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The Best Gifts from Schoharie County



Written By The Mountain Eagle on 4/17/24 | 4/17/24

Historian and author Jeff O’Connor of Turning Point 1777 will lead a walkabout in the Village of Middleburgh on Saturday, April 20.  The unique relationship between the Palatines and Mohawk people will be explored on the roughly 1.5-mile loop, which will take approximately 2 hrs to complete. The walkabout begins in front of the Middleburgh High School at 10:00am. Free of charge and no reservations are needed.  Rain or shine.  Dress for the weather. Inquiries can be made by emailing or through 

The walkabout narrative will explore the experiences of the Palatines in the Schoharie Valley and their relationship with the Mohawk people who lived nearby.  O’Connor states, “connecting these neighbors was young Conrad Weiser, Jr. who learned the Mohawk language and culture that became the foundation of a lifelong career as a prominent interpreter.”  Weiser’s father, Johan Conrad Weiser, led about 150 families to the Schoharie Valley beginning in late 1712.  The circumstances behind their arrival, and the events that led to many leaving the valley, will be featured.  

The Palatine story is a Mohawk one as well.  The historian points out, “Mohawks provided these desperate families land, food, and support that meant the difference between life and death.”  

The Palatines were the first large European group to live among the Haudenosaunee, or Five Nations.  The circumstances behind Mohawks returning to the Schoharie Valley after a period of vacancy, and why land was set aside for the Palatines not long after, will also be featured.  The course of the walkabout will highlight places and natural landscapes that were familiar to both the Palatines and Mohawk people.  

The walkabout pulls from Jeff O’Connor’s “Skohere and the Birth of New York’s Western Frontier 1609-1731” trilogy book series, especially the upcoming third final volume of the series.  As he says, “The series has been leading up to this unique Palatine and Mohawk shared experience, merging so many compelling stories into one great one.”  O’Connor adds that the walkabout narrative, like the books, “will challenge accepted history.”

Jeff O’Connor is an accomplished historian who has a deep connection to the Schoharie County historical community.  He and his wife Pam team up as Turning Point 1777 to provide guided walking and driving tours in Schoharie County, authentic historic flag reproductions, and publications.  For more information, please visit or

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