Driven from their coastal New England lands during King Philip’s War, Pequots and other related Connecticut tribes were resettled in the Mohican territory of Schaghticoke in the 1670s. The Governor of New York felt that an allied tribe in these frontier lands would buffer the Dutch and English settlements against French incursion from the north. A treaty was commemorated in 1676 with the planting of the Witenagemot Oak, which stood behind the Knickerbocker Mansion until the 1940s.
The City of Albany acquired title to “Schaahkook” (Schaghticoke) from a group of Mohicans led by Masahaes and Mahatawee in February of 1707, in exchange for “2 blankets, 12 duffel coats, 20 shirts, 2 guns, twelve pounds pouder, 36 pounds of lead, 8 gallons of rum, 2 casks beer, 2 rolls tobacco, 10 gallons Madeira wine and some pypes,” with an annual rent for ten years consisting of “1 blanket, 1 shirt, 1 pair stockings, 1 lapp, 1 kegg rum, 3 pounds powder, 6 pounds lead, 12 pounds tobacco.” Albany’s acquisition opened the area to European settlement, and Schaghticoke’s agricultural landscape provided the raw material for burgeoning local industry: flax, wool, grains and wood. By the end of the eighteenth century, the Hoosic River was powering wool, cotton and flax mills, a powder mill, flour and saw mill.
In the 20th century, agriculture remained strong in Schaghticoke, while industry all but disappeared. This is particularly evident in the case of the Thompson Textile Mill, which hit the height of its operations in the 1970s, followed by a period of decline. The mill had been vacant for nearly a decade when a fire broke out in April 2009. The textile mill can still be seen on route 67.
Today, Schagticoke is a predominantly suburban community of residents that commute to work in Troy or Albany. In recent years, the Knickerbocker Historical Society has strived to revive the 1780 Knickerbocker Mansion to create a museum and promote community awareness and appreciation of the local history. Schaghticoke is also home to the Rensselaer County Fair, held on the historic Schaghticoke Fair Grounds, which is the third oldest fair in New York State.