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Cohoes City

Cohoes City Hall is located at 97 Mohawk Street, Cohoes NY 12047; phone: 518-233-2110.

Cohoes City

Beginnings [1]

The original village of Cohoes, and indeed nearly the whole settlement in this vicinity, was within the domain of Van Rensselaer. On the north side of the Mohawk was the Halve Maan (Half-Moon) patent. The islands at the mouth of the Mohawk not long after came into the possession of Capt. Goosen Gerritse Van Schaick. He died in 1676. Subsequent occupants of that part of the present city were Guert Hendrickse Van Schoonhoven, Harmon Lieverse and Roeloff Gerritse Van Der Werken. Mrs. C.V.S. Baldwin, at present residing on the island, is a lineal descendant of the Capt. Van Schaick just mentioned. Commencing at the north line of the Rensselaerwyck (Manor Avenue), the colonists under the patroon were Heamstreet, Onderkirk, Lansing, Fonda, Clute. But it goes to show the great foresight of the patroon that he reserved quite a strip of land on the west side of the river, below the Falls — land which is at present of very great value for manufacturing purposes.

North of the Manor Avenue was the Van Olinde estate, a part of which has been sold for city lots, and more is in the possession of Mr. James Morrison. There is also a part of this estate in the hands of heirs of the late Isaac D.F. Lansing. In the deed of the lands next north of the Manor Avenue, by Daniel Van Olinde (who was of the first generation after the original owners, who obtained possession from the Indians), to Walran Clute, there was granted a privilege to build one or more saw-mills and a grind-mill. The date of this deed was 1720. This was probably the beginning of mills in a town to be greatly noted thereafter for its many wheels and spindles. The honest Dutch farmers soon saw that there was wealth in the Cohoes Falls, as well as in the rich soil.

In 1830 Cohoes contained about twenty houses. In 1848 the time had arrived to incorporate the thriving village.

The first charter election was held June 12, when 521 votes were cast, and the following trustees were elected: Alfred Phelps, Joshua R. Clarke, George Abbott, Henry D. Fuller and William Burton.

Joshua R. Clarke was chosen President. The assessors chosen were Henry E. Earl, John P. Steenberg and Wm. H. Hollister. The other officers chosen were: Treasurer, Chas. A. Olmsted; Collector, John B. Harrison; Clerk, John Van Santvoord; Pound Master, Isaac F. Fletcher; Fire Wardens, Jacob Upham, Henry Van Auken, John McGill, Wm. Osterhout and Abram Ostrom.

At the time of the incorporation the area of the village was about 1,600 acres.

The bill incorporating Cohoes as a city passed the Assembly April 15, 1869, and became a law May 19 of that year.

The first election, held April 12, 1870, resulted in the choice of Charles H. Adams for Mayor, and the following Aldermen: David J. Johnston, Egbert Lansing, George Campbell, Moses S. Younglove, Bartholomew Mulcahy, Walter Witbeck, Charles F. North and Charles Hay. At this election the following School Commissioners were chosen: Frank Reavey, Daniel Simpson, Wm. Burton, E. N. Page, A. M. Harmon, Jonathan Hiller, Wm. Travis, Wm. S. Crane.

The several Mayors of the city succeeding Mr. Adams have been: David J. Johnston, 1872; Henry S. Bogne, 1874; David J. Johnston, 1876; William E. Thorn, 1878, 1880; Alfred LeRoy, 1882-1884.

  1. Tenney, Jonathan, et. al., History of the County of Albany, N.Y., from 1609 to 1886, W. W. Munsell and Co., Publishers, 1886.
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