Grand Island, New York, is the largest island in the Niagara River and was purchased from the Iroquois Indians by representatives of the state of New York on September 12, 1815, for one thousand dollars. Previously the home of many Native American villages, either built by Senecas, Neutres, or Mohawks, who left behind many remnants of their time here. Projectile points, tomahawks, brass kettles and a Jesuit ring have been recovered on the island, as well as an Indian burial mound near what is now Beaver Island State Park.
Father Louis Hennepin referred to Grand Island in his book Nouvelle Decouverte published in 1697. He refers to the sailing of the ship Griffon up the Niagara to its docking point between Grand Island and Squaw Island. The island was also used as a staging point for both French and Indians during the French and Indian War.