Early Reference to the Pine Bush Discovered in the Dutch Records of Beverwyck

by John Wolcott

This year is the three hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the chartering of the community of Albany as the village of Beverwyck. With this in mind, let us quote a reference to the Pine Bush from the records of Beverwyck, January 7, 1753: “The Honorable Abraham Staets having requested that the description of the lot here-to-fore granted to him might be entered here, this is granted and it is situated as follows . . . on the west the kill six rods, two feet. Southwards eight rods. On the north side: ‘het gemeene bosch padt’ (the public path through the forest) 25 rods. Again southward to the First Kill 8 rods and further along the boundary of the First Kill . . .'” It is generally agreed that this “public path through the forest” went into the Pine Bush. The Dutch word for forest, “bosch” or “bos” later became anglicized to “bush” in the Hudson and Mohawk Valley for some place names, for example Pine Bush, Feura Bush, and Greenbush. This is why the meaning ascribed to the word bush in our area cannot be found in Webster or other English dictionaries.

This property is basically the same as the property transferred later in the seventeenth century to the Lutheran Church of Albany and was in the area of Howard Street between South Pearl and Lodge Street. A more detailed analysis of this path can be found in a report by this author at the Lutheran Church or at the State Museum.

Printed in the December 2002 Dinner/Hike Notice