Milan, New York

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Milan, New York
Wilcox Memorial Town Hall, Route 199, Milan, NY.
Wilcox Memorial Town Hall, Route 199, Milan, NY.
Location of Milan, New York
Location of Milan, New York
Coordinates: 41°58′40″N 73°46′50″W / 41.97778°N 73.78056°W / 41.97778; -73.78056
Country United States
State New York
County Dutchess
 • Type Town Council
 • Town Supervisor William F. Gallagher (R)
 • Town Council
 • Total 36.3 sq mi (94.0 km2)
 • Land 36.1 sq mi (93.5 km2)
 • Water 0.2 sq mi (0.5 km2)
Elevation 548 ft (167 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 2,370
 • Density 65/sq mi (25/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes

Four Post Offices

  • Red Hook 12571
  • Rhinebeck 12572
  • Clinton Corners 12514
  • Stanfordville 12581
Area code(s) 845
FIPS code 36-47207
GNIS feature ID 0979218

Milan /ˈmlən/[1] is a town in Dutchess County, New York, United States. The Town of Milan is in the northern part of the county.


The 1766 Johannes Rowe House photographed in 1940, now gone. Was on Rowe Road near the Town Hall.

The area that comprises Milan today was the western part of the Little Nine Partners Patent of 1706. Milan was largely a farming and mill town and remains a very rural town today.

The first settler in the area was Johannes Rowe. The son of a Palatine immigrant, Rowe bought 911 acres (3.69 km2) from Robert Livingston and built a stone house in 1766 on what is now Rowe Road near the Milan Town Hall.[2][3] The remains of the house were photographed in 1940 for the Historic American Buildings Survey.

Town and Post Office est. 1818[edit]

The New York State Legislature voted on March 6, 1818 to create the town of Milan from the western part of the Town of North East—to be effective "from and after the last day in March" 1818.[4] The session laws stated that the first town meeting would be held the first Tuesday of April and at the home of Stephen Thorn who was elected Town Supervisor along with John F. Bartlett, Town Clerk.

The Milan Post Office operated from 1818 to 1908 at what is now Case's Corner. A rare cancellation shown above.

Two 19th century histories of the town of Milan and Dutchess County (1877 and 1882) state there is no knowledge or evidence as to why the name "Milan" was chosen.[2][5]

But the name Milan had appeared in other areas of the state and it was not unusual to take European city names at the time. What is now the City of Syracuse was known as Milan for a brief period between 1809 and 1812. A settlement 40 miles (64 km) south of Syracuse was originally called Milan in 1790 before incorporation in 1802 as the Town of Locke.[6] An unincorporated village there continued to be referred to as Milan[7] but gave up its Milan Post Office designation on July 29, 1817, becoming "Locke" Post Office. This cleared the way for the operation of the Milan Post Office on August 14, 1818 at what is now Case's Corners.[8]

So in 1818 the name "Milan" was secured for both the town and one of the hamlet Post Offices.

A town "in-between"[edit]

The main thoroughfares for the community ran from the Hudson River to Salisbury, CT and travelers referred to the road as the "turnpike." It later became recognized as the Salisbury Turnpike and sections of the road still exist today and bear that name.

In addition to farming and local mills in Milan, lead and iron were mined in areas around what is now Millerton, NY and Salisbury, CT which was then brought to Livingston's Furnaces at Ancram in Columbia County. Milan was "in-between" those towns and the river and as a result had a great deal of important commercial traffic going east/west through the town.[8]

Remains least populous town[edit]

The early population peaked in 1840 at 1,745 residents and went into decline until 1930 with only 622 residents.[9] It was the opening of the Erie Canal (1825) and then the development of the railroad and the move to river cities and the western migration that caused the decline. Also, Milan's soil was hilly and rocky and tough to farm. Then following the 1930s and the Great Depression the population grew again, due in part to the construction of the Taconic Parkway which ended in Milan at the time, and then the post World War II boom.

The 1840 population level was reached again in 1980, some 140 years later. From the 1980s to the turn of the new century Milan was one of the fastest-growing towns in Dutchess County.[9]

Milan remains the least populous town in Dutchess County.[10]

State Historic Markers[edit]

Partial list of New York State Historic Markers in Milan:

  • Jackson Corners—Colonial Inn: Built About 1773 Stage Inn, Doctor's Office, Hotel, Store, Post Office Of Jackson Corners.
  • Jackson Corners—Nobletown Road: Running From Post Road In Livingston, Through Gallatin, Ancram, State Line, Nobletown, To Barrington, N.H. In Use Before 1798.
  • Turkey Hill Road—Fulton Homestead: John Fulton, First Owner. Deed Recorded Oct. 12, 1795 Has Always Been In Possession Of The Fulton Family. In Fulton Name Until 1933.
  • Turkey Hill Road—Burial Ground: Chief Crow And Other Mohican Shacomecos Of Moravian Faith Buried Here. Last Burial About 1850.

Geography and roads[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau the town has a total area of 36.3 square miles (94.0 km²), of which, 36.1 square miles (93.5 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.5 km²) of it (0.52%) is water.

The north town line is the border of Columbia County, New York.

The Taconic State Parkway runs north/south along the eastern part of the town. The entire highway, including its supporting structures, are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

New York State Route 199 runs east/west through the town of Milan—going to Red Hook and over the Kingston–Rhinecliff Bridge to the west. It is the direct route to Pine Plains and Millerton to the east.

New York State Route 308 connects Route 199 in southwest Milan to Rhinebeck. It is a short state highway, only 6.19 miles (9.96 km) in length.

Parks and recreation[edit]

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation owns, manages and maintains two Multiple Use Areas in Milan. Both are east of the Taconic State Parkway.[11]

The Lafayetteville Multiple Use Area comprises 769 acres (3.11 km2) with an entrance on Route 199 between the Taconic State Parkway and New York State Route 82.[12]

The Roeliff Jansen Kill Multiple Use Area is 125 acres (0.51 km2) and is accessed from a pull-off on the east side of the Taconic State Parkway near the Roeliff Jansen Kill.[12]

Dutchess County owns, manages and maintains the 615 acres (2.49 km2) Wilcox Memorial Park on Route 199—3.4 miles east of Taconic State Parkway.[13]

The town of Milan owns, manages and maintains the Milan Rec Park on South Road. It contains a softball field, children's play area and has a trail maintained by the Milaners Youth Group.[14] It is also the location of the recycling and transfer station.

Dutchess County Tourism offers scenic driving tour that includes the town.[15]

Development pressures[edit]

In 2002 the Durst Organization, largely known for its high-rise developments in Manhattan, bought 2,300 acres (9.3 km2) that straddles the town of Milan and Pine Plains with plans to create a second home and recreational community.[16]

The original proposal included almost 1,000 homes along with golf courses. Durst’s January 2010 revised plans would allow for 624 homes (572 in Pine Plains and 52 in Milan).[17]

By 2002 Red Wing Sand and Gravel of East Fishkill, New York had bought two large parcels in the northern part of the Milan (269 acres (1.09 km2) on Turkey Hill Road and 163 acres (0.66 km2) on Academy Hill Road) with a view to operating two large-scale mines. But on March 30, 2010 the Supreme Court of the State of New York ruled in favor of the Town of Milan and its town-wide ban on mining.[18] The town was defended successfully by the office of the New York State Attorney General, preventing the mining company from proceeding to develop mines at those locations.


The 2000 Census was corrected due to an error in the total population count of Milan. Corrected population counts result from a process called the Count Question Resolution Program. Milan's total population in 2000 was 2,356, not 4,559 as originally reported. Due to the original error in total population, The US Census Bureau corrected four categories; Total Population, Total Housing Units, Vacant Housing Units and Group Quarters Population. They failed to correct any other data rendering the 2000 Census useless for demographic study. The resulting demographic data cited below is from the 2000 Census with almost all of it being incorrect.

As of the census[19] of 2000, there were 4,559 people, 882 households, and 612 families residing in the town. The population density was 126.3 people per square mile (48.8/km²). There were 1,090 housing units at an average density of 30.2 per square mile (11.7/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 60.63% White, 27.22% African American, 0.66% Native American, 0.75% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 9.87% from other races, and 0.83% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 15.68% of the population.

There were 882 households out of which 35.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.5% were married couples living together, 6.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.6% were non-families. 23.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.14.

In the town the population was spread out with 14.2% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 49.8% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 6.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 299.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 364.2 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $54,491, and the median income for a family was $65,250. Males had a median income of $26,473 versus $27,500 for females. The per capita income for the town was $19,002. About 2.8% of families and 4.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.6% of those under age 18 and 6.3% of those age 65 or over.

Lafayetteville 1918

Communities and locations in Milan[edit]

  • Jackson Corners – In the northeast part of town on the Roeliff Jansen Kill. Jackson Corners Post Office ran from 1835 to 1860 and 1862 to 1930. In 1840, it had one Church and 25 houses.
  • Lafayetteville – A hamlet east of Milan village, formerly called Lafayetter Corners. It was named after the Marquis de Lafayette, who visited the area in 1824. The Post Office ran from 1849 to 1903.
  • Milanville – Location of the "Milan" Post Office from 1818 to 1908 and located at the junction of Salisbury Turnpike and Milan Hollow Road this area is now known as "Case's Corner" after Rensselaer Case.
  • Rock City – A hamlet west of Milan village had a grist and saw mill and 20 houses in 1840. It was formerly Travers Mill. Post Office ran from 1835 to 1904.
  • Shookville – A former community in the northwest part of the town founded by Jacob Shook. Post Office ran from 1827 to 1835.


  1. ^ unlike the city in Italy
  2. ^ a b "History of Dutchess County New York," James H. Smith, 1882, D. Mason & Co. publisher
  3. ^ "History of Little Nine Partners," Isaac Huntting, 1897.
  4. ^ "Laws of the State of New York passed at the forty-first session of the Legislature," Albany 1818. Chapter XXVIII.
  5. ^ "General History of Duchess County 1609–1876" by Philip H. Smith, 1877: author and publisher
  6. ^ Town of Locke Historian Esther Thorton
  7. ^ History of Locke, New York From: History of Cayuga County, New York By: Elliot G. Storke, Assisted by: Jos H. Smith Published by: D. Mason & Co., Syracuse, New York, 1879
  8. ^ a b "A postal history of the town of Milan," Roy Ahlquist, 1992.
  9. ^ a b US Federal Census schedules
  10. ^ Dutchess County Department of Planning and Development
  11. ^ New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
  12. ^ a b Dutchess County Tourism
  13. ^ Dutchess County Government
  14. ^ Milaners Youth Group
  15. ^ Dutchess County Tourism Scenic Driving Tour
  16. ^ The Durst Organization, Inc.
  17. ^ Pine Plains United
  18. ^ Supreme Court of the State of New York Appellate Division: Second Judicial Department
  19. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°57′12″N 73°47′31″W / 41.95333°N 73.79194°W / 41.95333; -73.79194