by John Wolcott
by John Wolcott Two hundred years ago, the Town of ”Guilderlandt” was organized and set up by an act of the State Legislature. The Dutch language, at the time, was losing out to English and becoming poorly used. The Indians were continuing to lose out to non-Indians, and the environment would, eventually, lose out.
The founders of Guilderland are generally assumed to have had the name “Gelderland” in mind when they named the Town, with a mixed archaic Dutch, and modern English word, known nowhere else on Earth. Gelderland is the Province of Killian Van Rensselaer founder of Rensselaerswyck. He was the one who enabled the beginnings of Euro-American culture in this area. Very appropriate, I suppose; except that the English word Guilder was used, which means “gulden” a Dutch coin of 20 Stivers It was the next to smallest, and commonest denomination of Dutch money.
One could say that “Guilderland” means “Money Land”. This name is appropriate since Guilderland is always selling out the environment and it’s own residents quality of life in the process. The wanton, mindless destruction of sand dunes, and mowing down Pine Bush tree cover for any developer that asks for it, is a prime example of the roots of evil that originate in Guilderland’s love of guilders. It may be better to retain the funny spelling of the Town’s name, so people will know what the place is really about, in terms of policies, and practices of the Town Government, be it Republican, or Democrat, or even Democrat/Green.