Schoharie County New York
Schoharie County administrative offices are located at 284 Main Street, Schoharie NY 12157; phone: 518-295-8300.
Schoharie County was created in 1795, and had in it six towns, including the Town of Schoharie, which was larger in area than it is today. The Town of Schoharie as it stands today was created in 1846, when the Towns of Wright and Esperance were established from the larger Town of Schoharie. But Schoharie had been settled many years before this.
The name "Schoharie" comes from the Indian word To-Was-Scho-Hor, meaning "driftwood." Driftwood would pile up in the Schoharie Creek, and one such pile near Middleburgh was so named, and was used by the Indians as a bridge.
Several Indian tribes moved into the Schoharie Valley and by 1700 had settled the land. European settlement began early on. Col. Nicholas Bayard was granted a patent covering the entire Schoharie Valley in 1699. Palatine Germans settled the area beginning in 1711. Winters were hard, but they were apparently helped by the Indians.
The Palatines established seven "dorfs," or small farm villages. The names of the dorfs were taken from those of their leaders. One called Brunnen Dorf was near the site of the present County Court House in the Village of Schoharie. Another, Foxen Dorf was on the north side of Fox Creek near the intersection of Rts. 443 and 30, while a third, Smith's Dorf, was situated near the present Old Stone Fort. Two more, Garlach's Dorf and Kniskern's Dorf were to the north near the Schoharie Creek. Thus, it was in the Town of Schoharie that many of the Palatines first settled. Many of their descendants still inhabit this area.