ALBANY COUNTY. 163
time became a rendezvous for tories.1 The Ref. Prot. D. Church of Beaver Bam was formed in
Jan. 1763. The first settled pastor was Johannes Schuyler, in 1767.2
BETHLEHEM—was formed from Watervliet, March 12,1793. New Scotland was taken off
in 1832. It lies on the bank of the Hudson, e. of the center of the county, and includes the islands
w. of the main channel of the river. Its surface consists of a rolling upland, ending upon the river
in steep bluffs 100 to 150 feet high. Near the center of the town are a few sand ridges and rocky
knolls. The principal streams are Coeymans Creek, Ylamans Kil and Normans Kil. The declivi¬
ties of the upland are broken by numerous deep gulleys worn by streams flowing into the Hudson.
There are two small caves, several sulphur springs, and quarries of coarse brown sandstone, in
town. The soil is sand and clay.3 Groesbeclt is a suburb of Albany. Pop. 1,232. Ken¬
wood, a village near the mouth of Normans Kil, contains an extensive mill, and a manufactory
of woolen and cotton knit goods. Upper Hollow, Adamsville, Mormansfeill, (p. o.,)
Bethlehem Center, (p. o.,) Beckers Corners, Cedar Hill, (p. o.,) and S. Beth¬
lehem are hamlets. CallananS Corners, in the n. w. corner, is a p. o. On the hills
overlooking the Hudson below Albany are several fine country seats. The first settlement was
made upon Castle Island,3 in 1614, and a fort erected the same year. As this island was liable to
overflow, in 1617 another fort was built at the mouth of Normans Kil.5 Agricultural improvements
commenced in 1630, by tenants under Yan Rensselaer. Mills were built on the Normans Kil and
Beaver Kil at a very early period. A part of the house known as “ Whitehall,” near the Delaware
Road, was built by Gen. Bradstreet, and during the Revolution is said to have been a secret rendez¬
vous for tories. Cherry Hill, just out of Albany, on the river road, was the residence of Gen. Solo¬
mon Yan Rensselaer. A Ref. Prot. D. church was formed in colonial times, and in 1794 S. Yan
Rensselaer gave the society 100 acres of land, known as the parsonage farm.4
COEYMAJVS—(Quee'mans) was formed from Watervliet, March 18,1791. A part of Westerlo
was taken off in 1815. It was named from the patentee. It is the s. e. corner town in the county,
and includes the Barren islands in the Hudson. Its surface consists of an upland, 200 to 400 feet
above the river, broken by ridges and hills rising 100 to 400 feet higher. The principal streams
are the Coeymans7 and Haanakrois Creeks. In the former, at Coeymans village, are two falls at
which the stream descends, in the aggregate, 75 feet. Lawsons Lake is a small sheet of water in
the n. w. part of the town. A stratum of marble or limestone extends through the town 3 or 4 mi.
from the river. In the N. E. part are two caves, the largest extending 40 rods into a perpendicular
ledge. Feuri-Spruyt Kil, a small stream in the n. part, disappears, and flows for half a mi. in a
subterranean passage, coming to the surface again in New Scotland. At the place where the stream
disappears it falls perpendicularly into a deep cavity, forming a considerable water power. Another
brook, in the w. part, flows in a similar manner under ground for 40 or 50 rods. There ate several
mineral springs in town, impregnated with sulphate of magnesia. In the e. the soil is sand mixed
with clay, and in the w. it is gravel and day. The fossil remains of a mastodon were found on
the farm of Mr.P.Gidney, 6 mi. w. of the river. Large quantities of hay are sent annually from this
town to the New York market. Coeymans Landing, (Coeymans p.o.,) on the Hudson, is a
village of considerable trade. Pop. 650. Coeymans Hollow, (p.o.,) Stephens'vilie,
and -Indian Fields (p.o.) are small villages in the valley of the Haanakrois. Keefers
Corners is a p.o. Barent Peterse Coeymans, an emigrant from Utrecht in 1636, settled under
the patroon as miller, and leased the mills upon the Patroon Creek and Normans Kil. In 1673
he bought the territory included in this town of the Catskill Indians, and a patent was granted
him April 17, 1673, by Gov. Lovelace. Yan Rensselaer had previously bought the same lands
of the Mohawks; and a conflict of titles ensued. The matter was finally settled in 1706, by Coey¬
mans agreeing to receive title under the patroon and pay a small annual quit rent.8 Settlement
commenced early in the last century.9 The first mills were erected by the patentee at Coeymans
island, and on some old maps, it is called Martin Uerritsen’s
5 A map dated 1630 gives the name of “ Godyns Kil” to this
stream. The Indian name was Ta-wal-sou-tha. The present
name is derived from Albert Andriessen Bradt de Noorman, the
lessee of the falls at an early period, and one of the first settlers.
« There are 6 churches; 1 T. R. Ch. 2 R. P. D., 2 M. E., 1 Presb.
1 The Indian name of this creek is said to have been O-nis-ko-
thau, and of the flats at Coeymans Hollow Ach-que-tuck.
8 This arrangement was confirmed by patent from Queen
Anne, Aug. 6,1714.
9 Andreas and Rendert Whitbeck were early settlers near
Ach-que-tuck; Daniel Traver and Balthus Keefer near Keefers
Corners: and A. Serls, Jno. & T. Witbeck near Indian Fields.
Cornelius Schermerhorn kept a tory rendezvous, and at one
time an absconding paymaster from Burgoyne’s army is said to
have been murdered at his house.
A parsonage farm was given to this church by S. Van Rens¬
selaer, midway between Bernville and Peoria, and a church was
erected upon it. In 1S35 the society was divided, and a new
edifice was erected at each of the villages, the farm being held
in common by both societies. The census reports 13 churches
in town; 4 M. E., 3 Christian, 3 Ref. Prot. D., and one, each, Bap.,
Evang. Luth., and Friends.
cellent market for produce, and much of the land has been de¬
* In 1668 Martin Gerritsen Van Bergen had a lease of this