Schenectady County

Niska Isle sites for sale (with photo gallery)

James and Kathy Schoolcraft have put their property, which includes three year-round homes with much

A 16-acre portion of the larger Mohawk River peninsula that has become known as Niska Isle is now for sale.

One of the sellers is Kathy Schoolcraft, the official Niskayuna Town Historian. Though she said she and her husband eventually would move north, she said she intends to remain in town for the near future and remain the historian.

James and Kathy Schoolcraft have put the property, which includes three year-round homes with much of the acreage wooded, up for sale independently.

It has been owned by the Schoolcraft family for nearly a hundred years. But they are now looking to sell as it has become too much to take care of on their own. The couple has three grown children.

They also thought this was a good time to sell because of all the attention the Capital Region has gotten, with people coming in from other parts of the world.

“I’m sure someone will love it as much as we do,” Kathy Schoolcraft said.

The estate is the origin for the name that has become synonymous with the larger peninsula on which it sits, Schoolcraft said. It was originally a summer retreat, purchased by the Schoolcraft family in the early 1900s, with the family spending weekends there, traveling from their Union Street home in Schenectady.

The Schoolcrafts are now asking just under $950,000 for the estate. More information is at or by clicking HERE.

The Niska Isle section has garnered attention in recent years with the construction of the Niska Isle Bridge. The new $4.9 million bridge opened for traffic by November 2010 and replaced an older span that served a handful of residents on the peninsula. The old bridge was built in 1916, with early 1980s upgrades, but it had also fallen into disrepair.

The Department of Transportation built the replacement bridge, choosing that option over the alternative, buying out the property on the other side.

As many as nine homes and a farm are on the other side. State officials said then that replacing the bridge was expected to be less costly than buying out the property, and less controversial than forcing out residents, as well.

A check of county property records shows when the Schoolcraft property sells, it will be the first property on the peninsula to sell since the bridge was put up, and the first to sell publicly since 2006.

History workshops

Regarding Schoolcraft’s town historian position, she was appointed to the post in March 2011 after it had been vacant for more than four years. The post comes with a $500 stipend and another $500 for costs.

Schoolcraft said she enjoys the position, putting on exhibits at the train station and at town hall.

She’s also scheduled a series of fall workshops on town history. The first is scheduled for this coming Thursday from 7 to 8 p.m. State Sen. Hugh T. Farley is to speak on the topic of Town Government Then & Now.

A second workshop is scheduled for Oct. 25 at Town Hall, with David Gibson, partner in Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve. He is to speak about the late Niskayuna conservationist Paul Schaefer.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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