|History of East Greenbush|
The first settlement of the land now known as East Greenbush was made by tenants under Patroon Kiliaen Rensselaer prior to 1631, according to area history books. Historians are not clear when the first settlers arrived, but there is an indication that it was in 1628 in the town known as Greenbush, which covered a large area on the east bank of the Hudson River. The Mohicans as a nation, did not leave their land on the the east side of the Hudson, nor reliquish their rights Van Renssaleaer until 1600.
The name "Greenbush" came from the Dutch "Green Bosch" from the pinewoods which originally covered the land. The early Town of Greenbush included the present Towns of East Greenbush, North Greenbush, a portion of Sand Lake, and a strip of land annexed to Troy in 1836.
On February 23, 1855, by an act of Legislature, Greenbush Township was divided to form the town of Clinton and North Greenbush. The first meeting was held April 3, 1855 at the hotel of William R. Defreest, opposite the Greenbush Dutch Reformed Church. (Later the building was the East Greenbush Pharmacy, now a photography studio). The Town of Clinton was changed to "East Greenbush" two years later on April 14, 1858.
Foremost amount the earlier residents of the Town was Edmund Charles Genet, who came to this country as a minister, plenipotentiary, and consulate general of the French Republic, but later became an American citizen and settled in with first wife Cornelia Tappen Clinton and three children in a Van Rensselaer House. He purchased the house from his father-in-law, Governor Clinton. He later built a mansion on "Propect Hill" on Hays Road. He died there July 14, 1831 and is buried behind the Greenbush Reformed Church.
The Town was without early industries because it lacked waterpower. As one historian put it "Agricultural pursuits constitute the principal occupation of the inhabitants", Grain and fruit were the main products.
During the War of 1812, extensive barracks were erected on the hills of Greenbush Village. Sometime after the war, the army camp abandoned and in 1831, by an act of Congress, the buildings, and 300 - acres of land were sold to Hawthorne McCulloch of Albany. In 1843, the original tract was divided into two parts, one of which he conveyed to his son, William A. McCullough of Hampton Manor. In 1880, the Village of East Greenbush contained a Dutch Reformed Church, a store, a hotel, a blacksmith shop and a number of homes. The Boston and Albany Post Road, which was laid out in 1800, passed through the center of the village. It is now known as Route 9 & 20 (a.k.a. Columbia Turnpike).
Compliments of the East Greenbush Town Historian's Office
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 February 2014 09:00|
225 Columbia Turnpike
Rensselaer, NY 12144
(518) 477-4775 phone
(518) 477-2386 fax
Town Hall Office Hours: Monday–Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm except Holidays. Note that some departments operate additional hours as listed on their pages.