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History of Schoharie County

SCHOHARIE COUNTY was taken from Albany and Otsego counties in 1795; greatest length N. and S. 30, greatest breadth E. and W. 25 miles. Centrally distant NW. from New York 150, from Albany W. 42 miles. In the western part of this county is the dividing ridge between the waters of the Mohawk and those of the Susquehannah and Delaware. In the eastern part it has the Catskill and Helleberg mountains. It has the valley of the Schoharie creek north and south through its centre, along which the alluvial flats are very extensive, with a soil of loam and vegetable mould, peculiarly rich and fertile. Much of the surface of this county is hilly, with some of a mountainous character. The soil of the uplands is of various qualities, generally better adapted to grass than to grain. The Schoharie creek, a large tributary of the Mohawk, has its rise in Greene county, and flows northward through the centre of this county. In its course it receives several smaller streams, the principal of which are the Cobelskill on the west, and Fox creek on the east. The Catskill has its source in the eastern part of the county, and the Delaware and Susquehannah in the western. The county is well watered, and possesses many fine mill sites. In the towns of Summit, Jefferson, Blenheim, Broome, and the uplands of Middleburg and Fulton, the tenure of the soil is generally held by lease, the fee-simple being in proprietors of large tracts; but in these towns, there are many tracts upon the creek, which the Germans have taken up in fee, the common tenure of the northern towns. The towns of Schoharie, Cobelskill, Sharon, Fulton, Middleburg, and portions of Blenheim and Broome, have a population of German origin.

The German language prevails among the older inhabitants, but their children are educated and converse in English. The early settlers suffered much from Indian hostilities, and during the revolution the country was overrun by the British and Indians under Sir John Johnson, Brant, and the infamous Walter Butler. The county is divided into 12 towns.

(Historical Collections of the State of New York, Past and Present, John Barber, Clark Albien & Co., 1851)