Rensselaer, New York Rensselaer New York is located in western Rensselaer County, USA. The City of Rensselaer has a prosperous industrial heritage dating back to the early nineteenth century. The dye industry in the United States had its origins here and the first American location for the production of Aspirin. A major railroad hub, the city boasts a new Amtrak station built in 2002. The total area of the city is 3.3 square miles located on east shore of the Hudson River across from the City of Albany. The towns of East and North Greenbush surround the city on the other three sides
The first residents of the area that would one day become the City of Rensselaer were the Mohican Native Americans who called their community Petuquapoern and Juscum catick.
In 1609 the Dutch claimed the region based on Henry Hudson's exploration of the Hudson River. The region was later named De Laet's Burg after one of the directors of the Dutch West India Co. Settlement began as early as 1628. By 1642 there was a brewery and many bouwerij (Dutch for farm, Anglicized to bowery).
Kiliaen van Rensselaer, the first Patroon and founding director of the Dutch West India Company, established the Rensselaerswyck patent which included all of Rensselaer and Albany Counties and most of Columbia and Green Counties.
The Van Rensselaer family built a home in what would become the City of Rensselaer. In 1712 Hendrick van Rensselaer, Kiliaen 's grandson, built his home and named it Fort Crailo. The manor home was expanded in 1762-1768. The property was occasionally used as a campground for both British and Colonial forces. According to legend, British Army surgeon Richard Shuckburgh, wrote "Yankee Doodle" there mocking the Colonial troops who were allied with the British in the French and Indian Wars
A ferry was established by Hendrick Albertsen connecting Beverwyck at the mouth of the Beaver Creek across the Hudson in what would become the City of Albany to the future site of Rensselaer which at the time was called t'Greyn Bos (anglicized to Greenbush). The hamlet of East Albany was also part of Greenbush. The next hamlet to be settled was Bath in 1795 (or Bath-on-Hudson).
In the 19th century the City of Rensselaer became the location of the Boston & Albany (B&A) Railroad's facilities. A ferry ran between Van Rensselaer Island and downtown Albany at Maiden Lane. In 1871 the Maiden Lane Bridge was completed which replaced the ferry. In 1903 the channel that separated the island from the mainland was filled.
In 1882 the Hudson River Aniline and Color Works built their first dye plant in Rensselaer which was rebuilt after a fire in 1895. The Bayer Corporation acquired the property in 1903 where they built one of the largest and most up-to-date pharmaceutical production facilities in the United States where they produced the first commercially available aspirin. In 1917 The Government seized the property as owned by a German company who were at the time at war with the U.S. The property would later be purchased by the General Aniline and Film Company, and then BASF. In 1927 it was the first plant to produce solid diazo salts (used in the manufacture of water-fast dyes) in the United States. In all, the facilities had 12 separate owners or subsidiaries, in the 1990s it was the oldest dye plant in continuous operation producing more product than any other plant in the United States. The plant was closed on December 28, 2000.
In 1932 the Port of Albany-Rensselaer was built with 35 acres in the southern part of the City of Rensselaer. The docks on the Rensselaer side were built in the 1970s
As of the 2010 census, there were 9,393 people, 4,124 homes and 2,458 families living in the city. The population density was 2,579 persons per sq. mi. There were 3,713 housing units. The ethnic makeup of the city was 82% Caucasian, 12% African American, 2% Asian, 5% Hispanic or Latino.