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     Dutchess County, New York

Dutchess County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York, in the state's Mid-Hudson Region of the Hudson Valley. The 2000 census lists the population as 280,150, but the United States Census Bureau gives an estimate of 292,706 residents for the 12-month period ending July 1, 2007. It is part of the New York metropolitan area. The county seat is Poughkeepsie. James II.
Prior to the Anglo-Dutch incursion, what is today Dutchess County was a leading center for the Wappani. They had their council-fire at Fishkill Hook and also held gatherings along the Danskammer.

In 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).

Until 1713, Dutchess was administered by Ulster County.

In 1812, Putnam County was detached from Dutchess.

 Early Settlement
From 1683-1725 most of the settlers in Dutchess County were Dutch. Many of these moved in from Albany and Ulster Counties. They settled along the Fishkill River and in the areas that are now Poughkeepsie and Rhinebeck.

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


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.

Prior to the 1960s Dutchess county was primarily agricultural. Since then the southern part (from Fishkill south) 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. The northern region of the county at the same time developed many residences used during the summer and or on weekends by people living in the New York City urban area.


 Geography
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.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 825 square miles (2,138 km²), of which, 802 square miles (2,076 km²) of it is land and 24 square miles (62 km²) of it (2.88%) is water.

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

 National protected areas
Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site
Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site
Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site

 Highways
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.
US 9, the Taconic State Parkway, and NY 22 are the main north-south roads in the county.
US 44, NY 55, and NY 199 are the other main east-west roads in the county

Railroads
Amtrak has stations in Rhinecliff, a small hamlet in the Town of Rhinebeck, and Poughkeepsie, with both stations being 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 (a hamlet of the town of Poughkeepsie) and Beacon.

The Harlem Line, on the eastern side 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).


 Buses
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 its own limited system as well. Privately run lines connect Poughkeepsie to New Paltz and Beacon to Newburgh.

For intercity bus service, Adirondack Trailways and ShortLine also operate 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.


 Air
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.


Communities

 Cities
Defined by the State of New York

Beacon
Poughkeepsie

 Towns
Defined by the State of New York

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

 Villages
Defined by the State of New York

Fishkill
Millbrook
Millerton
Pawling
Red Hook
Rhinebeck
Tivoli
Wappingers Falls

 Hamlets
This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.
Defined by the State of New York

Annandale-on-Hudson
Arlington
Brinckerhoff
Crown Heights
Dover Plains
Fairview
Haviland
Hillside Lake
Hopewell Junction
Hughsonville
New Hamburg
Myers Corner
Red Oaks Mill
Salt Point
Shekomeko
Spackenkill
Staatsburg
Washington Hollow
Wingdale

Cities, Towns and Villages are official political designations.

 North: Columbia County
 
West: Hudson River Orange and Ulster Counties Dutchess County

East: Fairfield and Litchfield Counties in Connecticut*

South: Putnam County 

*: There is also a northern border of about 1 km (1 mi) in length with Berkshire County, Massachusetts, however this is in a forested area in Taconic State Park and there is no direct 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

 

 

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