Castleton on Hudson NY The village of Castleton is located in southwestern portion of the Town of Schodack in Rensselaer County, Southeast of Albany, NY. The village covers an area of .8 square miles
The first residents of the area that would one day become the Village of Castleton were the Mohican Native Americans who hunted the lush forests, fished the abundant rivers and streams where they grew Maze (corn), Squash and beans in the fertile soil of the valley floor.
in September of 1609 Henry Hudson stopped at what is the present site of the village of Castleton on his historic voyage up the river that would bear his name to discover a route to the Indies. He noted a large structure on a hill which he identified as a castle. The building was actually a food storage building and perhaps the home of the chief of the Mohicans
In the seventeenth century, the area was part of Rensselaerswyck Patent, a vast area on both sides of the Hudson owned by the Van Rensselaers who obtained land from the Mohicans. In 1664 the English captured New Amsterdam and renamed in New York after the Duke of Albany and York but the area retained its Dutch Knickerbocker character. One such early resident, Johannes Van Buren, owned a large dock on the Hudson near his home, a house which still stands today. After his death, his heirs divided his land into a numbered of residential lots that are still occupied today
In the 1800's the area became a trade center as steamboats plied the Hudson from New York City to Albany, Schenectady and Troy. Fulton's Folly (the first steamboat to travel the river) is reported to have run aground on a sandbank near the village.
The area soon saw prosperous times as mills sprang up that made bricks, lumber, paper, fasteners, and farm produce that were shipped to New York City and Europe. Ice was cut from the river and nearby ponds and shipped to the Hudson River Valley to supply ice boxes before the invention of the refrigerator.
The railroad came to Castleton in 1851 but had little impact on river freight since boats were less expensive and goods rarely needed the speed rail travel provided. The Alfred H. Smith Memorial Bridge was completed in 1924 but only passed over the village with little impact. In 1959 the Castleton NYS Thruway Bridge was completed adjacent to the railroad bridge. This bridge made the village a bedroom community to the Capital Region.
In 1936 floods destroyed much of the business district. With flooding a common occurrence industry and business decide to locate elsewhere. The village is now largely a peaceful residential community.
As of 2014, there were 1,462 people, 615 homes and 399 families living in the village. The population density was 2,025 persons per sq. mi. There were 654 housing units. The ethnic makeup of the city was 97% Caucasian, 1% African American, 1% Asian and 1% Hispanic or Latino.