Berlin, New York Berlin, NY is located in eastern Rensselaer County, USA between the towns of Petersburgh and Stephentown, NY in the valley of the Little Hoosick river and the Kinderhook Creek. The eastern border is the State of Massachusetts and on the west by the towns of Poestenkill and Sand Lake. There are three village in the town: Berlin, formerly called North Berlin, Berlin Central, and South Berlin
The first residents of the area that would one day become the Town of Berlin were the Mohican Native Americans who hunted the lush forests, fished the abundant rivers and streams like the Kinderhook Creek and the Little Hoosick and grew Maze (corn), Squash and beans in the fertile soil of the valley floor.
In 1765 Godfrey Brimmer became the first known European settler in what would become the village. Peter Simmons, and Daniel Hull soon followed. Reuben Bonesteel was also an early resident who remained loyal to the British Crown during the Revolutionary War. As a fervent Tory he sent his six sons to fight for the British forces. Three deserted and joined the revolution but were disowned by their father upon their return.
Around 1772 Daniel Hull opened the first inn and tavern. About 1785 Hezekiah Hull opened another roadhouse establishment as did Jonas Odell and James Main. In 1806 Dr. Burton Hammond opened the Niles hotel. In 1843 Sheldon Morris opened the Wadsworth Hotel. Due to the outstanding beauty of the area hotels and tourist accommodations have been present from the earliest days.
Berlin was incorporated as one of the largest towns in Rensselaer County on March 21, 1806. Shortly after in 1812 a portion of the town was taken for the Town of Sand Lake.
Beyond leisure attractions the town had early physicians and attorneys. Dr. John Forbes, was an early doctor who hung his shingle at Sweet's Corners in 1775. About 1800 Dr. Job Tripp, Dr. Peter T. Olds, Dr. Emerson Hull, Dr. Henry Brown and Dr. Burton Hammond located in the village of North Berlin.
Alonzo G. Hammond was the first accredited lawyer to practice in the town opening an office in North Berlin village between 1815 and 1820. Around 1820 Charles M. Davis became Hammond’s law partner. Other early attorneys were Robert A. Lottridge and Leonard R. Saunders.
A full complement of volunteers from Berlin served in the Revolutionary War, 30 did not return. Throughout the coming years the men of Berlin would serve in the War of 1812 (although none were called to active duty) Civil War, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Lebanon, Panama, and the Persian Gulf.
The principal occupation of the residents has historically been agricultural although men’s shirts have been manufactured in the town since 1891 with the establishment of the Manhattan Shirt Factory by G. W. Maxon and also W. H. Whyland.
In addition to farming residents harvested ice from Kendall Pond and Dyken Pond. Ice was stored in ice houses covered with sawdust for use in ice boxes before electric refrigerators were invented. Ice was also shipped to the cities of the Capital Region and downstate to New York City.
In 1851 the New York & Bennington Railroad (later the Chatham and Lebanon Valley Railroad. later The Rutland Railroad) was chartered. The line would eventually come to Berlin as the most important and profitable station between Chatham and Bennington, VT.
On August 27, 1891 the Little Hoosick River crested 20 to 30 feet above its banks. Homes and farms were swept away, fifteen bridges were destroyed, the railroad ceased operations and at least two people were drowned.
Today the town is mainly a bedroom community of the Albany, Troy, Schenectady Metro Area. Steadfast residents tolerate, and often enjoy, the long commute in order to live in such bucolic splendor, clean air and water.
As of the 2010 census, there were 1,880 people, 729 homes and 500 families living in the town. The population density was 32 persons per sq. mi. There were 1,034 housing units. The ethnic makeup of the city was 98% Caucasian, 2% Hispanic or Latino.