The Archives and Museum are located in the Altamont Village Municipal Building at 115 Main Street. The mission of the Archives and Museum is to collect and preserve important historical documents, photographs, and ephemera relating to the cultural, educational and municipal history of the Village of Altamont (incorporated in 1890), its citizens and founders.
Altamont was the first Village to incorporate in the Town of Guilderland, NY and remains the only one to this day. The incorporation was the culmination of a great period of growth since early settlers first built on land at the foot of the Helderberghs (the “bright” mountains).
In 1767, only three homes were located on land now within the Altamont corporation limits, according to the Bleeker Map dated that year. The John Kidney farm on the Northeast corner of Route 146 and the Schoharie Plank Road, the Juria Siverson House on Brandle Road, and a then unidentified farmhouse located on the Southeast corner of Maple Avenue and Gregg Road. These early settlers were the first to populate the area.
In 1840 following the death of influential settler, businessman and NY State Treasurer Benjamin Knower, the Village was named "Knowersville". In 1863 with the coming of the Albany and Susquehanna Railroad and the first passenger train, residential and business development flourished. In 1887 a new post office was established and, following a vote of the residents and the intersession of President Grover Cleveland (at the behest of summer resident Lucy R. Cassidy) the Village was officially re-named Altamont (high mountain).
Additional history about the Village and its founders can be found in the collections of the Archives and Museum. The collections are currently undergoing examination and cataloguing to make the collections more accessible to the public and to complete more in-depth scholarly research on the material. Several aspects of targeted collections will be available on-line upon the completion of the project in the summer of 2010 with access to original documents, family records and historic photographs greatly improved.
At present there are no regular hours for access to the collections due to this ongoing process. However, persons wishing access for research and other matters are encouraged to call the Archives and schedule an appointment.
The Village Hall exhibit cases contain ongoing curated exhibitions of material from the Achives and are accessible during regular Village Office hours. Visitors may also view the "Altamont Mayors' Portrait Gallery”, a permanent collection of framed photographs of the 35 chief executives of the Village since its incorporation in 1890.