The village, on the north bank of the Mohawk River, takes its name from a Revolutionary War general whose home, now a state historic site, was several miles east, near Little Falls. The first road through Herkimer was built in 1794; the Erie Canal came in 1825, followed by the railroad in 1833 and the thruway in 1954. The arrival of these harbingers of historic, economic, and cultural transformation is analogous to the
history of Herkimer. After settlement, this village transitioned from an agricultural base to producing bicycles, shoes, furniture, matches, coat hangers, carriages, and lumber. Later, as the 20th century approached, the local economy became more reliant on the service industry, and jobs shifted to the health-care and education fields. Boosting tourism are Herkimer's "diamonds," which you may discover at one of the local mines.