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The Times
  • Herkimer Home celebrates milestone

  • A new exhibit opened at Herkimer Home State Historic Site on Sunday to coincide with a milestone in the home's history.

    “It highlights the restoration that we've completed and we will be completing to bring it closer to its historic roots,” said Brian Heffron, a site interpreter at the home, before the start of Sunday's activities.

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  • A new exhibit opened at Herkimer Home State Historic Site on Sunday to coincide with a milestone in the home's history.
    “It highlights the restoration that we've completed and we will be completing to bring it closer to its historic roots,” said Brian Heffron, a site interpreter at the home, before the start of Sunday's activities.
    The celebration remembered the 100th anniversary of when the home Gen. Nicholas Herkimer resided in was sold from private owners to the state. The state already owned the cemetery on the 161 acres of land Herkimer lived on, before he led the Tryon County Militia in the Battle of Oriskany. Herkimer is known for continuing to lead his troops even after being severely wounded on the battlefield. He later died from a botched operation to repair the wound.
    Karen Sheckells, director of the Herkimer Home, said they wanted to put the exhibit together to commemorate its centennial. “We wanted to show how the site evolved, and in the last 100 years, and in the future, we hope to show the next 100 years,” she said.
    Audrey Nieson, senior coordinator for interpretative services from the state Bureau of Historic Sites, said it took about eight months of working with Herkimer Home representatives, restoration specialists, designers, building historians and others to put together the exhibit. “It's focus on what's real and what's not from the 18th century,” she said, referring to the era Herkimer would have lived at the homestead.
    Mark Peckham, acting director for the state Bureau of Historic Sites, reflected on the significance of living during the era Herkimer resided at his home and its importance in history. “It's the reason why the Herkimer Home should be part of our system and should always be apart of our system,” he said.
    The event coincided with the home's annual Liberty's Hero memorial service in the cemetery. This included the laying of nine wreaths and the placing of one flag at the headstone of Gen. Herkimer from different local Daughters of the American Revolution and Sons of the American Revolution chapters and other organizations.
    Dain Faville, president of the Friends of Herkimer Home, thanked the support the home has received from state Sen. James Seward and Assemblyman Marc Butler. He also thanked Sheckells for her leadership with operating the home.
    Faville read a poem called “Here's to the Heroes” and then lead those in attendance in chorus of “God Bless America.”
    After an invocation, Heffron drew on words from past memorials at the site to commemorate the 100th anniversary. He quoted Robert Earl, president of the Herkimer County Historical Society, who spoke during an event at the Skinner Opera House in Little Falls on Nov. 12, 1896 about commemorating the lasting legacy of people like Gen. Herkimer. “They all speak of heroic sacrifice; and what we need in our modern lives is more sacrifice and less selfishness, more altruism and less egotism, more men seeking noble ends by worthy means,” said Heffron, quoting Earl.
    Page 2 of 2 - After, a militia formed at the top of the hill inside the cemetery fired the muskets into the air. The leader of the militia noted as he marched his troops down from the hill at the end of the ceremony that a bald eagle was flying overhead during the service.
    The Herkimer Home event also included a book signing by Al Sterling and Nancy Cioch, who wrote the book “Nicholas Herkimer - Palatine, Patriot, American Hero.”
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