Schaghticoke's History:



The following is a brief history of the Town of Schaghticoke. It appeared in "Know Your Towns -Pittstown and Schaghticoke" that was produced by Kira Lawrence and April Mullen as a Participation in Government Project.


Multiple Indian tribes inhabited the land that is now the Town of Schaghticoke, as early as 1300. In 1675, Governor Andros, governor of the colony of New York, planted a tree of Welfare near the junction of the Hoosic River and Tomhannock Creek, and area already know as Schaghticoke, "the place where the waters mingle." This tree symbolized the friendship between the English and the Dutch, and the Schaghticoke Indians. The Indians were Mohican refugees from New England welcomed to Schaghticoke because they agreed to help protect the English from the French and the Iroquois. They stayed until 1754.

Until the Revolutionary War, Schaghticoke was part of the colony of New York with most of its citizens governed by the city of Albany, which owned the land they rented.


Meanwhile, the rest of what is now the town of Schaghticoke was sold by New York in several large land grants.

Settlement was slow until after the revolution because Schaghticoke was a dangerous place in which to live, its inhabitants subject to raid by Indians and Tories.


The new New York State government organized much of the state into towns by an act of Legislature in 1788. Schaghticoke was among those towns. Schaghticoke was part of Albany County until Rensselaer County was formed in 1791.


After the Revolution, many immigrants came to Schaghticoke, especially from England and Ireland. Population centers grew up near streams, where the water powered mills of various kinds. In 1792, William Chase constructed the first bridge over the Hoosic River at what would become the Village of Schaghticoke. Most residents were farmers, growing crops used in the local industries.


Though the town of Schaghticoke developed industrially and agriculturally, in never developed a political center. One of its hamlets, Hemstreet Park, faces Mechanicville across the Hudson River; two others, Pleasantdale and Speigletown, were part of Lansingburgh for almost 100 years. Melrose grew up at the junction of the railroad and the road. A substantial number of its homes were built as vacation retreats by the wealthy Trojans. The Village of Schaghticoke was incorporated as Harts Falls in 1867. The falls of the Hoosic powered large woolen, flax, and powder mills among others.


In the 20th century, agriculture remained strong in Schaghticoke, while industry all but disappeared. Hemstreet Park, Pleasantdale, Speigletown, and part of Melrose grew into suburbs, their residents' commute to work in Troy or Albany.


Today, agriculture is still a force in the community, but Schaghticoke is experiencing increasing residential development, along with the political, social and economic issues that entails.




Town Historian
Chris Kelly
Schaghticoke History Blog
This blog contains articles researched and written by the town historian covering town history from the Native Americans to about 1870, with more to come.
© 2020 Town Of Schaghticoke, Rensselaer County