Herkimer Home (1764-1783) - A colonial home established in 1764 by Nicholas Herkimer near Little Falls, Herkimer County, New York. Fortified during the Revolutionary War. Abandoned as a fortification after 1783.
History of Herkimer Home
Established in 1764 as the home of Nicholas Herkimer near Little Falls. The house itself was of brick construction and Georgian design with a gambrel roof. Herkimer built a number of outbuildings and an underground powder magazine connected to the house by a tunnel.
Herkimer headed the Tryon County Committee of Safety in 1775 and became brigadier general in the Tryon County militia in 1776. In June 1776, he led 380 men of the Tryon County militia to confront Joseph Brant at Unadilla, New York. Herkimer's house was palisaded early in the war and his storehouses were used to store arms and ammunition for the militia.
During the siege of Fort Stanwix in July 1777, General Herkimer assembled the Tryon County militia at Fort Dayton and marched them west toward Fort Stanwix, some 28 miles away. The column was ambushed on 6 August 1777 by a Loyalist force of British regulars, militia, and Mohawk Indians. Early in what became the Battle of Oriskany, Herkimer's leg was shattered and he was forced to direct the battle propped up beneath a tree. His forces prevaled when the enemy withdrew to protect their encampment from an attack by Fort Stanwix raiders. Losses were high for the Patriots, some 450 casualties, the wounded were evacuated by boat down the Mohawk River and the dead were left where lay. General Herkimer was taken to Old Fort Schuyler by litter along with the other wounded and placed in a boat bound for Fort Dayton.
From Fort Dayton General Herkimer was taken to his home near Little Falls by litter on 7 Aug 1777. He died there on 16 Aug 1777 after his leg amputation went badly. The operation was performed by Dr. Robert Johnson, a doctor provided by General Benedict Arnold, on the morning of August 16th. General Herkimer died that same evening of infection and loss of blood.
General Herkimer had no children so the home passed to his brother Captain George Herkimer who had fought with him at the Battle of Oriskany. The general had left his wife a single room in the house with detailed instructions on how she should conduct herself during her widowhood. She sold the room, remarried and went to Canada. Captain George Herkimer died in 1786 and his widow and children occupied the house until 1814 when his son John sold it out of the family. The house changed hands six times after that and was acquired by the State of New York in 1913.
Home restored, now part of the Herkimer Home State Historic Site. Site includes the Herkimer Cemetery with the grave and monument of Nicholas Herkimer.
Visited: 17 Jun 2016