On the morning of July 9, 1781 the residents of the Currytown settlement did not know their lives would forever be changed. The farming community was abundant with crops. By the end of the day, the fields and buildings would be burned to the ground by a Mohawk Indian raiding party of 300 Iroquois loyal to the British and led by a low ranking Tory named John Doxtader.
With little options to hide, the residents of Currytown had only the stockaded residence of Henry Lewis to flee to or risk hiding in their attics and root cellars. For some, “Fort Lewis” was too far to reach. Many were killed, scalped, or saw the destruction of their homes as they went up in flames.
Colonel Willett at Fort Plain would see the smoke, pursue and overtake the Mohawks, but not before the Currytown families suffered tragedy. In the fall, a much larger force made up of British regulars, loyalists, and Mohawk warriors entered the valley, several hundred strong. On October 24, 1781, they once again “captured” Currytown, but did not burn it to prevent rising smoke from warning Willett and the militia of the raid. The raid was discovered by a pair of militia scouts and warning of their presence was spread throughout the county. Before Willett was able to organize the valley’s defense, the raiding party attacked a number of small towns and homesteads, burning buildings and killing settlers along the way.
During the weekend of August 27 and 28, 2016, an event to commemorate the 135th Anniversary of the Currytown Raids is planned for reenactors and sutlers on site selling their wares from the 1780s. On Saturday, August 27 the Colonial camps will be open for the public to see what life was like in the 1780s. The Root Historical Society will be having a chicken barbeque at the Currytown Reformed Church, 665 State Highway 162, Sprakers. Serving will start at 2:00pm, $7.00 for half chicken and $9.00 for a full meal. On Sunday, August 28 the raid will commence at 2:00pm for spectators followed by an ice cream social at the Currytown Reformed Church starting at 4:00pm, $3.00 for ice cream and cake/pie. Additionally, commemorative buttons will be sold throughout the weekend for $3.00 each.
Off street parking will be available and marked on Darrow Road and shuttle service will also be available for those using the lots away from the camps. Please refrain from parking on State Highway 162. For more information, please contact Bill Maring, Town of Root Historian, at (518) 922-5606.