Herkimer’s Great Geography Goof ~ The Haunts And Legends Of New York Extra
Steeped in history and legends, New York is filled with stories of the forgotten, eerie and the weird that influence us everyday. The towns of Herkimer and German Flatts border each other on either side of the Mohawk River. But there's something odd about the towns. They're wrong. Herkimer is German Flatts and German Flatts is Herkimer.
Lite 98.7's Eric Meier has teamed up with Folklorist P.W. Creighton to explore the haunts and legends of New York. Through their travels into the dark and often overlooked spaces they will bring these historic sites back to life and make some unexpected discoveries along the way.
In this extra episode Herkimer County Historical Society director Susan Perkins explains this geographic goof.
It turns out when this part of Upstate New York, the area on the northern banks of the Mohawk River, what we know of as Herkimer today, was called German Flatts. The land facing it, on the south side of the river, was called Herkimer. Not surprising because the fort that bears Herkimer's name (not to mention his homestead) were on the south side of the river.
German Flatts was actually the flat land at the confluence of the West Canada Creek and the Mohawk River.
So the villages of Ilion and Mohawk are really in the town of Herkimer. The village of Herkimer is really in the town of German Flatts.
How did this happen? A surveyor for the state came though the area along the Mohawk and was told Herkimer was on the left and German Flatts as on the right. Of course left and right changes depending on whether you're traveling east or west.
The mistake was caught too late and the mistake has come down to us though history.
Watch the Complete Haunts and Legends Season 1 via this Youtube Playlist
Watch the complete first season of the Haunts and Legends of New York including our explorations of the Happy Valley ghost town near Syracuse, the Lost Village of Delta near Rome, Utica's Secret Underground Waterways and the Hidden Vault at Bagg Commemorative Park in Utica.