That project to figure out the history of every Albany street name has been completed, and there's a new book based on it

Albany street name book cover Cradle of the Union Erik Schlimmer

More than three years ago we heard there was a guy working to figuring out the backstory for the name of every street in the city of Albany. And we were very intrigued. (Because... obviously.)

We also admit that the project sounded, well, really hard. Like a mountain you start hiking up knowing you're probably never going to quite make it to the top.

But Erik Schlimmer got it done. And the book based on his efforts -- Cradle of the Union: A Street by Street History of New York's Capital City -- is now available. Blurbage:

Within Albany's city limits there are 785 streets, and author Erik Schlimmer figured it was time to historically decode every single street name. During his four-year-long research project he examined nearly 1,000 print and online sources and interviewed historians, residents, and fellow researchers. ...
Schlimmer is most at home decoding names in the Adirondack Mountains. In 2014, his first place name book to that range, History Inside the Blue Line, was released. Two years later a second one, Among the Cloud Splitters, was published. He found urban history just as interesting. "I'm drawn to mountain history, especially when it comes to who settled the valleys and who climbed the mountains first. But street name history is equally fascinating. It's what I call 'obvious history.' These are the streets we live on and travel down every day. Who can tell you why even their own street is named so? It's neglected history."

The book includes a foreword by Jack McEneny. It's $22 and available online (see the link above).

We haven't the seen the book, yet, but we're looking forward to checking it out.

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