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Dutchess County, New York

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History

Before Anglo-Dutch settlement, what is today Dutchess County was a leading center for the native Wappinger peoples. They had their council-fire at what is now Fishkill Hook, and also held gatherings along the Danskammer. On November 1, 1683, the Province of New York established its first twelve counties, with Dutchess County being one of them. Its boundaries at that time included the present Putnam County, and a small portion of the present Columbia County (the towns of Clermont and Germantown). The county was named for Mary of Modena, Duchess of York; dutchess is an archaic spelling of the word duchess.

The Province of New York and the Connecticut Colony negotiated an agreement on November 28, 1683, establishing their border as 20 miles east of the Hudson River, north to Massachusetts. The 61,660 acres east of the Byram River making up the Connecticut Panhandle were granted to Connecticut, in recognition of the wishes of the residents. In exchange, Rye was granted to New York, along with a 1.81-mile wide strip of land running north from Ridgefield to Massachusetts alongside the New York counties of Westchester, Putnam then Dutchess, known as "The Oblong". The eastern half of the stub of land in northeast Dutchess County containing Rudd Pond and Taconic State Park is the northernmost extension of The Oblong.

Until 1713, Dutchess was administered by Ulster County. On October 23, 1713 Queen Anne gave permission for Dutchess County to elect its own officers from among their own population including a Supervisor, Tax Collector, Tax Assessor and Treasurer. In 1812, Putnam County was detached from Dutchess.

From 1683 to 1715 most of the settlers in Dutchess County were Dutch. Many of these moved in from Albany and Ulster Counties. They settled along the Fishkill Creek and in the areas that are now Poughkeepsie and Rhinebeck.

From 1715 to 1730 most of the new settlers in Dutchess county were Germans. From 1730 until 1775 New Englanders were the main new settlers in Dutchess County.

Franklin D. Roosevelt lived in his family home in Hyde Park, overlooking the Hudson River. His family's home is now the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site, managed by the National Park Service.

Prior to the 1960s, Dutchess County was primarily agricultural. Since then the southwestern part (from Poughkeepsie southward and from the Taconic State Parkway westward) of the county has developed into a largely residential area, suburban in character, with many of its residents commuting to jobs in New York City and Westchester County. The northern and eastern regions of the county remain rural with large farmlands but at the same time developed residences used during the summer and or on weekends by people living in the New York City urban area.

Adjacent Counties

Cities & Towns

  • Amenia
  • Beacon
  • Beekman
  • Clinton
  • Dover
  • East Fishkill
  • Fishkill
  • Hyde Park
  • La Grange
  • Milan
  • North East
  • Pawling
  • Pine Plains
  • Pleasant Valley
  • Poughkeepsie (County Seat)
  • Red Hook
  • Rhinebeck
  • Stanford
  • Union Vale
  • Wappinger
  • Washington

Other Villages, Hamlets & Communities: Annandale-on-Hudson, Arlington, Arthursburg, Attlebury, Bangall, Bard College, Barnegat, Barrytown, Brinckerhoff, Castle Point, Chelsea Cove, Crown Heights, DeWitt Mills, Dover Plains, Fairview, Fishkill Plains, Freedom Plains, Glenham, Gretna, Haviland, Hillside Lake, Holmes, Hopewell Junction, Hortontown, Hughsonville, Johnsontown, Knapps Corner, Lomala, Mabbettsville, MacDonnell Heights, Marist College, McIntyre, Merritt Park, Millbrook, Millerton, Myers Corner, New Hackensack, New Hamburg, Norrie Heights, Pecksville, Pleasant Plains, Poughquag, Red Oaks Mill, Rhinecliff, Rudco, Salt Point, Shenandoah, Shekomeko, Shorehaven, Spackenkill, Staatsburg, Stanfordville, Stissing, Stormville, Swartwoutville, Titusville, Tivoli, Upper Red Hook, Van Keurens, Vassar College, Verbank, Wappingers Falls, Washington Hollow, Wassaic, Wiccopee, Willowbrook and Wingdale

Links

Wikipedia

RootsWeb

Nat'l Reg. of Hist. Places