You are looking at the northern tip of Van Schaick Island. The Hudson River flows to the east, and the third and fourth branches of the Mohawk River flow around the rest of this rocky island.
Dutch merchants Philip Pietersen Schuyler and Goosen Gerritsen van Schaick purchased Van Schaick Island and what is now called Peebles Island in 1664 from the Indians to prevent the British from controlling the trade route north. In the 18th century, a trail used by English armies in attacks on French Canada during the French and Indian War crossed both islands. During the Revolutionary War, soldiers in the American army camped on Peeble and Van Schaick Islands, calling the area a "barren wilderness."
The thirty-seven acres at the north end of Van Schaick Island are part of Peebles Island State Park, including the former Matton Shipyard, where barges and tugboats were built and boats that traveled the Erie and Champlain Canals were repaired.
[Image captions, from left to right, read]
· Philip Pietersen Schuyler
This portrait is believed to be of Philip Pietersen Schuyler (1628-1683).
· This 1758 map shows Green Island, Van Schaick Island with the Van Schaick house, and Peebles Island.
· Van Schaick House
The house was built by the Van Schaicks about 1735 and served as headquarters
for the Continental Army in August 1777. Private tours of the Historic Van Schaick Mansion are available. For information, call 235-2699.
· Matton Shipyard
Aerial view of Matton Shipyard, 1949, with oil transfer barge.