History of Amsterdam, NY
FROM: Gazetteer and Business Directory
OF Montgomery County, N. Y. For 1869-70.
Compiled and Published By Hamilton Child, Syracuse, NY 1869


AMSTERDAM, named from the place in Holland from which many of the early settlers came, was formed from Caughnawaga, March 12, 1793. Perth, Fulton County, was taken off in 1838. The original town of Caughnawaga was formed March 7, 1788. It embraced all that part of Montgomery County lying north of the Mohawk and east of a line extending from "The Noses" to Canada. In 1793 it was divided into Amsterdam, Mayfield, Broodalbin and Johnstown, and the original name was discontinued. It lies on the north bank of the Mohawk, in the north-east corner of the County. Its surface consists of the alluvial flats along the river, and a rolling upland, gradually rising for a distance of two miles, and attaining an elevation of 300 to 500 feet. The principal streams are the Fort Johnson, Chuetenunda and Evas Kil Creeks. The first was formerly called Kayaderosseras Creek, and its name was changed in honor of Sir William Johnson, who erected a residence near this stream in 1744, and a saw mill about the same time. It enters the Mohawk about three miles west of Amsterdam village. Chuctenunda, signifying Twin. Sisters, is a name applied to two streams flowing into the Mohawk on opposite sides. Evas Jil was named in honor of Mrs. Eva Van Alstyne, who was wounded and scalped by the Indians in 1755, while crossing this stream. The stream enters the Mohawk near the east border. The soil in the valley is a deep rich alluvium, and upon the hills it is a fertile, gravelly loam. Near Tribes Hill. are extensive stone quarries, at which stone is now being quarried for the new State Capitol. Manufacturing is carried on quite extensively at Amsterdam village and at several other places.

Amsterdam, (p. v.) formerly called Veedersburgh, was incorporated April 20,. 1830. It is situated on the north bank of the Mohawk, from which the land slopes gradually to the extreme northern limit of the village, then rises more abruptly to the hight of 500 feet. The main street runs nearly parallel with the river and is well paved and lighted with gas. The village contains five churches, viz., Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Episcopal and Roman Catholic; an academy, a newspaper office, three banks, four hotels, a large number of manufactories and about 6,000 inhabitants.

The Shoe Manufactory of McElwain & Co., gives employment to forty hands and turns out 150 or 200 pairs of shoes daily.

The Mohawk Knitting Mill employs forty hands and turns out forty dozens of shirts and drawers per day.

Amity Knitting Factory employs thirty hands and turns out thirty dozen shirts and drawers daily.

American Hosiery Mill is run' by steam and turns out 175 dozen shirts and drawers daily.

Sanford's Carpet Factory employs 300 hands, uses 3,000 pounds of wool and turns out 1,000 yards of carpet daily.

Kellogg & Miller's Oil Mill employs 30 hands, uses 900 bushels of seed, and makes 2,000 gallons of oil and fifteen tons of oil cake daily.

The Globe Hosiery Mills employ 50 hands and turn out 90 dozen shirts and drawers daily.

Amsterdam Knitting Mills employ 55 hands and turn out 80 dozen shirts and drawers and 30 dozen jackets daily.

Amsterdam Iron Works employ 25 hands and Lurn out $50,000 worth of work annually.

The Forest Paper Mill turns out from 2,500 to 3,000 pounds of paper daily.

W. K. Green & Son's Hosiery Mills employ 200 hands and turn out from 250 to 300 dozen, shirts and drawers daily..

Pioneer Hosiery Mills employ 60 hands and turn out 60 to 65 dozen shirts and drawers daily.

The Broom Factory of J. H. Bronson turns out 20,000 dozen brooms annually.

The Malt House of Charmichael uses 40,000 bushels of grain annually.

The Monitor Clothes Wringer Manufoctory employs 25 hands and turns out 20,000 wringers annually.

The Broom Factory of E. D. Bronson employs 30 hands and turns out 80 dozen brooms and 30 dozen brushes daily.

The Amsterdam Steam Soap Works turn out 4,000 pounds of soap per week.

Shuler's Steel Spring Manufactory turns out $200,000 worth of springs annually.

J. C. Shuler & Co's Coffin Manufactory turns out $500,000 worth of work annually.

The Presbyterian Congregation of Amsterdam village was organized March 3d, 1832, with Rev. James Wood, pastor. The number of members at present is 300. The church edifice now in process of erection is 104 by 66 feet, and 148 feet to the top of the spire. It is constructed of brick and hewn stone and will cost, when completed, $40,000. Rev. M. S. Goodale, D. D., is the present pastor.

The Methodist Episcopal Church numbers 290 members. The edifice is of wood; located on Market Street. The present pastor is Rev. W. J. Heath.

The First Baptist Church numbers 268 members; the Sabbath school 200 scholars, 27 teachers and five officers. The church edifice is 100 by 50 feet and has a fine bell and organ. The present pastor is Rev. John Enoch Chesshire.

St. Ann's Episcopal Church numbers 65 members. The church edifice is a substantial stone building located on Division Street. Rev. Porter Thomas is the present pastor.

St. Mary's Catholic Church was organized in 1844. The present number of communicants is 600. The church edifice is of brick, located on Main Street, has a fine spire and stained glass windows.

Green Bill Cemetery is located on an eminence a little northeast of the village. The grounds are beautifully laid out and ornamented with trees, shrubbery and flowers. A soldiers' monument is soon to be erected. Nature and art are combined to make it a beautiful rural cemetery.

Amsterdam Academy is located on a sightly eminence northeast of the village, about two minutes walk from the R. R. Depot. It was incorporated by the Legislature, March 29,. 1839, and by the Regents of the University, Feb. 16, 1841, under the name of Amsterdam Female Seminary. It was located in a central part of the village until 1865, wken its present site was chosen. Its boarding department was for ladies, its day department for both sexes. April 27, 1865, its name was changed to Amsterdam Academy. New buildings, at a cost of $40,000, were erected and fitted up with all the modern improvements. The boarding department, as formerly, is for lathes, while the day school is for both sexes. The grounds are artistically laid out and when completed will furnish a delightful walk and. drive for the people of Amsterdam. The following are the names of the members of the first Board of Trustees under the new charter: Hon. Stephen Sanford, M. C., President; Hon. S. Pulver Heath, Sec.; Davis W. Shuler, Treas.; Hon. Samuel Belding, Hon. Adam W. Kline, Abram V. Morris, Hoel S. McElwain, Hon. John Kellogg, John McDonnell, Leonard Y. Gardiner and Chandler Bartlett. C. C. Wetsell is the present principal, assisted by a board of seven teachers.

Hagaman's Mills (p. v.) is located on Chuctenunda Creek, about four miles north-east of the village of Amsterdam, and contains two churches, viz., Methodist and Reformed; manufactories of hosiery, hubs and pumps, and about 200 inhabitants.

The Hosiery Mill of H. Pawling & Son is a fine wood building, run by water and steam, contains four sets of woolen machinery and turns out about 15,000 dozen shirts and drawers annually. Attached to the main building is a fire-proof 'picking room. This knitting mill was started in 1857, one of the first in the town, and has been in successful operation ever since. The dam of Messrs. Pawling & Son is of cut stone, laid in cement, and is the only one of the kind on this creek or in the County, constructed by private enterprise.

The Hub Factory of Inman & Son turns out about 6,000 sets of hubs annually. A planing mill is attached.

The Pump Factory of Mason & Rogers turns out about 1,000 pumps annually. A reservoir in Saratoga County supplies the stream on. which these mills are located.

The village received its name from Joseph Hagaman, the first settler, in 1777, and who subsequently erected the first mill.

Conner's Grist and Saw Mills are located near Hagaman's Mills. The grist mill contains three runs of stones and the saw mill one upright saw.

The Reformed Church of Hagaman's Mills, was erected in 1835 as a Presbyterian church in connection with, the First Presbyterian Church of Amsterdam, and remained so for about ten years, when it became an Independent Society with about 50 members. About five years after this it united with the Dutch Reformed, with which it is now connected.

The Methodist Church was organized in 1864 with. 24 members, and their house of worship was erected the same year. The present membership is 50.

Crainesville, (p. v.) situated on the Mohawk, three miles east of Amsterdam, contains a hotel, a store, a wagon shop, a saw mill, a tannery and about 120 inhabitants. It was named in honor of David Crane, who settled here in 1804 and kept a hotel for many years.

Swarts' Grist Mill is located about a mile east of Crainsville and contains two runs of stones.

McLachlan's Saw Mill is located about two miles north of Cranesviile, is run by water and contains one upright saw.

Tribes Hill (p. v.) received its name from the circumstance that the Indian tribes were accustomed to assemble here. It is located on the N. Y. C. R. R., about five miles west of Amsterdam, on the town line, and contains two churches, viz., Presbyterian and Methodist; a store, a tin shop, a harness shop, a blacksmith shop, two shoe shops and about thirty dwellings. About half of the village lies in the town of Mohawk. Near the village are several large stone quarries from which immense blocks are now being quarried for the new State Capitol. Stone cutting and quarrying form the main business of the place. A suspension bridge, 536 feet between abutments, crosses the Mohawk, connecting 'this place with Fort Hunter. It was erected by a stock company in 1852-3 at a cost of $17,500. The bridge is supported by six cables of three inches in diameter each. The towers are constructed of heavy oak timbers and the bridge will support 5,000 pounds per foot.

The Methodist Uhurch at this place was reorganized. in 1864 with a membership of about 40. Their house of worship is of stone and erected the same year.

Finhout's Saw Mill is located about three miles north-west of Amsterdam and contains one upright saw.

Hollenbeck & Coughnet's Mills are located about three miles north-west of Amsterdam, on Fort Johnson Creek. The saw mill contains one upright saw.

Fort Johnson Grist Mill, near the same place, contains three runs of stones.

Wert's Saw Mill is located on Fly Creek, about five miles north-west of Amsterdam, and runs one upright saw.

Hollembeck's Mill run's one upright saw.

West Amsterdam M. E. Church was organized about the year 1810. The present church edifice was erected in 1860, and is located on Fort Johnson Creek, about four thiles north-west of Amsterdam; the membership at present is about 75.

A Lutheran Church is located in the north-west corner of the town. Their house of worship was erected in 1858, and the present membership is about 75.

The First Presbyterian Church was organized about the year 1800. Their house of worship is located about two and a half miles east of Amsterdam. It was erected in 1802 and is still occupied by the society. The frame is of oak and. in good condition; the outside has undergone some repairs. The present membership is about thirty.

The first settlement of the town was commenced about 1710 by Dutch and Palatinates. In 1742 Sir William Johnson built a large stone mansion, about three miles west of the village, and resided there for about twenty years, or until he erected Johnson Hall. This edifice was richly ornamented with carvings of oak and mahogany, and at the time of its erection was one of the finest mansions in the Colony. It was fortified and called Fort Johnson. Sir William subsequently built a mill on the creek near his residence. Here he was surrounded by a great number of dependents and was often visited by great numbers of Indians over whom he exerted great influence. Guy Johnson had a fine stone residence one mile west of the village, called Guy Park, and Col. Daniel Claus had another about two miles from the village. The first two are still standing. A tract of land one mile square was originally attached to each of these residences, but the whole was confiscated and sold with the estates of the other Tories. The two men last named were sonsin-law of Sir William Johnson. The first settlers at Amsterclam village was Albert Veeder, E. E. De Graff, Nicholas Wilcox and William Kline. The first church, (Reformed Protestant Dutch,) was organized in 1792, and became Presbyterian in 1803. The first settled minister was Rev. Conrad Ten Eyek in 1799. Casper Van Warmer settled in the south-east part of the town about 1779, and lived there about eighty years, being 89 years old when he died, in 1859.

The population of Amsterdam in 1865 was 5,135 and its area 18,866 acres.


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