Welcome to Amsterdam, NY
Amsterdam is located in Montgomery County, New York, on both north and south of the Mohawk River and Erie Canal. Amsterdam was incorporated as a village in 1830 and later as a city in 1885. The 2020 population was recorded at 18,218.
The City of Amsterdam, NY
Planning a trip to our wonderful city? Whether you are planning a day trip, an extended stay or looking to relocate, we welcome your visit, and encourage you to visit the wonderful museums, experience some of our 24+ beautiful parks and many quality family owned restaurants that Amsterdam has to offer as well as numerous options for lodging. (City of Amsterdam)
When and how the first human settlers, ancestors of today’s Native Americans, arrived in the vicinity is still debated; however, by the full onset of European settlement, the Mohawks of the Iroquois had solidified their hold on the region by pushing the Algonquian Mohicans across the Hudson River. Late in this first period, Dutch settlers begin the settlement of the Mohawk Valley, founding Schenectady in 1662.
For a long time Amsterdam is smaller than Cranesville, due east of it, which remains about the same size today as it was then.
Very little changes except the name: tradition has it that in 1804 Amsterdam is chosen in honor of early Dutch settlers (it may have also been thought a good idea to take the same name as the recently created township in which it was located, hoping to become the seat of government).
A new wave of immigrants, ambitious young persons from farmed-out and overcrowded New England, comes to find opportunity. By 1832, the hamlet incorporates as a village to better manage the increasing growth; by 1885, the city is chartered. Waves of immigrants, now Irish, Italian, Polish, and Eastern European, arrive to take the new mill and derivative jobs.
Amsterdam attempts to recreate its industrial base, with limited success. Some firms – such as the aptly named Noteworthy Company (inventors of the litter bag) are established and thrive. Others do not. The tide of American manufacturing is running out and against the city.
In an attempt to draw people and business back to Amsterdam, the City and State began a program of urban renewal and arterial roadway construction, destroying much of the original fabric of downtown. Now, not only is there less to go downtown for, it’s harder to get there.
As the 21st Century dawns forces old and new are defining the true shape of post-industrial Amsterdam.
Some have always been in play; abundant water and transportation, for example. Others are remnants of the industrial period: undervalued housing and commercial space and an extensive civil infrastructure. And there is a new wave of immigrants, many Puerto Rican, coming to seek refuge from the poverty and crime of larger cities.
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