Albany's Dutch Families

Tour curated by: Rebecca Kurtz

Beginning in 1609, when Dutch explorer, Henry Hudson, came upon the area today known as Albany while sailing his ship, the Halfmoon, on the river that now bears his name, Albany was settled by a number of Dutch families, many of which established prominence in the area. Amongst these families were the Van Rensselaers, the Schuylers, and the Ten Broecks. Throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, these families repeatedly intermarried, growing in both wealth and power. They were responsible for the construction of a handful of now historic homes in Albany, including Schuyler Mansion, Cherry Hill, and Ten Broeck Mansion. All of these homes are still existent and are now open to the public as museums. Additionally, monuments exist that honor members of these families, including a statue of Major General Philip Schuyler that stands in front of Albany’s City Hall. This tour will bring you to each of these historic sites and provide the necessary background to appreciate their role in Albany’s history.

Locations for Tour

We begin at Lincoln Park, located between Morton and Eagle Street. Though the park is now a place of recreation, complete with a pool in the summer months and an ice skating rink in the winter, it was once the site of a battle between…

Between the years of 1761 and 1765, Revolutionary War Major General Philip Schuyler and his wife, Catherine Van Rensselaer Schuyler, built this home, now known as Schuyler Mansion. The location where the house stands was isolated at the time of its…

High on a hill on South Pearl Street, overlooking Albany’s bustling waterfront, stands the yellow Georgian mansion known as Historic Cherry Hill. This house was built in 1787 by Colonel Killaen Van Rennsselaer for his wife, Maria Sanders (a distant…

In front of Albany’s City Hall on Eagle Street at Maiden Lane stands a large portrait statue of Major General Philip Schuyler, representing Albany’s Dutch beginnings, English influence, and ties to the American Revolution. The statue was…

Our final stop is here, at Ten Broeck Mansion. Located in the center of a small part of Albany known as ‘Ten Broeck Triangle,’ this Federal style home was built in 1797 by Elizabeth Ten Broeck (a Van Rensselaer by birth) for her husband, Abraham…