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Watervliet, New York


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Town of Watervliet

Watervliet NY is a municipality in Albany Co. on the western shore of the Hudson River approximately eight miles north of the City of Albany, NY.  At last count Watervliet had over ten thousand residents living on 1 1/2 sq. mi. in over 5,000 housing units making it one of the most populous communities in Upstate New York.

History Henry Hudson the Dutch captain of the Halve Maen (English: Half Moon for which the town in Saratoga County was named) first sailed up the river that bears his name to the place that would become Watervliet in the year 1609.  Permanent houses began to appear in the mid 1600's as a section of the Rensselaerwyck Patroon patent.  In the early 1700's a ferry was established between the settlement and the village of Troy on the far side of the Hudson which proved invaluable to troops of the Continental Army on their way to the Battle of Saratoga.

The Township of Watervliet was founded in 1788 to encompass the entire county with the exception of the future City of Albany.  Later the township was divided into all the communities now incorporated in the county making it the "Mother of Towns" as it was sometimes called.

Present day Watervliet was once the village of Gibbonsville, named for the early settler, James Gibbons and later West Troy and Washington.  In 1813 Gibbons sold 12 acres of land to the Federal Government for the creation of the Watervliet Arsenal which gave the town the name "Arsenal City" The present City was incorporated in 1896.
With the creation of the Erie Canal, the Watervliet Turnpike, and the Albany and Northern Railroad the city became a hub of transportation