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Home » » Register Now - The Ballads of the Schoharie Creek Drownings" - Nov. 14th

Register Now - The Ballads of the Schoharie Creek Drownings" - Nov. 14th

Written By Editor on 11/11/22 | 11/11/22

Register now for our upcoming free webinar on November 14th at 7 PM.  This is also an in-person event.  To attend in person, come to the Community Room of the Sharon Public Library, 129 Main Street in Sharon Springs.  To register to participate online, please click the link below:

Listen to historian Ken Jones tell the tales of “The Schoharie Creek Drownings – a Series of Unfortunate Events.”  On Thursday, March 29, 1827, Abraham Newkirk Jr. and John Greenman, and Mr. Fish attempted to cross the Schoharie Creek in a skiff, at Fort Hunter during a flood, and the boat upset. Mr. Greenman and Mr. Fish immediately went under, in the presence of Greenman’s wife and children, and a great number of spectators, and were not seen to rise. Mr. Newkirk arose, swam about 600 feet, and went over the dam just below the ferry; he was followed by his wife on the bank until he arrived on a shoal; on it, he raised himself half out of the water, beckoned to his wife, was swept off, sunk, and seen no more. The next day a diligent search was done, and by noon neither Mr. Greenman’s nor Mr. Fish’s bodies had been discovered.   It was not uncommon for rope ferries to be a hazard to those boating and not realizing that there was a rope across the water.

About 50 years later, on April 24, 1876, at this same crossing, Attorneys Johnson I. Snell and Culver Patterson engaged Michael Turner to row them across the Mohawk River. Their boat met the ferry rope and all three were thrown into the water and drowned.

On a Sunday morning, June 4, 1876, Christina Newkirk and her daughter, age 9 went on foot to Van Dorn’s Mills across the creek to visit her son, Alonzo Wicks. During the journey, they waded across the Schoharie Creek as Mrs. Newkirk had done many times before, for at that place the stream is broad and shallow.  Having finished their visit, the mother and child started for home at around 2 PM.  Reports stated that during the interval between crossings the stream was raised by the previous rain. But, apprehending no danger, the mother started across, carrying the child. The child in some way escaped from her grasp and while endeavoring to save her both were drowned.

Several other tragic incidents took place at this very sight which will be covered in Ken’s presentation.

Ken Jones is the Town and Village Historian of Esperance, NY. He has written several short books on local history including Sam’s Sam the Gallow’s Bird a Schoharie black resident hung for murder in Fonda, NY in 1878. Ken is a charter member and currently the President of the Esperance Historical Society and Museum. Ken also serves as President of the Esperance Cemetery Association. He is currently employed with the University at Albany, SUNY assisting part-time with the State Procurement Office after having served part-time for six years with the Center for International Development at UAlbany with procurements related to the AHADI program that was running in Nairobi, Kenya.
Join Ken for a question and answer following the presentation.

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