Knox

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KnoxHamlet 01.jpg

Knox, one of the four Albany County, NY Hilltowns, is in the northwest part of Albany County. The other Hilltowns are Berne, Westerlo, and Rensselaerville.

The population was 2,647 at the 2000 census.


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Geography and Demographics

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 41.9 square miles.

The west town line is the border of Schoharie County, and the north town line is the border of Schenectady County.

Knox Maps

Click here for Knox Maps

Knox Visitor Attractions and Facilities

Like all of the Albany hill towns, Knox is known for its natural beauty: pastoral rural countryside, rolling hills, meandering creeks, waterfalls, forest land.

Knox visitor attractions and facilities
Proposals for town of Knox, farmers and businesses to enhance visitor experiences.

Upcoming events

Upcoming events are listed on the following pages:

Upcoming events for visitors who want to know what is coming up when they "Head for the Hills."
Upcoming Events of Special Interest to Hill Town Residents

History

The Town of Knox was established in 1822 from part of the Berne.

Early Settlement - Scoharie was settled by Palatine Refugees 1712 from what is now Germany. The earliest settlers of what is now Knox were both newer Palatine arrivals who found that the land in the Schoharie Valley was already taken, and early settlers who either could not get clear title too their land, or did not (or could not) pay the price. At that time, the wilderness land to the east in what is Knox could be had for the taking.

Settlement began before 1740. At that time it was called Helleberg (various spellings). The settlers were actually squatters, since in the 18th and most of the 19th centuries, Knox was part of the Rensselaerwyck estate. The head of the Van Rensselaer family was the Patroon who owned all the land on which the tenants in the Hudson Valley lived, and used feudal leases to maintain control of the region. Before the Revolutionary War, the patroons acted as feudal lords, with the right to make laws.

The Van Renseelaer 1787 survey map shows that occupied lots were irregularly shaped indicating they were all settled by squatters before the survey. Here is a Knox central-large web.jpg to a portion of the map. The main east west wagon road goes from Altamont to Schoharie. The wagon road to the south from the center goes to Thompson's Lake. Vacant lots are rectangular and of 120 acres each.

1870 Child's Gazetteer: History of Knox
1870 Child's Gazetteer: Residents of Knox
1884 Altamont Enterprise: History of Knox
1886 Tenney and Howell: History of Knox
1897 Amasa Parker: History of Knox
Sesquicentennial History Article
1820 - 1860 Census Index
1934 - Knox is Smallest Town in County of Albany - Altamont Enterprise - October 12, 1934
Travel
Knox: Planting and Harvesting Photos
1960 The Beautiful Helderbergs: History of Area - Altamont Enterprise – August 19, 1960

Anti-Rent War: The residents of Knox were active participants in the Anti-Rent Wars.

Military

We are trying to create a list of men and women who served in the military. If you know someone who served, please add their name to the list. If you know more about any of them, if would be a fitting tribute to them if you would also create a biography of them.

Knox during the Revolutionary War
Knox during the Civil War
Knox during the War of 1812
Knox during World War I
Knox during World War II
Knox during the Korean Conflict
Knox during the Vietnam War

Farms

  • Historical Farms - The purpose of this section is to tell the story of each farm from the first homesteader to the present. Each farm is named after the first known owner.

Van Rensselaer Lots Farms are in order by Van Rensselaer Knox Lot number which tells approximately (and often precisely) which grid on Beers 1866 map of Knox the farm is located.

Lot 629

Barns - Knox has a number of New World Dutch Barns. They are unique among American farm buildings. Its clean and logical structural system was derived from medieval European timber framing, and the availability of massive timbers from the virgin American forests allowed the barn builders to attain a scale and elegance that we still marvel at today. Dutch Barns were predominant from the mid-17th century to the early 19th century in the Colony of New Netherland. This was the area first settled by the Dutch and Palatine Germans, what is now northern New Jersey, and the Hudson, Mohawk, and Schoharie Valleys, and western Long Island in New York State. Hundreds of Dutch Barns still survive. Many are well known and have been studied and photographed by members of the Dutch Barn Preservation Society. The Towns of Berne and Knox are fortunate to have a number of Dutch style barns all built over two centuries ago. Whether the carpenters were Dutch, or Germans building in the Dutch style, has yet to be determined. The Dutch Barn Preservation Society has more information on historical importance of Dutch Barns.

Deeds / Leases:

Historic Homes

Tell the story of each historic home, when it was built, who lived there, additions, remodeling

Family History and Stories

Unlike the chapters in the proposed books on family history that will be written by individual researchers, the data in this section will be entered by anyone who knows something about the family. Within each section entries are organized alphabetically. Add links to the farms where your ancestors lived, and links to the homes they lived in. Pictures are encouraged. Families - Family history that focus on the family units that lived in the town, telling where they came from, what they did while here, when and why they left, and where they went. If history is for a particular family unit within a family surname, the index should be last name then first name.

Biographies - Over the past two hundred plus years countless people have made Knox their home. One of the best part of Helderberg Hilltowns is the ability to view and enter biographies of it's citizens from the past. Please join us in expanding this section by creating a biography that is not already written or adding to one that is already posted. Below you will find a link to biographies thus far for Knox. To view all biographies for the hilltowns click on 'Biographies' on the main menu.

Knox Biographies

Stories - Family stories organized by last name then first name.

Genealogy - Family genealogical charts organized by families

Family Photo Albums - organized by family surname

Businesses

Past: This section will have the history of each business beginning from its establishment, through various ownerships and name changes. Pictures may be used provided you have authority to post them.

Historic Hotels, Inns, and Taverns:

Other Historic Businesses and Industry

Current farms and businesses:

Churches

Tells the major events in the history of each church.

Past:

Present:

Schools

Click this link to Knox Schools for the history of the one room schools in Knox.

Organizations

Past:

  • Helderberg Grange
  • Knox Town Library
  • Plankroaders - A social club organized as Brothers of the Brush during the Knox sesquicentennial celebration in 1972. When the sesquicentennial ended, the group remained together, welcomed their wives and renamed the group the Plankroaders.

Current:

Cemeteries

From 1936 through 1940 William A. Brinkman, Historian, Town of Guilderland, compiled a list of the cemeteries and family burying grounds in the Town of Knox. He missed one or two, or maybe a few. Click here for the list of Knox Cemeteries.

Communities and locations

  • East Township - a hamlet in the northeast part of the town on Route 146.
  • hamlet of Knox - (formerly "Knoxville"), the largest hamlet in Knox, is in the central part of the town, located at the junction of State Route 156 (Berne-Altamont Road) and County Road 252 (Knox Cave Road). Beaverdam Creek flows past the hamlet.
  • Thompson's Lake - a lake in the southeast part of the town.
  • West Berne - a hamlet at the town line in the southwest part of the town, most of which is in Berne
  • West Township - a hamlet in the northwest part of the town on Route 146.

Historic Knox Postcards and Photos

Cards and photos of Knox sites

Knox Spoon

Other links