Charles B Knox Gelatine Co. Inc.
Edition of
The Old Mohawk-Turnpike Book

PALATINE CHURCH, 1770.
The Palatine Lutheran Evangelical Church, built in 1770, is the
most famous landmark on the Old Mohawk Turnpike.  It was an
American Revolutionary army camp Oct. 19, 1780.

   

PALATINE CHURCH.

(Montgomery County)
(Over N.Y.C.R.R., New York, 201 m.; Buffalo, 238 m.
Sea elevation, 294 ft. Population: 1920, Fort Plain, 2,747, Nelliston, 664; 1920 population,
Fort-Plain - Nelliston 3,411.)

Mohawk Turnpike Mileage Distances.

PALATINE CHURCH.(Montgomery County)

Palatine Church Turnpike Mileage Distances.

East: Fort Plain-Nelliston 3 m., Stone Arabia churches (by detour) 7 m., Canajoharie-Palatine Bridge 6 m., Yosts (the Noses) 12 m., Fonda-Fultonville 12 m., (by detour from Fonda) Johnstown 22 m., Gloversville 26 m., (by detour from Fultonville) Auriesville Shrine 22 m., Fort Hunter-Tribes Hill 24 m., Fort Johnson 26 m., Amsterdam 29 m., Schenectady 45 m., Albany 60 m., New York 209 m.

West: St. Johnsville 3 m., East Creek 6 m., Fink's Bridge (Fall Hill) 9 m., (by detour to south side) Gen. Herkimer Home 13 m., Little Falls 13 m., Herkimer 20 m., Mohawk 22 m., (by detour south from Mohawk) Fort Herkimer Church 24 m., Ilion 26 m., Frankfort 28 m., Utica 38 m., Whitesboro 42 m., Oriskany 45 m., Oriskany Battlefield 47 m., Rome 53 m., Syracuse 88 m., Buffalo 242m.

In the early part of the nineteenth century there were probably fifteen or twenty houses hereabout and Palatine Church was an original station (long abandoned) of the Utica and Schenectady railroad, opened in 1836. This immediate picturesque and fertile valley section probably (1924) has much the same general appearance as in the Colonial days of erection of the stone church in 1770.

In the early nineteenth century Palatine Church was a busy Turnpike place. Here was the Fox tavern, a famous Turnpike inn and stage house, the Fox grist, saw and fulling mills, all being the property of Gen. Peter C. Fox of the War of 1812. Here were two stores and a Masonic Lodge and the wide flats were the site of "general training" of the militia and the tavern the scene of old Montgomery county political conventions.

 

Garoga Creek.

The name of this dark Adirondack stream is fittingly said to mean "dark or savage waters." The Garoga rises in the lake section of the Mayfield mountains, north of Gloversville. It has Peck Pond, Garoga and East Garoga lakes and a a number of ponds as its main headwaters in a region popular as a summer resort section. The Garoga headwater stream rises (at Bleecker Center), 19 miles airline distance from its outlet, in a swamp from which also issues a brook flowing northeast into the Sacandaga.

In 1924 Garoga creek was a considerable producer of hydro-electric power. With a plant at Ephratah and one projected the Fulton County gas and electric Co. (of Gloversville) will have a 1926 production of 15,500 h. p.

Garoga creek, from the Mohawk to the hill east of the bridge, has all the makings of a fine public water park.

 

Ti-on-on-do-gue, 1668-1693 -- Jesuit Mission of St. Mary's, 1670-1684.

It is probable that the great Mohawk Indian castle of Ti-on-on-do-gue was located on the banks of the Garoga, over the low hill east of the church, near present Wagners Hollow, a mile east of Palatine Church, from 1668 until 1693, when it was destroyed by French-Canadian invaders in one of the greatest Indian battles of New York's Colonial period. At Wagners Hollow there exist the remains of a great Mohawk village.

At Tinonondogue (or Tionnotoguen) , was the Jesuit Mission of St. Marys', where Father Bruyas labored and prepared his famous dictionary of the Iroquois tongue from about 1668 to 1684, when most of the Roman Catholic missionaries left the Iroquois country.

 

Battle Of Ti-on-on-do-gue, 1693.

To subdue the Mohawks, who constantly raided Canada, Count Frontenac, in 1693, sent out an expedition of 625 French and Indians which destroyed the lower Mohawk castles without difficulty, as the Mohawks abandoned them and made their stand at the upper castle of the Tionondogue, where a terrific battle took place. The Canadian French and Indians attacked at night and took the fort in a bloody fight, the French alone losing thirty men in the assault. The Mohawks were outnumbered and attempted to cut their way out, but many were killed and 300 were captured, while some survivors escaped into the forest. The village was burned and the invaders set off, with their captives, on the return march to Canada in the dead of winter.

Col. Peter Schuyler and the Albany militia pursued the enemy and fought and won a severe battle with them retaking fifty Mohawk prisoners. Provisions ran low and the Mohawk warriors cooked and ate some of their enemies. The unsuspecting Schuyler was invited to the feast but, upon fishing out a Frenchman's hand from the pot, his appetite left him and he departed with it. Col. Peter Schuyler was the grandfather of Gen. Schuyler of Revolutionary fame.

The Mohawks never fully recovered form this bloody invasion of 1693. After it the survivors, few in numbers, built the tribal village of Og-sa-da-ga, at present Tribes Hill, where they lived from 1693 until 1700, when they removed to their final locations on the south side.

 

Palatine Church, 1770.

The Palatine Evangelical Lutheran church was built of stone in 1770, through the general donations of a few Palatine-German pioneers of the Wagner, Reber, Hess and Nellis families. The Nellis family paid for the original spire and its weathervane, which was regilded for the first time in 1920.

Palatine Church was built by the neighboring settlers, the pioneer farmers of that day being, of necessity, both carpenters and masons as well as knowing something of other trades. The neighborhood women furnished meals for the workmen during the erection of the church.

Prior to the Revolution, Fox's Mill was here located on the Garoga, the site being that of the old paper mill which was rebuilt into a Turnpike hotel in 1921. Here also was a Colonial tavern and this was a Colonial neighborhood center.

On Oct. 19, 1780, Sir John Johnson passed westward over the King's Highway at the head of his bloody band of red and white raiders. Their course, from the battle of Stone Arabia, was marked with the smoke of the burning homesteads of Valley patriots. Here they burned Fox's Mills as well as other "rebel's" buildings.

A painted savage raider attached a burning firebrand arrow to his bow and was about to shoot it onto the shingle roof of the church, when a red-coated British officer rode up and commanded him to stop. The officer had been requested by a Tory Nellis in Canada from this section, to spare the church and it thus escaped destruction.

This ancient church has never had an independent pastorate. Its pulpit has always been supplied by pastors from other churches - in the early days from the Stone Arabia church.

The general exterior appearance of the church, with the exception of the spire, is the same as when originally built. The original spire was conical, like most early Dutch churches, and was changed to its present beautiful shape in the nineteenth century. In the craze to tear down and remodel everything old the church interior was disfigured by the removal of its handsome old sounding board pulpit and its gallery and the removal of its entrance from the east side to the south end. This was done prior to 1870, against the protests of some of the older residents. The ugly interior of Palatine Church should be restored to its handsome ancient form, as it is one of the most visited and one of the most historically interesting of the few Colonial churches, on the New York to Buffalo highway. The church is probably the Turnpike's most famous landmark.

Services are held here on Sundays, to which Turnpike motorists are invited. It is generally open, during the motoring season, for the benefit of tourists, who are requested to sign the visitor's book.

In 1870 the centennial celebration of the church was held, at which Gov. Horatio Seymour here made a brilliant historical address. In 1910, at the 140th anniversary exercises the D. A. R. unveiled the memorial tablet located here. In 1920 the church's 150th anniversary was observed with appropriate exercises.

 

Revolutionary American Army Camp, Oct. 19, 1780.

As mentioned elsewhere, the traitorous Revolutionary American General Van Rensselaer made a premeditated failure of his pursuit of Sir John Johnson's valley raiders, on Oct. 19, 1780. On that afternoon Van Rensselaer's American army marched west, past Palatine Church, and defeated the enemy in the battle of Klock's Field, two miles west. The American commander refused to pursue but ordered his 1,500 men to fall back to Palatine Church, where camp was pitched for the night, the American officers probably occupying the church. Van Rensselaer allowed a small party to go out from Palatine Church in pursuit, the following day. Gen. Van Rensselaer was later court martialed at Albany for his conduct in this campaign but was acquitted.

In 1840, Palatine Church is thus described: "The village contains 1 Lutheran church, 1 store, 1 grist mill, 1 saw mill, 1 plaster mill, 1 lead pipe factory, and 12 or fifteen dwellings."

  

GENERAL COCHRAN HOUSE, 1790.
Home of General John Cochran, Director-General of 
American Revolutionary army hospitals and close friend of 
General Washington.  Gen. Cochran married Gertrude 
Schuyler, sister of Gen. Schuyler, who was a frequent visitor 
here. Mrs. Cochran was an aunt of Alexander Hamilton, also 
a visitor here.

General Cochran House, 1790.

Just west of Palatine Church stands the General Cochran (frame) house on a rise of ground about 100 yards east of the Turnpike (on the right hand side going west). It is noticeable for its four great corner chimneys.

The General Cochran house was built for the General by his son, Major James Cochran, about 1790. Dr. John Cochran was surgeon general of the Middle Department, United States Army, in the Revolution from 1776 until 1781, when he was appointed director-general of U.S.A. hospitals, with the rank of general, serving thus until the close of the war in 1783. Dr. Cochran was a close friend of Washington and the latter gave him several pieces of his furniture when the army broke quarters at Newburg in 1783, and this Washington furniture later graced the Cochran house in Palatine. Many of the most notable Americans of the time were guests at the Cochran house as they passed through the valley, and the establishment was maintained in the lavish style of a Colonial gentleman. When the Mohawk chieftain, Joseph Brant, visited the valley in 1792 on his way to Washington, the Cochrans here secreted him from the angry valley farmers who swore to have his life. Gen. Cochran died in 1807 and the Cochrans, in 1817, removed to Utica. The two sons of General Cochran, Major James and Capt. Walter Cochran, both Revolutionary officers, lived here with their parents.

General John Cochran married Gertrude Schuyler, sister of General Philip Schuyler, the famous American Revolutionary general, of Albany, who was often a visitor here during his frequent valley trips. General Cochran's son, Major James Cochran, married in 1822, Catherine Van Rensselaer, daughter of General Schuyler. General and Mrs. Washington were her godparents at her christening. Another daughter of Gen. Schuyler married Alexander Hamilton, who doubtless also visited here during some of his Mohawk valley trips to court at Johnstown.

General Schuyler was a U.S. Senator from New York and a most progressive American of his day, being the president of the Inland Lock Navigation Co., which improved the Mohawk, 1792-7, and which was the predecessor of the present State Barge canal. Schuyler was a man of vision who saw the possibilities of Mohawk river and valley transportation and he, with Elkanah Watson (the first practical waterway projector) took the first material development steps. Schuyler was much in the valley for several years, a considerable part of which he probably spent here with his sister. General Schuyler and Governor Clinton were, for forty years following the Revolution, the creators of the New York State canal policy, which culminated in the original Erie canal (1817-1825) and our present Barge canal.

Gen. Schuyler and his son-in-law, Col. Alexander Hamilton, were instrumental in securing the passage of a resolution by the New York State Legislature, in session at Poughkeepsie in 1782, which first advocated the Constitutional convention of 1788, which gave being to the United States of America.

 

FORT KLOCK, 1750.
Revolutionary fortress home of Col. Jacob Klock, of the
Palatine Regiment of the Tryon County Militia. Defended
during the battle of Klock's Fled, Oct. 19, 1780. Cellar
door opens into a Revolutionary stone dungeon, with a
spring in the solid rock floor of the cellar.

Fort Klock, 1750.

The ancient stone farmhouse known as Fort Klock stands about two miles westward of Palatine Church. In the valley section. from Palatine Bridge to St. Johnsville, the old King's Highway lay partly along the line of the New York Central tracks and Fort Klock now lies close thereto. The top of its roof can be seen from the Turnpike, it being located about 100 yards westward there from (on the left hand side going west).

Fort Klock was built by Johannes Klock, a Palatine German pioneer, in 1750, replacing an earlier dwelling. It was the home of his son, Col. Jacob Klock, commanding officer of Tryon County Militia during the Revolution (1775-1783).

A palisade was built around Fort Klock in the Revolution and it formed a neighborhood defense and refuge in times of danger. Fort Klock overlooks the scene of the American Revolutionary victory of Klock's Field, Oct. 19, 1780, the battle taking place on the Klock farm, at which time Fort Klock was filled with neighboring families and defended by the farmer militiamen. During the battle one of the defenders took a long range bead on a passing British officer and shot him from his horse, which, strange to say, came galloping up to the palisade, where it was secured. On its back was the officer's camp kettle, which became an heirloom in the Klock family.

 

A Revolutionary Dungeon.

In the cellar of Fort Klock is a spring of water in a hollow of the solid rock foundation on which the house is built. This cellar door opens into a stone walled chamber, surrounded by stone bench work, which served as a dungeon for the confinement of Revolutionary prisoners.

On the east wall of Fort Klock is the inscription, "Erd. Willem Pick, 1750," meaning "Erected by William Pick, 1750," Pick probably being the master mason.

In 1924 Fort Klock had been in the possession of the Klock family for over 170 years, which had owned Klock farm for nearly two centuries. It has been the scene of many Klock family summer reunions.

 

Battle of Klock's Field, Oct. 19, 1780 --
End of Johnson's Great Revolutionary Raid of the Mohawk Valley.

In this work the reader has followed the course of Sir John Johnson's great raid of the Mohawk valley, from Fort Hunter (26 miles eastward) to Klock's Field, a mile east of the present limits of St. Johnsville. In the late afternoon of Oct. 19, 1780, Gen. Van Rensselaer's army of 1,500 pursuing American militiamen finally caught up with Johnson's war party of 700 footsore raiders, who were arrayed in line of battle, near Fort Klock, from the river up to about the present Turnpike route. The Americans charged the enemy who, after a sharp skirmish, fled in utter rout, the pursuit probably extending into the present St. Johnsville. The Mohawk chief, Joseph Brant, was here wounded in the heel but escaped.

The raiders could have been easily captured in a body but Gen. Van Rensselaer called back his troops and ordered the main body to fall back down the valley two miles to Palatine Church, where he encamped for the night, during which the enemy easily escaped westward, outdistancing the small party which pursued. The name of Gen. Van Rensselaer was spoken of with hatred for years after along the Mohawk.

The Klock's Field battle is one of the three which occurred on or along the Mohawk Turnpike, the other two being the Mohawk-Mohican Indian battle of Kinquariones (at Hoffman's Ferry, 37 miles eastward) , in 1669, and the important Revolutionary battle of Oriskany (42 miles westward), August 6, 1777.

In 1921 a movement was initiated to mark the Klock's Field action on the Mohawk Turnpike with some appropriate monument, the suggestion also being made that this be a statue of a Mohawk valley Revolutionary militiaman, as the Klock's Field battle was fought mainly by militiamen from the upper Hudson, Schoharie and Mohawk valleys. The St. Johnsville "Enterprise and News" is (1924) the temporary treasurer of this fund.

The Mohawk Turnpike forms the main street of St. Johnsville, which is the Turnpike half-way point between Schenectady and Rome.

 

  

  

      

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