The Schenectady Stockade in Spring

Saturday, May 3, 2014

 Settled in 1661 by Dutch merchants and fur traders, the Schenectady Stockade is one of the oldest residential neighborhoods in the country. The National Park Service has described it as "the highest concentration of historic period homes in the country," with over 40 older than 200 years. (Wikipedia) It is the first historic district established in NYS.   For a complete look at the Stockade's history,  how it rebuilt after two fires (in 1690 and again in 1819) that burned over 200 buildings to the ground, and the significance of the Stockade to the Erie Canal, click on the link at the bottom of this blog.

While it's history is fascinating, what I love about the Stockade area of Schenectady is the beautiful homes that line the streets.  It is obvious that the people who have chosen to live in this unique neighborhood not only appreciate history, but take pride in their homes.  Whether you visit at Christmas when nearly every door is adorned with sophisticated decorations and greenery, in the summer when neighbors compete in friendly competition decorating their entries,  for the garden tour this June, or now when so many flowering trees are in bloom - you will be captivated by the charm of this neighborhood.

 While you're there, be sure to take a few moments to visit St. George's Episcopal church on Ferry Street.  St. George's is a colonial church that was founded in 1735.  St. George's Church is the oldest church in the Mohawk Valley and the fourth oldest in New York State. British missionaries visited Schenectady as early as 1695 and an Anglican Parish under the patronage of St. George
was established in 1735. By 1758, the congregation began raising funds for the construction of a church. The building was completed in 1769. The church was used for barracks during the Revolutionary War.  A cemetery occupies the land on one side of the church and gravestones lean alongside the walls of the church.  I searched the internet looking for an explanation of this placement of the stones, but was unsuccessful in finding an answer.  It is a beautiful church and a tranquil and sacred place to meander.....but I don't need to convince you.  I think the pictures speak for themselves.

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