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History of Amsterdam, New York

Amsterdam is located in Montgomery County, on the Mohawk River and the Erie Canal. The location is about 35 miles northwest of Albany. The first permanent settler was Albert Vedder, who began the community of Veddersburg in 1783 on the present site of Amsterdam. The residents chose the name Amsterdam in 1804 due to the fact that most of the early population descended from people who came from the Netherlands. The Erie Canal increased the population and importance of Amsterdam significantly. It was incorporated as a town in 1831 and as a city in 1885. The oldest house now within present day Amsterdam is Guy Park Manor, built in 1766 by Sir William Johnson, for his daughter Polly and her husband Guy. The Amsterdam Chamber of Commerce now has its headquarters in the building, which is next to Lock 11 of the New York State Barge Canal. Amsterdam is served by Fulton-Montgomery County Community College, located about seven miles west in Johnstown. The history of Amsterdam and the Mohawk Valley is on display at the Walter Elwood Museum. Old Fort Johnson is a mile west of Amsterdam. The Noteworthy Indian Museum details the history of the Mohawk Indians. The oldest hospital in Amsterdam is Amsterdam Memorial Hospital, which was incorporated in 1888. St. Mary's Hospital was founded in 1903.