Three Rivers
History From America's Most Famous Valleys

The History of Montgomery Classis, R.C.A.
by W.N.P. Dailey,
Recorder Press, Amsterdam, NY 1916
To which is added sketches of Mohawk Valley men and events of early days, the Iroquois, Palatines, Indian Missions, Tryon County, committee of Safety, Sir Wm. Johnson, Joseph Brant, Arendt Van Curler, Gen. Herkimer, Reformed Church in America, Doctrine and Progress, Revolutionary Residences, Etc.


The Indian name of the places was "Adriucha" ("Valiant"). It was also called "Willigas" and Claas Gravens. The name of Cranes Village comes from Daniel Crane who settled here in 1804. The first settlement in the town of Amsterdam was made in 1804. The first to settle at Cranesville was the widow and four sons (Simon, Jacob, Philip, Lewis) of Philip Groot, the latter having been drowned in the Mohawk on his way hither from Rotterdam in 1716. Philip Groot was the son of Symon Groot who came to New Amsterdam in 1640, and to New Amsterdam in 1640, and to Albany in 1650, then to Schenectady in 1663. In 1730 the Groot brothers built a grist mill at what is now Cranesville (ruins still extant), the first to be erected on the north side of the Mohawk, from which flour was sold to the settlers along the river. In 1755 Lewis Groot was taken captive by the Indians into Canada where he remained four years. John L. Groot, a son by Philip Groot's second marriage, died in 1845, aged ninety. Philip Groot's son, Peter, was in the Battle of Oriskany, and supposed to have been killed, but thirty years later (1807) he suddenly reappeared after his long Canadian captivity. Claas Gravens Hoek was the first land settled upon west of Scotia, and by Claas Andriese De Graff, who died before 1697. He also probably bought Adrincha of the Indians before transferring it to Hendrick Kyler who sold it to Carel Hansen Toll in 1699, for 180 pounds. It was on this land, eighty acres, that Philip Groot's family settled, his son Lewis succeeding him on his death in 1716, part of the place still being in possession of descendants of the Groot family. Under Amsterdam (extinct) we see how an early attempt was made to organize a Reformed Dutch Church here. For religious service the people depended on the Reformed church at Glenville (organized in 1814), five miles over the hill, or else went to the Mannys Corners Presbyterian church, or to Amsterdam. The Cranesville Reformed church was organized June 25, 1871, the edifice being already built. The charter members of the church were H. V. V. Clute, Henry J. Swart, Elizabeth Swart, May Ann Coombs, George and Mrs. Lydia Brewster, George Coombs, Mrs. Maria Clute, Mrs. Charles Fancher, G. W. and Mrs. Watkins. H. V. V. Clute and H. J. Swart, elders, and George Brewster and George Coombs, deacons formed the first consistory. At first the church was in the Classis of Schenectady but dismissed to Montgomery in the Fall of 1879. Among the subscribers to the building of the church were, John Blood, Stephen Sanford, Chas. Fancher, John Sanders (Scotia), Rev. W.P. Davis, Henry J. Swart, George Coombs, and H. V. V. Clute. In 1892 the church bought land adjoining on which they built the present Hall. In 1884 Eleanor Veeder of Schenectady, gave the church $100 and later Mrs. Magdalena DeGraff willed the church $300. Ida Robb in 1915 gave $200. John G. and Mrs. De Graff gave the church bell. Cranesville has never had an installed pastor. The pulpit has usually been supplied by nearby pastors, among whom were Revs. Kyle, Minor, Blekkink. Rogers, Dailey, Weidner, Wurts, Nickerson, Wilson (P.Q.) and Conant of the Reformed church. Others have been Rev. T. C. Harwood, C. B. Perkins, W. H. Groat, Mr. Blaine, Mr. Pershing, and Mr. Bell. Since 1913 Rev. Enoch Powell of Scotia has supplied the pulpit. In recent years great improvements have been made to the property, a Board of Trustees has administered most successfully the temporalities of the church. Rev. Mr. Dailey, Classical Missionary, has given considerable attention to the field since 1911. John G. DeGraff has been an officer of the church for forty years. The others of the consistory are, George S. Truax, Francis Robb, and George W. Phillips.

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