Home Town History
History of East Greenbush PDF Print E-mail

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

Town Facts:

  • Town population: Approximately 16,473
  • School District: The East Greenbush Central School District serves the majority of our community, with the student population of approximately 4,600. The Averill Park School District serves a very small portion of the eastern part of the town.
  • Physical Features: The Town of East Greenbush is located in Southern Rensselaer County. East Greenbush has a total area of 24.4 square miles or 15,615 acres. The southwestern portion of the Town borders the Hudson River. From the river to Route 9J the land is flat with frequent marshy areas. From 9J the land rises abruptly to the east to an upland area featuring diviersified topography. The upland areas have many hills, gently rolling terrain and streams. The Mill Creek traverses the Town from East to West. The north branch of the the Moordener Kill drains the southern portion of the town. The eastern portion of the town is generally hilly with areas of steep slopes with the steepest slopes in the northeastern portion, associated with the Taconic Mountain Range.
  • Highway: The Town is traversed by Interstate 90 running in an east westerly direction with its main entrance and exit from I-90 at Exit 9 along Route 4. The main highways through the town are Rte. 9 & 20 (Columbia Turnpike), Rte 4 & 40 (Troy Road), and Rte. 43 (Third Avenue Extention) and Rte. 9J (River Road). East Greenbush is criss-crossed by many county and state highways. The Town highway system alone comprises more than 71 miles of roadway.
  • Water & Sewer Facilities: Public water & Sewer server the majority of the town,, west of I-90. A very small portion east of I-90, along the Rte. 4 corridor is also serviced. Water & Sewer operations are provided under the auspices of the Water & Sewer divisions of the Department of Public Works.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 February 2014 09:00

Upcoming Events

Dates & Times are subject to change
ZBA Schedule    Planning Board Schedule     Town Board Schedule

  • Oct 4 - 4:00 PM Special Mtg - Budget Distrubition
  • Oct 11 - 7:30 PM Zoning Board Meeting-Cancelled
  • Oct 12 - 7:00 PM Planning Board Meeting
  • Oct 12 - 6:00 PM - Pre-Board
  • Oct 17 - 7:00 PM - Ethics Board Meeting
  • Oct 19 - 7:00 PM - Town Board Meeting
  • Oct 22 - 10 AM - 2 PM - Drug Take Back Day
  • Oct 24-  6 PM- Special Meeting Town Board
  • Oct 25 - 7:30 PM Zoning Board Meeting
  • Oct 26 - 7:00 PM Planning Board Meeting
  • Oct 31 - 10 AM - 12 PM - Toddler Halloween Party 

Summer Camp

2016 Info is Here!!
Weekly themes, NYS DEC Fishery Dept weekly instruction, weekly library trips, Camp Council for older campers, CIT Program, and so much more!  

Check out our page for more info or call 477-4194

Camp Themes and Information 2016 

icon Camp Themes and Information 2016

Camp Registration 2016
icon Camp Registration 2016


Town Hall

Town Hall
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.

Click here to Find Town Hall and other locations in town using Google Maps

Website Comments

Please contact our webmaster with any comments, corrections, or questions regarding the website.
Contact info@eastgreenbush.org for general inquiries from the town.

Park Rental

We are now accepting reservations for park pavilion rentals for  the 2016 season.
Please call The Community and Recreation Department for reservations and information.
Park Information