Local History: Halfmoon, NY

Local History: Halfmoon, NY

As one of the first American colonies to be settled, New York is proud to be home to a rich and distinguished history. This is part of a series celebrating the proud culture and tradition that makes the Capital District such an incredible place to live.

Though there is evidence of human settlement dating back thousands of years, the first European colonists of Halfmoon began arriving in the area around the mid 17th century. In the early 1700s, a series of ferries opened and allowed for settlers in Albany and Schenectady to move further north into this budding community. With the end of the French and Indian war, the Hudson and Mohawk river plains provided plenty of fertile farmland and soon saw more and more families hoping to begin a new life in the growing township.

In 1791, Halfmoon became one of the four original “mother towns” of Saratoga County, along with Stillwater, Ballston (later known as “Ballston Spa”) and Saratoga. Over the course of the next 30 years, the New York State Assembly developed and built the most incredible engineering accomplishment of its day. Referred to as “the 8th Wonder of the World”, the Erie Canal would play a tremendous role in the development of the Town of Halfmoon, providing both employment opportunity for its new residents as well as better opportunity for trade and commerce.

Following the construction of the Canal, Halfmoon returned to its roots as a primarily agricultural community until the mid-20th century. With the influx of immigrant workers and their families, churches and one room school houses were founded and grew into local social centers. The construction of Route 9 and the Northway in the 1960s finally allowed the town to become less of a rural farming community and more of a suburb of Albany and Saratoga, growing it into the thriving community it is today.

With the unbelievable growth the town has seen in recent decades, it’s easy to forget its long and cherished history. This longstanding sense of tradition and community is so much of what makes Halfmoon the incredible town it is today.

Photo Credit: Flickr user O World of Photos. Used under the Creative Commons License.