July 18, 2011
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While I have been historian of the town of Schaghticoke for a long time, it is only since my retirement that I have had time to really dig in and research its history. Of course, the more I research, the more I find. I have been writing a weekly column for our local paper, the “Mechanicville Express”, since fall 2010. The first six or seven columns were about how to research one’s family tree, but then I just began to write about the town’s history chronologically. I will post the columns here, hoping both to educate and to get feedback.
To give a bit of background, Schaghticoke is a mostly rural community of about 7500 people, in Rensselaer County, north of the city of Troy, N.Y. It is in the northwest corner of the county, with the Hudson River as its west boundary. There is just one incorporated village in the town, Schaghticoke, of less than 1000 people. There are several other concentrations of people. Once very much a farming community, Schaghticoke is increasingly a bedroom community for Albany, Troy, and Saratoga county. Thanks to a large waterfall in the Hoosic River, the town also had industry as early as the late 1700’s.
Local history is most fascinating to “locals”, of course, but it is the history of all the little communities that makes up the big picture. Events and trends in Schaghticoke added to and reflected the wider community. That is my rationale for writing.
This oak was planted as a symbol of peace between the local Mahican Indians, and the colony of New York in 1676. It is the town symbol of Schaghticoke.