Guided Walking Tours

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The post-Revolutionary War home of Colonel Vrooman, commanding officer of the 15th Regiment Albany County Militia (Schohary District), who came to live here in 1785. Just one of the many sites in Schoharie County with compelling stories to tell.

Guided Walking Tours

Few places can match Schoharie County for its combination of picturesque beauty and historical legacy.  With rolling hills, dramatic valleys and countless natural wonders as a vibrant backdrop, just about every step in the county leads to ground that has compelling stories rooted in its soil that beg to be told and retold.  Historical markers and a handful of buildings that escaped the Revolution unscathed remind the casual passerby that history happened here, but also leaves more curious people asking how can I get the rest of the story?  We can help with that.

For anyone who has taken historical tours in Boston, New York City or elsewhere, taking these tours is a little different.  There are few buildings and even fewer touristy sites to help narrate the stories.  That is because the American Revolution happened here, with brutal ferocity, and not much survived of “Old Schohary”.  The land, then, becomes the monument and the soil, hallowed ground.  Battles were fought here.  People on all sides lived and died here, ever toiling to provide a better life for their children.  Some succeeded. Some failed.  Many, however, were destined to participate in events of legend.  These tours are about marrying the dramatic moments in their lives to the landscape they toiled upon for a better life; and were prepared to die to protect.

Tour Schedule

Currently, we offer three highly informative, guided walking tours that pass through two villages, Schoharie and Middleburgh, where colonial- era sites are most heavily concentrated and  the Cobleskill Revolutionary War battlefield.   Our 2017 schedule is found HERE.  Please see all three tour descriptions below. 

The guide service for each scheduled tour is $10.00 per person age 18 and over.  For ages 9-17 it is $5.00 per child. Age 8 and under are free.  Group discounts are available for parties of 10 or more if pre-arranged.   Go HERE for all inquiries.  At this time, payment must be made by cash or check.  Don’t forget to bring a camera! 

Private Tours

We also offer many options for private tours that may or may not have to be the same routes or locations as the three regularly scheduled tours .  Whether you’re looking to book a special outing for an historical organization, a team-building experience for your employees, walk in the footsteps of ancestors as part of a family reunion, or just because you and your friends are history nerds like Jeff and Pam, we will make every effort to make your tour informative, enjoyable and memorable.  New this year are Ghost Watches!  Go HERE for more tour options.

 

 

 Village of Schoharie Walking Tour

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Old Stone Fort Museum, once a High Dutch Reformed Church built in 1772 and fortified as the Lower Fort in the fall of 1777.

The present Village of Schoharie now sits upon land once occupied by three of the seven dorfs, or villages, that were established by the Palatine settlers who first came to the Schoharie Valley in 1712.   By the time of the American Revolution, these three villages had become indistinguishable and were collectively called “Schohary.”  During the Revolution, this cluster of settlement saw its fair share of the war from the Loyalist uprising of 1777 to an invasion by a British army in 1780.

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Swart Tavern was not a tavern until after the American Revolution. Built in 1772, the home is a splendid example of the fine homes that were erected in the Schoharie Valley and destroyed during the Revolution. Why did this house survive? Find out on the tour!

 

 

The approximately 3-mile round trip tour (2.5 hrs) begins at the parking lot behind Lasell Hall, formerly the 1795 Lawyer Inn, across the street from the County Offices and DMV, which are located on the corner of Main and Spring Streets.  We call this our health & fitness tour, as it may be best suited for those who like to learn as they exercise. However, we can make strategic stops that allow clients to stop in and get a refreshing drink as we pass a convenience store or order an ice cream cone at Grandpa George’s Dugout during the summer months.  

Lasell Hall

Lasell Hall, the home of the Schoharie Chapter of the D.A.R., was built as a Tavern by John J. Lawyer in 1795.

 

 

 

 

Highlights along this tour include the 1743 Parsonage (Palatine House Museum), locating 3 original dorfs, the Palatine experience, Swart Tavern, Lower Fort (Old Stone Fort Museum), 1785 Col. Peter Vrooman House, George Mann Tory Tavern, the 1780 Johnson raid, 1795 Lawyer Inn (Lasell Hall/ DAR building)

 

 

 

 

 

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The Low Dutch Reformed Church that was erected in 1786 to replace the First Reformed Church that was burned on Oct. 17, 1780.

Village of Middleburgh Walking Tour

The present village of Middleburgh lies on what once was the Palatine settlement of Weiser’s Dorf in the early decades of the 18th century.  Called the more Anglicized Weyserstown at the time of the Revolution, virtually the entire settlement was burned during the Oct. 17, 1780 Johnson Raid. Surviving the war was the Middle Fort, from which the current town and village’s name was derived.  The fort served as headquarters of the Schohary Military District and was garrisoned throughout the war by Continental, State, and local militia troops.  

This approximately 2 mile round-trip tour (1.5 hrs) begins in the parking lot behind the Middleburgh High School, which is located on Main St./Rte 145 between Clauverwie Street and the Stewart’s Shoppe/NBT Bank site. Strolling the pretty village would be a pleasant enough experience in its own right, but the historic narrative behind the community’s pride makes for an exceptionally memorable time.

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A pretty setting for a walking tour in the Village of Middleburgh along Rte 30, with the Schoharie Creek on the right, approaching main Street

 

 

 

Highlights on this tour include  early native and Mohawk occupation, arrival of the Palatines, the Weiser family, the  Palatine experience, Middle Fort, 1780 Johnson Raid, Timothy Murphy, and the 1786 Dutch Reformed Church.   

 

 

 

 

 

Cobleskill Battlefield Walking Tour

The Battle of Cobus Kill was the first major engagement in what would later be called “The Border Wars” of the American Revolution.  The battle took place on what was then the western edge of the settlement of Cobus Kill and is now in Warnerville.  On May 30, 1778, a mixed force of Massachusetts Continentals and local militia numbering less than 60 men, were drawn into an ambush and soundly defeated by a larger British-allied force commanded by noted Mohawk War Captain Joseph Brant.  American losses were staggering, as 22 men were killed and several others wounded, while half the 20 farms in the village were burned.  

 

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The Warner family cemetery, where lies George Warner, Sr., whose house played a key role in the Battle of Cobus Kill May 30, 1778

This approximately 2 mile round trip (1.5 hrs) begins at the Cobleskill Creek Trail parking lot off the Warnerville Cut-off that links Rtes 7 & 10 in Warnerville. Incorporating part of the creek side trail and adjacent roadways, the battlefield encompasses a quiet, beautiful valley farming landscape ideally suited for contemplating the din of war.   The tour visits a number of key geographical and historical elements that played pivotal roles in the battle.   

 

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A view of part of the battlefield, now in Warnerville, looking west from the George Warner family cemetery

 

 

 

 

 

Highlights include the Cobus Kill settlement, the old George Warner, Sr. House, the defense of the “new” George Warner, Sr. House, the battle, the retreat,  participants, and the Warner family cemetery.  Also on the tour is the Haviland prehistoric occupation site that dates back over 8,000 years

 

 

 

Step-on Guide Service

Have a Tour Bus passing through the Schoharie and/or Mohawk Valleys?  We offer step-on guide service that is sure to enhance the experience of your passengers as they pass through what is New York’s most scenic historic region.

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Vroman’s Nose and the Schoharie Valley, looking north from atop the Clauverwie Road. Schoharie County is “Picture-Perfect” all year-round, but the fall season is breathtakingly spectacular.

 

Accompanying a picture-perfect backdrop of dramatic valleys and rolling hills are the stories of legend. We will work with your company or organization to map out the most appealing tour for your clients and will customize the tour package ensuring that other points of interest, such as Antiques, scenic views, farm stands, etc. are available along the way.  Whether it is a straight tour through the valleys on Rte 30 or Rte 5 or 5S, or a more elaborate tour visiting the region’s many Colonial and Revolutionary War sites, our goal is to give your clients the most enjoyable experience possible while visiting these beautiful valleys.

To book us as step-on guides, the rate is $200.00 for a standard tour of either the Schoharie or Mohawk Valleys.  A combination tour of both valleys is $450.00.  Rates will vary for custom tours that include a variety of additional sites and other places of interest.  

For further information, to book a private walking tour or step-on guide service, and other inquiries, please go HERE

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