Two whales that ascended the river and were stranded during exceptionally high water in the Hudson in 1647 died there. In 1654 flooding all but destroyed the West India Company’s garden below Fort Orange and in 1666 Jeremias van Rensselaer reported that “fully forty houses and barns have been carried away, among which our house in which we lived, the barn and the brewery, the new as well as the old are lost also, so that hardly any traces can be found of where they have stood.” [Read more…] about Rensselaer County Floods: A Short History
Between the more formidable island of Papscanee (previously spelled Papsickene, now a peninsula nature preserve) and where the Hoosac River meets the Hudson, more than a dozen streams flow into the Hudson River. Only at the Poesten Kill, which flows through Troy, was there enough farmland, room to grow, and sufficient water-power for the earliest industries. [Read more…] about Early Dutch Farms at Troy
Noted local historical archeologist David R. Starbuck has said that the interconnected routes from the Richelieu River at the north end of Lake Champlain to Albany has the highest density of military sites in North America in the 1700s.
The large military encampments that attended the big campaigns of that era were among the largest cities in America, albeit for short intervals. [Read more…] about Settler Fears of Indian Conflict Near Albany Before 1664
k In December, the Rensselaer County Historical Society (RCHS) unveiled a new addition to the museum. The Poestenkill Lion returned to the museum after some conservation work and for the first time was displayed on the museum’s walls.
The lion first came to RCHS in 2011, when long-time RCHS supporters Hughes and Eva Gemmill donated the painting, which dates to about 1840 and is by an unknown artist. The lion was thinly painted with milk paint on four wide unfinished wood boards. [Read more…] about Poestenkill Lion: Unique Folk Art On Exhibit
Rensselaer County Historian Kathryn Sheehan will lead a tour of Mt. Ida Cemetery, which features some of the oldest headstones in the city of Troy, and the Poestenkill Gorge, a favorite destination for picnickers, photographers, and nature enthusiasts for centuries.
The waters of the Poestenkill collect in Dyken Pond, then make a dash for the Hudson River below. The Mt. Ida falls drop roughly 85′ into a gorge of crumbly black shale, make a right angle turn, dropping a further 75′ into a massive pool. This source of water power fueled several industries along the Poestenkill’s banks in the 19th century.
Hidden History – Mt. Ida Cemetery and the Poestenkill Gorge will be held on Tuesday, March 27, 2012 at 4:30 pm. The cost is $15 per person and $12 for RCHS members.
The Rensselaer County Historical Society and Museum (RCHS) is a not-for-profit educational organization established in 1927 to connect local history and heritage with contemporary life. RCHS is located at 57 Second Street, Troy NY 12180.
Photo: Mills along the lower Poestenkill Gorge at the foot of Cypress Street including the Griswold Wire Works, Tompkins Brothers machine works, and above Manning Paper, which occupied earlier Marshall textile mill buildings. Courtesy Troy Public Library.
John Warren (yours truly) has written the first history of the Poestenkill which flows through the center of Rensselaer County and enters the Hudson River at Troy, will offer a book talk and signing this Thursday (October 22nd, 6:30 to 8 pm) at the Rensselaer County Historical Society in Troy (57 Second Street, Troy). The event is free and open to the public. Copies of The Poesten Kill will be available for purchase at the event. The Poestenkill has been home to American Indians who hunted, gathered, fished and farmed along its shores, frontier Dutch farmers and traders, colonial tradesmen, merchants, millers, and lumbermen, and nineteenth century iron, steel, textile, and paper workers.