Fort Herkimer Church, Herkimer New York

Date added: March 19, 2010 Categories: New York Church Early Colonial

Following the settlement of the Palatines, of Protestant faith, on the German Flats (from 1720 to 1725), they here built a log church and organized this society, probably about 1723. This was the beginning off the Fort Herkimer Reformed Dutch Church. It is probable that a log church was built at present Herkimer at about the same time.

Sept. 24, 1730, Nicholas Welleven (Woolever) transferred to the church organization, Lot. No. 30 of the original Burnetsfield patent of 1725, which he drew in the original allotment. This is the church lot on which the present structure stands and the first work on the edifice was probably begun soon after the granting of the deed. Appeals for church buildings funds were made in 1730, 1746 and 1751, but its building lagged until after the great French war (1754-1760).

The stone walls of the church were of a sufficient height so that it formed a subsidiary fortification of Colonial Fort Herkimer (1756-1760), and it was a neighborhood refuge in the French-Indian attacks of 1757 and 1758.

Following the British victory in the French-Indian war a petition was sent to Sir Henry Moore, Governor of New York for permission to solicit subscriptions to complete the church. Over the original church entrance on the river or north side of the building is the inscription "J.H.E. 1767", referring to John Jost Herkimer, its builder and the date of its completion. This is one of the State's most historic buildings.