A cyclist stopped by the Herkimer Home to heft a musket to see how heavy it was.
by Dave Warner
The General Herkimer Home in Little Falls held a Regimental Recruiting event on Sunday, looking for volunteers to help re-enact battles from the Revolutionary War.
There were soldiers in period-perfect uniforms, with food provided by 508 Salvage, music, and of course beer, brewed by Rock Valley Brewing Company.
What was depicted at the site, was British forces that had quartered there, which meant that they had taken up the home as a place to stay while occupying the colonies.
Michael Roets, Manager of the site said, “The Quartering Act in the colonies was part of what led up to the Revolutionary War.”
The Quartering Act of 1765 required the colonies to house British soldiers in barracks provided by the colonies. If the barracks were too small to house all the soldiers, then localities were to accommodate the soldiers in local inns, livery stables, ale houses, victualling houses, and the houses of sellers of wine.
“Should there still be soldiers without accommodation after all such publick houses were filled,” the act read, “the colonies were then required to take, hire and make fit for the reception of his Majesty’s forces, such and so many uninhabited houses, outhouses, barns, or other buildings as shall be necessary.”
Roet said, “We have the British on-site in General Herkimer’s Home here and this is prior to our Battle of Oriskany in 1777. But we just wanted to invite the public out to see the British and to come out and try a local beer here from our friends at Rock Valley Brewing who did an Oriskany Ale for us.”
“It’s a good Father’s Day Family event here,” he said.
Mike George with Rock Valley Brewing Company said that they couldn’t miss being involved in the Taverns and Torries event. “We’re serving up a beer I brewed specifically for the event. This is our Oriskany Ale to commemorate the Battle of Oriskany where General Herkimer ultimately lost his life due to an injury.”
George said they tried to make it as close to the real thing as possible, in the style of a Colonial-era beer. “Given the ingredients that were available at the time, you wouldn’t want to drink what they made back then.”
He said that they used a lot of pumpkins and corn, and anything that could be fermented and obtained at the time.
“Hops were not readily available and you couldn’t go to your local brewing store and pick up malted barley. It wasn’t really grown in the Colonies at that time, so we did it with a little modern twist, but in an older style.”