Strategically located at the joining of the Hudson and Hoosac Rivers, Stillwater was the site of the Battles of Saratoga in 1777, which took place in the northern part of the town and led to the defeat of the British during the Revolutionary War. Stillwater became an official town on March 7, 1788, and the village was later incorporated in 1816. During the 19th century, the opening of the canals along the Hudson River spurred industry in the community. The town was also an educational center, with an academy that flourished for many years. By the 20th century, Stillwater residents became more mobile, finding work outside of town, and the mills and factories began to close. Today Stillwater is known as a bedroom community with a bright future.
On April 16, 2016 the Village of Stillwater celebrated its Bicentennial on its 200th birthday. A committee planned many events and activities to commemorate the Bicentennial and, as they counted down to that day, the Historian's Office featured photos and facts below to take us back to our beginnings.
The purpose of the office of Historian is to collect, preserve and interpret Stillwater’s documentary heritage and manage historical records for the public.
The historian provides guidance and support to the general public on research projects, sets up displays on topics of historic significance, attends events and is available to give talks on subjects of historical interests to various groups.
The historian’s office is open to the public and has an extensive collection on local history, newspapers, census records, veterans files photographs, maps, cemetery surveys, genealogy files, and other archival materials pertaining to the history of Stillwater.
As a life long resident, Linda Sanders is a graduate of Stillwater Central School class of 1959 and Cobleskill Agricultural and Technical Institute now known as Cobleskill College class of 1962. She was employed at the Leonard Hospital from 1963 until her retirement in 2002 where she worked as a Medical Technologist in the laboratory. Linda became the first Deputy Town Historian in 1987 and was appointed as Town Historian at the time of the retirement of Mrs. Elizabeth Abel in 1995.
The historian's office was moved from the library to the Stillwater Area Community Center in 1997. Linda Sanders returned to being the Deputy Historian in 2006 as she is considered part time. Linda Palmieri is the full time Town Historian/Curator.
Much of Stillwater's rich history can be learned by visiting Blockhouse Park on Hudson Avenue in the Village of Stillwater. The Blockhouse opens its doors Memorial Day weekend and closes Columbus Day Weekend. Hours of operation are from noon to 4:00 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday or by appointment for special group tours. School groups are welcome.
The Stillwater Blockhouse is in need of volunteers for the 2015 season to serve as greeters. You don't need to know anything about local history to be part of our team. The Blockhouse received more than 6,000 visitors from all over the world last year. Spend two hours helping or all four. Wednesday to Friday is our greatest need.
Note: All of this season's events are weather permitting
If anyone would like further information they should call:
Linda Palmieri, Town Historian
(518) 664-2515, ext. 39
Linda Sanders, Village Historian
(518) 664-2515, ext. 11