Princetown, New York

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Princetown, New York
Town
Location in Schenectady County and the state of New York.
Location in Schenectady County and the state of New York.
Coordinates: 42°47′59″N 74°4′38″W / 42.79972°N 74.07722°W / 42.79972; -74.07722
Country United States
State New York
County Schenectady
Area
 • Total 24.2 sq mi (62.7 km2)
 • Land 23.9 sq mi (62.0 km2)
 • Water 0.3 sq mi (0.7 km2)
Elevation 1,053 ft (321 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 2,115
 • Density 87/sq mi (34/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 12056
Area code(s) 518
FIPS code 36-59861
GNIS feature ID 0979399
Website www.princetown.net
Liddle House - the oldest extant house in Princetown, built c. 1790

Princetown is a town in Schenectady County, New York, United States. The population was 2,115 at the 2010 census.[1] It is in the central part of the county, west of the town of Rotterdam.

History[edit]

Old store and post office, Kelly's Station

The current Town of Princetown was established in 1798 by the New York State Legislature combining lands formerly known as Corry's Bush and land belonging to the Dutch Reformed Church in Schenectady.[2] It was named for John Prince, a New York State assemblyman from Albany County who lived in Schenectady proper at the time.[3] Many of the early settlers of the town were from Scotland,[4] and for almost all of its history, the town has been rural with an economy based in agriculture. Today the town is mostly a mix of farming and exurban development with a little light industry.

In the past, the town had seven one-room schools.[5] It was also home to the Princetown Academy and Female Seminary which opened in 1853 but operated for only three years before succumbing to financial mismanagement.The Academy was sponsored by the local Presbyterian church. In 1854, it had more than 400 students mostly from the local region but also includes students from as far away as Cuba, Germany and Scotland.[6] The Academy was located in the former hamlet of Princetown (Center).

In the south end of the town was Cheeseman's Tavern (c. 1784) located in the hamlet of Gifford's (Corners). Its owner, Joshua Cheeseman, was for a few years, a regionally well-known shinplaster banker, producing a number of paper notes used across the region.[7]

In the north end of the town, on the border with Duanesburg, was the location of the estate of George William Featherstonaugh, which was the subject of several Thomas Cole paintings. Featherstonaugh was an English-American geographer and geologist also especially interested in the use of rail transportation to modernize farming.

Geography[edit]

The north town line is the border of Montgomery County, and the south town line is the border of Albany County. The town of Rotterdam is to the east, and the town of Duanesburg is to the west. The center of Princetown is 7 miles (11 km) west of downtown Schenectady.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 24.2 square miles (62.7 km2), of which 23.9 square miles (62.0 km2) is land and 0.27 square miles (0.7 km2), or 1.18%, is water.[8]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1820 1,075
1830 819 −23.8%
1840 1,201 46.6%
1850 1,031 −14.2%
1860 996 −3.4%
1870 846 −15.1%
1880 826 −2.4%
1890 732 −11.4%
1900 694 −5.2%
1910 684 −1.4%
1920 487 −28.8%
1930 472 −3.1%
1940 553 17.2%
1950 774 40.0%
1960 912 17.8%
1970 1,405 54.1%
1980 1,804 28.4%
1990 2,031 12.6%
2000 2,132 5.0%
2010 2,115 −0.8%
Est. 2014 2,136 [9] 1.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]

In the 2000 census,[11] there were 2,132 people, 797 households, and 611 families residing in the town. The population density was 88.7 people per square mile (34.2/km²). There were 835 housing units at an average density of 34.7 per square mile (13.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 98.69% White, 0.19% African American, 0.19% Native American, 0.19% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 0.19% from other races, and 0.47% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.66% of the population.

There were 797 households out of which 33.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.9% were married couples living together, 7.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.3% were non-families. 17.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the town, the population was spread out with 25.1% under the age of 18, 5.8% from 18 to 24, 28.5% from 25 to 44, 28.8% from 45 to 64, and 11.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 105.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.2 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $57,250, and the median income for a family was $63,077. Males had a median income of $45,750 versus $28,362 for females. The per capita income for the town was $24,292. About 1.6% of families and 3.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.3% of those under age 18 and 3.6% of those age 65 or over.

Communities and locations in Princetown[edit]

  • Gifford's (Corners) - a small hamlet in the south part of the town located at the intersection of New York State route 406 and U.S. Route 20. It was once home to Cheeseman's Tavern, the owner of which was known as a "shinplaster" banker.[7]
  • Kelly's Station - A small hamlet in the southeast part of the town; it was home to a train station for the Schenectady and Duanesburg Railroad, a store and post office. It is also known for a double culverts that were built to carry the railroad over Kelly Station Road and the Bonny Kill or Bonny Brook.[12] [13]
  • Pattersonville – A hamlet and part of a CDP (Census Designated Place) partly in the northern part of the town.
  • Mariaville (Lake) - A hamlet and CDP on the border between the town and the town of Duanesburg toward the northern end of the town.
  • Parkers Corners - an area in the southern end of town, east of Gifford's.
  • Princetown (Center) – A hamlet often mistakenly considered to be in the southern part of the town, this area was actually known as Princetown P.O. until the arrival of the Schenectady and Duanesburg Railroad (owned by the Delaware and Hudson Railroad) in 1873. After that time it was known as Kelly's Station. There was, however, a hamlet located in the center of the town known as Princetown, or Princetown Center which developed around the second Presbyterian Church in the town at corner of present day Currybush and North Kelly roads. This hamlet was also home to the Princetown Academy and Female Seminary from 1853 to 1856.
  • Rynex Corners - A hamlet in the northern part of the town on the border between Princetown and the town of Rotterdam. It once contained a hotel and cheese factory.[12]
  • Willow Run - a modern subdivision in the middle of the town north of the D&H railway line.

Notable people[edit]

  • George William Featherstonaugh, an English-American geologist and geographer who once owned a large estate on the border between Duanesburg and Princetown. The estate was the subject of several Thomas Cole paintings.
  • Nelson Fryer, Wisconsin State Assembly member and farmer, was born in Princetown.[14]
  • James W. Wingate, a former director of the New York State Department of Education, he was most well known as an early member of the Hays Commission responsible for establishing "moral guidelines" for motion pictures in the United States.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Princetown town, Schenectady County, New York". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  2. ^ Mastrean, Irma (1990). Princetown, Portrait of a Town. Schenectady, NY: The Princetown Historical Society. p. 28. 
  3. ^ Mastrean, Irma (1990). Princetown, Portrait of a Town. Schenectady, NY: The Princetown Historical Society. p. 2. 
  4. ^ Mastrean, Robert (1990). Princetown, Portrait of a Town. Schenectady, NY: The Princetown Historical Society. p. 3. 
  5. ^ Mastrean, Irma (1990). Princetown, Portrait of a Town. Schenectady, NY: The Princetown Historical Society. p. 45. 
  6. ^ Mastrean, Irma (1990). Princetown, Portrait of a Town. Schenectady, NY: The Princetown Historical Society. p. 53. 
  7. ^ a b Mastrean, Irma (1990). Princetown, Portrait of a Town. Schenectady, NY: The Princetown Historical Society. p. 33. 
  8. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Princetown town, Schenectady County, New York". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  11. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  12. ^ a b Mastrean, Irma (1990). Princetown, Portrait of a Town. Schenectady, NY: The Princetown Historical Society. p. 31. 
  13. ^ Mastrean, Irma (1990). Princetown, Portrait of a Town. Schenectady, NY: The Princetown Historical Society. p. 100. 
  14. ^ 'Wisconsin Blue Book 1871,' Biographical Sketch of Nelson Fryer, pg. 378
  15. ^ Mastrean, Irma (1990). Princetown, Portrait of a Town. Schenectady, NY: The Princetown Historical Society. p. 16. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°46′44″N 74°03′52″W / 42.77889°N 74.06444°W / 42.77889; -74.06444