The Village of Ravena is in the southeast part of the Town of Coeymans.The Village of Ravena was incorporated in 1914. It was originally called “Coeymans Junction,” but the name was changed to “Ravena” to avoid confusion with another location in the town, “Coeymans Landing.”
The name source of the village is disputed, but same claim it is from the Italian city of Ravenna, while others claim a more local derivation.
According to the town’s official website:
In the mid 1880s construction began on the New York, West Shore and Buffalo Railroads and at Ravena the line split easterly towards Albany and westward towards Rotterdam and on to Buffalo. Thus the title of Coeymans Junction was bestowed on the area to differentiate from Coeymans Landing, the hamlet, located directly on the Hudson River, which had become an active shipping access to New York City.
The arrival of the railroad brought expansion to this area as families of the employees required housing and other facilities. The railroad yards and switching terminal was a major factor in this area until the 1920s when the Selkirk Yards located five miles north were opened.
By 1894 the residents wanted to have an independent identity as often the terms junction or landing were omitted from their addresses. So in that year a post office bearing the name RAVENA was established. However, it was another 20 years before the actual Village was incorporated as a municipal corporation and it has operated under this type of government since.
RAVENA (pronounced ravine-ah) is the only so named in the United States and there is no proven story as to how the name came to be. Some credit a local resident with adopting the name RAVEN, a brand of flour, and adding an “a”.
Others feel that the location beneath the cliffs of limestone on the western boundary caused the area to be referred to as the ravine.
Main Street is also known as New York State Route 143 and formerly was part of the Westerlo Plank Road, a toll road connecting Westerlo in western Albany County to the Hudson River at the Landing. RAVENA is easily accessible from the New York State Thruway 1-87 as it is located 5 miles south of Exit 22 (Selkirk) and 5 miles north of Exit 21-B (Coxsackie). The city of Albany is just 15 miles north and can be reached by either US Rt. 9W or Rt. 144.
Several businesses and churches and the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk School District serve our community. Volunteers to the Ravena Hose Company established in 1898 provide fire protection and the Ravena Rescue Squad provides ambulance services. Municipal water and sewer facilities and a municipal park and pool complex are available within the Village. 3,500 residents form this community – RAVENA – a municipality with a hometown atmosphere.