The Hidden Scandalous History Of Herkimer’s Historic Four Corners ~ The Haunts And Legends Of New York
Steeped in history and legends, New York is filled with stories of the forgotten, eerie and the weird that influence us everyday. What role did the Historic Four Corners play in two scandalous national murder trial's and what hidden secrets haunt the halls today?
Lite 98.7's Eric Meier has teamed up with Folklorist P.W. Creighton to explore the haunts and legends of New York. Through their travels into the dark and often overlooked spaces they will bring these historic sites back to life and make some unexpected discoveries along the way.
In this episode Phil guides the explorers to Herkimer's Historic Four Corners in downtown Herkimer. The Historic Four Corners are a series of buildings built during the 1800's after a tragic fire and tied together by a murderous history that can still be felt today.
The intersection on North Main and Court/Church in Herkimer has a hidden history filled with tragedy. In 1834 inmates of the Herkimer County Jail armed with candles and newspapers set fire to the jail and with an ill wind the fire spread to additional buildings including the courthouse and neighboring houses. After the fire a new jail and courthouse were constructed as was a church and eventually the Suiter Building.
In December of 1884 Roxalana Druce (Druse) murdered her husband in a horrific fashion and enlisted family to help her hide the body. Roxalana was subsequently arrested and held in the Herkimer County Jail. Her trial was held at the Herkimer County Courthouse. The trial was a national scandal sparking outcry for women's rights and after she was hanged for the crime (as the last person to die from hanging in New York State) her trial helped the introduction of the Hadley Bill in the NY State Assembly in January, 1887 to abolish capital punishment and substitute life imprisonment for women found guilty of first degree murder.
Then in 1906, the Historic Four Corners were once again engulfed in a national murder trial and scandal. Known as An American Tragedy, Chester Gillette was brought to trial at the Herkimer County Courthouse for the murder of Grace Brown on Big Moose Lake. Once again, Chester was held at the Herkimer County Jail, tried at the Herkimer Courthouse and even Dr. Suiter was brought in to testify at the trial. Chester Gillette was eventually found guilty and sentenced to die in the Electric Chair at Auburn Prison.
The past is not left to fade as other events, today with artifacts from two scandalous national murder trials including Roxalana Druse's rocking chair, a fragment of the rope used to hang her and even Dr. Suiter's autopsy table the events still echo through the Historic Four Corners today. People report seeing shadowy apparitions and hearing strange noises through the halls.