Mechanicville, New York: Wikis


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—  City  —
Location within Saratoga County
Mechanicville is located in New York
Location within the state of New York
Coordinates: 42°54′14″N 73°41′26″W / 42.90389°N 73.69056°W / 42.90389; -73.69056Coordinates: 42°54′14″N 73°41′26″W / 42.90389°N 73.69056°W / 42.90389; -73.69056
Country United States
State New York
County Saratoga
First settled 1764
Incorporated (village) 1859
Incorporated (city) 1915
 - Mayor Anthony J. Sylvester, Sr. (D)
 - State Assembly Tony Jordan (R) (2009)
 - State Senate Roy McDonald (R) (2009)
 - U.S. House Scott Murphy (D)
 - Total 0.9 sq mi (2.4 km2)
 - Land 0.8 sq mi (2.2 km2)
 - Water 0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2)
Elevation 104 ft (31.7 m)
 - Total 5,019
 Density 5,576.67/sq mi (2,091.25/km2)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 12118
Area code(s) 518
FIPS code 36-46360
GNIS feature ID 0956897

Mechanicville is a city in Saratoga County, New York, United States. The population was 5,019 at the 2000 census. The name is derived from the occupations of early residents.[citation needed]

The city is located on the eastern border of Saratoga County and is north of Albany, the state capital. Mechanicville borders the towns of Stillwater (of which it was once a part)[1] and Halfmoon in the county, and the town of Schaghticoke, in Rensselaer County.



Spring Street, looking toward Talmadge Park, circa 1910

The first European settlers on the Tenendeho Creek in the area of today's Mechanicville arrived in 1764. Actually, the first listing for a settlement on Thenendehowa Creek is in 1721. At that time, Cornelius Van Buren had a sawmill at the mouth of the creek where it emptied into the Hudson. The first documented occurrence of the name "Mechanicville" dates back to 1829. The name comes from the early settlers, who were independent mastercraftsmen such as millers, carpenters, or butchers, whose professions were commonly known as the "mechanical arts" at the time.

About 35 years later, small flour mills were already established. When the Champlain Canal reached the settlement in 1823, and especially when the Saratoga and Renselaer Railway laid a track through the area in 1835, Mechanicville became an important commerce interchange.

The community became an incorporated village in 1859, when it had about 1000 inhabitants. It grew rapidly as textile mills, factories and a linen thread company came to Mechanicville. The first conspicuous casualty of the American Civil War, Elmer E. Ellsworth, was buried in Mechanicville in 1861. In 1878, additional railways came to the village, and it became an important center of papermaking. In 1898, a hydroelectric power plant was built on the Hudson River by Robert Newton King, and is now the oldest continusously-operating hydroelectric plant in the United States. By 1900, it was a major transfer yard and car repair center for the railways. In the 1920s, Mechanicville had a population of nearly 10000.

Mechanicville became a city in 1915. By 1932, it became the terminal of the first experimental High Volume Direct Current (HVDC) scheme in the U.S.: the HVDC Mechanicville-Schenectady.

With the decline of the railroads, Mechanicville suffered. The largest paper mill in the world which Mechanicville had once hosted (in 1904), ceased operations in 1971. The once thriving industry city is today a quiet residential city, with most inhabitants working in Albany, Schenectady, and other nearby communities.

On November 1, 2001, Mechanicville was featured on the Daily Show with then-rising comedian Steve Carell.


Mechanicville Tornado Outbreak

On May 31, 1998, a large tornado tore through Mechanicville and the adjacent town of Stillwater. It was spawned by a series of severe storms in the late afternoon, causing major damage to the town's old industrial section located on US Route 4 and NY-32 along the Hudson River. One of the two historic smokestacks (visible from 2 miles away) was knocked down by the tornado. In 2005, the other smokestack and the conjoined building were bulldozed. Houses on the Viall Avenue hill sections of Mechanicville and Stillwater were completely destroyed. The tornado was rated F3 on the Fujita scale (winds estimated at 200 MPH).


Mechanicville is located at 42°54′14″N 73°41′26″W / 42.90389°N 73.69056°W / 42.90389; -73.69056 (42.903922, -73.690458)[2].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.9 square miles (2.4 km²), of which, 0.8 square miles (2.1 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (8.79%) is water.

Mechanicville is on the west bank of the Hudson River at the influx of Anthony Kill.

US Route 4, and conjoined New York State Route 32 are north-south highways through Mechanicville. New York State Route 67 intersects NY-32 and US-4 in the city. County Roads 75 and 1345 also lead into the city.

Mechanicville - Schenectady HVDC Line

After General Electric made some experiments with a 15 kV DC transmission with a maximum transmission rate of 150 kW on their facility at Schenectady, in 1936 a 27.4 kilometres long experimental HVDC line designed for a bipolar voltage of 15 kV and a maximum transmission power of 5 MW to Mechanicville Hydroelectric Plant was built. As valves for this line, which was the first HVDC experiment using electronic device, first mercury glass were used, which were later replaced by ignitron. The line was in service until 1945 and operated in constant current mode. In 1945 the scheme was dismantled. At this experimental system was also demonstrated that HVDC can be used also for frequency conversion, as Mechanicville Hydroelectric Power Plant generated 40 Hz, while at Schenectady 60 Hz was used. [1].


As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 5,019 people, 2,219 households, and 1,275 families residing in the city. The population density was 6,028.4 people per square mile (2,334.8/km²). There were 2,386 housing units at an average density of 2,865.8/sq mi (1,109.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.95% White, 0.36% African American, 0.10% Native American, 0.66% Asian, 0.44% from other races, and 0.50% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.20% of the population.

There were 2,219 households out of which 29.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.9% were married couples living together, 12.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.5% were non-families. 36.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.4% under the age of 18, 8.2% from 18 to 24, 30.1% from 25 to 44, 18.5% from 45 to 64, and 18.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 89.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $34,509, and the median income for a family was $42,143. Males had a median income of $32,825 versus $25,143 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,236. About 6.5% of families and 8.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.5% of those under age 18 and 7.4% of those age 65 or over.

See also


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