Indian Forts

Fort-Illustration-from-Gaynell-stone-thematic-map-2 Indian Forts Jeremy Dennis On This Site
Contact Period Fort Corchaug near Cutchoge, other forts were at Shelter Island, Montauk, Napeague, Massapequa and Shinnecock. Illustration from Gaynell Stone’s Indian Place Names Thematic Map, 1991


For some time, according to John Strong, it has been known that Indians on Long Island built palisaded forts to protect themselves from other tribes. It is believed the forts were occupied from around 1000 A.D. to about 1640, the year the English landed in large numbers on the East End. 1

During the mid-17th century Contact period, the construction by the Native people of a series of “fortified places” continued due to increasing interaction with the ever-encroaching traders and settlers. Again, it is mainly the archaeological record that reveals the shape (based on European models), size, siting, and use of these forts — some more for trade, others more for defense.

Long Island had more Contact period Native forts than any other area of the country. Extensive research has been compiled by Dr. Gaynell Stone in her 2006 Vol. VIII, The Native Forts of the Long Island Sound Area.

Fort Sites

  1.  Wick, S. (1990, June 8). Shinnecock Discovery – Remains of village, fort may be 1,000 years old. Newsday. pp. 3[]