Herkimer (village), New York
Herkimer, New York
Herkimer Municipal Hall, September 2009
Location within Herkimer County
|• Mayor||Mark Netti, (D) |
|• Total||2.70 sq mi (7.00 km2)|
|• Land||2.59 sq mi (6.70 km2)|
|• Water||0.12 sq mi (0.30 km2)|
|Elevation||384 ft (117 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||2,806.03/sq mi (1,083.25/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||0952621|
Herkimer is a village on the north side of the Mohawk River and the county seat of Herkimer County, New York, United States, about 15 miles (24 km) southeast of Utica. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 7,743. It was part of the Burnetsfield Patent and the first European-American settlement this far west in the Mohawk Valley.
The village takes its name from the Herkimer family, Palatine German immigrants who settled in the area in 1723. The most notable family member 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 Herkimer County; together they are referred to as "The Herkimers". The citizens of the village are served by three levels of government of the same name: the village, the town and the county of Herkimer. (Only the residents of the village of Madison and New York County, also in New York, share a similar distinction.)
The region had been part of the territory of the Iroquois Mohawk Native American people for centuries. Their villages were linked by winding paths through the wilderness and along the Mohawk River. By the early 18th century, they had two main villages in the Mohawk River valley, Teantontalago to the east, known by the English as the Lower Mohawk Castle, and Canajoharie to the west, known as the Upper Mohawk Castle. The English built Fort Hunter near the Lower Mohawk Castle.
Palatine Germans first arrived in New York 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 2,800 Germans arrived in ten ships at present-day Manhattan. They were at first quarantined on Nutten Island (now known as Governors 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. As early as 1712, some went on upriver to settle along Schoharie Creek in the Mohawk Valley.
In 1722, in response to a request by the German Palatine leaders Joseph Petrie and Conrad Rickert, Governor William Burnet granted the Palatines a lease to purchase land from the Mohawk Nation in the vicinity of the confluence of West Canada Creek and the Mohawk River. After a survey of the land was completed in 1723, many more settlers arrived in the area between 1723 and 1725. They settled on both the north and south sides of the Mohawk River. The area was originally known as "Burnetsfield", named in honor of the governor. The Burnetsfield Patent, granted April 13, 1725, assigned 100-acre (0.40 km2) lots to about ninety heads of family. The area was also referred to at times as "Stone Ridge", "The Flats", "The Falls", and most commonly, due to the mostly German immigrant population and the flat floodplain topography, as German Flatts. This was the first European-American settlement this far west in the Mohawk Valley.
Shortly after 1722, a blockhouse and a church were erected in the village on the north side of the river. This site was later developed as the present Reformed Church. The first known minister was the Reverend George Michael Weiss, who served from 1735 to 1742. A schoolhouse was erected in 1745. Weiss 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.
During the French and Indian War, the town was twice attacked by the French and their native American allies, in November 1757 (cf. Attack on German Flatts (1757)) and again in April 1758, when the settlement on the south side of the river and Fort Herkimer were attacked, and about 30 settlers were killed. Captain Nicholas Herkimer held the command of the fort, assembling all of the settlers he could within it.
During the Revolutionary War, the town was attacked multiple times by Loyalists and Iroquois allies, as were other German settlements in the valley. One of these raids was by 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 of the river were also attacked. George, Catherine and Nicholas Demuth were among children captured by the Onondaga during a raid in 1779, while they were playing outside the fort. After the war, during prisoner exchange, George and Catherine returned to the Demuth family. Nicholas, the youngest, had been adopted by an Onondaga chief and become assimilated. He chose to stay with the tribe for the rest of his life. Although he maintained contact with his birth family, he accompanied the Onondaga and lived with them on a reservation outside Syracuse. He married into the tribe and worked as an interpreter and negotiator.
The village of Herkimer was attacked for the last time during the war 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, and thirteen houses and two barns were burned.
Village of Herkimer
In 1788, the township of Herkimer was organized, and the town had come to be known generally as the "Village of Herkimer". In 1791, when Herkimer County was organized, the village of Herkimer was established as the county seat. By 1797, the village had a courthouse, a jail, and a Reformed Dutch Church, with about 40 houses and a population of approximately 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.
By the mid-to-late 19th century, the village was served by the New York Central & Hudson River Railroad, a branch of which (the Mohawk and Malone Railway) extended north through the Adirondacks to Malone. An inter-urban electric trolley traveled on railways among villages and Little Falls, Syracuse, Richfield Springs, Cooperstown and Oneonta. The Erie Canal, built from 1817 to 1825, also served villages and towns in the valley, carrying increased traffic and trade between the Great Lakes and the Hudson River and port of New York.
By the late 19th century, the village had a public library. The Folts Mission Institute opened in 1893 as a training school for young women under the auspices of the Women's Foreign Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1907, a monument was erected by the village to honor General Herkimer.
The Herkimer County shootings took place partially in Herkimer on March 13, 2013.
The Herkimer County Courthouse, Herkimer County Jail, Herkimer County Historical Society, The Reformed Church, Palatine German Frame House, and United States Post Office are all listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2000, the United States Congress designated the historic route of the Erie Canal, which runs through Herkimer village, as the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. The villages, towns and landscape are all included in this designation as elements contributing to its significance.
Places of interest in modern-day Herkimer
Herkimer County Community College
Herkimer County Community College is a two-year community college in the northwest part of the village, bounded on the north by Reservoir Road.
Mudville Softball Complex
The Mudville Softball Complex (which takes its name from the fictional town in the poem "Casey at the Bat"), on Route 28 just north of Herkimer, hosts interscholastic and travel team softball tournaments throughout the spring and summer. The facility is also home of the New York State High School Softball Hall of Fame.
Established in 1907 as a private country club, the now public Mohawk Valley Country Club has an 18-hole golf course, driving range, practice green and tennis courts. It is located on State Route 5 just east of Herkimer.
Herkimer diamond mines
Plantation Island wildlife management area
The Plantation Island State Wildlife Management Area, consisting of approximately 300 acres (120 ha) of Mohawk River floodplain, lies on the opposite shore of West Canada Creek just southeast of the village. A smaller wildlife management area, providing access and parking for fishing on the creek, is just northeast of the village, along Shells Bush Road, across the Donald J. Mitchell Bridge from State Route 28.
The village of Herkimer is located at coordinates  in central New York state, approximately halfway between Syracuse and Albany and 15 miles (24 km) southeast of Utica. It is served by Exit 30 on the New York State Thruway (Interstate 90). New York State Route 5 (State Street) and New York State Route 28 (Don Reile Boulevard/South Caroline Street/Mohawk Street) intersect and combine for a short distance within the village. The village is in the southern part of the town of Herkimer and has a total area of 2.7 square miles (7.0 km2), of which 2.6 square miles (6.7 km2) are land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km2), or 4.27%, are water.(43.026207, -74.990304),
The Herkimer/Middleville area is a favorite collecting area for rockhounds due to 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, they are sometimes used as gemstones and incorporated into jewelry. The minerals formed in Cambrian age limestone and dolomite, probably from groundwater 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. They can break up rock or screen soil weathered from it to find the quartz. The quartz itself is resistant to weathering.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Herkimer has one daily newspaper, the Times Telegram published in nearby Utica. Herkimer is also part of the Utica media market. Three radio stations are licensed to Herkimer: WNRS (1420 AM), WXUR (92.7 FM), and WVHC (91.5 FM) (which is licensed to Herkimer County Community College).
- George Cogar (1932-1983), computer pioneer, businessman
- Jonas Folts (1808–1876; native of Herkimer), Wisconsin State Assemblyman and farmer
- Nicholas Herkimer (c. 1728-1777), American Revolutionary War general
- Charles S. Millington (1855–1913), U.S. congressman 1909–1911
- Donald J. Mitchell (1923-2003), U.S. congressman 1973-1983
- H.M. Quackenbush (1847-1933), inventor and industrialist, founder of the H.M. Quackenbush Co. in Herkimer
- Horace H. Witherstine (1852-1924), physician, mayor of Rochester, Minnesota, and Minnesota state senator
In popular culture
- Theodore Dreiser's 1925 novel An American Tragedy is a fictionalized account of the events related to the 1908 trial and conviction of Chester Gillette for the murder of Grace Brown at Big Moose Lake in the Adirondacks. He was held in the Herkimer County Jail. The novel was adapted several times for stage plays, as well as for film and TV versions. These included the 1951 Paramount film A Place in the Sun, starring Elizabeth Taylor, Montgomery Clift and Shelley Winters. Two non-fiction books recounted the historic murder case and execution of Gillette: Adirondack Tragedy: The Gillette Murder Case of 1906, by Joseph W. Brownell and Patricia A. Wawrzaszek; and Murder in the Adirondacks: An American Tragedy Revisited, by Craig Brandon.
- Walter D. Edmonds' novel Drums Along the Mohawk (1936) recounts the story of Adam Helmer's run to save the village during the Revolutionary War, together with an overview of the Germans' colonial settlement along the river. It was adapted as a film of the same name, released in 1939, directed by John Ford and starring Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert.
- In the 1940s century the disparaging epithet "Herkimer Jerkimer" developed currency in New York City and other large cities. Its meaning is similar to yokel or country bumpkin.
- "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
- "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (G001): Herkimer village, New York". American Factfinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
- Encyclopædia Britannica, "Herkimer", 1911.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
- "Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor". Retrieved September 25, 2012.
- Mohawk Valley Country Club, Mohawk Valley Country Club Homepage, Retrieved 2015-06-16
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "New York by County - GCT-PH1. Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2000". American FactFinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2020-02-12. Retrieved 2008-08-14.
- "Herkimer village, New York - Fact Sheet". American FactFinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2020-02-12. Retrieved 2008-08-14.
- "New York by Place and County Subdivision - GCT-P7. Households and Families: 2000". American FactFinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2011-07-21. Retrieved 2008-08-14.
- "Table DP-1. Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 2000, Geographic area: Herkimer village, New York" (PDF). Census 2000 Profiles. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-03-27. Retrieved 2008-08-14.
- Allen, Irving Lewis (December 1993) . The City in Slang: New York Life and Popular Speech. Oxford University Press. pp. 3, 245. ISBN 978-0-19-509265-3.
- Burkardt, John (2008-06-27). "Itty Bitty: Rhyming Nonsense". Archived from the original on 2008-09-20. Retrieved 2008-08-12.
a humorous name, a rustic, a stupid man
- 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.
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Herkimer .|
- Village of Herkimer official website Retrieved 2015-06-28
- Herkimer County website Retrieved 2015-06-28
- US GenWeb Project - Town of Herkimer
- The Evening Telegram - village newspaper
- Herkimer Home State Historic Park, NYS Parks
- Plantation Island Wildlife Mgt. Area, NYS Parks
- Herkimer Humane Society Retrieved 2015-06-28