County Seat: Kingston
Year Organized: 1683
Square Miles: 1,127
244 Fair Street, PO Box 1800
Namedfor the Duke of York's earldom in Ireland
County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts
Ulster County, an original county, was organized in 1683. It is from New York centrally distant N. 110, and from
Albany S. 60 miles. Greatest length E. and W. 50, breadth N. and S. 40 miles. The face of the country is mountainous.
The Shawangunk mountain enters the county from Orange, and running NE. nearly 30 miles, sinks into low and irregular
hills in Hurley; but its continuity is preserved to Kingston near the Hudson. Northward of that village it again rises,
until it is
identified with the Catskill mountains. Between the Blue and Shawangunk mountains is a broad valley through which winds the Rondout river, a stream whose name is a corruption of the word Redoubt, so named after a fortification built upon the stream by the early Dutch settlers. The Wallkill runs a northeast course south of the Shawangunk mountain, receiving the Shawangunk creek, and uniting with the Rondout, 8 miles from its mouth. trhe three streams above noticed are the great drains of the county, and afford very advantageous mill power, within a few miles of the tide, much of which is yet unemployed. In the west the Nevisink river and other tributaries of the Delaware have their sources. The Delaware and Hudson canal enters the county at its southwest border, and passing through the towns of Wawarsing, Rochester, Marbletown, and Hurley, unites in the town of Kingston with the Rondout, 21 miles from the Hudson. The inhabitants are much engaged in manufacturing, and much attention has been given to the raising of sheep and cattle, for which purpose few counties are better adapted. The county was settled by the Dutch as early as 1616. Tradition says that at a very early period there were settlers upon the Minisink on the Delaware, who transported some valuable minerals by the road along the Rondout to the North river. This county appears to have suffered more from Indian hostilities than any other portion of the country while under the Dutch. The quarrel appears to have arisen on account of an Indian woman being killed when stealing peaches from a garden. The county is divided into 14 towns. (Historical Collections of the State of New York, Past and Present, John Barber, Clark Albien & Co., 1851)
Ulster County is one of the original counties of the State of New York, having been formed by order to the Duke of York on November 1, 1683. The county was named for the younger brother of King Charles, who held the Irish title of the Duke of Ulster. Kingston, the present county seat, was founded by Dutch settlers in 1653 led by Captain Thomas Chambers (awk, maybe reword to: was founded in 1653 by Dutch settlers led by Captain Thomas Chambers). It was called Wiltwyck at that time. Another settlement in Ulster worthy of mention was New Paltz, founded by French Huguenots in 1678. Full History at NYSAC
Ulster County is in the southeast part of New York State, south of Albany, immediately west of the Hudson River.
Much of the county is within the Catskill Mountains and the Shawangunk Ridge. Ulster County also has Sam's Point
Preserve, which includes rare dwarf pine trees and VerKeerderkill falls.
The highest point is Slide Mountain, at approximately 4,180 feet (1,274 m) above sea level. The lowest point is sea level along the Hudson River.
According to the US Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,161 square miles (3,006 km2), of which, 1,126 square miles (2,918 km2) of it is land and 34 square miles (89 km2) of it is water. The total area is 2.95% water.
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