Whitehall, New York facts for kids

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Whitehall
Town
Main Street Historic District
Main Street Historic District
Location in Washington County and the state of New York.
Location in Washington County and the state of New York.
Country United States
State New York
County Washington
Population (Census 2000)
 • Total 4,035
Area code(s) 518

Whitehall is a town in Washington County, New York, United States. It is part of the Glens Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area. The town population was 4,035 at the 2000 census.

The Town of Whitehall contains a village also named Whitehall.

History

During the late 17th century, the area was a staging ground for raids between English and French colonies.

Whitehall was first called "Skenesborough" in 1759 when it was settled by a land grant to a British officer, Philip Skene (1725-after 1785), who later returned to England, and who was subsequently declared an enemy of the State of New York for his land dealings. During the French and Indian War, the town was one of two major routes connecting the English and French Colonies.

During the American Revolution, the village, Skenesborough, was captured by American forces in 1774. Benedict Arnold under Philip Schuyler built a fleet of vessels to confront British forces at Valcour Island (thus the claim that this is the birthplace of the U.S. Navy). The surviving American vessels returned here to be destroyed in order to keep them from falling into enemy hands. The next year John Burgoyne led his forces through this area en route to the Battle of Saratoga. After the war, the town's name was changed to Whitehall.

During the War of 1812 the area was used to build ships to battle British forces on Lake Champlain, culminating at the Battle of Plattsburgh.

In 1823, the Champlain Canal was completed to Whitehall. The Rensselaer and Saratoga Railroad was extended to Whitehall in 1848.

During the second half of the 19th Century, the silk industry grew important in the town.

Because of the actions in 1775 and 1776, the legislature of the State of New York in 1960 declared Whitehall to be the birthplace of the United States Navy. (They did not include Benedict Arnold as its creator.)

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