The Colonial Schenectady Project, Ltd.
28 Rigefield Drive
Voorheesville, NY 12186
The Colonial Schenectady Project, Ltd. was formed in 1988 to stimulate Schenectady’s revitalization through tourism. Its first effort came in 1990, a self-guided tour of Schenectady’s Stockade Historic District and the first historic district in the State of New York.
When first encountered by Europeans, the area that is now Schenectady was the land of the Mohawk nation of the Iroquois Confederacy. When Dutch settlers arrived in the Hudson Valley in the 17th century, the Mohawk called the settlement at Fort Orange (present day Albany, NY) Schau-naugh-ta-da, meaning "over the pine plains." Eventually, this word entered the lexicon of the Dutch settlers, but the meaning was reversed, and the name referred to the bend in the Mohawk River where the city lies today.
Schenectady was first settled by Europeans in 1661 when the area was part of the Dutch colony of New Netherland. Settlement was led by Arent van Curler, a prominent figure in the colony who had emigrated from Nijkerk in the Netherlands, after purchase from the Mohawk Nation. Some of the Dutch brought African slaves to the region as laborers, as did the later English. In 1664 the English seized the Dutch colony and renamed it New York. Settlers purchased additional land from the Mohawk in 1670 and 1672. Twenty years later (1684) Governor Thomas Dongan granted letters patent for Schenectady to five trustees.
On February 8, 1690, during King William's War, French forces and their Indian allies attacked Schenectady by surprise, leaving 62 dead. American history notes it as the Schenectady massacre.In 1748, during King George's War, the French and Indians attacked again.
In 1765, Schenectady was incorporated as a borough. Union College was founded in 1795.
To be a major educational resource promoting Schenectady’s rich and unique heritage.
- Provide informative writings and multi-media presentations reflecting the rich history of Schenectady
- Increase tourism in historic Schenectady
- Instill community pride in Schenectady’s long, rich heritage
The Colonial Schenectady Project, Ltd. was formed in 1989 to stimulate Schenec-tady’s revitalization through tourism.Its first effort came in 1990, a self-guided tour of Schenectady’s Stockade Historic District and the first historic district in the State of New York. The tour, named Colonial Schenectady: An American Crucible, was the creation of the highly acclaimed Schenectady Stockade Historian, Dr. Susan J. Staffa. Its focus is on the dynamic character of Colonial Schenectady and its profound impact on the development of the American frontier. The tour’s map and CD are available for purchase.
George J. Marshall, Chair
Former Chair and long-time member of the City of Schenectady Historic District Commission, past long-time member and officer of the historic Schenectady’s Stockade Association and the current Chair and member of the Colonial Schenectady Project for more than two decades. His other activities include Editor and contributor to a church Diocesan magazine with a circulation of more than 11,000.
Maureen Gebert, Secretary
Arriving in the Capital Region from a very historic area, I was delighted to learn how much history is here!+ Not only is it a wealth of history, but its past is often preserved just as it was left.+ It has been a privilege to be part of the Colonial Schenectady Project for more than two decades and to explore and preserve our unique heritage for future generations.
Daniel Bradt, Treasurer
Descendent of Arent Bradt, one of the original founding families of Schenectady, Dan continues his life- long pursuit of local history. After retiring from civilian & military service, he completed requirements for the Advance Studies at SUNY Schenectady Community Archaeology Program (CAP), where he continues to assist in many archaeology excavations within the Schenectady Stockade.
| Kim Mabee -
Former President of the Schenectady County Historical Society, the Maybee Society, and Regent of Schenectady DAR Chapter (Daughters of the American Revolution). She was also Historian of the Truax family and past Presidents of local PTA’s. Her interest in Schenectady history and the history of the Mabee family extends more than 40 years.
| Ron Lagasse -
Founding member of the Colonial Schenectady Project, former Director of the Schenectady County Public Library, Director of the Troy Public Library, Assistant to the Director of the SUNYA Library, member of the Legislative Reference Library of the New York State Library, and Board member of the William Gundry Broughton Charitable Foundation.
Laura Lee -
Founding member of the Colonial Schenectady Project, her service includes member of New Netherland Institute, Archives and Historical Concerns, First Reformed Church of Schenectady Archives and Historical Concerns Committee, City of Schenectady Historic District Commission, Board Member Schenectady Urban Cultural Park, Schenectady/Nijkerk Council Founder and Board Member, Replica Ship Half Moon/New Netherland Museum member, Town of Charlton, NY Historian, Registered Historian - Association of Public Historians of New York State, GE Hall of History, Schenectady Museum Archivist, Curator, Registrar, Recipient of Capital Region Archives Jack McEneny Award for Archival Advocacy, member and Trustee of Schenectady County Historical Society, NY State Archaeological Association Van Epps-Hartley Chapter Life Member, and Lake George Historical Association Assistant Curator.
| Anneke Bull -
A native of the Netherlands and Founding member of the Colonial Schenectady Project. Anneke is well known for her efforts as a member of the Urban Cultural Park, Schenectady County Library, the County Historical Society, and instrumental in establishing the publication of the ‘Schenectady Genesis’ books. She served on the Schenectady-Nijkerk Council, a long-time member of the New Netherland Institute, adjunct professor for Dutch at SUNY Albany, and awarded the 2008 Woman of the Year by the Business and Professional Women’s Association.