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


Schenectady Marker - updated and repainted in 2008 image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, August 22, 2008
1. Schenectady Marker - updated and repainted in 2008
Inscription.  Updated 2008 Marker:
The Chamber of Schenectady County
Welcomes You To
Settled by Arent Van Curler 1661
Burned by the French and Indians
Feb. 8, 1690

The original 1924 marker read:
Erected by Chamber of Commerce
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 EventsSettlements & 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
Schenectady Marker image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, May 28, 2008
2. Schenectady Marker
Click or scan to see
this page online
Washington Ave. on the third. 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.

Details of the Silhouette

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
Schenectady Marker image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, May 28, 2008
3. Schenectady Marker
Schenectady's Chamber of Commerce sign at the corner of Washington Avenue (foreground), and State Street/Route 5 (on the left). Liberty Park is on the right. The WMCA is the building across the street with the cupola.
Schenectady Marker Detail image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, May 28, 2009
4. Schenectady Marker Detail
The silhouette at the top of the marker depicts the Schenectady Massacre of 1690.
Schenectady Massacre Painting image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, November 15, 2008
5. Schenectady Massacre Painting
This painting of the Schenectady Massacre hangs in the Schenectady County Historical Society. One inaccuracy in the painting is the Indians depicted wearing short tunics without trousers, which would have been very uncomfortable during the chilly February weather. In the bloody massacre houses and barns were torched and men, women and children were slaughtered. Many were in night clothing and had no time to arm themselves. By the morning of February 9, the thriving community lay in ruins — more than 60 buildings were burned and residents were dead, taken prisoner, or fled as refugees to the safety of the fort at Albany.
<i>"Welcome to Schenectady"</i> Sign in Storage image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, December 21, 2017
6. "Welcome to Schenectady" Sign in Storage
The "Welcome to Schenectady" sign is seen in storage in the back lot of the City of Schenectady Public Works on Foster Ave and Seneca Street. In 2017 work was begun on the redeveloping of Liberty Park into a green space that will become Gateway Plaza, thanks to a nearly $1 million FEMA grant. Presumable the sign will be returned to the park as a finishing touch on the project.
Schenectady Marker image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, February 1, 2020
7. Schenectady Marker
The Schenectady marker has been returned to public display in a new location which is not too far away from where it had been in Liberty Park. Liberty Park was redeveloped into Gateway Plaza. The Schenectady marker is now next to the Campbell House at the corner of State Street and South Church Street.
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.

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May. 12, 2021