Kinderhook (town), New York
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2009)|
Location of Kinderhook, New York
|• Type||Town Council|
|• Town Supervisor||Patrick M. Grattan (R)|
|• Town Council|
|• Total||32.4 sq mi (84.0 km2)|
|• Land||31.8 sq mi (82.4 km2)|
|• Water||0.6 sq mi (1.5 km2)|
|Elevation||239 ft (73 m)|
|• Density||260/sq mi (100/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0979116|
|Website||Town of Kinderhook|
Kinderhook is a town in the northern part of Columbia County, New York, United States. The population was 8,498 at the 2010 census. The name of the town means "Children's Corner" in the language of the original Dutch settlers (Kinderhoek). The town of Kinderhook contains two villages, one of which is also named Kinderhook, where the eighth President of the USA, Martin Van Buren was born; the other is the village of Valatie. In addition, the Town contains the hamlet of Niverville, including Kinderhook Lake. President Martin Van Buren's retirement home, Lindenwald, is in the town of Kinderhook.
Henry Hudson sailed as far north as Kinderhook on his exploration of the Hudson River and named the location "Kinderhoek." Kinderhook signifies in the Dutch tongue "the children's corner," and is supposed to have been applied to this locality, in 1609, on account of the many Indian children who had assembled on one of the bluffs along the river to see his strange vessel (the 'Half Moon') sailing up stream. Another version says that a Swede named Scherb, living in the forks of an Indian trail in the present town of Stuyvesant, had such a numerous family of children that the name of Kinderhook was used by the Dutch traders to designate that locality. Hudson had mixed dealing with the local Mohican natives, ranging from peaceful trade to minor skirmishes. As the Dutch attempted to colonize the area, further warfare broke out with the natives.
The Van Alen House, a National Historic Landmark (c.1737), is thought to be author Washington Irving's inspiration for the "Van Tassel family" farm in his classic story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, as Irving—a friend of Martin Van Buren—was a frequent visitor and sometime resident to the area.
Kinderhook was settled before 1651. The town of Kinderhook was founded in 1788 from a previously created district (1772), but lost substantial territory to form part of the town of Chatham in 1775. Kinderhook was one of the original towns of Columbia County. More of Kinderhook was lost to form the town of Ghent in 1818 and the town of Stuyvesant in 1823.
Patrick Grattan is the Town Supervisor. He was elected in November 2009. He defeated incumbent Supervisor Douglas McGivney by a 2-1 margin.
- Peter Van Schaack, lawyer during the American Revolution.
- Martin Van Buren, the 8th US President, was born and lived in Kinderhook. His nickname "Old Kinderhook" may have given rise to the expression "OK" and its attendant hand gesture.
- Aaron Burr, the 3rd US Vice President, concealed himself briefly in Kinderhook after fatally wounding Alexander Hamilton in a duel.
- Washington Irving, author, lived in the village for about eight weeks in 1809 after the death of his fiancée; wrote portions of A History of New-York from the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty in Kinderhook.
- Jennie Jerome, mother of Winston Churchill, lived in Kinderhook after her father acquired Van Buren's home.
- John Faso, former New York State Assembly Minority Leader and failed candidate for comptroller (2002) and governor (2006).
- Chris Gibson, current United States Congressman, representing New York's 20th congressional district.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 32.4 square miles (84.0 km²), of which, 31.8 square miles (82.4 km²) of it is land and 0.6 square miles (1.5 km²) of it (1.82%) is water, including Kinderhook Lake, Kinderhook Creek, and the waterfalls of Valatie.
The north town line is the border of Rensselaer County.
As of the census of 2000, there were 8,296 people, 3,165 households, and 2,247 families residing in the town. The population density was 260.6 people per square mile (100.6/km²). There were 3,434 housing units at an average density of 107.9 per square mile (41.7/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.31% White, 0.68% Black or African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.86% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.33% from other races, and 0.57% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.41% of the population.
There were 3,165 households out of which 33.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.5% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.0% were non-families. 24.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.01.
In the town the population was spread out with 24.5% under the age of 18, 5.8% from 18 to 24, 27.2% from 25 to 44, 27.0% from 45 to 64, and 15.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 93.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.8 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $52,604, and the median income for a family was $61,074. Males had a median income of $41,386 versus $27,880 for females. The per capita income for the town was $24,259. About 2.8% of families and 4.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.3% of those under age 18 and 4.4% of those age 65 or over.
Communities and locations in the town
- Kinderhook Village – A village located on Route 9 near the center of the town.
- Kinderhook Lake – A lake on the northeast town line.
- Kinderhook Memorial Library – is a public library serving the village of Kinderhook, and parts of neighboring Stuyvesant.
- Knickerbocker Lake – A small lake in the north part of the town.
- Lindenwald – The home of Martin Van Buren is in the southwest part of the town.
- Niverville – A hamlet in the northeast part of the town, south of Kinderhook Lake on Routes 28B and 203.
- Valatie – A village located at the center of Kinderhook Town.
- Valatie Colony – A hamlet southwest of Niverville and north of Valatie village.
The school was originally called "Old Columbia Academy" which was established on March 13, 1787. It was renamed Kinderhook Academy on April 3, 1824.
Movies filmed in Kinderhook
- Pat Solitano played by Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook (2012 film), also starring Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro, explains during a dinner scene the origin of the word "OK" and its Old Kinderhook roots.
- Meskada (2009) starring Nick Stahl, Rachel Nichols, and Kellan Lutz (trailer) was shot partially in Valatie.
- The Cake Eaters (2006), a Mary Stuart Masterson film, was shot in Hudson, Stuyvesant & Kinderhook Town.
- Hero Hero (2000) film starring Alan Gelfant and Julianne Nicholson in Kinderhook
- Part of the film The Age of Innocence (1993), starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Michelle Pfeiffer (trailer), was filmed at the Van Alen House.
- Haldane of the Secret Service (1923), Starring escape artist Harry Houdini and Gladys Leslie (clip) filmed at Beaver Kill Falls in Valatie village.
- TV: The Sopranos character Pat Blundetto owned a farm said (in "All Due Respect") to be located at 146 Route 9A in Kinderhook, which figures prominently in multiple episodes, culminating in the Season 5 finale.
- Rasputina's album Sister Kinderhook is centered around the Dutch colonial heritage of the town as well as that of other New Netherland settlements of New York.
- One of the linguistic legends of the word Okay has its origin during Martin Van Buren's campaign as an abbreviation of "Old Kinderhook" or "O.K.".
- American Actor Sidney Poitier's children went to school in Kinderhook
- Van Alen House Historical Museum
- Martin Van Buren Historic Site
- Historic information about Kinderhook
- Village of Kinderhook, NY Official Website
- Village of Valatie, NY Official Website
- Kinderhook information
- Kinderhook Memorial Library
- Hudson Valley Vernacular Architecture
- A History of Old Kinderhook. By Edward A. Collier. Originally published by The Knickerbocker Press, New York, 1914
- Columbia County
- Columbia County Chamber of Commerce