Dutchess County, New York
Learn more about Dutchess County, New York
|Dutchess County, New York|
| Image:Map of New York highlighting Dutchess County.svg|
Location in the state of New York
2,138 km² (825 mi²)
2,076 km² (802 mi²)
62 km² (24 mi²), 2.88%
Dutchess County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. It sits in the state's Mid-Hudson Region of the Hudson Valley. As of 2000, the population was 280,150. It is part of the New York Metropolitan Area. The county seat is Poughkeepsie. The county was named in honor of Mary of Modena, Duchess of York, second wife of the future King James II. Somehow, a "t" got added to the county name. This was probably a misunderstanding due to the large number of Dutch immigrants in upstate New York at the time, coupled with the looseness of spelling in 17th-century English.
In 1683, the Province of New York established its first twelve counties. Dutchess County was 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).
In 1812, Putnam County was detached from Dutchess.
 The patents
In the twelve years 1685-1697 lawful patents had been granted securing for their purchasers every foot of Hudson River shoreline in the original county. Three additional patents, to 1706, laid claim to the remaining interior lands.
- 1685 Rombout (Beacon/ Fishkill Area)
- 1686 Minisink
- 1686 Kip
- 1688 Schuyler (Poughkeepsie)
- 1688 Schuyler (Red Hook)
- 1688 Ærtsen-Roosa-Elton
- 1696 Pawling-Staats
- 1697 Rhinebeck
- 1697 (Great) Nine Partners
- 1697 Philipse
- 1697 Cuyler
- 1703 Fanconnier
- 1703 Beekman (Back Lots)
- 1706 (Little) Nine Partners
 1719: The wards
 1731: The oblong
 1737: The precincts
 20th century
Franklin D. Roosevelt lived in his family home in Hyde Park, overlooking the Hudson River.
In the 1960s G. Gordon Liddy (now a radio talk show host and who went to prison for crimes committed during the Nixon administration's Watergate scandal), was an assistant Dutchess County district attorney when he repeatedly tried to have Timothy Leary arrested on drug charges. By the 1980s, the two ex-cons went on a speaking tour together.
Dutchess County is located in eastern New York State, between the Hudson River on its west and the New York-Connecticut border on its east, about halfway between the cities of Albany and New York. It contains two cities: Beacon and Poughkeepsie.
The terrain of the county is mostly hilly, especially in the Hudson Highlands in the southwestern corner and the Taconic Mountains to the northeast. Some areas nearer the river are flatter.
The highest point in the county is the summit of Brace Mountain, in the Taconics, at 704 m (2,311 feet) above sea level. The lowest point is sea level, along the Hudson.
 Adjacent Counties
- Columbia County, New York - north
- Berkshire County, Massachusetts - northeast
- Litchfield County, Connecticut - east
- Fairfield County, Connecticut - southeast
- Putnam County, New York - south
- Orange County, New York - southwest
- Ulster County, New York - west
As of the census² of 2000, there were 280,150 people, 99,536 households, and 69,177 families residing in the county. The population density was 135/km² (350/mi²). There were 106,103 housing units at an average density of 51/km² (132/mi²). The racial makeup of the county was 83.66% White, 9.32% Black or African American, 0.22% Native American, 2.52% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 2.37% from other races, and 1.89% from two or more races. 6.45% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 99,536 households out of which 34.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.50% were married couples living together, 10.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.50% were non-families. 24.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 3.16.
In the county the population was spread out with 25.10% under the age of 18, 9.40% from 18 to 24, 30.20% from 25 to 44, 23.20% from 45 to 64, and 12.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 100.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.20 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $53,086, and the median income for a family was $63,254. Males had a median income of $45,576 versus $30,706 for females. The per capita income for the county was $23,940. About 5.00% of families and 7.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.50% of those under age 18 and 6.50% of those age 65 or over.
- Interstate 84 traverses the county in an east-west route cutting through the southern quadrant of the county. It is the only interstate highway in the county.
- U.S. Route 9, the Taconic State Parkway, and New York State Route 22 are the main north-south roads in the county.
- U.S. Route 44, New York State Route 55, and New York State Route 199 are the other main east-west roads in the county
Amtrak has stations in Rhinecliff (part of the Village of Rhinebeck) and Poughkeepsie, both stations are served by Empire Service trains as well as other trains that run along the line . The latter station is the terminus of the Hudson Line of the Metro-North Railroad. The Hudson Line also has station stops in New Hamburg (Wappingers Falls) and Beacon.
The Harlem Line, on the opposite end of the county, has station stops in Pawling, Wingdale, Dover Plains, and two stops in Wassaic (one along the Tenmile River and the other the namesake terminus of that line).
Public transportation in Dutchess County is handled by the Dutchess County Department of Mass Transit, branded publicly as the LOOP system. Outside of the urbanized area of the county, most service is limited. The City of Poughkeepsie operates their own system as well with service that can be considered at best scant. Privately run lines connect Poughkeepsie to New Paltz and Beacon to Newburgh.
In terms of intercity buses, limited Adirondack Trailways into Poughkeepsie is the only such service in the county that links to the Greyhound Lines network. Coach USA also operates some service through Poughkeepsie and the southern part of the county. The last time service ran outside that area was in the late-1990s when Peter Pan/Bonanza ran service to New York City in the eastern part of the county.
The Dutchess County Airport, located in the town of Wappinger, is a general aviation facility which once had commercial service. The closest commercial airport, Stewart International Airport, is located across the Hudson River in Newburgh, however the poor selection of service at that airport leads many people to instead fly out of Albany, Hartford, Newark, or either of New York City's airports.
 Cities and towns
- Amenia (town)
- Beacon (city)
- Beekman (town)
- Clinton (town)
- Crown Heights
- Dover Plains
- Dover (town)
- East Fishkill (town)
- Fishkill (village)
- Fishkill (town)
- Hillside Lake
- Hopewell Junction
- Hyde Park (town)
- La Grange (town)
- Milan (town)
- Millbrook (village)
- Millerton (village)
- Myers Corner
- North East (town)
- Pawling (village)
- Pawling (town)
- Pine Plains (town)
- Pleasant Valley (town)
- Poughkeepsie (city)
- Poughkeepsie (town)
- Red Hook (town)
- Red Hook (village)
- Red Oaks Mill
- Rhinebeck (village)
- Rhinebeck (town)
- Stanford (town)
- Tivoli (village)
- Union Vale (town)
- Wappinger (town)
- Wappingers Falls (village)
- Washington (town)
- => Labels in parentheses are official political designation.
|North: Columbia County|
|West: Hudson River
|Dutchess County||East: Fairfield and
Litchfield Counties in Connecticut*
|South: Putnam County|
*: There is also a northern border of about 1 km in length with Berkshire County, Massachusetts, however this is in a forested area in Taconic State Park and there is no road access from Dutchess County to Berkshire County.
 Colleges, universities, etc.
- Bard College (Annandale-on-Hudson)
- Culinary Institute of America (Hyde Park)
- Dutchess Community College (Poughkeepsie)
- Marist College (Poughkeepsie)
- Ridley-Lowell Business & Technical Institute (Poughkeepsie)
- Vassar College (Poughkeepsie)
 Public School Districts
- Arlington Central School District
- Beacon City School District
- Dover Union Free School District
- Hyde Park School District
- Millbrook Central School District
- Pawling Central School District
- Pine Plains Central School District
- Poughkeepsie City School District
- Red Hook Central School District
- Rhinebeck Central School District
- Spackenkill Union Free School District
- Wappingers Central School District
- Webutuck Central School District
- Dutchess County BOCES
 External links
- Dutchess County official webpage
- Dutchess County tourism
- Dutchess County Page at Hudson Valley Directory
- DutchessJobs.Com - Jobs in Dutchess County, New York
- Early history summary of Dutchess County
- Fishkill Creek Watershed Committee
- Dutchess County Living and Tourism
- Dutchess County Electrical Contractors association
- SOLTISH ELECTRIC: Licensed Electrical Contractor
 Further reading
MacCracken, Henry Noble. Old Dutchess Forever!. New York: Hastings House, ©1956. LC 56-12863
Smith, James H. History of Dutchess County, New York. Syracuse, New York: 1882. Reprinted: Interlaken, New York: Heart of the Lakes Publishing. ISBN 0-932334-35-0de:Dutchess County