Shew Hill Marker

Shew’s Hill

House on Shew's Hill


IF you read the exploits of the Shew family of old Fish House, they mention a high rise of ground overlooking the Sacandaga River; it became a good location to see anyone passing up or down the river. During the many aids down the Sacandaga during our American Revolutionary War, Godfrey Shew used this location to station one of his sons, to forewarn them of any approaching enemy. It has ever since been known locally as Shew’s Hill. The Fish House (Northampton) Cemetery is located here as well and the Home of Doctor Orton, an early physician in the town. His son, Percy Orton, was instrumental in suggesting a number of these markers in the hamlet.

Location: this marker is located in the Hamlet of Fish House, on the north side of a short dead end road off Route 110. It is the first road pass the intersection in the hamlet of Fish House ( Rout 110 and 109). Turn off Route 110 by the Methodist Church, proceed down the dead end road, and it is just a short way down on the north side of the road.

“Early in the morning of June 3rd, Woodworth with Godfrey and John Shew left the house in order to find the enemy’s whereabouts. Jacob and Stephen stayed behind to guard the house. After traveling some distance, the scouting party was surprised and taken prisoners by a party of Indians under Lieutenant John Ross. They were taken to the enemy’s nearby encampment.

Jacob who had been stationed on a knoll near the house that overlooked the nearby Sacondaga River, saw a canoe coming down the river and he ran back home to inform his mother about the presence of the enemy that came from another direction.

The Shew home and barn were set on fire leaving Mrs. Shew with her small children homeless. The enemy took Jacob and Stephen to the main encampment where the other prisoners were held. Mrs. Shew with her children started Johnstown and they arrived there on June 4th.

On December 1st, Jacob with his father and brother with other prisoners were put on ships and taken to Boston where they would be exchanged for prisoners held by the Americans. The Shews on being set free started on their long journey home. On reaching Sudbury about twenty miles from Boston, Jacob took sick with small-pox. Jacob was left with a Patriot family to be cared for. Godfrey and Stephen continued on their journey home and they reached Johnstown on January 1, 1779, New Year’s Day. Jacob arrived at Johnstown cured of the small-pox on March 17, 1779, it being St. Patrick’s Day.”

The above is transcribed from pages of the book, Fulton County in the Revolution By James F. Morrison and typed by dedicated volunteer, Peggy Menear for Fulton County