The Southern shoulder of Sugar Loaf Mountain, and the top of the valley East from MacGinnisburg and West to Lake Station Road, have been inhabited by mysterious albino and “Piebald” (mottled) White-Tailed Deer for as long as any residents can remember.
Native peoples in many American Cultures have consistently regarded the White Deer to be a spirit, typically that of an ancestor or benevolent soul transfigured from human form.
The Piebald is respected, by many Indian Cultures, as a spirit in the process of transforming to or from the spirit world. It is at this time of transformation that, as local Lenape believed, the spirit was at it’s most vulnerable, and hence, would die with the mortal form if killed by a hunter. As such, the Lenape, like most Native cultures, revered the White and Piebald Deer, and the killing of either was strongly tabooed, lest the killer suffer an untimely death, himself, and his spirit be usurped by the white deer.
This belief was passed on through the beliefs of the European settlers of our valley, and amongst older families it still holds true, today.
Some see the preponderance of Piebald and White Deer, in the Sugar Loaf Valley to the West of Sugar Loaf Mountain, as a sign of high spiritual activity and the continuance of old lenape souls moving between the real and spirit worlds.
– MIKE V. BENNETT (UNULA GAWOHILUDODI ATALVYI)