Colonie was once part of the Rensselaerwyck manor and was formed in 1895 from most of what remained of the former Town of Watervliet.
The original Town of Watervliet was the “mother of towns” in Albany County, and Colonie is its historical successor.
The central part of the town was once the location of the extensive Shaker community farms. Much of that land is now the Albany International Airport.
Colonie was a simple series of extensive farms and a few hamlets. However, in the post-war years, there was intensive suburban development, originally on the corridor that connected Albany and Schenectady, but quickly throughout the entire township.
In November 2007, the Town of Colonie was ranked the sixth safest place to live in a Morgan Quitno Publishing study of crime rates across the United States.
There are two dedicated newspapers for parts of the town, the Colonie Spotlight and Loudonville Spotlight. Also, Channel 17 on Time Warner Cable in the town is a community station devoted to Town news, programming, and events.
Although not dedicated to the Town of Colonie, the offices and distribution center for the Albany Times Union lies within the town.