History

The Half Moon settlement on the Hudson River
The Town of Halfmoon had its beginnings in the ancient tract called Halve Maen by the Dutch. This large plain named for its shape was located on the west side of the Hudson River above its confluence with the Mohawk. Mohican Indians offered to sell the plain called the Halfmoon Moon in 1664. The tract was purchased by Philip Pietersz (Schuyler) and Goosen Gerritsz (Van Schaick) and confirmed in Albany March 24, 2667.

The Half Moon Patent extended along the west side of the Hudson River from the creek called Tenendahowa (Anthony’s Kill) south to the Northern boundary of the Manor of Rensselaerwyk; along the Mohawk River west to the rapids called the Wathojax (near today’s twin bridges on I87 North) then on a diagonal back to the beginning.

Where was the original settlement, called The Half Moon located? Dutch traders were the first settlers to purchase land in Half Moon. Early military maps drawn for the French and Indian wars and the Revolutionary war show a cluster of houses called Half Moon located above the present village of Waterford. The houses are situated on the large bulge of land through which the present boundary between the Town of Halfmoon and the Town of Waterford is located. Another house is shown above this settlement where the Leland Farm is located today.

The 1776 survey map by Nanning Vischer, which includes both the Van Schaick (Halfmoon) and Clifton Park Patents, shows long narrow strips or parcels of land perpendicular to the river – lots #6-11. The shapes of these lots along the Hudson River are a sharp contrast to the mostly square lots in the rest of the survey. Land documents show that Annatje Lievens, widow of Van Sshaick had alr4eady conveyed these lots to the first settlers. These lots predate the survey map.

The Issac Vrooman map of 1779 marks the trails and roads in use at the time of the Revolution. It also shows Widow Pebbles Tavern, which was located at the foot of Brookwood Road on lot #12 of the Nanning Vischer Map. The trail to this tavern extends from Cornelius Claes (Vandenburg) Ferry (known today as Dunsbach’s Ferry) on the Mohawk River across to Peebles Tavern on the Hudson River, by passing Cohoes Falls.