Schenectady is recognized as the 9th largest city in New York and was first settled in 1661 when the area was part of the Dutch colony of New Netherland by Arent van Curler of Nijkerk . Schenectady was originally the home of the historic Mohawk tribe. The name “Schenectady” is derived from Mohawk language and is located near both the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers. It is also the direct neighbor of Albany. In 1809, Schenectady County was split from Albany County.
It is best known as the location that British General John Burgoyne surrendered to American General Horatio Gates at the end of the Battles of Saratoga. That event has widely been considered to be the turning point during the American Revolutionary War for the United States . A majority of the battles took place in Stillwater.
At one time Schenectady was known as “The City that Lights and Hauls the World” due to the Edison Electric Company (General Electric) as well as the American Locomotive Company (closed in 1969). During GE’s prominent years built many grand-style homes which locals refer to as the “GE Plot”. GE still remains today as the city itself is undergoing a revitalization or rebirth.
One of the jewels of Schenectady is considered to be Central Park. It is the highest elevation point in the city and is home to a beautiful rose garden as well as many sporting events and local festivals. Central Park is also the home of Iroquois Lake.
You can also find a growing downtown city life. Schenectady in recent years has taken a very progressive and aggressive approach to help rebuild and revitalize the downtown district. Home to the Amtrak train station, and many bars including Union Inn, Pinhead Susan’s (known for throwing a popular annual block party), Manhattan Exchange, Bangkok Bistro, as well as many others. It is also the home to Proctors Theatre, which was built in 1926. Proctors was the site of one of the first public demonstrations of television and today still serves as a popular theatre.
Schenectady is also home to Ellis Hospital one of the largest and well known hospitals in the Capital Region. Great home for people with a career in healthcare or with aspirations of becoming an LPN.
Good to Know
Located between Proctors and the Schenectady City Hall is a short street closed off to motor traffic called Jay Street. Jay Street has a slew of independently owned locally operated businesses.
The Stockade Historic District features dozens of Dutch and English Colonial houses from the 18th and 19th centuries. It has been recognized as New York’s first National Register historic district, designated in 1965.
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