1011 2nd Ave


The geological material of this land has been identified as as part of the Hoosic River lithology. The terrace suggests an age of at least 2000-3000 B.P. The it’s been estimated   that the lower levels of the terrace were formed perhaps as early as 7-8000 years ago with the upper, more recent deposits being laid down as overbank flooding from the Hudson River or from erosion of the higher elevations within the past 2-3000 years.

Artifacts recovered during several studies suggest the site was most heavily utilized during the Late Archaic period, ca. 1600-3000 B (Brumbach,1987)

Mahican People

Prior to the arrival of Europeans, the Troy area was inhabited by the Muh-he ka-ne-ok, known to the Europeans as the Mohican Indian tribe. This Algonquian-speaking people had probably lived in the area for thousands of years. The Mohican called the general Troy area Paanpack and referred to the Hudson River as Muh-he-kun-ne-tuk, or “where the waters were never still”.[1]

There were at least three clans within the tribe: Wolf, Turtle, and Turkey. Regardless, the entire tribe was led by one sachem (chief).

Skiwias, sometimes known as Aepjen, was sachem for some 20 years and led the tribe during the first encounters and land sales with the Dutch.[3] The tribe had at least two settlements near Troy. One was either near present-day Hoosick Street[4] or along the banks of the Poesten Kill[5] and was called Unawatt’s Castle. The other was located on Peeble’s Island, on the west side of the Hudson, across from Lansingburgh, and was called Moenemine’s Castle.[n 1] A third settlement may also have existed on the east side of the Hudson at Lansingburgh, across from Moenemine’s Castle.[4] The natives typically lived in domed wigwams or longhouses, and usually settled near the river or on higher ground nearby.[1] The original Mahican homeland was the Hudson River Valley from the Catskill Mountains north to the southern end of Lake Champlain.


To learn more about the Indigenous people of this area, please feel free to visit the following links below : 

SOURCE : The Lansingburgh Historical Society


The workmen engaged in excavating a foundation for the new car house of the Troy and Lansingburgh Horse Railroad Company, just North of the Waterford Bridge, yesterday afternoon exhumed a large number of human bones, and two clay pipes, one of which was partially filled with tobacco. About four years ago similar bones were dug up a few hundred feet South of this location, by the owner of the property.
“Exhuming Human Bones.” Troy Daily Times. October 12, 1861: 3

The excavations for the Horse Railroad depot are upon ground formerly occupied as an old Indian burying ground, which accounts for the discovery of bones, but it is difficult to account for the discovery of the “vital parts” alluded to by a cotemporary, as many years have elapsed since they were deposited there.
“Lansingburgh.” Troy Daily Times. August 6, 1866: 3 col 4.

☞ Some workmen excavating for the foundation of a new office for the Troy and Lansingburgh Horse Railroad Co., near the end of the bridge, on Saturday found the skeleton of an immense Indian. Most of the bones were in good condition, and the teeth in the jaws were all sound. This makes some eight or nine skeletons discovered within a few years in this vicinity.
Lansingburgh Gazette. August 9, 1866: 3 col 1.

SOURCE : Federal Register Vo.78 No. 116 June 17, 201 Pgs: 152-153

Notice of Intent To Repatriate Cultural Items: New York State Museum, Albany, NY AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: The New York State Museum, in consultation with the appropriate Indian tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations, has determined that the cultural items listed in this notice meet the definition of unassociated funerary objects. Lineal descendants or representatives of any Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization not identified in this notice that wish to claim these cultural items should submit a written request to the New York State Museum. If no additional claimants come forward, transfer of control of the cultural items to the lineal descendants, Indian tribes, or Native Hawaiian organizations stated in this notice may proceed.DATES: Lineal descendants or representatives of any Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization not identified in this notice that wish to claim these cultural items should submit a written request with information in support of the claim to the New York State Museum at the address in this notice by July 17, 2013. ADDRESSES: Lisa Anderson, NAGPRA Coordinator, New York State Museum, 3122 Cultural Education Center, Albany, NY 12230, telephone (518) 486–2020. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Notice is here given in accordance with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), 25 U.S.C. 3005, of the intent to repatriate cultural items under the control of the New York State Museum that meet the definition of unassociated funerary objects under 25 U.S.C. 3001. This notice is published as part of the National Park Service’s administrative responsibilities under NAGPRA, 25 U.S.C. 3003(d)(3). The determinations in this notice are the sole responsibility of the museum, institution, or Federal agency that has control of the Native American cultural items. The National Park Service is not responsible for the determinations in this notice. History and Description of the Cultural items In the late 19th century, 76-cultural items were removed from the propertyof the former Christian Science Church located in Lansingburg, Rensselaer County, NY, by Reverend O.C. Auringer of Troy, NY. Museum records indicate that the cultural items were found in association with human burials, but the human remains are not present in the collections. The unassociated funerary objects from this site are 65 tubular and round glass beads, 4 discoidal shell beads, 1 tubular bone bead, 1 stone bead, 1 perforated brass child’s thimble, 1 small crescent-shaped shell bead, 1 small lead bird figure, and 2 perforated triangular brass projectile points. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, 93 cultural items were removed from sites in Albany, Rensselaer, and Saratoga Counties, NY, by Mr. Dwinel F. Thompson of Troy, NY. Museum records indicate that the cultural items were found in association with human burials, but the human remains are not present in the collections. From the former Laureate Grounds in Troy, Rensselaer County, NY, the 90 unassociated funerary. . objects are 6 perforated elk teeth, 2 iron. objects (possibly awls), 3 copper spiral ornaments, 74 glass beads, 1 kaolin “EB” smoking pipe, 1 copper tinkling cone, 1 bone comb, and 2 perforated triangular brass projectile points. From Green Island in Albany County, NY, the 1 unassociated funerary object is 1 iron trade adze. From the vicinity of Schaghticok in Saratoga County, NY, the 2 unassociated funerary objects are 2 small discoidal shell beads. The Lansingburg and Troy sites are burial grounds that may have been associated with Unawat’s Castle, a Mahican village recorded on a 1632 map of Rensselaerswyck. The exact location – of Unawat’s Castle has not been established, but deed records indicate that the area where the sites are located was in the possession of the Mahican people until 1678 when it was sold by the Mahican leader, Amenhamit, to Robert Sanders. Prior to that, Mahican Indians allowed Sanders to use the property for his cattle as early as 1668. . The objects from the Lansingburg burial sites date to circa A.D. 1650–1670. The objects from the Troy burial sites date to the early 17th century and the middle 17th century. Based on the archaeological and historical evidence, the unassociated funerary objects from the Lansingburg and Troy sites are likely to be culturally affiliated with the Stockbridge Munsee Community, Wisconsin. • Green Island is an island in the Hudson River of eastern New York where archaeological evidence indicates recurrent Native American occupation over several thousand years. Museum records indicate the cultural item was washed out of an Indian grave at the upper end of the island in 1904. The cultural item dates to the 17th century. Early deed records indicates that Green Island was in the possession of the Mahican people until 1665, when it was sold by Mahican leaders, Amanhanit, Aepjen, and Wanapet, to Jeremias Van Rensselaer. Based on the archaeological and historical evidence, the unassociated funerary object from Green Island is likely to be culturally affiliated with the Stockbridge Munsee Community, Wisconsin. Museum records indicate two cultural items were found in an “Indian grave near Schuylerville,” which is located on the west side of the upper Hudson River. in Saratoga County, NY. No specific site information is available, but extensive evidence of Native American occupation has been documented in the area of Fish Creek near Schuylerville. The cultural items date to the 16th century. Archaeological evidence suggests the Schuylerville area was occupied by Mahican people in the centuries just prior to European contact. Based on the archaeological evidence, the unassociated funerary object from the vicinity of Schuylerville is likely to be culturally affiliated with the Stockbridge Munsee Community, Wisconsin. Determinations Made by the New York State Museum Officials of the New York State Museum have determined that: • Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(3)(B), the 169 cultural items described above are reasonably believed to have been placed with or near individual human remains at the time of death or later as part of the death rite or ceremony and are believed, by a preponderance of the evidence, to have been removed from a specific burial site of a Native American individual. • Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(2), there is a relationship of shared group identity that can be reasonably traced between the unassociated funerary objects and the Stockbridge Munsee Community, Wisconsin. Additional Requestors and Disposition Lineal descendants or representatives of any Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization not identified in this notice that wish to claim these cultural items should submit a written request with information in support of the claim to Lisa Anderson, NAGPRA Coordinator, New York State Museum, 3122 Cultural Education Center, Albany, NY 12230, telephone (518) 486–2020, by July 17, 2013. After that date, if no additional claimants

Lansing's Grove

[The Troy Deaf-Mute Literary Society] will hold our annual picnic at Lansing’s Grove, Lansingburgh […] The grove is a very nice place to indulge in games of various kinds. There is a shanty and a table, on which refreshments will be served in open air. The grounds is low and nearly level with the Hudson River. A hill on the east side forms a wall. A dense forest surrounds the grove. Beautiful views can be easier imagined than described.
Deaf-Mute’s Journal [NY]. July 18, 1889: 3 col 5.

Lansingburgh Historical Society



Articles On The Area

Articles and additional resources written about or mention the area of and immediately surrounding 1011 2nd Ave and or anecdotes on historical preservation in Troy.

SOURCE : Don Rittner


Aquai quin’a month’ee (Hello, how are you?). When these words were being spoken the land upon which Troy sits was a much different place.

Troy was a forested river plain of red spruce, elm, pine, oak, maple and birch trees with several fresh streams, filled with fish, flowing down from the hills to the west draining into the ‘Muh-he-kun-ne-tuk’ (where the waters were never still) – the Hudson River.

No doubt there were tended fields growing corn, beans and squash, while white-tailed deer, bear, moose, beaver, otter, bobcat, mink, wild turkey and other animals abundantly filled the forest. The people living on the land were not Trojans, but instead indigenous people, the Algonquian speaking ‘Muh-he ka-ne-ok’ or Mahicans, today called the Mohicans.

‘Paanpack’, as Troy was then called, was home to these people as was ‘Gastanek’ (Albany), ‘Nehanenesick’ (Green Island), ‘Quahemesicos’ (Van Schaick Island), ‘Mathahenaack’ (Half Moon), and ‘Nachawinasick’ (Cohoes).

Stretched along the river banks and on higher ground they lived in circular wigwams composed of bent saplings covered with bark or reed mats, rectangular barrel-roofed houses, or in long houses with roofs of elm bark, where the smoke of several fires would escape from holes every 20 feet or so filling the air.

Two pallisaded villages bordered the north and south ends of the Troy area; Monemius or Moenemine’s Castle on Peeble’s Island and Unumats Castle at the mouth of the Poesten Kill.

The finding of several possible native graves during the excavation of the trolley barns in Lansingburgh and near Freihofer’s in the 19th century, and not far from a known flint mine to the north of it, suggests that there may even have been a village, or “castle” in this vicinity, I believe. Perhaps in the woodland called ‘Popgassick’ in Lansingburgh, which was owned by a Mohican named Anaemhaenitt. ‘Panhooseck’, a tract of land from the Hudson River to the Poestenkill and between was owned by the Mohican Ampamit.

The Mohicans lived in harmony with this land. A land itself relatively newly formed from the events of the last glacier that made its way homeward to the north, after reaching terminus in the Long Island Sound some 15,000 years ago. The rich fertile flood plain was at first laid down by the sands and silts of Glacial Lake Albany that stretched from Newburg to Glens Falls, later giving way to the various levels and deposits of the newly formed Hudson River.

No one knows for sure when the Mohicans came into the region, but there is evidence that early man was in the Hudson Valley as early as 12,500 BC, hunting herds of caribou, with stone tipped spears, as they migrated up the Hudson Valley.

Today, we know the Mohican people inhabited the Hudson River Valley from the Catskill Mountains north to the southern end of Lake Champlain, west to the Schoharie River region extending east to the Berkshire Mountains in western Massachusetts, and from northwest Connecticut north to the Green Mountains in southern Vermont. They formed the great Mohican Confederacy and at the time numbered thousands.

It was the Mohicans that Henry Hudson met when he sailed up the river – named after him – in 1609, an event that proved fatal to the Mohicans. Disease brought on by contact with the Europeans, losses from war with the Mohawks to the west due to tensions over the fur trade, and broken promises by the Whites, decimated these people and forced them out of their homeland.

A group of Mohicans, then ‘christianized’, left the area and founded Stockbridge (Mass.), but even here their days were numbered. After nearly loosing half the male population during the American Revolution (they sided with the colonists), the Oneida Indians, who had also fought for the colonists, offered the “Stockbridge” people a portion of their land to live on in which they settled in the 1780’s.

Again, this rich fertile land was taken by the Whites and the Mohicans migrated to the White River area in Indiana to live with their relatives, the Miami and Delaware. By the time they arrived the Delaware had already been cheated out their land.

Negotiations for a large tract of land in Wisconsin was initiated by the federal government, New York officials, and others, with the Menominee and Winnebago tribes, and the Mohicans began building a new village at Grand Cackalin called Statesburg. The treaty in 1822, allowed the Stockbridge and another group called the Munsee of the Delaware Confederacy in New Jersey to move, but the Menominee did not like the agreement and renegotiated. Finally the Mohicans and Munsee moved to two townships on the east shore of Lake Winnebago by 1834.

Another Treaty in 1856, saw the Stockbridge and Munsee move to the townships of Bartelme and Red Springs in Shawano County. The official name of the groups became the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians.

The 1934 Indian Reorganization Act made it possible for the Stockbridge Munsee people to reorganize their tribal government and get back some of the land that had been lost by unscrupulous lumber dealers. About 15,000 acres of land in the township of Bartelme were purchased for the tribe.

Contrary to James Fennimore Cooper’s, “The Last of the Mohicans,” (read it at http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/eaf/authors/jfc.html) who in one stroke of the pen exterminated these people from the minds of the public, the Mohican Nation, Stockbridge-Munsee Band, are doing just fine today (their Web site is www.mohican.com ). As Steve Comer, their local representative told me recently, “The Mohicans never disappeared. We simply forgot to give a forwarding address.”

Steve also told me that the Mohican people have never forgotten their homeland even after a 250 year absence. Since 1951, members of the Nation have come back to visit every chance they can. Even today, a Mohican’s tie to their homeland is as strong as the roots that hold a mighty Redwood.

SOURCE : Don Rittner

In the last 30 years, environmental and preservation groups have perceived planning boards/commissions as rubber stamps, mere welcome wagons for developers. Certainly, the decision last Thursday by Troy’s Planning Commission did nothing to alleviate that perception. They approved the demolition of the Freihofer’s bakery buildings and the Riverside Club for a new Eckard’s Drug store by a vote of 6-2.

However, there are some serious issues that need to be resolved over the way this was handled.

Under the State Environmental Quality Review Act, a developer must assess the impact their proposal will have on the environment. This is done preliminarily with a short or full environmental assessment form that asks a series of questions. In some cases, a full blown environmental impact must be completed. Recently, the Capital District Preservation Task Force has found several occurrences in Capital District communities where the forms are not filled out properly, as required by law.

A member of the newly formed Historic Action Network picked up a copy of the environmental assessment for the Eckard’s proposal in January. Only half of the form was filled out. The second part, which deals with impact on the environment and historic resources, was not filled out.

However, between the public hearing in January (and public opposition) and the approval last Thursday, Part B of the assessment was written in. The answers regarding the impact on historic and archeological resources were dead wrong, however.

Where the form asked if there would be impact on land, the answer was an existing building would be demolished. In reality, the bakery AND the historic Riverside Club will be demolished.

It has been said that since the Riverside club or bakery was not on the National Register of Historical Places it didn’t need to be considered as such. The city’s historic sites inventory dates back to the 1980’s. Not being on the register doesn’t mean it has no historic significance. There are thousands of eligible sites that are not listed. First the site has to be nominated. It was not nominated by the city, nor anyone else.

Would the Riverside club or bakery be eligible if it were nominated? One of the State’s criteria asks does it “embody the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of construction…” The answer is yes when it comes to the Riverside Club. This early example of Shingle style is rare here. You can read the entire state regulation as it applies to historic preservation on the Web (www.nysparks.state.ny.us/field/fsb/1409regs.htm).

The form asks if there are impacts on historic and archeological resources. It’s also checked no.

Over the last 100 years, archaeologists, both professional and amateur, have found remains of prehistoric and historic Native American occupation on both sides of the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers.

In 1900, William M. Beachump in a report to the State Museum listed a
recent Indian cemetery opened in lansingburgh in 1897 and a neighboring camp of an earlier type. He also listed an early camping spot nearby on Green Island, and an early site and cemetery in South Troy.

Archeologist A.C. Parker, also in a State Museum report, a few years later, mentions an Indian village site north of the Waterford bridge with an abundance of artifacts. He writes of a cemetery of the Mohawks (probably Mohican) opened on First Street in Lansingburgh. First Avenue runs through the Freihofer property to the bridge following the banks of the river and I wouldn’t be surprised if remains turned up there.

Moenemies Castle (a Mohican village) was on Peebles Island but land was also sold on the east side to the Europeans and would be part of the land now occupied by Freihofer.

In 1865, when digging for the car barns for Troy’s trolley system (now Hannaford’s) an Indian cemetery was unearthed according to the Troy Times. The newspaper article mentions that similar graves were found just south of it (would place it on or near the Freihoifer’s site) a few years earlier.

There are well known flint mines just past the Hannaford’s where Native Americans fashioned their stone implements.

According to Sydney Hammersley in his History of Waterford (1957), burials were found in Waterford a few years prior to his book, and that the west end of Middle Street was once an indian burial ground. On an early Waterford map, Front Street was listed as an Indian encampment. You may remember just a few years ago Native bones were uncovered and repatriated with ceremony in Waterford.

Presently, there are Indian remains in the State Museum that were dug up where the Laureate Club had their boathouse in Troy off Glen Avenue.

Unamats Castle on the Poestenkill was a well know Mohican village.

My point? There is ample evidence that our shores of the Hudson and Mohawk were well settled by Native Americans and there is a high likelihood that there are prehistoric or historic Native American remains on the Freihofer site. Yet, there is only one way to find out!

I phoned Dr. Edward Curtin, one of the premier archeological consultants in the Capital District to discuss this matter. Dr. Curtin informed me that he was hired by the developer two weeks ago and they asked him for an assessment of the Freihofer site.

Dr. Curtin’s reply, which he faxed on February 7th to ADB Engineers & Surveyors, recommended archeological testing. This included a Stage or Phase 1A which consists of a literature search and sensitivity study. This would be followed by a Phase 1B, which is field investigation, with a backhoe to look for remains. Finally, mitigation to occur if anything is found.

When I talked to Dr. Curtin on Friday, a day after the project was approved, he was not yet hired to perform these archeological investigations. Now that the approval has been granted, will he be hired at all?

If you would like to learn more about this archaeological review process you can surf over to the New York State Parks Web page (www.nysparks.state.ny.us/field/fsb/majorphases.htm).

Interesting that none of this was brought up at the hearing.

Commissioner Barbara Nelson made a move to kill the proposal but was defeated. When asked why, she stated that she had tried to get phone calls returned for two weeks to discuss the matter and those were never returned. Add to the fact that a professional archeologist was not hired until two weeks prior to approval, and then not act on his recommendations, raises serious doubts about the integrity of the process.

The Planning Commission’s responsibilities are to look at ALL the impacts of a proposed development. They are also responsible for looking out for the best interests of the people of Troy, NOT the developer’s interests.

Here is how visitors will be greeted to Historic Troy. Before you come over the Congress Street bridge, a new Eckards. Come to Troy via the Waterford Bridge and you will encounter a new Eckards. Enter the city from Vermont and there might be a CVS greeting you. I will place a bet that there are proposals being drawn right now to build drug stores at the Green Island, Cohoes, and Menands Bridge entrances to the city.

Is this good urban planning? I think not!

SOURCE : Don Rittner

Last week you learned one of the most important archeological discoveries in North America was uncovered in Albany. The only known 18th century rum distillery is now covered with gravel and soon another parking lot will sit on top of it.

This is becoming the regular modus operandi for Albany. Find an important archeological site and then put a parking garage or building on it.

In a story printed in another newspaper the chairman of the Albany Parking Authority said saving this site would be expensive and impractical. Furthermore, (as quoted by the paper): “This is going to be a tourist attraction sitting in the middle of a garage?”

Well, yes! There are many examples around the world where cities have created innovative ways to preserve their historic and archeological resources under adverse situations. It takes a little vision, something that appears to be lacking in this city that is almost 400 years old!

Thirty years ago, Mexico City workers digging a new subway system had to divert the tracks around multiple Aztec remains. In 1967, while constructing the Pino Suarez station, they found a complete and previously unknown pyramid. The station was redesigned and the temple now stands at the junction of Lines 1 and 2, 18 feet below the ground. Visitors can view the temple before they board the subway.

In Paris, ruins of an ancient city, featuring a 3rd century Crypt, Gallo-Roman, late Roman, and medieval ruins, were found during the 1965 excavation for a parking lot near Notre Dame Cathedral. They were preserved in a crypt under the plaza, where visitors can see ancient foundations back to Roman times and artifacts recovered in the excavation.

In 1990, a stainless steel office building for a subsidiary of Mitsubishi opened in the ancient center of modern London known as the Fenchurch Street area.

Featured at basement level is a 100-foot-long, nine-foot-wide section of a Roman wall built in 200 A.D. The wall was preserved with chemicals and special humidity and protected by railings. The builders had originally planned to bulldoze the wall and sell pieces. Most of the rest of the original two-mile long wall is gone, but a few other sections are exposed or built into other buildings.

In Montreal, the Montréal-Pointe-à-Callière museum, a history/archeology museum is built right on top of the remains of historical buildings and important historical sites such as the actual spot where the founders of Montreal first landed and the city’s first cemetery. The museum continues under de la Commune street and the Place Royale under which you can see part of the fortification wall and the old Place Royale. It ends up in the old Customs house where there are other exhibitions.

In August, 1998, archaeologists uncovered a circle of holes chiseled into the limestone bedrock in downtown Miami. Also found were pottery shards, stone axe heads, and other artifacts. The site was to be a parking garage for a $126 million high-rise luxury condo complex, Brikell Pointe, located where the Miami River joins Biscayne Bay near downtown Miami.

This find was determined to be the Tekesta Indian capitol town and is 2000 years old. It’s being purchased and preserved. The parking garage and two multi-million dollar apartment buildings scraped.

The world famous Jorvik Viking Centre in York, England, uses highly detailed models to recreate life in Viking-era York. Riding a ‘Time Car’ beneath the city streets tourists travel through a complete Viking village whose reconstructed buildings are located where they actually stood 1000 years ago.

In Seattle, you can view 19th century planning blunders. After several fires (the last in 1889 burned down the whole city) and years of a badly designed sewage system where every toilet overflowed twice daily, the citizenry finally decided to build a new sewage system placing them where the streets were, and raising the streets in the process from 8 to 36 feet. Since it was years before they actually raised the sidewalks too, it was common to climb a ladder (sometimes 36 feet high) to cross the street and then climb back down to continue walking. A new city was built on the foundations of the old one and tourists can visit the old burned down city through catacombs and walkways that lie beneath Seattle’s present street level.

So, you can see from these few examples how easy it would be to incorporate the Albany rum distillery remains into this simple unimaginative city garage construction.

With this kind of shortsightedness, I’m not surprised Albany has lost 10,000 people in the last decade. Who wants to live in a city that doesn’t respect its past, but would rather seal its history in cement tombs and pay tribute to the car culture instead?

SOURCE : Don Rittner

On April 5th, last week, the city administration convened a meeting in the newly renovated Rice Building between government officials, preservationists, developers, and interested citizens. The Mayor wants to develop a preservation and development policy that will not conflict with each other. It’s a tough task but one that can be successfully constructed, in my opinion.

Basic in the need is the formulation of good historic zoning laws and design criteria for new development. There are many examples throughout the country of cities, towns, and even villages that have wrestled with this problem and arrived at good planning policy. Hopefully, we can borrow from those successes and apply them here in Troy.

I’ve said it many times but Troy can be a mecca for heritage tourism. I have more statistics to back it up.

Back in 1992, travel and tourism was the world’s largest industry. In 1994, tourism was the third largest industry in America, contributing $417 billion to the U.S. economy. In addition, tourism generated $6.3 million in direct jobs, making tourism the nation’s second largest employer. By 2005, Tourism will be our nation’s leading industry.

A recent Travel Industry Association of America survey found that 53.6 million adults said they visited a museum or historical site in the past year and 33 million U.S. adults attended a cultural event such as a theater, arts, or music festival. Cultural and historic travelers spend more, stay in hotels more often, visit more destinations and are twice as likely to travel for entertainment purposes than other travelers.

Expenditures by visitors from other nations in 1998 directly supported almost 1.1 million jobs in the United States. International tourist generated tax revenues are estimated to have totaled over $9.3 billion in 1998. The top states visited by overseas travelers in 1998 were: Florida, California, New York, Hawaii, and Nevada. Nine states saw over 1 million visitors in 1998. Troy is only a hop, skip, and a jump from New York City, a major tourist destination.

Top Activities of overseas travelers in 1998 were: Shopping (89%), Dining in restaurants (83%), Sightseeing in cities (45%), Amusement/theme parks (33%), Visit historical places (33%), Visit small towns/villages (30%), Water sports/sunbathing (26%), Touring the countryside (24%), Visit National Parks (21%), and Visit art galleries/museums (20%). Troy has most of these themes.

Remarkably, the foreign tourism market is a potential gold mine for Troy. In 1997, 7,852,000 of the overseas visitors to the U.S. or one in three overseas visitors were American Culturalist Shoppers. These are overseas travelers who engaged in both shopping and cultural and/or ethnic heritage tourism activities during their visit to the U.S. To qualify, the traveler had to have shopped and done one or more of the following activities:
-Visited a Cultural Heritage Site
-Visited an Ethnic Heritage Site
-Visited at least two of the following:
-Art gallery/museum
-American Indian Community
-Historical Place
-National Park

Combine that with Cultural Shoppers, those who engaged in both shopping and visiting a cultural heritage site. In 1997 this represented 4,477,000 or 19% of the overseas visitors to the U.S. Additionally, add the Ethnic Shopper, those who engage in both shopping and visiting an ethnic heritage site. In 1997 this represented 1,190,000 or 5% of the overseas visitors to the U.S.

The top five state destinations for the shopping segment as a whole were California (27%), Florida (25%), New York (21%), Hawaii (14%) and Nevada (10%), based on multiple responses. These figures change when it comes to the American Culturist Shopper who picks New York as the number one destination.

Visiting Historical Places was the top activity overall for all three sub-segments.

Americans are doing it too! The Travel Association of America survey reports that of the 46% of American travelers who included a cultural activity while on a trip, a third of them added extra time to their trip to accommodate more cultural activity. This translated to 26.8 million adults adding some 14 million additional nights. Those who extended their trips for cultural activities had higher household incomes than other travelers ($48,000 vs. $37,000), higher levels of education (41% completed college vs. 32%) and were more likely to be in a managerial or professional position (31% vs. 24%).

The total number of travellers in the U.S. in 1998 were 199.8 million people. 92.4 million or 46% participated in a cultural event with the most popular activities including visiting a Historic Site or community (31%), or museum (24%).

Clearly, few other cities in the Hudson Valley have such a combination of historic structures downtown, or river front, that can be developed into such historic themes for tourism. Troy’s past is its future. Let’s hope that everyone can get together and agree to move Troy into an economic renaissance.

SOURCE : Don Rittner

While the city of Troy gets ready to approve more demolition of its historic resources (Freihoferπs, Riverside Club), and Rensselaer towns like East Greenbush flattened its history for parking spaces, the rest of the country is raking in the money from promoting its history.


Historic preservation in Florida is a $3.7 billion-a-year industry and provides 10,000 jobs. The Florida Trust for Historic Preservation recently held a seminar to promote its historic preservation successes. The stateπs Leon County ranks sixth in the state in the number of properties (55) listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Local officials say the County’s historic preservation sites, local museums and cultural activities draw 1 million visitors annually and account for a $3.8 million annual economic impact.


This year, an estimated 6.2 million tourists visited St. Augustine and St. Johns County, which rivals the Capital District in terms of historical longevity (Albany founded in 1614, St Augustine, 1565). Those visitors account for an estimated economic impact annually of $1.5 billion on heritage tourism activities. Day-trip tourists are estimated to be about 3 million annually. Day-trip visitors are people who spend a few hours strolling St. George Street and the historic district or eating in a local restaurant, who are typically from about 50 miles away. “That shows how important historic preservation is,” Glenn Hastings, the county’s director of tourism was quoted in a newspaper article recently.


Tourism is Pennsylvania’s second largest industry and accounts for 4.5 % of all leisure travel in the United States, according to the state Department of Economic and Community Development. Business and leisure travelers spent $34.1 billion in Pennsylvania during 2000, a 7.1% increase over 1999. They spent nearly $400 million in 2000 in Franklin County, which ranked 21st among Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. Nearly half the leisure travel in Pennsylvania can be attributed to heritage tourism, according to a 1999 study by D.K. Shifflet and Associates. The next highest rate in the mid-Atlantic region is Washington, D.C., where heritage tourism is 23% of leisure travel.


More tourists are discovering the Hartford, Ct. area, staying longer and spending more money, according to a new study from the Greater Hartford Tourism District and shows that tourists in the past year have spent $29.3 million in the region’s 21 towns and cities, a 42 percent increase over the previous year.


Regional tourism officials attributed the newfound interest to several factors, including more car trips following the 2001 terrorist attacks.


Travelers who take in historic and cultural sites stay longer and spend more than ordinary tourists, according to a 2001 report by the Travel Industry Association of America. They also are more likely to bring their families and to travel in larger groups.


Travel experts say Americans are interested increasingly in cultural, historical and ecological destinations. Heritage tourism is one of the fastest-growing segments of the tourism industry.


One-third of historic and cultural travelers (29.6 million) say they added extra time to their trip because of a cultural, arts, heritage or historic activity, according to the Travel Industry Association of America.


About 17% of historic and cultural travelers participate in four or more activities while traveling, compared to just 5% for all travelers. State and national parks, outdoor activities, beaches and theme parks are also popular with them. They are slightly older than other U.S. travelers (48 vs. 46 years). One-third (34%) are 55 or older. They are more likely to have a post-graduate education (23% vs. 20%).


June, July and August are the most popular months for historic and cultural travel.  Overnight lodging is used 62% of the time by historic and cultural travelers, compared to 56% for all travelers.


Shopping is part of the trip for 44% of them, compared to 33% of all travelers.


About 18% of historic and cultural travelers say they spend more than $1,000 when they travel, compared to 12% of all travelers. On average they spend $631 per trip, compared to $457 for all U.S. travelers.


So what are we doing here in Rensselaer County?  Oh, just knocking down about everything that would bring tourists here, and raising taxes!  And if you were one of the thousands that braved the cold this past weekend as Troy celebrated its annual Victorian Stroll, you have to shrug your shoulders and roll your eyes.  You see, the Rensselaer County Chamber of Commerce, the very sponsors of the event, has asked the city for permission to tear down its Victorian Carriage house — for parking spaces.