History of Duanesburg

The Town of Duanesburg was settled as early as 1736-1770 by investors such as Thomas Freeman, Timothy Bagley, William Crosby, Walter Butler and Jonathan Brewster. But by 1765, Judge Duane owned the largest share of the Town, which was named in Duane's honor.

Duanesburg received its first patent as a town March 13, 1765. Early on, James Duane envisioned Duanesburg as the future capital of New York State, given his influence as mayor of New York City, Federal Judge, friend of George Washington and member of the First Continental Congress. And while this dream went by, Duanesburg became an important railway center, boasting by 1907 the largest coaling station in the world located in the Village of Delanson.

Although Duanesburg remains a characteristically rural area, the Town has become a bedroom community for the tri-city area of Schenectady, Albany and Troy, as reflected in Duanesburg's 20th century development and the completion of Interstate 88.

The Town's present layout remains much the same as it was throughout the 19th century: large farmsteads with hamlets and villages at major thoroughfares. Of the eight historic byways, four communities remain intact of significant historic concentrations of properties: the Village of Delanson, the larger hamlets of Quaker Street and Mariaville and the small hamlet of Eatons Corners. These areas contain important and broad ranges of architectural styles, including pre-Federal, Federal, Greek Revival, Italianate, Queen Anne/Eastlake and Colonial Revival. The Town contains 643 structures identified as historic by New York State, 55 cemeteries and 15 natural sites of interest

By Art Willis, Former Town Historian