Communities

Schenectady County is now comprised of one city, five towns, and two villages.

Duanesburg
Glenville
Niskayuna
Princetown
Rotterdam
City of Schenectady
Delanson
Scotia

 

When the first recorded meeting of the Schenectady County Board of Supervisors was called to order on Tuesday, October 3, 1809 the presiding officer was General William North, a leader of the opposition to the formation of the county. The supervisors for the wards and towns were chosen and North represented Duanesburg. Elected moderator, he presided until he left to take his seat in the State Assembly where he was made Speaker. He was the only Speaker of the Assembly from Schenectady County until the late Speaker, Oswald D. Heck, first wielded the gavel in 1937.

Members of the Original Board of Supervisors

WILLIAM NORTH

Duanesburg, Moderator

MAUS SCHERMERHORN  

First Ward

 

Second Ward

ALEXANDER McMICHAEL

Third Ward (now Rotterdam)

JAMES BOYD

Fourth Ward (now Glenville)

LAWRENCE VROOMAN

Niskayuna

ALEXANDER MURRAY

Princetown

ABRAM VAN INGEN

Clerk

 


What’s In a Name?

Delanson, formed in 1893, was named for the company responsible for its expansion – the Delaware and Hudson Railroad. The name comes from the first three letters of “Delaware” (Del), the first two of “and” (an), and added the last three letters of “Hudson” (son).

Duanesburg, formed in 1788, is named for the owner of the town’s original patent holder, Hon. Judge James Duane.

Glenville, formed in 1820, was named for the original patentee, Sander Leendertse Glen, who settled there around 1658.

Niskayuna, formed in 1809, derives its name from an Algonkian-Mohawk Indian word “Canastagione,” which was said to refer to “corn fields” or “corn flats.”

Princetown, formed in 1798, was named after John Prince, the then member of Assembly "for the township of Schenectady, in the county of Albany."

Rotterdam, formed in 1820, and is named after the celebrated city of that name in Holland, the native land of its original settlers.

Schenectady – there is much debate over the origins of this unique name. A French-born American lawyer, Peter Stephen Du Ponceau had a command of many different European languages and was also an expert on Indian dialects. In an 1822 letter to George W. Featherstonhaugh, Du Ponceau explained that the name the Dutch picked for the small village they settled on the Mohawk River was probably Sgachnectatich. "It is, in my opinion, entirely Indian without any addition from the Dutch language," Du Ponceau wrote to Featherstonhaugh. He went on to add that "the English, you know, always drop the guttural ‘ch’, which they cannot pronounce; therefore they pronounced the word Scanectati, Skanectady or Schenectady. I have no doubt that this is the true and only true etymology of the famous name of your famous town." Du Ponceau surmised that the name’s origin was from the Onondaga or Mohawk people, and referred to a "Hollander" or "Dutchman," but the standard meaning most often used today is "beyond the pine plains," or some variation of it.

Scotia, formed in 1904, is the Latin word for “Scotland”. It was so named around 1658 by its original settler, Sander Leendertse Glen, after his