Schenectady in Schenectady County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Welcomes You To
Settled by Arent Van Curler 1661
Burned by the French and Indians
Feb. 8, 1690
The original 1924 marker read:
Settled by Van Curler 1661
Burned by the French and Indians
February 8, 1690
Erected 1924 by Schenectady Chamber Of Commerce.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Notable Events • Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical month for this entry is February 1945.
Location. 42° 48.92′ N, 73° 56.851′ W. Marker is in Schenectady, New York, in Schenectady County. Marker is at the intersection of State Street (New York State Route 5) and Washington Avenue, on the right when traveling east on State Street. The Marker was atop a 25 foot tall pole at the edge of Schenectady's Liberty Park. Liberty Park is small triangular area of 0.20 (two tenths of an acre) bounded on two sides by State Street and Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Schenectady NY 12305, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. First Mill (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); M-7 Day (about 300 feet away); Southwest Corner of Stockade (about 300 feet away); The King’s Highway (about 400 feet away); Clench's Tavern (about 400 feet away); South Shore Road (about 400 feet away); Freemasonry (about 400 feet away); South Gate of Stockade (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Schenectady.
More about this marker. In the spring of 1925 the sign was installed between the former Hotel Van Curler (now SUNY/Schenectady County Community College) and the entrance to the first Western Gateway Bridge. It was removed in 1970 before the construction of the existing Western Gateway Bridge to Scotia. The sign had been in storage for about 7 years before it was put back on display. On July 15, 1977 after the sign had been refurbished by local volunteer artisans, the sign was put back up at its current location in Liberty Park on the corner of lower State Street and Washington Ave.
In July of 2008 Richard Olson of Olson Signs in Scotia, New York refurbished the sign at his own expense as a way to show his gratitude for business the City of Schenectady has sent his way. Olson scraped, primed and repainted the sign’s iron framework and carved a new wooden sign to place inside. He also replaced the missing pineapple-shaped decorative elements at the bottom of the sign frame. Olson's family-owned business has been in existence for 60 years and a member of the Chamber of Schenectady County for 20 years.
The scene at the top of the sign is a depiction of the Schenectady massacre which took place on Feb 8, 1690, and includes the following; a Dutch man, woman and child fleeing from a burning house. The home features diamond windows and a typical steep roof with Dutch stepped gable. Three armed men stand with weapons, ready to defend the settlement. In the center of the scene are four pickets of the stockade wall which surrounded the village. Outside the wall are six Indians wearing feathers in their hair and carrying knives, tomahawks, spears, and a bow with arrows. Three of the Indians are still in the canoes, two sitting, one standing. Since the attack occurred in the coldest part of the winter it is unlikely the Indians brought canoes with them all the way down from Canada, rather they most likely crossed the Mohawk River on the ice. The pine trees on the side allude to the name of Schenectady which comes from a Mohawk Indian word meaning, "beyond the pine plain", or Schenectady's location at the edge of "The Woesinta", i.e The Wilderness.
Also see . . . The Schenectady Massacre. "Robert Livingston (1654-1728) offers a vivid account of an attack by the French and their Indian allies on the Dutch and English settlement at Schenectady in New York on February 8 and 9, 1690." (Submitted on January 2, 2009, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.)
Additional keywords. Founded 1661, Schenectady Stockade, Schenectady Massacre, Olson Sign Scotia
Credits. This page was last revised on March 17, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 29, 2008, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. This page has been viewed 3,373 times since then and 42 times this year. Last updated on January 5, 2009, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. It was the Marker of the Week January 11, 2009. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on January 2, 2009, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. 6. submitted on December 21, 2017, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. 7. submitted on March 15, 2020, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.