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Cohoes ( ) is a city located at the northeast corner of Albany County New Yorkmarker, USAmarker. It is called the "Spindle City" because of the importance of textile production to its growth. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 15,521. The name was believed to have arisen from a Mohawk expression, Ga-ha-oose, refering to the Cohoes Fallsmarker and meaning "Place of the Falling Canoe," an interpretation originated 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 Algonquin "Cohos," which is a place name based on a word meaning "Pine tree."


The city is on land purchased from the local natives in 1630. The land was once part of the Manor of Rensselaerswyckmarker.

In 1831, a dam was constructed on the Mohawk River above the city's waterfall. This provided power to make the community a leading textile center with the establishment in 1836 of the Harmony Manufacturing Company, later famous as Harmony Millsmarker. Cohoes became a mill town and to an extent a company town. During the 1870s the mills were enormously profitable because of the Erie Canal, which flowed past them at that time. Mill #3, at over long, has been considered the longest continuous textile mill in the country at the time. In 1848, Cohoes was incorporated as a village within the town of Watervliet, and in 1869 chartered as a city.

In 1866, during excavation work for construction of Mill #3 of the Harmony Mills, the bones of a mastodon were unearthed over a period of several weeks. The Cohoes Mastodon skeleton was on display in the lobby of the New York State Museummarker in Albany, New Yorkmarker, but has recently been moved to a new location away from the windows of the lobby, where temperature and humidity fluxuations risked damaging the skeleton, to a new display near the rear of the museum. A furry replica can be seen at the Cohoes Public Library.

The 19th century saw an influx of immigrants to Cohoes to work in the mills, particularly French Canadians from Quebecmarker, and Irish.

Around the turn of the century, daredevil Bobby Leach practiced going over the Cohoes Falls in a barrel before he performed the same stunt at Niagara. Cohoes residents watched this feat from the lawn or the porch of The Cataract House, the Victorian hotel at the corner of North Mohawk and School Streets, site of the present School Street Power Station.

Historic sites

A number of sites in Cohoes are included on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, including -

Residents of note

Charles H. Adams served as mayor from 1870 to 1872 and as Congressman from 1877 to 1879.

Ron Canestrari served as mayor from 1976-1988 and as Assemblyman from 1988-Present, becoming Majority Leader in 2007.


Cohoes is located at (42.773250, -73.703110) .

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.2 square miles (11.0 km²), of which, 3.7 square miles (9.7 km²) of it is land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km²) of it (11.79%) is water.

The City of Cohoes is at the confluence of the Mohawk River and the Hudson River. Cohoes is named for its most famous landmark, the Cohoes Fallsmarker, a majestic waterfall that was discovered by the region's original settlers, the Mohawk Nation. The city includes Van Schaick Island, where the historic Van Schaick Mansion is located, and Simmons Island.

The city borders Saratogamarker and Rensselaer counties.


City Hall
As of the census of 2000, there were 15,521 people (1,304 fewer than the 1990 census), 6,932 households, and 3,861 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,145.8 people per square mile (1,602.3/km²). There were 7,689 housing units at an average density of 2,053.8/sq mi (793.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.14% White, 2.16% African American, 0.16% Native American, 0.68% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.59% from other races, and 1.23% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.03% of the population.

There were 6,932 households out of which 25.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.4% were married couples living together, 15.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.3% were non-families. 38.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.20 and the average family size was 2.91.

In the city the population was spread out with 22.4% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 29.3% from 25 to 44, 22.5% from 45 to 64, and 17.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 86.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $32,856, and the median income for a family was $42,054. Males had a median income of $31,972 versus $25,845 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,416. About 11.2% of families and 13.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.9% of those under age 18 and 6.3% of those age 65 or over.



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