Bethlehem is a town in Albany County, New York, United States. The town’s population was 33,656 at the 2010 census. Bethlehem is located immediately to the south of the City of Albany. Bethlehem includes the following hamlets: Delmar, Elsmere, Glenmont, North Bethlehem, Selkirk, Slingerlands, and South Bethlehem. U.S. Route 9W passes through the town. The town is named after the biblical Bethlehem. When Henry Hudson sailed up the river that would eventually bear his name, he is thought to have landed at what is now the town of Bethlehem. The spot where he is presumed to have landed is commemorated at the town’s Henry Hudson Park. The town was established on March 12, 1793 from the town of Watervliet.
In 1832, part of the town was used to form the town of New Scotland. The town’s earliest growth took place in Normansville named for its location along the Normans Kill, a creek, which forms the town’s border with Albany. Normansville still exists today, though it is unnoticed by most living in Bethlehem since it is accessible only by one downhill road. In the mid-19th century the Delaware and Hudson railroad initiated service into the hamlet then called Adamsville, renaming the hamlet Delmar. Delmar has become the most populous hamlet and its Delaware Avenue is the site of the present day town hall, police station, justice court, and public library, as well as numerous businesses.
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