Fort Klock was the frontier home of Johannes Klock and his family. Built in 1750, not only for habitation, but for protection. The site well chosen by Johannes Klock for the advantages of fur trading and for defence. A spring in the cellar provided fresh water. A sheltered cove provided safe anchorage for the trading bateaux that piled the river. The walls of native limestone over two foot thick. Through the walls of Fort Klock we can find loopholes, tangible evidence of what life on the American frontier in the Mohawk Valley was really like. Behind these stout walls the struggles for life, liberty and freedom helped shape a new nation. The very concept of self government was unknown to the people of the world at that time.
One of the most interesting and important historical events in the vicinity of Fort Klock was the battles of Stone Arabia and Klock's Field fought on October 19, 1780. The battles terminated Johnson's great raid on the Schoharie and Mohawk Valleys. The battle of Klock's Field seems to have taken place about a mile west of Fort Klock. The historian, Jeptha R. Simms, did record that on the day of the battle the widow of Peter Hanner was struck in the head by a nearly spent musket ball while standing near the south east window of the fort. The ball having lost most of the momentum did not do the woman great harm. On the same day, John Leonhardt (Krauss) Crouse, shot and killed a British soldier from behind the walls of the fort and went out from the fort to take the soldiers horse and baggage. John Crouse had married Magdalena, the daughter of Johannes Klock.
The battles of Stone Arabia and Klock's Field was the last battles fought in the Mohawk Valley during the Revolutionary War, but the sparks struck by the flintlocks rifles lit the fires of freedom in patriot hearts and minds throughout the Mohawk Valley. Those sparks have in no small measure inspired America in her never ceasing struggle to preserve that freedom.
Our love of freedom, our respect for the rights and privileges of the common man, our belief in equal opportunity for every citizen stems from those unconquerable pioneer forbears, many of whom took refuge behind the solid stone walls of Fort Klock and leveled their flintlocks through the loopholes in the name of freedom.
Fort Klock stands today as a reminder to all who visit her of this fight for freedom and independence. Visit the fort and touch the walls, look through the loopholes and listen to the stories of the site interpreters and learn about what life was like in the Mohawk Valley for our ancestors. It is our job at Fort Klock to provide educational services and to accurately interpret this wonderful site.
Fort Klock is open Tuesday through Sunday 9:00 am to 5 p.m. Memorial Day through Columbus Day. The fort closed for the 2014 season on October 13 and will re-open on May 25, 2015 (Memorial Day).
Fort Klock is located in one of New York's historic areas. Easily accessible from New York Route 5 and 5S or New York State Thruway at exit 29 in Canajoharie, New York. From Exit 29 NYS Thruway, cross the Mohawk River to Route 5, proceed west for 9 miles. Fort Klock is located 2 miles east of St. Johnsville on Route 5.
This website is maintained by Fort Klock Historic restoration. An association composed of people dedicated to the continued restoration of Fort Klock. For more information on becoming a member please see our membership tab in the navigation.