Who was Edmund Niles Huyck?
Born in Rensselaerville in 1866, the eldest son of the village shopkeeper who went on to found a paper felt mill on Ten-Mile Creek, Edmund “Ted” Huyck spent a rich and memorable childhood here—a combination of the vibrancy of his family life, the educational opportunities he and his siblings were granted, and the seemingly limitless outdoor opportunities of the Helderberg hills.
Huyck, who attended Williams College before joining his father at the family’s relocated paper felt mill near Albany in the 1880s, became a prominent businessman and leader in the New York State Capital region, and recognized nationally and internationally for his fair business practices.
Ever devoted to his childhood home, Huyck and his family returned to Rensselaerville each summer, where he continued his lifelong love of fishing, swimming, boating and picnicking, as well as the family’s tradition of inviting notable outsiders for their own and the town’s enrichment, and hosting friends and extended family at what is now known as the Huyck House, overlooking the Pond—the local nickname for Lake Myosotis.
Huyck was guided throughout his life by his natural inclination toward pairing social necessity with economic soundness. He was a successful businessman, pioneered a pension and benefit-plan system for his employees, was involved in civic affairs, and served the community as a trustee for Albany Medical College, Albany Hospital, and Union College. Edmund Huyck’s last act of generosity was to designate the land gift that was to become the Huyck Preserve. Science and the general public alike benefit from Edmund’s gift and his wife Jessie’s intention that this land be used “…to increase the general knowledge and love of nature, particularly that of trees and wildlife.”