Castleton-on-Hudson is a village located in the southwestern part of the town of Schodack in Rensselaer County, New York. The population was 1,473 at the 2010 census. The village is southeast of Albany, New York.
Castleton gets its name from the exploration of the North (Hudson) River by Henry Hudson. While traveling up the river, he came upon a Mohican Indian village noted for a large structure located on a rise above the river. This structure was a storehouse for foodstuffs, but was of such size that it was thought to be a "castle", hence the name Castleton. They burnt it down and continued promptly up the river. Another theory for the derivation of the name "Castleton" comes from Rutherford Hayner's Troy and Rensselaer County New York: A History (1925). Hayner states "Although the exact location of this landing of Hudson's has been more or less conjectural, the weight of opinion places it at or near the present site of the village of Castleton, for on Castle Hill, back of the village, stood the dwelling of the chief of the Mohicans."
The area of Castleton was settled in 1792. When the small village was incorporated into Rensselaer County on 13 April 1827, there were about 100 people living in the area, mostly along the banks of the river. Between 1890 and 1920, the village had a booming economy, with small industry, a hotel, and a small port to gain access to river traffic. However, a large flood destroyed much of the business district in 1936, and the industry took the opportunity to relocate. These days the town is a very residential suburb, with some light agriculture.
The name of the village was changed from Castleton to Castleton-on-Hudson in 1927.
The Gazatteer of the State of New York of 1860 reports that Castleton was formerly known as Morriches Hastie. (JH French, 1860)