The Town of Watervliet

The first inhabitants of Watervliet, New York were the Native Americans and French fur traders.

In 1609, Henry Hudson, representing the Dutch East India Company, landed at the foot of what is now 15th Street in Watervliet.

In 1664, the Netherlands ceded the Hudson Valley to England. The English changed the name of the colony to New York.

In 1776, Ann Lee and her followers established the first American Shaker Community, located at the present-day Albany International Airport.

The Town of Watervliet incorporated in 1788. It included all of present-day Albany County and part of Schenectady County, but not the City of Albany itself.

In 1813, the Watervliet Arsenal was founded to support the effort for the War of 1812.

The City of Watervliet

In the early 1820’s, Watervliet consisted of three villages: Port Schuyler (1st Street to 8th Street), Gibbonsville (8th Street to 15th Street), and West Troy (15th Street to 26th Street).

In 1823 the Erie Canal was completed from West Troy to Rochester. On October 8, 1823, the “Trojan Trader” left from West Troy navigating the canal to Rochester as the first boat to bring goods to the west on the Erie Canal.

The Meneely Bell Foundry was started in 1826 by Andrew Meneely in West Troy. The Meneely bell from St. Patrick’s Church is now on display at the Watervliet Historical Society Museum.

In 1836, the three villages merged into one and incorporate as West Troy.

Finally, in 1896, the Town of Watervliet disbanded, and West Troy became the current-day City of Watervliet.