The City of Mechanicville's history is almost as old as the history of the United States. In 1714 the area saw the first Dutch settlers come into the valley. Some came and established a small hamlet which they called "a Borough of Halfmoon." The borough, as it was called, consisted of 12 houses and a schoolhouse and was established along the King's Highway, which is now Main Street. Swatts, Cuerdon, Gates and Bailey were the family names of the first settlers.

In 1828 the Champlain Canal came to Mechanicville and portions of the canal were opened in 1830. Prosperity came with the canal, as well as many inhabitants. Mechanicville's early growth can be laid in great part to the arrival in 1831 of Job B. Viall, who came to the community as Superintendent of the Fairbanks and Bullen Cotton Factory. He purchased some land and erected several houses and a store. He purchased the entire section of land known as "North Mechanicville" (Saratoga Avenue, Viall Avenue and Round Lake Avenue) and subdivided the area into building lots. By 1835 his lots and his mill had brought many settlers into the community and wealth to the inhabitants.

The village had growing pains in 1859, and a committee of nine men petitioned the Court of General Sessions to incorporate "a village containing 977 inhabitants and consisting of 190 acres" as the Village of Mechanicville. On July 16, 1859, the Village of Mechanicville was incorporated under a general law of the state. Eleven years later, a special charter was passed by the legislature and the first election of officers was held under the new enactment.