I Love NY

Amazing Albany Facts

How much do you know about our historic city of Albany? Take a look out our Trivia, Fun Facts, and Tales to learn more!

Albany Trivia

  1. Where was the song Yankee Doodle first penned?
    • Crailo during the Revolutionary War.
  2. Name two things that were invented in Albany.
    • Perforated toilet paper and the first plastic compound for billiard balls.
  3. Who was Albany named after?
    • Albany was named after the Duke of York's Scottish title, "Duke of Albany".
  4. The oldest pulpit in America, which was carved in Holland in 1656 can be found where?
    • The Dutch First Reformed Church in Albany.
  5. How long did it take to complete the existing Capitol Building?
    • Construction began in 1867 and took over 30 years to complete at a cost of more than $25 million.
  6. For a period of time, who lived in the pink house just off North Pearl Street next to McGeary's?
    • Herman Melville (Author of Moby Dick).
  7. How much did the Empire State Plaza cost to build?
    • The Empire State Plaza which sits on 98 acres with more than 900,000 cubic yards of concrete, and 232,00 tons of steel cost 1.7 Billion Dollars to build. It interconnects 11 buildings including the Capitol and NYS Museum.
  8. How much does the Half Moon weathervane on top of the SUNY building weigh?
    •    The weathervane, weighing about 800 pounds, is the largest working weathervane in North America.
  9. What is the connection between Alexander Hamilton and Phillip Schuyler?
    • American statesman, Alxendar Hamilton was married in 1780 to Philip Schuyler's daughter Elizabeth at the Schuyler Mansion.
  10. Why does the state Capitol have 17 steps approaching its western entrance and 77 steps approaching its eastern entrance?
    • In honor of the year 1777, when NY replaced its colonial government with the current state government.
  11. When Theodore Roosevelt was governor, how did he exercise every morning?
    • By running up and down the Capitol's front steps
  12. What four NYS Governors became President?
    • a.) Grover Cleveland; b.) Theodore Roosevelt; c.) Franklin D. Roosevelt; d.) Martin Van Buren 
  13. What three NYS Governors served as Vice President?
    • a.) Levi P. Morton; b.) Theodore Roosevelt c.) Nelson A. Rockefeller
  14. Who was the murderer at Cherry Hill?
    • Jesse Strang, the handyman, (for the entire story go down the page to Albany Tales).
  15. What was Washington Park originally the site of?
    • Washington Park was originally a cemetary,the State Street burial grounds to be exact. When Washington Park was designed, approximately 40,000 bodies had to be transferred to the Albany Rural Cemetary in the 1840's.


Albany Fun Facts

  • Santa Claus, and the first celebration of the feast of St. Nicholas in America, probably originated in Albany (imported from the Netherlands). The first mention of Santa Claus anywhere in America is in the Van Rensselaer papers in the State Education Dept. collection of historic manuscripts. There are records of Ft. Orange and Beverwyck celebrating the arrival of St. Nicholas with his sleigh and reindeer and coming down the chimney to put presents in childrens' stockings, going back prior to the 1650s.
  • The fable of A Bakers Dozen originated in Albany, probably back when it was Beverwyck.
  • Albany is the oldest continuous settlement in the original 13 English colonies. We had a fort built here prior to 1614. Jamestown was settled in 1607 but abandoned in 1699. Today Jamestown is a national park and archaeological site with no buildings. The Puritans didn't land in Massachusetts until 1620. 
  • The very first passenger railroad in America was the Mohawk and Hudson River Railroad. It ran from the intersection of Western and Madison Avenues into downtown Schenectady.  Erastus Corning was the President and Stephen Van Rensselaer was the largest stockholder.
  • General William Jenkins Worth, who Ft. Worth Texas is named after, lived in Albany (actually Broadway in Colonie). 
  • The first time that Abraham Lincoln and his wife, Mary Todd, Clara Harris, Henry Rathbone, and John Wilkes Booth ever saw each other was in Albany. Senator Ira Harris, his first wife Clarissa, his second wife, Pauline, and Henry Rathbone were from Albany. The Lincolns were visiting on their way to Washington and Booth was performing at Albany's Gaiety 

  


albany tales

Albany is a city filled with great history and beauty but like any place it's also had its fill of mystery, scandal, lust, and murder! Here you'll be able to read some of Albany's juciest and most interesting stories:

scandal

Scandal - The Battle Block For A Block- Powerful men with visions of beautiful architecture caused a clash in a time when e-mail did not exist, and business had to be done the old fashioned way, in person. And when certain people are out of town, they are not able to tend to their business and potentially lose out on opportunities. That's exactly what happened in this story.

Spinning Wheels, Aprons and Lace: Material Life at Cherry Hill in 1827 - ImageLust and Murder - Murders, Hangings, and Hauntings in Albany - The day is May 7, 1827. A large yellow house in Albany's South End is occupied by members of an extended family, and a slave, just finishing up from dinner. The men are upstairs discussing business and politics, and the women are on the lower level enjoying a chat by candlelight. At approximately 9:15 p.m., a gunshot rings out through the darkness from outside and a man is dead. Chaos ensues and a manhunt for the killer begins.

capitol ghost

History, Mystery, and Beauty - Tales from the Haunted Capitol Tour - Many people would joke that the New York State Capitol building is a terrifying place when the politicians are at work. However the real frights of the building may not just be politicians. A night watchman, a fruit seller, a painter, and two American Presidents are believed to be among those that haunt the halls of the Capitol. 

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