns, villages, rivers throughout the USA are also named Tioga; also an RV and energy company are so named). My hometown in Newark Valley, NY, is located in Tioga County. My residence of 23 years was Tioga County, NY.
Newark Valley was once a thriving little rural town, but not so anymore. While the “forks in the river” were probably responsible for developing the surrounding area (i.e., the “fork” of the Chenango and Susquehanna in Binghamton; the “forks” of the Susquehanna and Chemung in the Elmira / Corning area), Newark Valley’s commerce was driven by the railroad. Once the railroad was replaced by the automobile, commerce in Newark Valley declined.
When Newark Valley had its economic good times, it had a newspaper called the Tioga County Herald. The newspaper was published from 1876 to 1966. The newspaper began during the year of the USA Centennial Celebration, but ended 10 years short of the USA Bicentennial Celebration.
I resurrected the Tioga County Herald for one more special issue on July 4, 1976, in order to celebrate the Bicentennial. This special one-time edition of the newspaper was distributed free of charge to all who attended the celebrations in Newark Valley, NY. I still have a copy in my files.
The project was the culmination of research of Newark Valley history up to that point in time. The newspaper that served the community for 90 years came back to life for one day. I served as a very inexperienced writer and editor of that newspaper. Several friends, all college-aged as I was, helped by writing articles and accumulating special advertising for the newspaper. The Tioga County Courier published the newspaper. The people at that newspaper were great consultants.
We also consulted several historians. The official village historian, the late Lena Bushnell; the late Rollie Noble*** also provided information because he had all issues of the Tioga County Herald stacked in his basement (Noble’s copies were easy to retrieve and review); the Berkshire and Richford town historians, the late Mr. John Camp** and Mr. Lacey. We also consulted many other long-time residents.
There are many ideas to be shared as we approach a “fork in the river” for all America, so it seems appropriate to title this blog, Tioga Herald. In essence, we have a “herald” (meaning messenger) announcing the information regarding the “fork in the river.” Those who were fighting to secure freedom from an off-shore power broker and create a government AND BUSINESSES controlled and worked by those who lived on this continent, Americans with their allies (the French, Oneidas, Onondagas, and others) were at a “fork in the river” in the years following the Declaration of Independence of 1776. Newark Valley was established in the later part of the 18th Century primarily by pioneers moving westward from Massachusetts.
As this little blog is being established, I also equate (metaphorically) past “forks in the river” with certain leaders. For example, George Washington, General John Sullivan****, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Jimmy Carter are all examples of leaders who forged ahead at “forks in the river.” There are more.
Is it worth considering the impact of Adam Smith and Andrew Carnegie on our American success? Also, is it worth considering forgotten heroes like Colonel Marinus Willett, Ensign John Barr, Captain Frederick Schoonmaker, General Douglas MacArthur, or General Dwight D. Eisenhower?
This blog hopes to encourage positive solutions “at the fork.” Like Teddy Roosevelt’s “Progressive Bull Moose Party” of 1912, this blog is a progressive blog and is created by a person who admires TR and other progressives. Progressives and liberals are to be thanked, not demonized.
Gracias, Tioga Herald.
This is the Tioga Herald.
* – Some translate “Tioga” as “swift current” or “fair and beautiful.” Unless in the Watkins Glen area of New York (or the falls on the Finger Lakes), I don’t recall very many “swift currents” near the border between New York and Pennsylvania – the area near the old Native “Tioga” village. “Fair and beautiful?” Who knows?
** – Do not recall the date, but it was prior to my mother’s death in 2009, I read John Camp’s obituary. Unknown to me at the time, but apparently Mr. Camp had been an aide to Governor Nelson Rockefeller.
*** – Check out Rollie’s flag, supposedly the first hoisted by American troops in European occupation areas after Hitler’s defeat.
**** – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Sullivan (see the Tioga Herald commentary about Gen. Sullivan)
—- Updated 28 October 2012
Comments on: "About" (1)
I just read your editorial about how those who support the tea party in their goal to sabotage America (via creating a default and through other means) are traitors. I loved it. Very true, and humorous too. Yes, it is amazing how millions of those who are being harmed by the Repubs blame the Democrats for the very things that Bush and other Republicans actually did! And they keep voting Republican. * * * By the way, I also read your ‘about this blog’, where you got “Tioga” from. In Califiornia in Yosemite national park the Tioga Road is one of the loveliest drives in the country. Stunning mountain scenery, you must drive it sometime. Named after the Tioga indians.