Herkimer County Historical Society

  • Admission

    Free. Donations welcome.

    School and youth group tours are free of charge – thanks to the Stewart’s Foundation for funding this program every year.

  • Hours of Operation

    We are open on Saturday from 10 until 2pm and only June thru August and there is no reservation required.

    We are asking visitors who wish to use our Research Library and/or tour our Museum to schedule an appointment by calling us at 315-866-6413 or email us at herkimerhistory@yahoo.com.

    Our Research Library is available on Saturday 10a.m. to 2p.m. by appointment only. If possible, please schedule by noon Friday for next day appointment

  • Weather

    HERKIMER WEATHER

Herkimer County Historical Society

THE 1884 SUITER MUSEUM BUILDING

A Queen Anne style building located at 400 North Main Street in Herkimer. This building was a legacy to the Herkimer County Historical Society in 1925 by Dr. A. Walter Suiter, a prominent citizen and physician. It was named in memory of Dr. Suiter’s father, Col. James A. Suiter, a noted Civil War veteran.

The massive doors which Dr. Suiter ordered for the entrance to his mansion were built of mahogany. The griffin is one of two which grace the ornately carved front doors. The interior architectural elements are fashionable for the 1880’s and include decorative hinges, burl veneer door panels and rectilinear banisters and newel posts with incised decoration.

One room in the Suiter building depicts Dr. Suiter’s library with his record books, round oak table and other artifacts that would have been in a library in 1884. The style of the library is Eastlake with a beautiful tiled fireplace with etchings of Greek gods and goddesses with a mahogany mantel. An interesting fact is that the house was never lived in. It was used by Dr. Suiter as his doctor’s office, waiting room and his library. Housed in this building is a free exhibit designed to be self-guided or you can ask for a guided tour. Currently the permanent exhibit is “All In A Days Work: Working People, Working Lives.” The exhibit covers four rooms and features displays on early settlers and transportation, agriculture, industry and domestic life in Herkimer County. The artifacts date from the 1700’s to the 1990’s.

Additional Exhibits – We have two exhibits that we installed in 2017 commemorating important centennials in our history –

“HERKIMER COUNTY IN THE GREAT WAR” and “WOMEN SUFFRAGE IN HERKIMER COUNTY”

On the second floor of the Suiter Building is the Fairfield Room featuring artifacts and photographs from the Fairfield Seminary, Medical College and Military School which was located in Fairfield, N.Y. Another room on the second floor is the Daughters of the American Revolution Room (D.A.R.) with a collection of genealogical material for the researcher to use. The books are from Margaret McKay’s own private collection.

LOOKING FOR SOMETHING TO DO WITH THE CHILDREN THIS SUMMER? —- IT’S HISTORY MYSTERY AT THE MUSEUM!

We welcome all young sleuths and their parents for an adventure around the museum! Enjoy a walk in the past as children of all ages look for answers to the questions about the history of our community. It is a great time to learn about our local history in a fun and adventurous way. The children will enjoy their time and receive a prize for a correctly completed quest! Stop in to our Eckler Building to sign in before you go over to the museum.

THE 1870 ECKLER HOUSE

The 1870 Eckler House is Italianate in style and is located adjacent to the Suiter building. This is where the Society’s offices are located as well as our Resource Center/Library and Gift Shop. This building was named after the Eckler family who were major contributors to our capital campaign project when we purchased and refurbished it in the late 1980s.

Snell Cabinet

A nice feature in the building is the Snell cabinet showcasing a variety of artifacts from the Society’s collection. Currently there is a display featuring the findings from an archaeological dig we conducted in 2015 on our property searching for any remnants of Fort Dayton. What we did find was Dr. Suiter when we discovered an old well that dates back to the early 1800s. There was a treasure trove found inside that well – medical instruments, pharmaceutical bottles, many intact and some with the medicine still in them, a pristine jug and unique liquid soap dispenser – all dating to the late 1800s and early 1900s. Around the property we discovered pipe stems with a few dating to the late 1700s.

The Herkimer County Historical Society’s Library is located in our Eckler Building, 406 N. Main St., Herkimer, and open during our Open Hours of Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., year round, and on Saturday’s in the summer during the months of July and August, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

DAY USE FEE: To use the library, we ask for a $5.00 donation to help support our facilities. On-staff volunteers and employees are always available to assist you with your research. There is no fee charged to members of the Society. We do have free Wi-Fi available.

RESEARCH REQUESTS: We will do genealogy research for you for a $30.00 donation using the resources that are listed below. Research inquiries should be mailed with your check to Herkimer County Historical Society, 400 N. Main St., Herkimer, NY 13350 or emailed to us at herkimerhistory@yahoo.com. A benefit to membership is free research services by Society staff.

For brief research inquiries on local history, we do not charge a fee. Please email them to us.

Below is a listing of our resources.

~ Access to ancestry.com online

~ Census: 1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1825, 1830, 1835, 1845, 1855, 1865, 1880
Census for the above and later (1892 and up to 1940) are available through ancestry.com

~ Directories:
Herkimer County: 1869-90, 1888-89
Little Falls, Herkimer, Mohawk and Ilion:1886-1887
Herkimer, Mohawk, Ilion & Frankfort:
1893, 1902, 1904, 1907-8,1909-10, 1913, 1916, 1921, 1925, 1929, 1936, 1938, 1940-41, 1942,1945, 1947
1951, 1953, 1955, 1957, 1958, 1960-62, 1964, 1965,1968, 1970-72, 1974-79, 1983-85, 1987-88, 1990-1991

Herkimer: 1992-93, 1995

Little Falls & Dolgeville: 1918, 1928, 1936, 1947, 1949, 1951,1953, 1964, 1965, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1995

~ Cemetery files: Up to the year 1930 – these are based on the transcription of cemetery stones for every cemetery in Herkimer County – project done in the 1970s

~ Newspaper marriages & obituaries: 1800’s from a variety of newspapers and Evening Telegram 1900-1920 and Herkimer/Ilion Citizen – 1867-1921
We have an index to obituaries in the Evening Telegram 1923-1944 – the Frank J. Basloe Library has them on mi

~ Township & Village Publications: except Columbia, Danube, Stark, Warren & Webb
~ Family Genealogies
~ History books: Local, Native American, Revolutionary War, Civil War, WWI, WWII, Adirondacks and biographies.
~ Herkimer County listing of men in various wars (incomplete)
~ Vertical files: Local history, industry, transportation, historic homes, churches, schools etc.
~ Gazetteers:1860 & 1875
~ Herkimer County Atlases: 1868 & 1906    There is a wall map dated 1857 in the Library.
~ Abstract of Wills: Will Index from 1790’s-1900

Please note: The Society does not have New York State birth, marriage or death records or certificates. New York State did not mandate that they be kept until after 1880. You can write to the Town or Village Clerk where that event occurred or to Albany. For further information please check the NYS Dept. of Health web site at http://www.archives.nysed.gov/holding/fact/vital.htm

Bus Trip to Genesee Country Village & Museum

Date: October 8, 2022
All-day event
Location: 400-406 North Main Street, Herkimer, NY 13350
Organizer: The Herkimer County Historical Society
Phone: 315-866-6413
Herkimer County Historical Society
building_eastman

Step back in time with more than 70 faithfully restored and furnished buildings and costumed interpreters. Experience life in a 19th century American village, including a working brewery, blacksmith, pottery, tin shop and baby animals on the farm.
Shop for delectable fresh baked goods at the D Munger Confectionery.

Departing from Clinton and Herkimer $80 / person. These trips help fund our mission at the Historical Society, Thank You!

Due to COVID each person will be required to provide their vaccination card showing they have completed their vaccination requirements. It must be provided at the time reservations are made. During the trips everyone must follow all COVID mandates on and off the bus.

Bus Trip to New York City

Date: December 3, 2022
All-day event
Location: 400-406 North Main Street, Herkimer, NY 13350
Organizer: The Herkimer County Historical Society
Phone: 315-866-6413
Herkimer County Historical Society
Lower Manhattan skyline as seen from Governors Island in June 2017 by MusikAnimal

There are so many things to do in New York during the holidays; the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, the lights at Saks Fifth Avenue, Christmas Markets, Broadway Shows, Ice Skating in Central Park, the Rockefeller Christmas Tree. The list goes on and on.

We will be dropping off at beautiful Bryant Park where they host their own spectacular Christmas tree, ice skating and shops and restaurants.

Departing Clinton and Herkimer $90/person

Due to COVID each person will be required to provide their vaccination card showing they have completed their vaccination requirements. It must be provided at the time reservations are made. During the trips everyone must follow all COVID mandates on and off the bus.

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MUSEUMS & GALLERIES