The Schoharie area was populated for millennia by Native Americans, specifically the Haudenosaunee (aka Iroquois) confederacy. In fact the name “Schoharie” is derived from the native word To-Was-Scho-Hor, meaning “driftwood”, a reference to the large driftwood piles that would naturally accumulate in the Schoharie Creek. European settlement began in 1711 when Palatine refugees from the Holy Roman Empire (modern Germany) began moving into the Schoharie and greater Mohawk Valley regions. Winters were hard for the Palatines but with gracious assistance from the Haudenosaunee they persevered, in fact many of the descendants from the original Palatine settlers are still residing in Schoharie County. As crops were sowed, the fertile soils of the Schoharie Valley allowed the Palatine settlers to prosper and soon lead to the construction of mills and an influx of non-German settlers eager to begin farming. Before long the Schoharie Valley had become vitally important to the food supply of the entire northern colonial region earning it the nick-name “breadbasket of the revolution” for its support of Washington’s Continental Army.
The Schoharie area is rich in both colonial and Native American history. Please come explore, peel back the layers of history, and visit our many museums and historic sites.
The Old Stone Fort –The Old Stone Fort Museum Complex celebrates and preserves the rich, historic legacy of New York’s beautiful Schoharie Valley. Buildings include an early 1700s home, a 1780s Dutch barn, an 1830s law office, and an 1890s one-room schoolhouse as well as the 1772 stone church that was fortified and attacked by British forces in 1780. The Old Stone Fort also host battle reenactments, visit their website to learn more.
Schoharie Rail Road Museum – Visit Schoharie’s museum celebrating its turn of the century local rail line.
Dr. Best House Museum – A fascinating collection of oddities exploring 19th century medicine in rural communities.
Iroquois Indian Museum – The Iroquois Indian Museum is an educational institution dedicated to fostering understanding of Iroquois culture using Iroquois art as a window to that culture. The Museum is a venue for promoting Iroquois art and artists, and a meeting place for all peoples to celebrate Iroquois culture and diversity. As an anthropological institution, it is informed by research on archaeology, history, and the common creative spirit of modern artists and craftspeople. Please visit their website for more information https://www.iroquoismuseum.org
Palatine House – Visit the oldest structure in Schoharie County! An original homestead built by Schoharie’s palatine German settlers.