History From America's Most Famous Valleys
Fort Wagner, between Nelliston and St. Johnsville
Travelers along Route 5 will see the historical marker and Wagner house. The stone house fort was built about 1750. The old part and new are easily distinguishable since the addition is a wooden structure. The pioneer settler was Johan Peter Wagner who settled in West Camp with his wife Margaretha Laucs (Loucks), and there they lived. They moved to the Mohawk Valley along with some three hundred others, to land given them by Governor Hunter. Johan Peter and his wife lived until about 1750 and are buried in the Wagner plot southeast of the house, on the near side of a hill called the "Steilerberg" or "Steep Hill."
One son, Johan Peter was a Lieuteneant Colonel and fought in the Battle of Oriskany with three of his sons, Lieutenant Peter, George and John. His wife was Barbara "Waggener". (Stone Arabia Church records.) They had twelve children, five sons and seven daughters. Both Colonel Peter and his wife, Barbara, died of old age. Colonel Peter Wagner was buried in Fort Plain Cemetery, the funeral services were held in the Palatine Church. His will was signed in 1806 and probated in 1813. The farm was left to his son, Peter and he made provisions for his wife in the will.
This historic house is a short distance from: Fort Klock, Palatine Church, General Cochran House.
The historical marker says: Fort Wagner. Stone section of house was stockaded home of Lieutenant Col. Peter Wagner, Palatine Reg't Tryon County Militia 1750.
Thanks to Nan Dixon, who contributed the following article on Fort Wagner. Check out the Jefferson County Gen Web site, Nan is the coordinator. Many of the valley people settled in the Jefferson County area.
The Wagners left with the other troublemakers in 1712, and were in the Schoharie Valley, their beloved "Land of Schorrie", until the move to the Mohawk. Proof of this, of course, is found in the Simmendinger book, which locates the various families in their several locations, both in the Hudson and Schoharie Valleys, and also in New Jersey, in 1716. The Palatines, family by family, communicated with Mr. Simmendinger their willingness to send back to the old country, by means of his book, greetings to those they left behind. It's not a complete list, by any means, but the Wagners were one of the families that volunteered to be recognized.
I use the appellation troublemakers many times in "Palatine Roots", because the people who eventually ended up in the Mohawk Valley in the 1720s were the minority of the Palatines. The majority, the good guys, stayed put in the Hudson Valley, as they were all told to do. The troublemakers, on the other hand, had minds of their own, and included nearly all the listmasters the English chose to be their leaders of the Palatine groups.
Wagner in 1750
stone farm house located two miles east of Palatine Church and two
miles west of Nelliston, on NYS Route 5 in the Mohawk Valley, is historically
known as Fort Wagner. To begin at the beginning, Fort Wagner might
not even have been built in 1750. At the outset of the French and
Indian War in 1745, fortified dwellings became a necessity for those
families who wanted to remain in the Mohawk Valley. They began to
appear, about two miles apart, up and down the river. 1750 is a convenient
date in the middle of the 1700s for the erection of this stone house,
and it is as good as any.
The Wagner Family Another article written by Nan Dixon.
© 1999. Nan Dixon. e-mail:
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