city, Albany county, eastern New York, U.S., on the west bank of the Hudson River (bridged), opposite Troy. Originally part of a land tract bought by Kiliaen van Rensselaer, a diamond merchant of Amsterdam, from the Mohawk Indians in 1630, it was incorporated (1836) as the Village of West Troy, combining Gibbonsville, Washington, and Port Schuyler. Renamed Watervliet (meaning "flats by the water"), it became a city in 1896. The first (informal) Shaker settlement in the United States was founded (1776) in nearby Niskayuna by "Mother" Ann Lee. Manufactures include toothbrushes, paint, and storage tanks. A U.S. arsenal, which produced munitions for the War of 1812, still functions and has a collection of historic ordnance. Pop. (1990) 11,061; (2000) 10,207.
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