From this point General Nicholas Herchheimer, known as General Herkimer, started August 3, 1777, to take command of the men who assembled in answer to his call to fight in defense of the Mohawk Valley.
Placed by German-American Alliance of the State of New York, June 14, 1912.
(40-Mile Route Marker)
General Herkimerís father, Johan Jost Herchheimer was one of a number of refugees who, in 1725, settled at German Flatts. He was an industrious farmer who also engaged in trade and transport on the Mohawk River, and held important contracts to provision the military garrison at Fort Ontario. As a major Mohawk Valley landowner, he acquired over 5,000 acres of land south of the Mohawk. It was here, about 1752, that his eldest son Nicholas established a farmstead.
Nicholas Herkimer pursued his own interests in farming and trade, which were particularly profitable during the French and Indian Wars. About 1764, he was able to replace his earlier dwelling with the English, Georgian-style mansion that, today, is, the Herkimer Home.
By the 1770s, Nicholas Herkimer had become the wealthiest and most prominent member of the Mohawk Valley's German-American community and was active in local civil affairs. Herkimer gained military experience as a captain of militia during the French and Indian Wars. At the outbreak of the Revolution, firmly embracing the American cause, he was elected chairman of the Tryon County Committee of Safety and commissioned brigadier general, commander of the county's militia.
On August 7, 1777, after being wounded at the Battle of Oriskany, Herkimer was carried back to his home, where about ten days later his leg was unskillfully amputated. Reading the 38th Psalm from his Bible, he died calmly a few hours later. Herkimerís reputation as a hero of the American Revolution grew immediately and today, his home is a shrine to the fallen hero.
After the Battle of Oriskany, the wounded General Herkimer returned home where he died on August 16 or 17, 1777. His grave remained unmarked until a simple tablet was erected by a family member in 1847. Other members of the Herkimer family and later occupants of the house are also buried here.
To prevent further deterioration from acid rain, in 1988 General Herkimerís gravestone was replaced by a cast synthetic reproduction. The original is on display in the Visitor Center.
It was acquired by the State of New York in 1913. The Herkimer monument, 60 feet high, and the stonewall around the burial plot, were erected and dedicated in 1896. In the 1960s a major restoration was completed. The unspoiled landscape, including the Herkimer family burying ground, for the most part, remains unchanged from that of the eighteenth century.
The Herkimer Home site is open mid-May through October, Weds-Saturday from 10 AM to 5 PM and Sundays 1-5 PM from Memorial Day to Labor Day. On Sunday afternoons, staff in period costume demonstrate household and farm activities.
Indian Castle Church -- In 1769, Sir William Johnson built the church on land owned by Joseph Brant, the warrior Mohawk chief.
During the war, the Indians tried to steal the bell of their old church, but in the process they accidentally set the bell ringing. Alarmed patriots armed themselves, discovered the Indian plot and recovered the bell.
Onto Fort Klock, New York
Back to a Revolutionary Day