THE TOWN OF HERKIMER
RESEARCH TIPS AND EVENTS 2004
THE MAIN COUNTY RESEARCH FACILITY IS:
HERKIMER COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY & 1834 JAIL
400 North Main Street, Herkimer, NY 13350
Telephone: (315) 866-6413
This location is also known as the Historical Four Corners. On a diagonal corner
is the Herkimer 1834 Jail Gift Shop which is open for tours using the same summer
hours as the Society.
Summer Hours for 2004
July - August:
Monday-Friday, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Saturdays from l0:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
SOME FACTS ABOUT HERKIMER
Herkimer is the oldest village in Herkimer County having been
incorporated out of the wilderness in April 1807 with a population
at that time of 300. We derive our name for our Revolutionary War
Hero, Gen. Nicholas Herkimer.
In the Census for Herkimer in 1990 there were 8,383 people living
in the Village and another 11,027 living in the Town of Herkimer
for a combined total of 19,410 inhabitants in the town and village.
We are located in Upstate New York about 70 miles west from Albany,
15 miles east from Utica, 23 miles north from Cooperstown and about
200 miles southeast from Niagara Falls.
The first settlers to the Herkimer area were Germans who, escaping
from their own country, were left destitute in England before
arriving here. Probably the very first settlement of the newcomers
was during the years 1723-1724 in Herkimer and in the neighboring
town of German Flatts. During these early years there were still
Indians occupying land in the area. It is obvious that the
newcomers not only had to struggle with clearing land, planting
crops, and providing shelter, etc., but also had to contend with
the Mohawk Indians. During the Revolution colonist were scattered.
After the Revolution many Canadians and New Englanders found their
way to our area.
Some of our main highways are Route 28 which heads north towards
Old Forge and the Blue Mountain area or south through Cooperstown,
then zigzagging its easterly route to Kingston, NY. Route 5 goes
east towards Albany and west towards Syracuse direction. We have a
handy exit off the Thruway (I-90) in Herkimer. These main routes
through Herkimer make it convenient for travellers to our area.
There are many motels, bed and breakfast homes, and restaurants in
and surrounding the village of Herkimer as well as camping grounds.
SOME VILLAGE BUILDINGS
In the Village of Herkimer is our Library, and a short distance
away sits Herkimer County Community College (HCCC) on a hill
overlooking the scenic beauty of the valley. There is an average
every year of 2,600 students attending college from various areas
around the state, some from out of state, but mainly from Herkimer
County and other nearby counties. There are also students attending
HCCC from other countries. Also, within the village is the Folts
Home for the elderly. This used to be a predominantly United
Methodist retirement home, but in keeping up with the times there
are no specific religious denomination requirements.
The FOLTS HOME has expanded considerably over the past few years so
that they now house 283 residents, plus there are 7 independent
living apartments, and l5 adults who attend the day program. There
is provided 24-hour resident assistance and professional nursing
staff. Not too long ago the Folts Home expanded their Alzheimer's
Unit so that they are able to provide services for 40 afflicted
people with this disorder who are included in the total above. The
Folts Home recently finished the construction of a new state-of-
the-art addition to the Home called Claxton Manor.
H.M. QUACKENBUSH, INC.
This company has been here on Prospect Street in Herkimer for many
years and is famous for its production of nutcrackers and
accessories. Their products are sold all over the world.
HALE MFG. CO.
Has provided employment for years in their German St. building and
is one of the last surviving manufacturers of office furniture. Is
located across the road from the historical red brick Pine House.
THINGS TO DO OR SEE
Herkimer has many picnic areas, regional parks, a bowling alley,
walking and jogging trails, fishing on the West Canada Creek, a
local swimming pool and a variety of businesses within the village.
There are also many antique dealers, frequent flea markets and
garage sales. It is not unusual during the good weather to see
people canoeing, kayaking, or tubing down the West Canada Creek.
During the summer months local people gather to hear free concerts
at Myers Park or the Folts Home (see below).
Herkimer has many churches of various denominations. Their
schedules appear in our local paper, The Evening Telegram, on
On Route 28 heading north just outside the village limit is the
Olde Phony Shop which is run by George Anderson (entrance is on
Farber Lane). It is best to call ahead to arrange a time when
Mr. Anderson will be there. He has over 200 antique crank
phonographs in his collection from Yesteryear. There is no charge
to view his interesting collection which he is very proud of. Open
April-November 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Telephone: (315) 866-2689
Despite being the largest village in the county, Herkimer retains
its small town flavor being nestled in the valley. On driving to
the rural areas one might see deer, raccoon, fox, pheasants, wild
turkeys, beaver, rabbits, and on occasion skunks, porcupines, large
turtles, many species of birds, ducks, etc. and in the past coy
dogs. In addition to sightseeing and viewing all the wildlife,
there is nothing like a ride to the beginning of the Adirondacks a
distance of about 20 miles from Herkimer. There are many golf
courses nearby on the outskirts of town.
The Herkimer area is serviced by a bus route provided by Utica Transit Authority. Also, the Trailways bus service with a station in Utica provides transportation to valley areas. The Erie Canal cuts through the outlying areas on the south side of Herkimer and provides a waterway for many yachts, barges and other assorted boats.
Ilion is a short distance from Herkimer where many of the people traveling up the canal stop to rest at the Ilion Marina and KAO campgrounds. The dock offers an 800 ft. berthing area with 11 Ft. Dp. Also provided are a Laundromat vending machines, fuel (Diesel & Gas), ice, shower/restrooms, gift shop, taxi, car rental, picnic tables and swings for the kids.
Oneida County Airport - about a one hour drive to Herkimer.
Syracuse Airport - about a two hour drive to Herkimer.
These airports both offer limousine service and have waiting taxi cabs.
July 1, 2004 - There will be an Independence Day Celebration at Herkimer County Community College on the campus lawn. Brooks Chicken Barbecue will be available for $6.75 beginning at 4:30. Harley Davidson motorcycle or cash of $10,000 raffle will be held at 8:30 p.m. at the Time Warner Music Court. Various entertainment and activities going on with a fireworks display held at dusk. Parking, fireworks and musical entertainment are free.
The Waterfront restaurant borders the Erie Canal offering a fine menu. On the other side of the restaurant is a gift shop where you can spend several hours browsing all the neat articles from clothing, candy, to collectibles and postcards. You will find this a wonderful shop/souvenir place you don't want to miss. Some things are $1 while others are pricey; it depends on what you care to spend or buy.
Lil' Diamond Cruises are scheduled to cruise the canal with two hour "Lock Thru" tours. Phone 315-717-0077 for information and reservations. The dock is behind the Waterfront restaurant, mentioned above. The cruise leaves Mohawk and goes to Little Falls and back with a very scenic route. June schedules are Saturdays and Sundays beginning at 1 or 4 p.m.
In Little Falls (about 8 miles from Herkimer) is a factory store called LaSalle Laboratories Outlet Store. They make and sell brand name cosmetics at discount prices. (Store Hours are: Mon-Thurs 8:30-4:00, Fri. 8:30-3:30 and Sat. 10:00-12:00.)
Little Falls has one of the highest water locks for boats/yachts traveling through the canal It is interesting to climb up the stairs and see the surrounding view and a fantastic place to take pictures. If you call ahead you might be able to find what time the lock will be in use. It is interesting to see the water raise and lower to let vessels pass through.
HERKIMER HOME - Little Falls
This was the home of Brigadier General Herkimer and is open for tours to the public from mid-May to Oct. Wednesday-Saturday 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Sundays from l:00 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Wheelchair accessible) At different times the Home has sheep shearing events for the public to observe, muskrat shooting demonstrations, cannon display, wool spinning and various other activities. The family cemetery is also located on the estate and visitors can view Gen. Herkimer's gravesite. General Nicholas Herkimer led the militia in 1777 during the bloodiest battle of the Revolution at Oriskany. Herkimer County is also named after Gen. Herkimer as is the county seat. Telephone: (315) 823-0398.
From time to time the Herkimer Home displays the Petrie bedcover which is believed to have been brought over by the Petrie family from Germany when they located in the area in the 1700's. It wasn't until several years ago when the owner of a home discovered a cardboard box tacked up under the cellar stairs. Upon removing and opening this box, he found the antique Petrie bedcover. The Herkimer Home obtained this bedcover when it was placed on the auction block with the Home placing the highest bid permitting them to obtain the item for displays. Because of its fragile condition, it is not displayed all the time as elements in the air would deteriorate the 250-300 year old delicate fabric.
Little Falls Antique Center (315) 823-4309. This consists of 2 mid-1800 stone mill buildings with over 50 antique dealers with separate shops for decorative arts, decorative garden, iron furniture and original art. (This was the former Daniel Green factory whom produced their own electricity) Email: littlefallsantiquecenter.com
In Herkimer on Marginal Road is the Silverado, a popular place to go dance and perhaps have a few drinks. The people are fun to watch even if you don't dance! This is a very popular place.
The Herkimer Diamond Mines is located about 7 miles down Route 28N from Herkimer. Here you can visit the museum and gift shop. People come from all over to dig for diamonds. Rental tools are available for those who want to try their hand at digging for these quartz crystals. On the same grounds is the Crystal Chandelier for dinners - the owner here is the same owner for the Waterfront mentioned earlier. Many articles, including souvenirs are on sale at the diamond mine store.
Utica Zoo (www.uticaZoo.org)
Open year-round - 10:00am - 5:00 pm. Located on Steele Hill Rd., Utica. Call 315-738-0472 for information about upcoming events and demonstrations. This year among the deer you will find an adorable newborn. This zoo is also proud to announce the arrival of bear cubs born about June 16, 2004. (About 40 minute drive from Herkimer.) email: www.uticazoo.org
Ye Olde Phony Shop - On Route 28, heading north just outside the village limit is the Olde Phony Shop which is run by George Anderson (the entrance is a right hand turn coming from Herkimer on Farber Lane). It is best to call ahead to arrange a time when Mr. Anderson will be there. He has over 200 antique crank phonographs in his collection from Yesteryear. There is no charge to view his interesting collection which he is very proud of. Open April-November from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Tel: (315) 866-2689.
Around Herkimer - Despite being the largest village in the county, Herkimer retains its small town flavor being nestled in the valley. Herkimer has many picnic areas, regional parks, walking and jogging trails, fishing on the West Canada Creek, a local swimming pool and a variety of businesses within the village. There are also many antique dealers, frequent flea markets and garage sales. It is not unusual during the good weather to see people canoeing, kayaking, or tubing down the West Canada Creek. There are many collectible/antique stores in and near the village of Herkimer.
During the summer months local people gather to hear free concerts at Myers Park or the Folts Home located within the village. Local talented people participate in the Ilion Civic Band in the parking lot in back of Eckerds Store.
Herkimer has many churches of various denominations. Their schedules appear in our local paper, The Evening Telegram, on Saturdays.
On driving to the rural areas one might see deer, raccoon, fox, pheasants, wild turkeys, beaver, rabbits, and on occasion skunks, porcupines, large turtles, many species of birds, ducks, etc. and in the past coy dogs. In addition to sightseeing and viewing all the wildlife, there is nothing like a ride to the beginning of the Adirondacks a distance of about 20 miles from Herkimer. There are many golf courses located around the outskirts of Herkimer.
Russell Park, Ilion. This is a very nice place to picnic. There is a playground for the kids and a pavilion. You can see for miles from here, or hike the 'Horseshoe Trail' . From NYS Thruway at Herkimer turn left and follow about 5 miles to Ilion. Turn left just past McDonalds to Rt. 5l. This road heads towards Ilion Gorge. Next, turn left at Weber Ave. where there is a sign that says Ilion Jr. Sr. High School. The park will be to the right of the school! It's very well worth the trip."
REMINGTON ARMS MUSEUM - Ilion
There's also the Remington Arms Museum. It's all very easy to get to, just exit the NYS Thruway at Herkimer turn left, follow the road (3-5 miles) through Mohawk, into Ilion. Take a left at the stoplight by Remington Arms, and follow about
1/4 mile. Museum is on your right. On display will be various articles manufactured over the years at Remington.
Approximately half a billion years ago, a shallow Cambrian sea lapped against the southern shores of the acestral Adirondack Mountains, part of which is now Herkimer, and the formation of diamonds (crystals) began. The limy sediments (calcium magnesium carbonate) which had slowly accumulated beneath the sea's salty waters were gradually compacted under the weights of thousands of feet of additional sediments, forming the rock strata. While still beneath the sea, water seeped through the pores of the rock often creating "vugs" by dissolving part of the rock. Millions of years later, water rich with silica filled these vugs and eventually evaporated or drained away leaving the silica which had grown by precipitation to form the quartz crystals. We have many people going through our area to the diamond mines to dig for quartz crystals, otherwise known as Herkimer Diamonds. These diamonds can be made up into elaborate jewelry such as necklaces, rings, pendants, decorations, etc.
People come from all over the United States as well as from other countries in search of these diamond-shaped geometrical crystals that appear to have been cut by man because of their shape and many facets. In the movie "Congo" the huge diamond used was found at one of the area's Herkimer Diamond Mines. Therefore, Herkimer was honored to provide this diamond to Hollywood for the making of the movie. The summer months are the busiest time of the year for the mine prospectors and it becomes a challenge for everyone to find the biggest diamond before they leave.
FOR WEATHER REPORTS ALONG THE NY STATE THRUWAY:
Dial "1-800-THRUWAY" for the most recent weather forecast along the Thruway areas.
FOR MORE DETAILED INFORMATION, MOTELS, RESTAURANTS, DRIVING MAPS, ETC.
Herkimer County Chamber of Commerce at:
ADIRONDACK SCENIC RR
Thomas the Tank Engine, Train Robberies, Wilderness Locale
Discover the Adirondacks, riding in our vintage, climate controlled, coaches or take in the fresh air in our open cars through remote forests, past sparkling rivers, over bridges, ponds and streams, into the magnificent beauty of the Adirondack Park. Witness nature's characters as you pass the preserved Utica Marsh and keep a lookout for the many deer that graze along the country side all the while you enjoy nature's show.
Relive the golden age of railroading, a time when the Adirondack line played host to the rich and famous on their way to their great camps. Our adventures offer many different scenic excursions departing from Utica's beautifully restored, Union Station. Our longest ride returns after a full day trip, passing many "flag" stops including Holland Patent, Remsen, Forestport, Woodgate and Otter Lake. The adventure is 2 1/4 hours each way with a 4-3/4 layover in Thendara in the summer. If you choose, you can stay on the train and enjoy a three hour layover at Carter Station where you can walk some well marked hiking trails and have a picnic. On selected days there are offered shorter trips from Utica to Holland Patent and Remsen. Phone 724-0700. e-mail: http://www.adirondackrr.com
This was the home of Brigadier General Herkimer and is open
for tours to the public from mid-May to Oct. Wednesday-Saturday
l0 a.m. until 5 p.m. and on Sundays from l:00 p.m. to 5 p.m.
(Wheelchair accessible) At different times the Home has sheep
shearing events for the public to observe, muskrat shooting
demonstrations, cannon display, wool spinning and various other
activities. The family cemetery is also located on the estate and
visitors can view Gen. Herkimer's gravesite. General Nicholas
Herkimer led the militia in 1777 during the bloodiest battle of the
Revolution at Oriskany. Herkimer County is also named after
Gen. Herkimer as is the county seat. Telephone: (315) 823-0398.
From time to time the Herkimer Home displays the Petrie bedcover
which is believed to have been brought over by the Petrie family
from Germany when they located in the area in the 1700's. It wasn't
until several years ago when the owner of a home discovered a
cardboard box tacked up under the cellar stairs. Upon removing and
opening this box, he found the antique Petrie bedcover. The
Herkimer Home obtained this bedcover when it was placed on the
auction block with the Home placing the highest bid permitting them
to obtain the item for displays. Because of its fragile condition,
it is not displayed all the time as elements in the air would
deteriorate the now delicate fabric.
TRAIL RIDES - Horse rides leaving every day except Monday at Middleville.
9 a.m. - 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Fee is $20.00 for a one hour ride from the stable in Middleville through rolling hills and forest with abundant wildlife and stream crossings to the Neal Smith Overlook. From Herkimer take Route 28N to the traffic light in Middleville. Take a right hand turn on Route l69. Riding Stable is about 1/2 mile up Route 169. Horses are trained for every riding skill from age 7 and up. Make reservations for evening group rides commencing after 6 p.m.
Phone: (315) 891-RIDE
Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Monastery and Seminary: County Rt 3. Byzantine-Russian Architecture: featuring golden domes and bell tower. Better to call ahead to arrange a visit and tour. This is about a twenty minute ride from Herkimer. Ladies are required to wear headpiece or a hat. No shorts are permitted. This is probably one of the most exquisite architectures in the valley area. Telephone (315) 858-0940.
At the Frankfort Marina pontoon boats are offered for rentals,
which can hold up to l7 people. These can be rented for a full day
8 a.m. - 5:45 p.m., or a half-day 12:45 p.m. - 5:45 p.m.
Also a rental between 6:00 p.m. until dusk for $50.
For rental reservations call ahead at (315) 895-7105. The
Erie Canal which is where the pontoons can travel, affords
beautiful scenery as a tour to Lock 17 near Little Falls to view
the operation of the Lock. Lunches can be provided on board if
planned in advance. Or, the thrifty person can stop at one of the
picnic areas. This is a great way for a group of people to chip in
and share the expense and even add a little fishing. For those that
prefer, an experienced driver can be provided for an extra fee.
OTHER PLACES TO VISIT IN THE MOHAWK VALLEY REGION
A pleasant 45 minute trip south on scenic Route 28 out of Herkimer
to Cooperstown offers many things to do while while visiting. There
are trolleys at $2 for adults and $1 for children with many stops
made throughout the village. This is an all day trolley pass and
permits getting on and off as many times as you like.
Some of the places to visit in Cooperstown are The Farmers Museum,
Fenimore Art Museum, National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum,
Cooperstown Fun Park, Fenimore Art Museum, the New York Historical
Society located on the grounds of the Fenimore Art Museum. There
is also the Doubleday Batting Range (batting cages provided for all
ages, pitcher, recorder, and food).
Open from May to Columbus Day daily 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
THE OTESAGA RESORT HOTEL - Cooperstown
The Otesaga Resort Hotel borders the lake with a very picturesque
view. There is an excellent golf course for the avid golf
For more information call: 1-800-348-6222
BOAT CRUISE - Cooperstown
A boat tour starting at the foot of Fair Street is offered around
Otsego Lake. Landmarks and the surrounding history with points of
interest are explained by the tour guide. Tours commence in May
and end in October. (Not sure of cost - approximately $11)
OPERA - Cooperstown
Glimmerglass Opera is located on Route 80. Internationally acclaimed professional opera in repertory at famed Alice Busch Opera Theater. July 1 - August 24, afternoon and evening performances. Wheelchair accessible. (Some performances might have limited vacancies. However reservations can be made in advance through the internet address.) For more information:
ENCHANTED FOREST/WATER SAFARI - OLD FORGE
Heading north on Route 28 will bring tourist to the Enchanted Forest. (About a two hour drive) There are a variety of things to do and see while there. The main attraction here is the 23 water rides, the tidal wave pool, and amusement rides. There are picnic areas on the grounds. This is a fantastic place to bring the kids as the admission fee includes all rides, slides, etc. Plan to spend the whole day here. Pricing is as follows: Ages 2 and under Free, Ages 3 to 11 - $19.95, Ages 12 and over - $23.95. There is also an overnight package which can be arranged by e-mail or calling: (315) 369-6145.
Opens at 10 a.m. and closes at 5 p.m.
OLD FORGE BOAT CRUISES
While in Old Forge on Route 28 is the embarkment for narrated boat
cruises around First Lake with gorgeous scenic views of the Fulton
chain of lakes. This ride lasts about two hours. There are
refreshments available during the cruise. There is also a tour
about 6 p.m. Please check out their web site for more information.
F.X. MATT BREWING CO./SARANAC
Varick and Court Streets, Utica
From Herkimer this is about a 40 minute drive to Utica. Tours
through the building demonstrate processes used in beer making from
beginning to end. There is a trolley ride to the 1888 Victorian-
decor tavern where everyone is given a sample of the Utica's
famous beer or a choice of root beer. For collectors, visitors can
purchase their Schultz & Dooley Mugs while there. This is one of
the oldest breweries in the United States.
(Closed Major Holidays)
Telephone: (315) 732-0022
An underground boat ride can be taken at Howes Caverns. The tour
guide will take you down 200 feet in an elevator to the start of
th boat ride; through the cavern in an average of 52 degree
temperatures. (Be sure to bring sweaters or jackets) After the
ride, people are escorted through winding pathways of the cavern
before they arrive at the elevator to bring them back to the
point of beginning. There are also offered horseback rides, picnic
areas, restaurant and gift shops.
HARNESS RACING - Vernon Downs
Telephone for information 829-2201
Take Thruway (west) to Exit 33. (Follow signs)
TURNING STONE CASINO - Syracuse
This is the place to visit if you like casinos. There are motel rooms to rent on premises. Many slot machines and gaming tables. Elegant or casual eating places. Always live entertainment by famous entertainers. (About 45 minute drive from Herkimer)
FOR OTHER TOURISM INFORMATION IN NEW YORK STATE INCLUDING HERKIMER
Be sure to ask for free "I Love NY" book at above site or phone for same at 1-800-I Love NY - Ext. 300
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Copyright © 2004 Betsy Voorhees
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