by Dave Warner
Looking for something to do this weekend? On Saturday, the Herkimer Home State Historic Site opened its grounds to a reenactment of the Raid Along the Mohawk living history event, which will continue through the weekend.
Michael Roets, Manager of the site said, “We have a living history encampment today and Sunday, and the public is invited to attend between 9 and 4. We have battle scenarios at 10 am and 1 pm on Sunday. It’s been a long, long time since there has been an event like this at the Herkimer Home State Historic Site.”
He said that they had been planning this event before COVID hit and they had to put it on hold. “We’re just lucky that things played out the way they did with the vaccination and regulations so that we could do the actual event we wanted to do.”
Roets said that the Herkimer Home really deserves to have this kind of event. “People are welcome to come visit the camps and visit with both the British and the Loyalists. We have native American interpreters as well.”
“People who haven’t been in the house in a few years will be happy to see that the tour has changed and the scenarios that we talk about inside the house have changed as well. In the biggest room downstairs we interpret both the death and General Herkimer’s elegant table where he probably dined with his officers before the battle of Oriskany. The room has a fresh new coat of Prussian blue paint on it. It is actually worth stopping in just to see the restoration on that room,” he stated. “We’re always trying to improve the site.”
The weekend will include demonstrations, guest speakers, and a taste of what life was like in the Mohawk Valley during the American Revolution. Demonstrations will continue on Sunday between 9:30 am and 2 pm and will include topics such as death and mourning, surgery and medicine, African American foodways, laundry, chocolate making, the plight of the Loyalists, and the life and accouterments of the American soldier.
Herkimer Home State Historic Site is the Georgian-style mansion that was the home to Revolutionary War hero, General Nicholas Herkimer. He completed the construction of his mansion about 1764 and he assured his place in history in 1777 at the Battle of Oriskany.
In August 1777, while the British were attacking Fort Stanwix, Brigadier General Nicholas Herkimer assembled 800 militiamen, supported by 60 allied Oneida warriors, and marched to aid against the siege.
Upon hearing of Herkimer’s advance, British and Loyalist troops under Sir John Johnson and Col. John Butler, and Indian forces led by Mohawk Joseph Brant, set a trap in a boggy ravine west of Oriskany Creek. Although seriously wounded in the leg, Herkimer kept command during the fierce combat. After the battle, Herkimer was carried home where he died 10 days later.
The site of the Herkimer Home is open daily from sunrise until sunset. The Visitors Center is open, and house tours are available from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 10 to 5 on Sundays and Monday holidays.
The Herkimer Home State Historic Site is located at 200 State Route 169, Little Falls, just off the NYS Thruway Exit 29A. Call 315-823-0398 for more information.