5 Weird Facts About Albany
Albany was named something else entirely different. It was actually named after an animal.
There are many interesting things worth discovering about the city of Albany (first called Fort Orange) which was founded in 1614 by the Dutch.Here are some cool facts that many people may not know about this city with such a rich history.
1. Another name for Albany was The Beaver District
Before being named Albany, the settlement was called Beverwyck ("beaver district"). It was named after the beavers that created a lucrative fur trade for the Dutch. Also, people in Albany spoke the dutch language up until The American Revolution.
2. The First Celebration of Santa Claus originated in Albany
There are records of Albany celebrating the arrival of Santa with his sleigh and reindeer coming down the chimney to put presents in childrens' stockings, going back before the 1650s. Saint Nicholas was first mentioned in the Van Rensselaer papers in the State Education Departments collection of historic manuscripts. (Source)
3. Albany Invented Perforated Toilet Paper
Yes, Albany is the birthplace of perforated (rolled) toilet paper. Of course there was already toilet paper before Seth Wheeler of Albany patented his innovative product in 1871, but it was just individual squares and not a roll like we use now. (Source)
4. Abraham Lincoln and John Wilkes Booth were both in Albany at the same time
In 1861, just after Abraham Lincoln became president The Lincoln family were visiting Albany from Washington D.C. While they were visiting, John Wilkes Booth was performing at Albany's Gaiety Theatre on Green Street. That is an eerie coincidence.
5. Washington Park was Originally a Cemetery
Washington Park, where Tulip Fest is annually held, used to be a cemetery. When Washington Park was designed, approximately 40,000 bodies had to be transferred to the Albany Rural Cemetery.
Albany is such an interesting place. To learn more about some hidden treasures of the city go to this website.