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Troy, New York is a very historic city located in Rensselaer County on the banks of the Hudson River in the east-central portion of the state. It is several miles north of the city of Albany, near the juncture of the Erie and Champlain canals. Troy serves as the county seat and as of the 2000 census, the population was 49,170 residents. Named for the legendary city made famous in Homer's Iliad, Troy's motto is “Ilium fuit, Troja est,” which means "Troy was, Troy is." This very prestigious town is home to the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Russell Sage College, the Hudson Valley Community College, the Emma Willard School – and was the hometown of Uncle Sam. The latter was a meat-packer who moved to Troy in 1789 and went into business there in 1797. It is claimed that he is the source of the personification of the United States known as “Uncle Sam.” As the story goes, at the time of the War of 1812, Samuel Wilson obtained a contract to supply beef to the Army in its campaign farther north, and he shipped the salted meat in barrels that were branded "U.S." The teamsters and soldiers joked that the barrels were the initials of Uncle Sam himself. Later, any property of the Army was marked “U.S.”, and also became linked with Sam Wilson via his coincidental initials. Throughout the 19th century and into the 20th century, Troy was one of the most prosperous cities in New York State and in the country. The town enjoyed a thriving iron and steel industry and later became home to a wide variety of businesses, such as the W. & L.E. Gurley Company, makers of precision instruments and the Meneely Bell Company. In addition, Troy was also a manufacturing center for shirts and shirtwaists, collars and cuffs and is sometimes referred to as “The Collar City.” The city of Troy was also home to two early professional baseball teams, the Troy Haymakers and the Troy Trojans.

Although nearly destroyed three times by fire, the city of Troy has experienced a renaissance and has become a popular tourist destination. Many new businesses have opened and some of the finer historical homes have been converted into restaurants, such as the former Old Daly Inn. Many come to explore the area's history, or to attend a cultural event at one of the city's colleges. A farmer's market comes to town on Saturday's and two blocks of River Street are filled with antique shops. Troy is also known for its' fine restaurants and unique gift shops. A walking tour of the old center center is available, with guided tours given most Saturdays at 11:00 a.m., or the historical society provides free brochures for a self-guided tour. Visitors also enjoy seeing Troy's Washington Park, which has a gated green comparable to Gramercy Park in Manhattan. The best way to get started is to visit the RiverSpark Visitor Center, located at the end of Broadway at 251 River Street. As part of Rensselaer County, Troy also offers a wealth of recreational opportunities and is easily accessible to the New York State Thruway and the Taconic Parkway. The city of Troy is located approximately 250 miles from New York City, Boston and Buffalo.


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