SCHOHARIE : ‘Schoharie 300’ celebration welcomes Palatines
Scattered through the Capital Region and beyond are people who can trace their roots to the Palatine Germans who first settled the Schoharie Valley 300 years ago.
They are being called back to the fertile valley to take part in a ceremony honoring the 300th anniversary of the village of Schoharie.
The Schoharie Promotional Association is looking for Palatine descendants to take part in a recognition event, one of several features of a three-day celebration planned for Sept. 7-9.
It’s an event that almost didn’t happen, after Tropical Storm Irene nearly wiped Schoharie off the map in August 2011.
“It’s even more important this year,” said Darlene Patterson, one of the event’s organizers.
Schoharie 300 organizers are expecting to host the largest parade in the area’s history — in part thanks to last year’s devastating storm.
Co-organizer Richard Sherman, a Schoharie councilman, said they are trying to get a firetruck from every single fi re department that sped to the valley to help after the Schoharie Creek inundated the region.
“We’re also looking to invite all the volunteers that came into the community. There were just so many,” he said.
Palatine descendants will be getting a treat at a special event planned for Saturday, Sept. 8.
Events at the 1743 Palatine House — a parsonage rescued and maintained by the Schoharie Colonial Heritage Association — will include a ceremony for the descendants. Later that day, they’ll feast on a German dinner at the Presbyterian Church.
“It’ll be a nice opportunity for anybody who’s a Palatine descendant,” Sherman said.
Schoharie’s history will be outlined with an updated historical account and events will include a Civil War-era re-enactment of a recruiting rally with Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses Grant and other re-enactors at the Depot Lane museum grounds. Displays will also be set up at the historic Old Stone Fort and guests will be welcomed to a solemn tour of Civil War soldiers’ grave sites in the historic cemetery.
Fireworks and a time capsule are among other elements of events planned to celebrate 300 years. Sherman said the events will help get Schoharie, still working on its post-flood comeback, back on its feet.
All of the vendors at the event will be local businesses and organizations, to help bolster the local community, he said.
“It’s to give recognition to our heritage and our past. On Sunday we’re focusing the event to say thank you to our volunteers. In closing it out, now we’re going to look forward to the next 300 years,” he said.
People interested in keeping up with plans for Schoharie’s 300th celebration can connect with “Schoharie 300” on Facebook or check out the Schoharie 300 tab at www. schohariepromo.org.
Palatines curious about what’s in a German dinner or interested in taking part in the celebration are urged to contact either Sherman or Patterson via email at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.