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About Troy

49,946 in city
1,151,653 in metro
26 km² (10 mi²)
10.186662674 m
Troy is an industrial center located a few miles north of Albany on the east bank of the Hudson River. It is the seat of Rensselaer County and home to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the oldest continuously operating school of science in English-speaking countries. Russell Sage College, Hudson Valley Community College, and the Emma Willard School are also located here. Samuel Wilson, believed to have been the inspiration for the personification of the United States known as "Uncle Sam," was a resident of Troy. Troy was one of the wealthiest cities in the United States during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Its location at the head of Hudson River tidal waters and as the terminus of the Erie Canal led to rapid industrialization. It was a center of the iron and steel industry before the Civil War. Later it became famous for the manufacture of shirts and collars. Population peaked at 76,813 in 1910. Troy's prosperity led to construction of many fine buildings in the downtown area during its boom years. Subsequent economic decline arguably contributed to their preservation, leaving a downtown area still characterized by late Victorian architecture. European settlement began with the arrival of the Dutch in the early 17th century. The Van Rensselaer family received a grant of the area in 1629. Troy was laid out as a village in 1787 and founded as a town in 1789, named for the mythical city of Troy in Homer's Iliad. Industrialization began when the falls of the local Poestenkill River were harnessed for power. Growth accelerated after the Erie Canal opened in 1825.