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Rome Sand Plains Geologic Time Line

The Rome Sand Plains area has a long history beginning with the geological past right up through its importance in the exploration, trade and westward settlement of central New York and the great lakes region.

Time Line for the Rome Sand Plains area
Time Period Major Events
450 million years before present formation of bedrock, layers of siltstone and shale
10,000 years before present sand on east shores of Lake Iroquois deposited and dunes formed
3,000 BC to 1500 AD mixed deciduous - conifer forest type
1500-1950's Pitch pine community believed to develop due to fire disturbance, becoming more mixed deciduous in past 50 years due to fire suppression
Before 1700's Native American's name for this area is Deo-Wain-Sta, or "The Great Carrying Place," referring to the portage between the Mohawk River and Wood Creek - an important east/west trade route
1700's Boats coming up the Mohawk River had to transfer their cargo (and boats) the 1.7 miles through the carry to Wood Creek to continue west. The area had military significance with several forts built over the years and battles fought here during both the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War
1792 Western Inland Lock Navigation Company formed
1793 Mini-canals on Wood Creek (cut across the necks of land for navigation)
1797 Rome Canal built by Western Inland Lock Navigation Company
1820 Erie Canal replaced Wood Creek route
1960's First recognized for its unique plants and animals by local birding groups
1970's DEC and Oneida County Environmental Management Council take note of the Rome Sand Plains for its unique character
1985 DEC purchases first parcels in the area
1987-1994 Durham Project surveys the historical structures along Wood Creek
1990's TNC, DEC, City of Rome, Oneida County, Izaak Walton League and private citizens began work to protect the Rome Sand Plains
1997 These groups form the management team and formally dedicate the Rome Sand Plains Resource Management Area
1998 Begin planting of native Lupine Flowers in barren sand openings for preserving the Frosted Elfin Butterfly population
2001 Chazen companies hired to work with the management team on a management plan for the area
2003 Management plan for the Rome Sand Plains Resource Management Area completed
2004 Recent acquisitions result in a current total of about 4000 acres managed by the Rome Sand Plains Management Team

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