Dutchess, New York,
Local History & Genealogy

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Dutchess County

Dutchess County was organized in 1683. It is on the E. side of the Hudson river, 75 miles S. of Albany, and 74 N. of New York. Greatest length N. and S. 38, greatest breadth E. and E. 26 miles. This county is one of the most opulent in the state, though its area has been reduced by the erection of the small county of Putnam from its southern end. Along the eastern border towns are the ranges of hills called the Fishkill or Matteawan mountains. Along the western borders of these, the surface is tossed into ridges and valleys, knolls and dales, fancifully diversified, producing a great variety of position, of soil and aspect, and a multitude of brooks and springs. In the southern part are some of the highest peaks of the Highlands. That called the Old Beacon, two miles from Matteawan village, and three from Fishkill Landing, raises its crest 1,471 feet, and the New Beacon, or Grand Sachem, half a mile southward, towers 1, 685 above tide. Their names are derived from the Beacons placed on their summits during the revolution. From the top of the latter, the view on the S. embraces the country upon the Hudson, for 25 miles to Tappan bay; on the SE. includes Long Island and the Sound; and upon the NE. and W. comprehends in the diameter of a circle, 50 miles in extent, scenery of every diversity, blending the beauties of cultivation with the stern and unchangeable features of nature. The principal streams are the Hudson river on its western boundary, Ten Mile, Fishkill, and Wappinger's creeks. As a whole, the county is highly fertile, producing abundantly wheat, rye, corn, oats, and grass, and an immense amount of produce is annually exported to New York. The County is divided into 18 towns. (Historical Collections of the State of New York, Past and Present, by Clark Albien & Co. 1851.

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