The city of Amsterdam is surrounded on the north, east, and west sides by the town of Amsterdam. The city developed on both sides of the Mohawk River, with the majority located on the north bank. The Port Jackson area on the south side is also part of the city.
What's left of New Amsterdam in Lower Manhattan - 2/4 - A few highlights of what's left of New Amsterdam. This is part 2 of a 4-part series, in which best-selling author Russell Shorto gives a tour through what used to be ...
The city is within the original, now defunct town of Caughnawaga.
The first Europeans to settle here were Dutch immigrants about 1710. They called the community Veeders Mills and Veedersburgh after Albert Veeder, an early mill owner. After the American Revolutionary War, many settlers came from New England. Anglo-American residents changed the name to Amsterdam in 1803. In 1773, Guy Johnson built Guy Park, a stone Georgian mansion. A Loyalist, he fled to Canada during the Revolution. The mansion has been preserved and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
It was incorporated as a village on April 20, 1830 from a section of the Town of Amsterdam. New charters in 1854, 1865, and 1875 increased the size of the village. In 1885, Amsterdam became a city, which subsequently increased in size by annexation of the former village of Port Jackson on the south side of the Mohawk River; it became the fifth ward of the city.
The completion of the Erie Canal in 1825 was an economic boom to the city, which became an important manufacturing center. It was known for its carpets. In 1865, the population of Amsterdam was 5,135. By 1920, it was 33,524. Through the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it was a destination for immigrants from southern and eastern Europe, who initially worked in the factories.
Amsterdam experienced serious flooding damage in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene in late August 2011. This flooding threatened properties at the river's edge due to erosion and water damage.
Several historic buildings and sites that are mostly from the 19th and 20th centuries, including the Amsterdam (46th Separate Company) Armory, Amsterdam City Hall, Gray-Jewett House, Green Hill Cemetery, Greene Mansion, Guy Park, Guy Park Avenue School, Saint Stanislaus Roman Catholic Church Complex, Temple of Israel, United States Post Office, and Vrooman Avenue School, are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Chalmers Knitting Mills was added in 2010.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.3Â square miles (16.3Â kmÂ²), of which, 5.9Â square miles (15.4Â kmÂ²) of it is land and 0.3Â square miles (0.9Â kmÂ²) of it is water. The total area is 5.41% water.
The city developed on both sides of the Mohawk River and Erie Canal. The Chuctanunda River flows into the Mohawk from the north at Amsterdam.
New York State Route 30, a north-south highway called Market Street in part, crosses the Mohawk River to link the main part of Amsterdam to the New York State Thruway. NY-30 also intersects east-west highways New York State Route 5 and New York State Route 67 in the city. New York State Route 5S passes along the south side of the Mohawk River.
Amsterdam is currently within New York's 20th congressional district.
As of the census of 2010, there were 18,620 people, 8,324 households, and 4,721 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,176.4 people per square mile (1,226.4/kmÂ²). There were 9,218 housing units at an average density of 1,573 per square mile (607/kmÂ²). The racial makeup of the city was 80.4% White (68.1% Non Hispanic White), 3.8% Black or African American, 0.6% Native American, 0.9% Asian, 0% Pacific Islander and 3.4% from two or more races. 26.2% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 8,146 households in the city. The average household size was 2.24. In the city, 25.0% of the people were under the age of 18 and 15.8% were age 65 or older. The median income for a household in the city, based on data from 2007 to 2011, was $38,699.
In the 19th century, the city of Amsterdam was known for carpet, textile, and pearl button manufacturing. It continued to be a center for carpet-making in the 20th century, when the Bigelow-Sanford and Mohawk Mills Carpet companies both were located in Amsterdam, but these companies have relocated to other regions. Amsterdam was also the home of Coleco, makers of the ColecoVision, Cabbage Patch Kids and the Coleco Adam. Founded in 1932 as the Connecticut Leather Company, Coleco went bankrupt in 1988 after a failed attempt to enter the electronics market, and pulled out of Amsterdam, as well as its other North American manufacturing sites.
The enclosed shopping center is named the Amsterdam Riverfront Center. Once filled with clothing shops, the mall complex has been adapted for offices of doctors, public assistance services, community organizations, a radio station WCSS, and an off-track betting site.
Media in Amsterdam includes one print newspaper, The Recorder, an online newspaper, The Mohawk Valley Compass, and two AM radio stations, WVTL and WCSS.
Places of interest
Amsterdam's former National Guard Armory, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, has been adapted for use as a bed and breakfast inn called Amsterdam Castle.
Amsterdam's municipal golf course was designed by Robert Trent Jones.
The city is home to the Amsterdam Mohawks baseball team of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League. The team plays at Shuttleworth Park.
The Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame was located in Amsterdam until November 2015, when it relocated to Wichita Falls, Texas.
The Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook pedestrian bridge spans the Mohawk River and connects the city's Bridge Street downtown area on the south shore and Riverlink Park on the north shore.
Houses of worship
- William H. Barkley Elementary
- William B. Tecler Arts in Education Magnet School
- Marie Curie Institute of Engineering & Communications
- Raphael J. McNulty Academy for International Studies and Literacy
- Wilbur H. Lynch Literacy Academy
- Amsterdam High School (part of the Greater Amsterdam School District, located in the Town of Amsterdam)
- St. Mary's Institute
Amsterdam's government consists of a city council and a mayor. The mayor is elected in a citywide vote. The council consists of five members each elected from wards.
Mayors of Amsterdam
Notable natives or residents of Amsterdam include:
- Fort Johnson Volunteer Fire Company
- City of Amsterdam website
- Amsterdam Free Library
- Montgomery County Historical Society & Museum
- Greater Amsterdam School District
- The Recorder (local newspaper)
- Mohawk Valley Compass (local news website)
- Amsterdam NY Birthdays
- David Pietrusza's Amsterdam
- Our Town: Amsterdam Documentary produced by WMHT (TV)
- Local Amsterdam News