Ken Gottry - Cambridge NY History

Formal education in Cambridge started in 1799 with a vote to open a private school. It was built on Academy Street and eventually became Cambridge Washington Academy. In the 1870's we had the Union Schools. In 1891 we finally united into a single school today referred to simply as "the Old School". In Sept-1951 the current Cambridge Central School opened. Along the way, the townships of White Creek, Cambridge, and Jackson were home to 39 one-room schoolhouses. Below is my presentation about the journey.


Norman Rockwell lived in nearby West Arlington, VT from 1939 to 1953. He often visited the Cambridge area looking for models for his paintings of American life. This presentation discusses some of our local models who found fame in a Rockwell painting and on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post

That's my parents, Ken & Charlotte Gottry, in Walking to Church that appeared on the cover of the magazine on April 4, 1953. That's also a Cambridge fire hyrdrant in the photo. You'll have to watch the presentation to get the story on that.



My wife is the great granddaughter of Grandma Moses. This presentation shows Grandma as the painter known to the public and as the grandmother known to the family.

In 1788 the northern boundary of Albany County was Dononohowe Creek (Ondawa Creek aka Batten Kill). Thus in the first US Census in 1790 Cambridge is listed in Albany County. The land to the north was Charlotte County named after King George's wife. In 1784 it was renamed Washington county.

By 1791 Albany County was so big it was time to split off northern portion to form Rensselaer County. Cambridge wanted boundary between Washington County and Rensselaer County to be Batten Kill because of close business and social connections with Lansingburgh (Troy). Salem wanted boundary to be Hoosick River so that Cambridge would be in Washington County, making it as large as possible

Salem was very powerful in Albany so Cambridge moved into Washington County.



In 2010 I gave a presentation on the history of the McClellan family in Cambridge, leading to the building of the Mary McClellan Hospital. Here's Mary McClelllan, mother of Robert and Edwin, in Meikleknox (Edwin's home on South Union Street). Although the official name of the hospital is Mary McClellan Memorial Hospital, Mary actually outlived both her sons.

MaryMcClelllanHospital      MaryMcClellan at Meikleknox

The Cambridge Fire Department was created in 1866 when the village was formed. I was invited to the 2016 Firemen's Awards dinner dance and created this slide show covering the first 150 years of its history.