Like most of the Mohawk Valley west of the “Noses”, St. Johnsville was settled by industrious Palatine German immigrants. By the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825, the community operated grist mills, saw mills, flax oil mills thanks to the abundance of water-power. By the end of the 19th century, the village was a major service stop for the New York Central Railroad, manufactured player pianos, threshing machines and entertained the populace in the Whyland Opera House.
Today, the village boasts of the county’s only Mohawk River marina ( the site of summer band concerts). A major RV campground is under development for the growing number of visitors interested in heritage tourism.
Start your trip at the Margaret Reaney Memorial Library and Museum on Kingsbury Avenue. This 1909 Beaux-Arts-style yellow brick building was a gift to the community by local industrialist Joseph Reaney. The museum is an “old curiosity shop” of collections ranging from military buttons, colonial powder horn sketches, nineteenth sculpture and painting to cemetery records. Just across the Mohawk River via Bridge Street, one may visit Erie Canal Lock 33, enlarged in 1848 and New York State Barge Canal Lock 16 in Mindenville. Just east of the village, Historic Fort Klock Restoration offers a glimpse of daily life on a pre-Revolutionary War, Palatine German fortified homestead. Head north on New Turnpike Road to visit Amish farms and businesses.