Mechanicville, New York

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Mechanicville is a city in Saratoga County, New York, United States. The population was 5,019 at the 2000 census.[1] It is the smallest city by area in the state.[2] The name is derived from the occupations of early residents.[citation needed]

The city is located on the eastern border of Saratoga County and is north of Albany, the state capital. Mechanicville borders the towns of Stillwater (of which it was once a part)[3] and Halfmoon in the county, and the town of Schaghticoke, in Rensselaer County.



The first European settlers on the Tenendeho Creek in the area of today's Mechanicville arrived in 1764. Actually, the first listing for a settlement on Thenendehowa Creek is in 1721. At that time, Cornelius Van Buren had a sawmill at the mouth of the creek where it emptied into the Hudson. The first documented occurrence of the name "Mechanicville" dates back to 1829. The name comes from the early settlers, who were independent mastercraftsmen such as millers, carpenters, or butchers, whose professions were commonly known as the "mechanical arts" at the time.

About 35 years later, small flour mills were already established. When the Champlain Canal reached the settlement in 1823, and especially when the Saratoga and Renselaer Railway laid a track through the area in 1835, Mechanicville became an important commerce interchange.

The community became an incorporated village in 1859, when it had about 1000 inhabitants. It grew rapidly as textile mills, factories and a linen thread company came to Mechanicville. The first conspicuous casualty of the American Civil War, Elmer E. Ellsworth, was buried in Mechanicville in 1861. In 1878, additional railways came to the village, and it became an important center of papermaking. In 1898, a hydroelectric power plant was built on the Hudson River by Robert Newton King, and is now the oldest continuously-operating hydroelectric plant in the United States. The Mechanicville Hydroelectric Plant was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.[4] By 1900, it was a major transfer yard and car repair center for the railways. In the 1920s, Mechanicville had a population of nearly 10000.

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