Historic Four Corners is composed
of the 1884 Herkimer County Historical Society Suiter Building
Museum, the 1834 Herkimer County Jail, 1873
Herkimer County Courthouse, and the 1834 Herkimer Reformed
Church, all listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Tours of the Society's Museum are free and open to the public during open
hours of Monday-Friday, 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. and during the months of
July and August on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Special tours of
the other buildings need to be arranged ahead of time. The 1834 Jail is
temporarily unavailable for touring because of restoration work.
The 1884 Suiter 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.
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
on the first floor is set up for rotating exhibits. Currently, the exhibit
is a Veterans exhibit done by Historical Society President Jeff Steele.
Please stop by to check out this relatively new exhibit!
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 with a collection
of genealogical material for the researcher to use. The books are from
Margaret McKay's own private collection.
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. 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 on the Mohawk Valley
Bottling Works that was in operation from 1929 to 1984 located in the
village of Herkimer.
Herkimer County Jail - This Federal style building is owned by
the Herkimer County goernment, but tours are regularly given by the Herkimer
County Historical Society. A museum display is set up on the criminal
justice system of the past, featuring the famous cases of Chester Gillette
(the "American Tragedy") and Roxalana Druse. Learn what life
was like to be in jail in the 1800's and tour the jail cell area on the
On a lighter
note, we have the Joyce Keller doll house and miniature display of 7 houses
and 18 room boxes created from 1925-1985. A treat for young and old alike!
these displays are temporarily unavailable for touring because of restoration
work that needs to be done on the building. A new group, Friends
of Historic Herkimer County, has organized to help
save the Jail and have been doing fundraising efforts for this purpose.
For the status on their activities, you can call the Society at (315)
866-6413 or email us.
The 1873 Courthouse is still in the
property of the Herkimer County government and acts as the headquarters
for the Sheriff's Department. It is the site of the famous 1906 Gillette
trial ("Adirondack Tragedy") among the many other cases that
were heard in the court room.
Reformed Church was the church to many early residents in Herkimer
and still continues in operation. It houses one of the last remaining
Tiffany walls that was restored several years ago.
and group tours are offered by calling Sue Perkins at (315) 866-6413.
The school tours cover the Historic Four Corners, which takes two hours.
Group tours can be shortened or lengthened depending on the desire of
the group. We also offer an architectural workshop to school groups whose
students learn about architecture in Herkimer County and become familiar
with using the library's resources to research the history of a home.