Wyman Osterhout Community Center
Old Road, New Salem
Slingerlands, NY 12159
Hours: Sundays 2 - 4 PM year round
Group tours are available by appointment. Phone: (518)765-4652 or 765-2191
The exhibit chronologically details the history of the area, focusing on the Helderberg Mountains, Mohican Indians, and railroad innovations to the area. The Helderberg Mountains are the prominent feature of New Scotland. Their limestone cliffs hold fossils from the Devonian period (390 to 340 million years ago). They were named "Helderberg", which is Dutch for "Clear Mountain," because the formation can be seen from miles away. The Mohican Indians resided in what is now called the Hudson River valley for hundreds of years. They welcomed the Dutch and their trade goods. The Indians traded beaver pelts, desired by the Europeans for making their beaver hats, for these items. Trade continued for decades. In 1629 the Dutch started to settle what is now Albany and Rensselaer Counties primarily to protect their trade with the Indians.
In 1864 two railroads were built through the Town of New Scotland, headed west from the Hudson River, both trying to find a way around the Helderbergs. The Albany and Susquehanna line and the New York, West Shore and Buffalo railroads crossed one another in a farm field. Subsequently a village grew up around the crossroad and in 1899 the Village of Voorheesville (named for a railroad attorney) was incorporated.
The exhibits represent various aspects of the history of the Town of New Scotland. The opening geology exhibit shows this area before the Atlantic Ocean was fully explored and documented by explorers. Other displays look forward in time, to the 1800s and early 1900s.
1: Start out going NORTHWEST on WASHINGTON AVE toward N HAWK ST. 0.4 miles
2: Turn SLIGHT RIGHT onto NY-5 N / CENTRAL AVE. 0.1 miles
3: Turn RIGHT onto HENRY JOHNSON BLVD. 0.4 miles
4: Take US-9 N. 0.3 miles
5: Merge onto I-90 W toward BUFFALO (Portions toll). 3.3 miles
6: Take the RT-85 exit- EXIT 4- toward SLINGERLANDS / VOORHEESVILLE. 0.4 miles
7: Merge onto NY-85 S. 11.0 miles
8: Turn SLIGHT LEFT onto OLD NEW SALEM RD. <0.1 miles
9: End at Wyman Osterhout Community Ctr 7 Old New Salem Rd, Voorheesville, NY 12186, US