Fort Klock remains a portal to 18th-century life on a functioning farm and fortified dwelling in the Mohawk Valley. Through engaging living history demonstrations and meticulously reconstructed living spaces, our dedicated interpreters, members, and reenactors strive to offer a compelling educational journey into this pivotal era of American history.

As a privately owned and managed site, Fort Klock holds the prestigious status of being a National Historic Landmark. Our organization operates as a nonprofit entity under section 501(c)(3) of the tax code, duly chartered by the NYS Education Department Board of Regents as an educational institution. It's important to note that we are independent of state ownership and do not receive financial support from governmental sources for day-to-day operations. Instead, we depend on the generosity of public donations to ensure the continued accessibility of this cherished historical site.

Fort Klock, the fortified abode of Johannes Klock, is under the stewardship of Fort Klock Historic Restoration, a collective of devoted citizens committed to safeguarding this invaluable historical treasure. While maintaining its original essence, the house has undergone meticulous restoration efforts, earning it the prestigious distinction of being designated a National Historic Landmark in 1973. This recognition acknowledges its profound significance in showcasing the narrative of the United States' history. Operating as a not-for-profit entity (501-C-3), our organization holds educational institution status bestowed by the New York State Education Department Board of Regents. Our foremost objective is to safeguard and authentically interpret the rich history encapsulated within this distinctive site.

OUR STORY

Nestled in the scenic Mohawk Valley of New York, Klock's fortified homestead stands proudly, just a mile east of St. Johnsville. This stone structure, boasting walls over 2 feet thick, is fortified on all sides with loopholes for defense, while sturdy wooden shutters shield its windows. A spring bubbling up within its cellar ensured a constant supply of fresh water for its inhabitants.

Fort Klock served as a self-sufficient refuge during both the French and Indian War and the American War for Independence, offering sanctuary to family and neighbors amidst turbulent times. Reflective of the region's history, several fortified homes dot the valley. Johannes (John) Klock, a patriot and member of the Tryon County Committee of Safety, constructed the stone house for his family in 1750, with a kitchen addition added in the 1760s. Positioned along the river and King's Highway, the Klocks and their fellow valley residents likely hosted notable historical figures during and after the revolution. Notably, the Battle of Klock's Field, the last skirmish of the devastating 1780 loyalist raid, is believed to have occurred nearby.

Remaining in the Klock family until the 1950s, the homestead fell into disrepair following Lipe Klock's passing in the 1930s. Abandoned, it awaited restoration. In 1953, Willis "Skip" Barshied Jr. and his newly formed Tryon County Muzzleloaders, seeking a headquarters, discovered the dilapidated property. Despite its state, Alexander Don, a Klock descendant, saw the potential for restoration. Don, joining forces with the Muzzleloaders, leased the property to them for a nominal fee, trusting in their commitment to preservation.

A concerted effort ensued to revive the homestead. Repairing and replacing windows, doors, floors, and walls became the focus, with the Blacksmith shop reactivated to craft necessary ironwork. Tragedy struck during cleanup as a brush fire ravaged the abandoned Fort Klock School, prompting its purchase and restoration by the Muzzleloaders. Upon Alexander Don's passing in 1957, his wife Mable deeded the fort to the Muzzleloaders, officially opening it to the public for tours in 1961. In 1973, the organization was renamed Fort Klock Historic Restoration and designated a National Historic Landmark.

The addition of the Dutch Barn, donated in 1989, further enriched the site. Today, it stands alongside the Little Red Schoolhouse (c. 1825) and Blacksmith shop, testament to the dedication of the Tryon County Muzzleloaders, now known as Fort Klock Historic Restoration. The caretaker's residence, once a cheese house, serves as a nod to the site's agricultural past. Relying on volunteer members, donations, events, and sales, Fort Klock Historic Restoration ensures the ongoing preservation and interpretation of this cherished historical gem. Membership applications are actively welcomed, inviting others to join in safeguarding this piece of history.
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