The natural progression of the Dutch Church in Albany, as we think of it today, was from the old church at the foot of State Street to the building on North Pearl known as First Church in Albany. But there was a second Dutch Reformed congregation as Albany grew, and it built this edifice on Beaver Street, probably near the corner of Green, in 1806. The site was adjacent to the old cemetery on Beaver Street, which continued in use until the Albany Rural Cemetery was opened in 1841. At that time many of the graves were moved to the new cemetery, and the land was redeveloped. But even that early, there was a somewhat casual attitude toward the final resting places of our ancestors, as Joel Munsell noted in a news item he reprinted from 1836 in the “Annals of Albany:”
“In digging to make improvements in the north area of the Second Dutch church on Beaver street, a number of grave stones were thrown out, among which were the two following, the first being that of the second mayor of the city. . . .”
The inscriptions, if not the stones themselves (“thrown out”!!) were preserved:
“Here lies the body of John Abeel who departed this life ye 28 day of Jan’y, 1711, and in the 44 year of his age.
Dient begin van wel te leven
Uyt den Hemel was gegeven
Gingh der weer den Hemel waert
Storf maer verliet de aert.”
“Here lies the body of Jeremiah Field, deceased Oct. 16, 1762, aged 32 years.”
It was used as a church until 1881, after which it was remodeled (and perhaps joined to another building) to form a large building for the James B. Lyons printing company.