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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Rotterdam in Schenectady County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Schenectady

 
 
Schenectaddy Marker image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, March 7, 2020
1. Schenectaddy Marker
Inscription.  From the beginning, it was the waterway that attracted people to Schenectady. Dutch settlers founded Schenectady in 1661 as part of the New Netherland Colony. The name "Schenectady" is said to be derived from the Mohawk word for "on the side of the pinery," referring to what today is called the Pine Bush. Schenectady continued to grow and expand over time, with settlers purchasing additional land from the Mohawks. Most notable in Schenectady's early history is its place as a frontier trading town. Locals farmed, worked as artisans, built boats, and traded pelts with Iroquois Nation tribes. Also notable is the devastating massacre Schenectady suffered in 1690 at the hands of French-Canadians and their Native American allies. The town was left in embers, though eventually survivors did return to rebuild the Stockade neighborhood, and beyond.

As Schenectady grew, it became incorporated as a city in 1798. During this time of American expansion and identity building, Schenectady made its own name for itself.
Schenectady Marker: At the Entrance to Gateway Landing/Rotary Park image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, March 7, 2020
2. Schenectady Marker: At the Entrance to Gateway Landing/Rotary Park
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Small industrial mills sprang up to create brooms from Schenectady's abundant broomcorn harvests. During this period of growth, Schenectadians also founded Union College—the United States' first non-denominational college.

Today's historic Stockade homes are preserved in part because of a devastating fire. In 1819, flames destroyed over 150 buildings, including much of Schenectady's business district. After the fire, Schenectadians chose to rebuild their businesses along State Street, leaving the Stockade as a quiet, residential neighborhood with limited growth and change.

In the 1800s Schenectady's place on the Mohawk River made it an important transportation center, connecting the Hudson River to the Great Lakes westward. When the Erie Canal opened in 1825, it made an island of the Stockade area between the canal and the Mohawk River. Adding to Schenectady's fame as a place of industry and transportation was the opening of the Mohawk & Hudson Railroad in 1831, the very first rail line built in New York State.

Schenectady was quickly becoming a center for technology and innovation, a designation underscored by the arrival of Thomas Edison. In 1886, moved his Edison Machine Works to Schenectady
Schenectady Marker Detail image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, March 7, 2020
3. Schenectady Marker Detail
, which eventually evolved and grew into General Electric. Humming alongside GE was the American Locomotive Company (ALCO), another major manufacturer. Together, these great industrial enterprises gave Schenectady the moniker, "The City that Lights and Hauls the World".
 
Erected 2019.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1661.
 
Location. 42° 49.058′ N, 73° 57.132′ W. Marker is in Rotterdam, New York, in Schenectady County. Marker is on The loop to SUNY/Schenectady, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Schenectady NY 12306, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Early Frontier (here, next to this marker); George S. Haswell III (within shouting distance of this marker); Gateway Landing (within shouting distance of this marker); Circa 1824 (approx. 0.2 miles away); Home of Aaron Dickinson (approx. 0.2 miles away); ca 1786 (approx. 0.2 miles away); 1832-1838 (approx. 0.2 miles away); Robert Sanders House 1750 (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Rotterdam.
 
More about this marker. The marker was funded in part by the Federal Highway Administration and administered by the New York State Scenic Byways Program at the New York State Department of Transportation. A local match for this funding was provided by the coalition of municipalities along the Byway corridor including Waterford, Cohoes, Halfmoon, Colonie, Clifton Park, Niskayuna and Schenectady. Content for the interpretive message was a joint effort by the Stockade Association, Schenectady County Historical Society, miSci, and Friends of the Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway. Schenectady County Department of Public Works installed the kiosk during the summer of 2018.
 
Also see . . .
1. City of Schenectady. (Submitted on March 17, 2020, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.)
2. Schenectady, New York (Wikipedia)
Schenectady Marker Detail image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, March 7, 2020
4. Schenectady Marker Detail
. (Submitted on March 17, 2020, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.)
 
Schenectady Marker & The Mohawk River image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, March 7, 2020
5. Schenectady Marker & The Mohawk River
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 17, 2020. It was originally submitted on March 16, 2020, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. This page has been viewed 70 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on March 16, 2020, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. • Michael Herrick was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 21, 2021