« ForrigeFortsett »
Square miles, 1096.
Valuation, 1845, $5,398,982.
1. Hurley, 1789.
9. Plattekill, 1800. 2. Kingston, 1788.
10. Shandaken, 1804. 3. Marbletown, 1788,
11. Wawarsing, 1806, 4. Marlborough, 1788.
12. Esopus, 1811. 5. New Paltz, 1758.
13. Saugerties, 1811. 6. Rochester, 1788.
14. Olive, 1823. 7. Shawangunk, 1788.
15. Rosendale, 1845. 8. Woodstock, 1788.
16. Lloyd, 1845. Mountains. P. Shawangunk mountains. h. Blue. i. Southern
termination of Kaatsbergs. Rivers, &c. C. Hudson river. V. Shawangunk. a. Esopus creek
f. Rondout. g. Wallkill river. Falls. Honk's falls. Lakes. k. Shin's lake. Battle Fields. Kingston. Wawarsing. Villages. KINGSTON. Rondout. Saugerties, or Ulster. New Paltz.
BOUNDARIES. North by Delaware and Greene counties; East by the Hudson river; South by Orange county; and West by Sullivan county.
SURFACE. Mountainous. The Shawangunk mountains enter the county from Orange, and traverse it in a north-easterly direction, for nearly thirty miles, approaching the Hudson at Kingston.
The Blue mountains, a continuation of the Allegany chain, enter the county from Sullivan county, and spread over its western section, mingling in the northern part with the Catskill range. They are said to rise, in some places, to the height of 2000 feet. Between these and the Shawangunk mountains, is a broad valley through which flows the Rondout creek.
RIVERS. Beside the Hudson which washes its eastern border, the principal streams of the county are the Wallkill and Shawangunk rivers, and Esopus and Rondout creeks, with their tributaries. The Nevisink river also takes its rise in this county.
Falls. The Rondout, at Honk's falls, descends by a succession of cascades, 200 feet, sixty feet of which is by a single cataract.
LAKES. In the northern and western section of the county are several small lakes or ponds. One of the most important of these is Shin's lake, the source of one of the tributaries of Esopus creek.
Canals. The Delaware and Hudson Canal extends through the county.
CLIMATE. The mountainous districts are somewhat cold and subject to early frosts. The climate in the valleys is mild and delightful. The county is considered salubrious.
GEOLOGY AND MINERALS. Nearly the whole county belongs to the transition formation, being based upon slate, which is overlaid with limestone. The primary rocks, particularly granite, occasionally appear on the surface, but only in beds of small extent.
The minerals are blue limestone, containing fossils, much used as a building material; hydraulic ļime of fine quality, and in great abundance; excellent marble; marl, slate, sulphur, alum, plumbago, (usually called black lead,) zinc ore, several of the mineral pigments, millstones, said to be little inferior to the French, peat, &c. There are also several sulphur springs of some celebrity. A number of skeletons of the mastodon have been discovered in this county.
SOIL AND VEGETABLE PRODUCTIONS. The soil varies with the surface, being barren upon the mountains, fertile on the lower hills, and composed of a deep vegetable mould, of exhaustless fertility, in the extensive valleys. The application of marl, which is abundant in the county, would render those portions naturally sterile, highly productive. It is well adapted to grazing. The
timber of the county is oak, hickory, black walnut, pine and hemlock.
PURSUITS. A majority of the inhabitants are engaged in agriculture. More attention is devoted to the rearing of cattle and to the dairy, than to the grain culture, although corn, oats, and buckwheat are raised in considerable quantities.
Manufactures are also a popular pursuit. The manufactures of the county amounted, in 1845, to nearly two and a half millions of dollars. Leather, lumber, flour, iron, cotton and woollen goods, hydraulic cement, oil, paper, furniture, white lead, and distilled and malt liquors, are the principal articles manufactured.
Commerce. The Delaware and Hudson canal brings to tide water immense quantities of coal and lumber, most of which is shipped for New York, and other ports. This business gives employment to about 600 canal boats, and eighty sloops and schooners. Several steamboats are also owned in the county, and ply between the ports on the Hudson and New York city.
Mines. The quarries of marble and limestone furnish employment to considerable numbers.
STAPLE PRODUCTION3. Butter, corn, oats, buckwheat, wool, and lumber.
Schools. There were in the county, in 1846, 181 district schoolhouses, in which schools were taught an average period of nine months each. 11,547 children received instruction at a cost for tuition of about $20,000. The district libraries contained 26,780 volumes.
There were in the county, the same year, forty private schools, with 811 pupils; two academies and two female seminaries with 135 pupils.
RELIGIOUS DENOMINATIONS. Dutch Reformed, Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, Friends, Episcopalians, and Roman Catholics. There are seventy churches, and sixty-one clergymen, of all denominations.
HISTORY. A trading house, or fort, was probably erected in this county as early as 1615 or 16, in the neighborhood of Kingston. At how early a period settlements were made in other sections of the county is uncertain. The frequent references to the settlements at Esopus, as the vicinity of the fort was called in the Dutch records, show that it had early become a location of some importance.
Situated about midway between the city of New Amsterdam and the colony of Rensselaerwyck, whose inhabitants did not always maintain the most friendly relations with each other, and with the Indians, it was more exposed to Indian hostilities than most of the other settlements.
In 1657, Van der Donk, the ex-attorney general, who resided at Esopus, slew a squaw for stealing peaches from his garden, and her tribe revenged the murder by killing several of the white settlers. From this and other causes much ill feeling arose between the natives and the settlers, and in June, 1663, the Indians made a descent upon the settlement, and killed and carried captive sixty-five persons.
Circumstances rendered it probable that a conspiracy had been formed by the Indians to extirpate the Dutch coloniste. Governor Stuyvesant summoned the magistrates of the different towns, to consult with him relative to measures of defence. Their views not coinciding with his own, he repaired to Esopus, and took the field in person against the savages, who, on the approach of Martin Creigier, one of his captains, had fled to the mountains.
Sending out parties of wary and experienced soldiers, Gov. Stuyvesant not only kept them in check, but destroyed most of their mountain fastnesses, and so far subdued them that they asked for a truce, and, on the 15th of May following, a treaty of peace was concluded with them.
Wawarsing and some of the adjacent towns were settled by the Huguenots, in the latter part of the seventeenth century, or the beginning of the eighteenth.
The convention, which formed the first constitution of the state, met at Kingston, in a chamber of the house of Mr. James W. Baldwin.
In October, 1777, during Sir Henry Clinton's expedition up the Hudson, for the relief of General Burgoyne, he despatched General Vaughan to Kingston. He landed and burned the village, at that time the third in the state for wealth, population, and elegance. Only one house escaped the flames. Several tories were executed at Kingston during the Revolution.
In 1778, two men, Anderson and Osterhout, were taken captives by the Indians, and carried toward Binghamton. On their way they succeeded in killing their captors, and, after almost incredible hardships, returned to their houses in the town of Wawarsing.
In May, 1779, a party of Indians descended upon a small settlement of the Huguenots, on the Fantine kill in Wawarsing, and killed eleven of the inhabitants and burned several dwellings. They were pursued by Colonel Cortlandt with his regiment, but without effect. Soon after, another family were killed in the same vicinity.
In August, 1781, a large force of Indians and tories, some 400 or 500 in number, made an attack upon the village of Wawarsing, and burned and plundered it. The inhabitants had had timely warning and were in the fort. The Indians in this expedition took but one scalp, while several of their own number were killed, and but for the tardiness of Colonel Cantine, they might have been signally routed. Other similar occurrences took place in some of the other towns of the county.
VILLAGES. KINGSTON, the county seat, is pleasantly situated on a plain, three miles west of the landing on the Hudson. The Esopus creek flows through the village. It was anciently called Esopus, and, as has been already noticed, was early settled by the Dutch.
It was burnt by the British in 1777, but soon re-built. It has considerable trade with New York, and some manufactures. Its business is not concentrated upon one street, but scattered over the whole village plat. It has a flourishing academy, and a female seminary. Population 2500.
Rondlout, also in the township of Kingston, is situated on the Rondout creek. It is the place of deposit and shipment of the coal and lumber, brought to the Hudson, by the Delaware and Hudson canal. Nearly 200,000 tons of coal, and several millions of feet of lumber, as well as large quantities of hydraulic cement, and quick lime, are annually exported from this port. A steam ferryboat plies between this place and Rhinebeck, in Dutchess county, and also one to Eddyville, in this county. The United States Government have erected a light house here. Population about 1500.
Eddyville, in the same town, is a small but thriving manufacturing village.
Ulsterville, in the town of Saugerties, is a village of recent growth, being founded in 1826, and incorporated in 1831. Its immense water power, derived from the falls on Esopus creek, has rendered it one of the most flourishing manufacturing villages in the state.
There is an extensive rolling and slitting mill here, employing 250 workmen. Axes, paper, white lead, starch, and bricks are also manufactured in large quantities. A beautiful bridge, with one arch of 260 feet span, crosses the Esopus creek in this village. A steamboat, and several sloops, ply between the village and New York. Population, 2500.
New Paltz, is a small but thriving agricultural hamlet. It has a flourishing academy. New Paltz landing, now included in the town of Lloyd, is a pleasant village, nine miles from the village of New Paltz.
Wawarsing and Naponoch, in the town of Wawarsing, are places of some historic interest.