On South Hill...across from Chaseville, there is a place called Manaho Gorge. It is named for "Manaho," the only daughter of Chief Schenevus. Years ago, the now tine brook was a roaring stream which flowed into a foaming waterfall & cascaded down into a tranquil pool at the base of the gorge. It was here that the great tragedy of the tribe of Chief Schenevus...the tribe of the Speckled Trout occurred.
Schenevus was an Indian Chieftain in the region of the Susquehanna River. There was no Chief as powerful & feared as he. Chief Schenevus had many warriors under his command. He also had many scalps which hung in his wigwam. But even more than all his power, Chief Schenevus loved his daughter, Manaho. Manaho was light of foot, light of heart, happy and loving. Her voice was like rippling water and her form was like the passing of a soft breeze.
There were many lovers who sought the favor of Manaho, but she loved only one man...his name was Manatee, son of Wameto. Manaho and Manatee's favorite retreat was the pool at the bottom of the falls, in what is now called Manaho Gorge. One evening, while gazing into the pool, the young lovers' happy faces were mirrored side by side on it's tranquil surface. "Look," said Manaho, "we are there together." Manatee replied, "It is a sign from the Great Spirit that where I am, there you shall always be."
One clear summer morning, the braves of Chief Schenevus set out to hund deer. Manatee took the trail that led along the edge of the gorge. Another brave, named Ghangu, (who also loved Manaho), followed Manatee closely. At the edge of the gorge, high above the pool, Manatee stopped. He bent over the edge to gaze at the pool beneath. Ghangu took this opportunity to catch Manatee off guard. He sprung forward and pushed Manatee into the gorge. As he fell, the pines on the hill echoed Manatee's dying wail. The waters of the pool stirred greatly as they received him but were quick to close over him peacefully. Ghangu departed and was never seen again.
Later that evening, all of the hunters returned. All that is, except Manatee. Manaho, thinking that perhaps he was waiting for her at the gorge, went to the edge above the pool. He was not there. She leaned forward to gaze at the waters below and staring up at here were her lover's cold, still eyes. Manaho looked again and there mirrored on the surface, were their two faces side by side. It was then that she remembered the words of Manatee; "It is a sign from the Great Spirit that wherever I am, there you shall always be."
The two young lovers were found dead beneath the watery surface of the pool. Upon hearning the sad news of their discovery, the village mourned greatly for Manaho, the last blood of Chief Schenevus.
Since then, years have passed. It is said that even now, when twilight falls and the wind blow through Manaho Gorge, and echo in the hills still whispers, "Where you are, there too I shall always be."
What was then a great stream is now only a trickle, but there is a huge stone at the base of the falls where the pool of water lies, which bears a great red stain. It was here that the life blood of Manaho and Manatee was mingled.
So ends the legend of Chief Schenevus and Manaho Gorge.
Thank you to Chief Schenevus Restaurant and Bakery for sharing a pamphlet containing this legend.
Gold In Schenevus
During the Revolutionary War, it is said that Tories and Indians passed through the town of Maryland many times. There is a vague belief that during these trips, the Tories and Indians hid gold, believed to be either stolen or belonging to the British, near Schenevus. This belief was handed down and kept alive by descendants of the Tories and Indians, who visited Schenevus at various times aroused attention with their supposed strange movements, There is a story which goes along with this belief, and it goes as follows:
In 1870, an Indian claiming to be a medical doctor arrived in Schenevus. Soon after his arrival, two strangers drove up to a farmhouse a mile or two from Schenevus, had their horses put into a stable, and went off by themselves. They were seen in certain fields, apparently in search for something. After a couple of hours, they returned to the farm, got their horses, and left. A few days later, they came back at early evening, put their horses in the stable, and went away, only to return sometime during the night and ride off with their horses.
These strange movements aroused the curiosity of many people. This curiosity was increased by a report that these men were descendants of Tories who had lived in Schoharie County during the Revolutionary War times. A search was instituted for the cause for their strange movements. Measurements were found that had been made from certain springs and permanent landmarks, and stakes were stuck in the ground along these areas. At one point, there was an excavation of earth, in which the dirt that was thrown out was returned. The hole was reopened and at the bottom was the plain form of an old fireplace dinner pot with a flat stone near it that fit as a cover.
The searchers never found out what had been in that pot, but the belief is that it was filled with gold at one time.