Castleton-on-Hudson, New York is located in Rensselaer County at 42.52° North, 73.78° West. The town is a suburb of Albany, situated about 8 miles south of the city along the Hudson River. The village has a population of about 1600.
Castleton gets its name from the exploration of the Hudson River by Henry Hudson. While traveling up the river, he came upon the ruins of a fortified french trading post on an island just north of the current village. He named is Castle Island, which would later become the location of Fort Nassau, which was the first attempt at a permanent settlement in the area by the Dutch.
When the small village was incorporated into Rensselaer County in 1827, there were about 100 people living in the area, mostly along the banks of the river. Between 1890 and 1920, the village had a booming economy, with small industry, a hotel, and a small port to gain access to river traffic. However, a large flood destroyed much of the business district in 1936, and the industry took the opportunity to relocate. These days the town is a very residential suburb, with some light agriculture.
Amtrak rail service between Albany and New York City passes directly through Castleton-on-Hudson. With the introduction of high-speed rail, many of the older riverside buildings will have to be torn down, for fear that a train passing at such velocity will cause these buildings to collapse. Some of these buildings date from the late 1800's.
There are two landmarks in town. The first is the Castleton-on-Hudson Bridge, which takes the Berkshire Spur of the New York State Thruway over the river. There is absolutely no way to access the bridge from town, as the bridge connects the highlands on either side of the river, rather than being built near river level.
The second landmark is the new Schodack Island State Park, located just south of the village limits. A majority of the park is located on the opposite side of the rail right-of-way, requiring a new bridge to be built to gain access to the park. It was opened in the summer of 2002.
living there for almost 18 years
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