One of Denmark Township's historic landmarks has been preserved, the South Denmark Road covered bridge over Mill Creek.

One of Denmark Township's historic landmarks has been preserved, the South Denmark Road covered bridge over Mill Creek.

Heavy Forests -- Seneca Indians Populated This Township During It's Beginnings

Heavy Forests -- Seneca Indians Populated This Township During It's Beginnings

By Catherine Ellsworth (1976)

By Catherine Ellsworth (1976)

The heavy forests of Denmark were abundant with black panther, wolf, bear and deer. The land was, and is, very flat, with much ditching required to drain the now fertile fields cleared many years ago of huge trees. In the early years of settlement, Seneca Indians, friendly to their new white neighbors, were still in the area, quietly reluctant to give up their hunting grounds.

Peter Knapp was the first settler in the township. He emigrated from Windham, New York. He arrived on July 9, 1809, and set up a crude shelter for his family before nightfall. The "house" consisted of six stakes driven in the ground to support a crude pole roof and covered with the canvas wagon cover which had sheltered them on their journey. This was their home until their first log house was built on their land in the present South Denmark. Peter's daughter, Laura, was born in 1811, the first white child born in Denmark.

 At the time of organization in 1813, Denmark was separated from Jefferson and included Dorset, Richmond and Pierpont Townships. Pierpont organized in 1818 and included Richmond. Dorset organized in 1824 under the name of Millford. 

 A busy settlement developed at what is known as Griggs Corners, the northwest corner of the township. It was named Solomon Griggs, for whom the creek in that area was also named. The community was never able to develop as a unit, due to the fact that the "corners" was the joining point of four different townships, Plymouth, Sheffield, Jefferson and Denmark.

 According to one former student of Denmark schools, some youngsters were fortunate enough to ride a flat boat over the snowy countryside to and from their school. It was not unusual to have one's lunch freeze in a pocket on the way to school on a wintry day. The one-room schools were warmed by pot-bellied stoves, which consumed great quantities of wood and coal. All drank from a dipper in the water bucket with everyone taking turns walking to the pump to fill that bucket.

The heavy forests of Denmark were abundant with black panther, wolf, bear and deer. The land was, and is, very flat, with much ditching required to drain the now fertile fields cleared many years ago of huge trees. In the early years of settlement, Seneca Indians, friendly to their new white neighbors, were still in the area, quietly reluctant to give up their hunting grounds.

Peter Knapp was the first settler in the township. He emigrated from Windham, New York. He arrived on July 9, 1809, and set up a crude shelter for his family before nightfall. The "house" consisted of six stakes driven in the ground to support a crude pole roof and covered with the canvas wagon cover which had sheltered them on their journey. This was their home until their first log house was built on their land in the present South Denmark. Peter's daughter, Laura, was born in 1811, the first white child born in Denmark.

 At the time of organization in 1813, Denmark was separated from Jefferson and included Dorset, Richmond and Pierpont Townships. Pierpont organized in 1818 and included Richmond. Dorset organized in 1824 under the name of Millford. 

 A busy settlement developed at what is known as Griggs Corners, the northwest corner of the township. It was named Solomon Griggs, for whom the creek in that area was also named. The community was never able to develop as a unit, due to the fact that the "corners" was the joining point of four different townships, Plymouth, Sheffield, Jefferson and Denmark.

 According to one former student of Denmark schools, some youngsters were fortunate enough to ride a flat boat over the snowy countryside to and from their school. It was not unusual to have one's lunch freeze in a pocket on the way to school on a wintry day. The one-room schools were warmed by pot-bellied stoves, which consumed great quantities of wood and coal. All drank from a dipper in the water bucket with everyone taking turns walking to the pump to fill that bucket.

As scanned from our book.

As scanned from our book.

A modern color picture of it.

A modern color picture of it.

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