A Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Stockade District

The old homestead. Not all that old compared to its surroundings (1913). Not much to look at (other than the wacky paint job), but alright for living. Located in the heart of the historic Stockade district, half a block from Arthur’s in one direction and Slick’s in the other. The Stockade was New York State’s first historic district, all the way back in 1973! It is likely the country’s oldest “unspoiled” residential neighborhood. It is home to what the National Parks Service called “the highest concentration of historic period homes,” with over a 40 homes in excess of 200 years in age. Cool, huh?

The area was originally settled in 1661 by Dutch traders. It was completely destroyed by fire in the 1690 massacre [see Lawrence, below]. Due to its location, Schenectady served as an important suppy line during the Revolutionary War, Gen. Washington visited several times. When in town, he liked to drink and gamble on a grassy knoll overlooking the Greyhound station with other prominent citizens. Honest, there is a sign to prove it. A few years after Washington became our first President and eventually died, along came the Great Fire of 1819. This inferno, raging along the waterfront, destroyed most of the establishments that serviced the bustling trade up and down the Mohawk River. Over 200 building were destroyed in all. Most of these businesses were rebuilt along State Street, which was closer to the new Erie Canal. This helped to preserve the Stockade area as the historic residential district we know and love today!

~ by bojangles on November 19, 2004.

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