Bethlehem, New York

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Bethlehem is a town in Albany County, New York, USA. The population was 31,304 at the 2000 census. The town is south of Albany. Bethlehem includes the following hamlets: Delmar, Elsmere, Slingerlands, Glenmont, Selkirk, South and North Bethlehem. U.S. Route 9W passes through the town. The town is named after the biblical Bethlehem.



When Henry Hudson sailed up the river that would eventually bear his name, he is thought to have landed at what is now the town of Bethlehem. The spot where he is presumed to have landed is commemorated at the town's Henry Hudson Park. The town was established on March 12, 1793 from the town of Watervliet. In 1832, part of the town was used to form the town of New Scotland.

The town's earliest growth took place in Normansville named for its location along the Normanskill, a creek, which forms the town's border with Albany. Normansville still exists today, though it is unnoticed by most living in Bethlehem since it is accessible only by one downhill road (which has no outlet). In the mid-19th century the Delaware and Hudson railroad initiated service into the hamlet then called Adamsville, renaming the hamlet Delmar. Delmar has become the most populous hamlet and its Delaware Avenue is the site of the present day town hall, police station, justice court, and public library, as well as numerous businesses. The railroad discontinued passenger service in the 1960s and its tracks started being removed in the year 2000 with the last of the track removed in 2005. The town has continued to grow, and is today considered to be an affluent suburb of the city of Albany.

Local landmarks

The town includes several historic buildings and landmarks.

  • Four Corners - This Delmar intersection of Delaware Avenue and Kenwood Avenue has served as the town's traditional center and is presently the location of several stores, banks, restaurants and the post office. It is also within walking distance to most Delmar residents.

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