Herkimer (village), New York

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See also: German Flatts
Herkimer, New York
Herkimer Municipal Hall, September 2009
Herkimer Municipal Hall, September 2009
Location within Herkimer County
Location within Herkimer County
Herkimer, New York is located in New York
Herkimer, New York
Herkimer, New York
Location within the state of New York
Coordinates: 43°1′34″N 74°59′25″W / 43.02611°N 74.99028°W / 43.02611; -74.99028Coordinates: 43°1′34″N 74°59′25″W / 43.02611°N 74.99028°W / 43.02611; -74.99028
Country United States
State New York
County Herkimer
 • Mayor Mark M. Ainsworth
 • Total 2.5 sq mi (6.6 km2)
 • Land 2.4 sq mi (6.3 km2)
 • Water 0.1 sq mi (0.3 km2)
Elevation 384 ft (117 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 7,743
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 13350
Area code(s) 315
FIPS code 36-34121
GNIS feature ID 0952621
Website village.herkimer.ny.us

Herkimer is a village on the north side of the Mohawk River in Herkimer County, New York, United States, about 13 miles (21 km) southeast of Utica. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 7,743 people.[1] The village is named after the Herkimers, Palatine German immigrants who settled in this area in 1723. The most notable one was Nicholas Herkimer, a general of the Tryon County militia, who died from wounds received at the Battle of Oriskany in the American Revolutionary War.

The village is located within the Town of Herkimer, and together they are referred to as "The Herkimers". In fact, the citizens of the village are served by three political entities of the same name: the village of Herkimer, the town of Herkimer and the county of Herkimer. (Citizens of New York County share a similar distinction.)

The village is the county seat for the county of Herkimer.

Herkimer County Community College, located in the northwest part of the village, was founded in 1966 by the Herkimer County Board of Supervisors.


German Flatts[edit]

In 1700, the region was part of the territory of the Iroquois Mohawk Native American tribe. The villages were linked by winding paths through the wilderness and the Mohawk River.

Palatine Germans first arrived in New York State in August 1708, with most arriving in the summer of 1710. Refugees from religious wars in Europe, they had agreed to exchange work for passage to the New York colony. This was arranged by Queen Anne's government, and in 1710 nearly 2800 Germans arrived in ten ships at present-day Manhattan. They were at first quarantined on Nutter's Island, until the ship fevers ran their course. In exchange they worked for some time in camps along the Hudson River to manufacture British naval supplies. Some went to the Mohawk Valley as early as 1712.

In 1722, in response to the request by the German Palatine leaders Joseph Petrie and Conrad Rickert, Governor Burnet granted the Palatines a lease to purchase land from the Mohawk in the vicinity of where the West Canada Creek flows into the Mohawk River. After the land was surveyed in 1723, most of the original settlers arrived between 1723 and 1725. The Burnetsfield patent, granted April 13, 1725, assigned 100-acre (0.40 km2) lots to about ninety heads of family. They settled on both the north and south sides of the river. This area was originally known as Burnetsfield, named in honor of the Governor. It was also referred to as Stone Ridge, The Flats, The Falls, and most commonly, because of the mostly German population and the flat topography, as German Flatts.

Shortly after 1722, a blockhouse and a church were erected in the village at the present site of the Reformed Church. The first known minister was the Reverend George Michael Weiss who served from 1735 to 1742. He was followed in 1751 by the Elder Rosencrantz, who was succeeded by his son the Reverend Abraham Rosencrantz, the latter serving until his death in 1796.

A schoolhouse was erected in 1745.

During the French and Indian War the town was twice attacked, by the French and their native allies on November 1757 (Attack on German Flatts (1757)) and April, 1758 (Attack on German Flatts (1758). In 1758, the settlement on the south side of the river and Fort Herkimer was attacked, and about 30 settlers were killed. Captain Nicholas Herkimer held the command of the fort, and he assembled all the settlers he could within the fort.

During the Revolutionary War, the town was attacked multiple times by loyalists, as were other German settlements in the valley. One of these raids was by the Butler's Rangers in September 1778. (see Attack on German Flatts (1778)) The village was defended by Fort Dayton.

Fort Herkimer and the settlement on the south side were also attacked. George, Catherine and Nicholas Demuth were among children captured by the Onondaga during a raid, as they were playing outside the fort. After the war, during prisoner exchange, George and Catherine returned to their Demuth family. Nicholas, the youngest, had been adopted by an Onondaga chief and chose to stay with the people for the rest of his life. He went with them to a reservation outside Syracuse and worked as an interpreter.

The town was attacked by the last time on July 15, 1782 by about five hundred Tories and Iroquois. Two residents were killed, Johann Christian Schell and his son, Denis Augustinius Schell. The rest managed to reach the safety of the fort. Fifty horses were taken and fifteen killed, 180 cattle were taken and thirteen killed, thirteen houses and two barns were burnt.


By 1797, the village had a courthouse, jail, and the Reformed Dutch Church, and about 40 houses and a population of about 250. The village was incorporated in 1807. Its charter was amended in 1832 to enlarge the village. In 1875, the village dispensed with its special charter and organized the village under the state law of the time.

In the mid-20th century, the disparaging epithet "Herkimer Jerkimer," referring to the name of the village, developed currency in larger cities, particularly in New York City. Its meaning is essentially the same as "yokel".[2][3][4]

National Register of Historic Places[edit]

The Herkimer County Courthouse, Herkimer County Jail, Herkimer County Historical Society, The Reformed Church, Palatine German Frame House, and United States Post Office are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[5]

Mudville Softball Complex[edit]

The Mudville Softball Complex on Route 28 in Herkimer, New York, hosts many Interscholastic and Travel Team Softball Tournaments throughout the spring and summer. The facility is also the home for the New York State High School Softball Hall of Fame.

2013 Shooting[edit]

On March 13, 2013, Herkimer was the center of deadly gun attacks committed by 64-year-old Kurt Myers, that left five people dead, including the gunman, and two others injured. Two people were shot dead at a local barbershop in Mohawk, New York and two were injured. Shortly afterwards two more people were shot dead at Gaffey's Fast Lube and Car Wash in Herkimer at around 9:30 am; Police cornered Myers, suspected of the killings, on North Main Street in Herkimer at 8:15 am on March 14; there was a shoot-out in which he was killed.[6][7]


The Village of Herkimer is located at coordinates 43°1′34″N 74°59′25″W / 43.02611°N 74.99028°W / 43.02611; -74.99028 (43.026207, -74.990304),[8] in Central New York State, approximately halfway between Syracuse and Albany and 13 miles (21 km) southeast of Utica. It is at Exit 30 on the New York State Thruway (Interstate 90). New York State Route 5 and New York State Route 28 intersect and combine for a short distance within the village.

The village has a total area of 2.54 square miles (6.6 km2), of which 0.12 square miles (0.31 km2) is water.[9]

Herkimer is at the confluence of the Mohawk River and its tributary, West Canada Creek. The Plantation Island Wildlife Management Area is on the opposite shore of West Canada Creek.

Geological information[edit]

The Herkimer/Middleville area is a favorite collecting area for rockhounds because of its vast deposits of large, low-inclusion quartz crystals known as "Herkimer diamonds," similar to "Cape May diamonds." Although the minerals are not true diamonds and not generally used as gemstones, they have become popular as small trinkets. The minerals formed in Cambrian age limestone and dolostone, probably from ground water action after the original formation of the rock in an ancient sea. According to locals, it is considered lucky to recover a crystal still partly embedded in a chunk of its host rock.

Several commercial mines cater to tourists, who can break up rock or screen soil weathered from it—quartz itself is resistant to weathering.


As of the 2000 census, there were 7,498 people, 3,184 households, and 1,687 families residing in the village. The population density was 3,107.1 inhabitants per square mile (1,199.7/km2). There were 3,528 housing units at an average density of 1,462.0 per square mile (564.5/km2).[9] The racial makeup of the village was 96.1% White, 1.2% Black or African American, 0.2% Native American, 1.2% Asian, 0.5% from other races, and 0.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.4% of the population.[1]

Of the households, 23.6% had children under the age of 18 living in them, 36.6% were married couples living together, 11.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 47.0% were non-family households. 35.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.21 and the average family size was 2.87.[10]

19.2% of the residents were under the age of 18, 15.3% from 18 to 24, 22.5% from 25 to 44, 20.5% from 45 to 64, and 22.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39.4 years. For every 100 females there were 88.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.9 males.[11]

The median income for a household in the village was $24,762, and the median income for a family was $38,892. Males had a median income of $30,266 versus $19,438 for females. The per capita income for the village was $16,498. About 8.1% of families and 14.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.5% of children under age 18 and 10.0% of those age 65 or over.[11]

In popular culture[edit]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Herkimer village, New York - Fact Sheet". American FactFinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-08-14. 
  2. ^ Allen, Irving Lewis (December 1993) [1994]. The City in Slang: New York Life and Popular Speech. Oxford University Press. pp. 3, 245. ISBN 978-0-19-509265-3. 
  3. ^ Burkardt, John (2008-06-27). "Itty Bitty: Rhyming Nonsense". Retrieved 2008-08-12. a humorous name, a rustic, a stupid man 
  4. ^ McKinley, Jesse (1995-11-19). "F.Y.I.". New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2008-08-12. A 'Herkimer Jerkimer?' Why, that's a local yokel, you rube. 
  5. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  6. ^ Carroll, Sean (March 14, 2013). "Suspect Killed In Shootout In Herkimer". WHAM-TV. Retrieved 2013-06-10. 
  7. ^ Carpenter, Jake (March 14, 2013). "Four killed in upstate New York shootings, police say". CNN. Retrieved 2013-06-10. 
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  9. ^ a b "New York by County - GCT-PH1. Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2000". American FactFinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-08-14. 
  10. ^ "New York by Place and County Subdivision - GCT-P7. Households and Families: 2000". American FactFinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-08-14. 
  11. ^ a b "Table DP-1. Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 2000, Geographic area: Herkimer village, New York" (PDF). Census 2000 Profiles. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-08-14. 

External links[edit]