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History of Rotterdam, NY
The area that is now the town of Rotterdam, New York was first settled predominately by the Dutch, about the year 1661. The town, named after the city of Rotterdam, The Netherlands, was formed from a ward of the city of Schenectady on April 14, 1820.
The fertile soil along the Mohawk River was responsible for a thriving broom corn industry during the mid-1800’s. With the advent of the Erie Canal in 1825 and later, with the coming of railroads to Rotterdam, hamlets began to spring up, including Rotterdam Junction, South Schenectady, and Pattersonville. Rotterdam was an important part of the Northeast’s railroad system. The Erie Canal traversed the entire length of northeast Rotterdam, with two locks located in the town. Athens Junction and Mohawkville were quiet, pleasant settlements in the southeastern part of town.
Rotterdam, a thriving suburban community, began as a frontier town, and now boasts hundreds of agricultural, industrial, and commercial businesses. The population has grown from 1,529 in 1820 to more than 28,000.
Established as a first class town in 1942, Rotterdam has since adopted the seal of the Old World Rotterdam, along with its motto, "Stronger Through Effort." Through diligent application of this motto, Rotterdam looks confidently to the future.