The Village of Altamont, located within the Town of Guilderland in Albany County, encompasses approximately 1.2 square miles. The 2000 US Census reported 1,737 inhabitants.
Altamont is located directly below the Helderberg Escarpment near New York State Thatcher Park. In the early 1630s, the area was part of lands granted to Killian Van Rensselaer by the Dutch West India Company and became known as the Hellerburgh in the early 1700s.
The hamlet of Knowersville was established in the early 1800s. After the first passenger train passed through Altamont in 1863, the Albany and Susquehanna Railroad Company erected a permanent depot and the center of business and travel moved slightly west to the area where the depot was built. The building served as both passenger and freight station. The station agents were enterprising businessmen who sold building materials, feed and coal from the depot. The post office was moved from the home of Jacob Crouse in Knowersville and located in the depot with Henry Hawkins as the station agent and postmaster. The railroad company moved the old structure further down the tracks and built a new building in 1896-97.
The Village of Altamont incorporated in 1890. Summer visitors used the railroad to visit Altamont Hotels and lakeside boarding houses on the mountain and the business district blossomed. Village infrastructure was established and many homes were built.
The last passenger train passed through Altamont on January 24, 1963 after a century of service. Presently, Altamont Free Library owns the historic train station, which is, along with a number of homes along Main Street listed on the Registry of Historical Buildings.
The Village’s Central Business District is a quaint, tree-lined commercial area offering charming shops, restaurants and convenient services. With wide sidewalks, free parking and period street lighting, the area offers residents and guests a chance to step back and enjoy the beautiful parks and natural backdrop of the Helderberg Mountains.