Petersburgh - Town History

Petersburgh is a rural town located in the northeast section of Rensselaer County, NY. The town is bordered on the west by the Rensselaer Plateau and on the east by the Taconic Mountains and by the states of Vermont and Massachusetts. The Little Hoosic River flows through the middle of the town and empties into the Hoosic River at North Petersburgh. While it is the smallest town (approx. 40 square miles) in Rensselaer County it has some of the loveliest vistas to be found anywhere.

In 1631 Kiliaen van Rensselaer received title to nearly 1,200 square miles of land, then known as Rensselaerswyck, which included most of what is today Rensselaer County. For many years the land remained wild and vacant. By the late 1600’s Dutch trappers and farmers were pushing up the Hoosick River Valley. By 1740 a thriving settlement, commonly known as “Dutch Hoosic”, had been established at the juncture of the Hoosick and Little Hoosick Rivers (now North Petersburgh). In 1778 these European settlers petitioned Pierre Van Cortlandt, then Governor of New York, indicating that they had been on their land for over 30 years. The area was further settled in the middle of the 18th Century. 

The Town of Petersburgh was established in 1791 and was named after ‘Pietrus’ Peter Simmons, an early settler.


To return to the Home page please click here.

Coming into Petersburgh circa 1890.

 View from Petersburgh Pass.