Cohoes ( kə-HOHZ) is an incorporated city located in the northeast corner of Albany County in the U.S. state of New York. It is called the “Spindle City” because of the importance of textile manufacturing to its growth in the 19th century. The city’s factories processed cotton from the Deep South. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 16,168. The name Cohoes is believed to be derived from a Mohawk term, Ga-ha-oose, referring to the Cohoes Falls and meaning “Place of the Falling Canoe,” an interpretation noted by Horatio Gates Spafford in his 1823 publication “A Gazetteer of the State of New York”. Later historians posited that the name is derived from the Algonquian Cohoes, a place name based on a word meaning ‘pine tree’.
In the early years of Dutch colonial settlement, the majority of the city’s territory was once part of the area of Manor of Rensselaerswyck, a feudal-style manor or patroonship. The land north of a line crossing the Cohoes Falls (today Manor Avenue) was outside the Manor and was owned by the Van Olohde family between 1725 and 1750. Rensselaerswyck was established by Killiaen Van Rensselaer, the patroon and a Dutch merchant. In 1632, he had an agent pace off an enormous triangle-shaped area around the confluence of the Mohawk and Hudson rivers, from the Peebles Island northwest to the Cohoes Falls and south to today’s Watervliet; this area was the core of the future city of Cohoes.
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