Upstream. A Mohawk Valley Blogzine.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

A Look Back at a Look Forward

The following is the first of what I hope will be many posts on this site regarding Amsterdam history. I know this is the "Mohawk Valley Perspective", and I wish I could say more on Mohawk Valley history but in truth, I study and collect mainly Amsterdam's history.

One could ask "Why?" and it is a valid question, as we are a sleepy little city not so different than any other in the Mohawk Valley. To my friends in Albany, where I work, Amsterdam is not a place that they would even consider venturing to. To me and my family and friends in Amsterdam, it is our home, our heritage. So I venture forward in this blog with a "look back at a look forward." Read the whole entry in the link and you'll see what a thriving community we had only a hundred years ago.

The following is taken from the 1906 Annual Meeting Board of Trade:

"Amsterdam, located in the Mohawk Valley, beautiful for situation, is about midway between the equator and the north pole. To be exact, it is less than 150 miles south of the dividing line.

The census of 1900 gave the United States 140 cities of 10,000 inhabitants or over. Amsterdam was the 205th city. If we had 1,436 fewer inhabitants, it would be the middle city.

Amsterdam's population in 1813 was 150. Since then it has doubled seven times, an average of once every twelve and one-half years. To continue this growth will give us in 1925 a population of 76,000; in 1950 a population of 304,000; in 1975 a population of 1,216,000.

This is ab-so-lute-ly sure to take place, provided every man now a member of this Board of Trade will remain here an active, working member until 1975."


  • Excellent first post. Amsterdam's history is incredibly interesting and is very similar to other Mohawk Valley cities like Schenectady, Troy, Utica, Little Falls and Ilion. Not only the cities but many of the towns in the valley went through the same industrialization process and accompanying growth and then decline following the loss of major industries. The changing status of the Erie Canal, the building of the Thruway, and more recently the effort to attract new business through Empire Zones and other incentives have affected the entire valley. I guess what I am saying is that when you write about Amsterdam, you are writing about the Mohawk Valley.

    By Blogger Dan Weaver, at 8:55 AM  

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