History of Rotterdam, New York

ROTTERDAM was formed from Schenectady, April 14, 1820. A part of the City was annexed in 1853. It lies near the center of the County, upon the south bank of the Mohawk. The surface consists of a broken, hilly region in the north-west, a level interval extending from the center towards the south, and a high plain in. the east. The soil upon the west hills is a tough clay, underlaid by shale, which frequently crops out. The central valley or plain, extending five miles, was called by the Dutch the “Bouwlandt.” The soil is a deep alluvium. The east plateau is sandy and barren.

Rotterdam, Mohawkville and Factoryville are hamlets.

Settlements were commenced about 1661. Among the early settlers were Wilhelmus Van Otto, Van Curazoa, a native of the Island of Curazoa, Ryer Schermerhorn and Simon Veeder. The house of Van Otto stood on the site of the one formerly occupied by Simon Veeder. During the Revolution there were families living in town by the name of Delemont, Van Pelten. and Brangham.

The first church was organized August 29, 1800. Rev. Thomas Romeyn was the first pastor.

The Methodist Episcopal Uhurch of Rotterdarn was organized in 1846, by the Presiding Elder Lindsey, and consisted of 60 members. Revs. S. Covel and W. R. Brown were the first pastors. A house of worship was erected about the same time. The present house was erected in 1866 at a cost of about $4,000. Its seating capacity is about 400. The present membership is 120; the present pastor is Rev. Demas Burroughs. James Fisher, Sen., purchased the site for the church, of Daniel D. Campbell, in 1844, and presented it to the society. Mr. Fisher came from England in 1818, and is still living, in the 86th year of his age.

The population in 1865 was 2,290, and the area 21,052 acres.

There are twelve school districts, employing the same number of teachers. The number of children of school age is 905; the number attending school 480; the average attendance 251, and the amount expended for school purposes for the year ending September 30, 1869, was $4,513.70.

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