The village of Hudson Falls resides along the east bank of the Hudson River in the town of Kingsbury in Washington County, New York. Before its settlement, the area of what we now know as the village of Hudson Falls was remote and underexplored. Its isolation was diminished in 1755 when the British created a road between the Hudson River and Lake George. This consequently opened the area up to pioneers and eventually settlers.
In 1762 the township of Kingsbury was chartered by Britain’s King George III. Soon after Albert Baker settled in the area and built the town’s first mill at what is now known as Baker’s Falls. Baker utilized the natural features of the river to power his saw mill. The falls in this area happen to be the largest on the Hudson River, dropping about 80 feet in a mile, making it an ideal spot for the creation of water-powered mills. Second only to farmers, millers were a popular vocation for the townspeople.
During the American Revolution many towns became divided between the loyalists and the supporters of the revolution, and Kingsbury was no exception to this divergence. In 1780, the British Army along with several loyalists raided the town. All of the town’s buildings were destroyed by fire, except for three buildings that belonged to loyalists.
Kingsbury began to move forward again upon the completion of the American Revolution. In time, the town was rebuilt and given a new chance to prosper. The first official town meeting of Kingsbury was held in 1782. By 1810 the village of Sandy Hill was created in the Baker’s Falls part of town. Thirty years later the entire area became known as Sandy Hill. In 1910 it was renamed again, this time to be known as Hudson Falls.
Logging and mining were introduced into the region during the time of the town’s resurgence. What is known as “Kingsbury Bluestone” was used to create the Saratoga Monument and the Bennington Battle Monument, as well as parts of the Brooklyn Bridge. The construction of the Champlain Canal in 1823 allowed materials to be shipped in and out of the region with ease. The creation of the Glens Falls Feeder Canal in 1833 added to this new method of commerce, as did the implementation of the rail road transportation in the area.
The devastation of fire is an all too common theme for the village of Hudson Falls. Several buildings met their fiery end in the 1870s, and again in 1940. But with destruction comes rebirth, and the people of Hudson Falls persevered and rebuilt their village, just as they did in generations past. Today Hudson Falls remains a tight-knit community of residents who care about the village and its history. An annual celebration, called Sandy Hill Days, is held every September to honor the village’s original name and to commemorate its history. With such a unique past, it is no wonder that the village of Hudson Falls takes pride in its history.