Rondout, New York

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Rondout (correctly pronounced "ron doubt", commonly incorrectly pronounced "round out", and also commonly incorrectly spelled "Roundout") was a village located on the north side of Rondout Creek near its mouth on the Hudson River in Ulster County and includes the Rondout-West Strand Historic District.

The name of the Rondout Creek comes from the fort, or redoubt, that was erected near its mouth. The Dutch equivalent of the English word redoubt (meaning a fort or stronghold), is reduyt. In the Dutch records of Wildwyck, however, the spelling used to designate this same fort is invariably Ronduyt during the earliest period, with the present form rondout (often capitalized) appearing as early as November 22, 1666.

The Dutch word ronduyt is an adjective meaning "frankly" or "positively." The word could also be broken down into its components and translated, literally, "round-out." Most likely, this corrupting process merely represented the simplification of a word (reduyt).[1]

Incorporated on April 4, 1849, Rondout served as a Hudson River port for the city of Kingston located about a mile distant. In 1828 it became the eastern terminus of the Delaware and Hudson Canal. From that time, it grew rapidly, until in 1872 it was merged with and became a part of the city of Kingston.

Prior to its incorporation, Rondout was known variously as "The Strand", "Kingston Landing" and "Bolton". "The Strand" is a Dutch derived reference to the beach once located on the north shore of the Rondout Creek. Its usage persists to the present (2006). "Kingston Landing" speaks for itself. "Bolton" was used to honor a president of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company.

The town of Rondout was essentially destroyed by a Federally funded urban renewal program in the 1960s, with more than 400 old buildings demolished, most of them historic brick structures built in the 1800s. In 2011 a display was opened at the Rondout Visitor's Center, depicting the history of that destruction. Similarly ill-conceived urban renewal programs gutted the historic centers of other towns and cities across America in the 1950s and 1960s (for example the West End neighborhood in Boston, and the historic waterfront areas of the towns of Narragansett and Newport in Rhode Island).

Only a small portion of Rondout's former town center has survived intact and is part of the Rondout-West Strand Historic District, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

Rondout borders the Rondout creek. The creek empties into the Hudson through a large, protected tidal area which was the terminus of the Delaware & Hudson canal built to haul coal from Pennsylvania to New York City.[2]

Rondout, New York is an artist community mentioned as such by publications including business week online "America's best places for artists."[3]

Rondout, New York is home to a large number of art galleries including the kingston museum of contemporary arts, Donskoj & Company, Watermark Cargo Gallery, the Arts Society of Kingston, the Kingston Museum of Modern Art (KMOCA), and Deep Listening Space.

The City of Kingston holds many festivals in the Rondout neighborhood, including the Kingston Jazz Festival and the Artists Soapbox Derby.

The five block length of Wurts Street in Rondout New York was the site of six churches. One of them is a gothic style Church Built in 1867 and was still under renovation in 2007 when the photo below was taken. The building and its grounds fell into disrepair and disuse from 1997 through 2005. Across from the church is Cornell Park, a public park maintained by the city of Kingston. The park is adjacent to a privately owned parcel of land upon which once stood the home of the towns most successful industrialist Thomas Cornell. The house was built on a hill from which the owner could see his fleet of coal fired steam ships in Rondout Creek and the Hudson River simultaneously.

The Kingston-Port Ewen Suspension Bridge completed in 1921 bridges Rondout Creek from Roundout to Port Ewen.


The Wurts street Bridge (a.k.a. Kingston-Port Ewen Suspension Bridge) showing the recently restored Celebration Wedding Chapel.
An old living sculpture made and maintained by a resident artist.
Rondout in the late 1800s at night looking over Rondout Creek to the north east.
The Wurts Street Bridge (a.k.a. Kingston-Port Ewen Suspension Bridge) over Rondout Creek from above. (Photo by Paul Joffe)
Kingston point, part of the former town of Rondout, and the trolley which offers rides.
The core of Rondout is today one of Kingston's historic districts.
A view of The Strand in the old town of Rondout at night under a full moon
A steeple restored in 2006 on Wurts Street in Rondout.
Rondout and Rondout Creek seen from the East in 2005.

Coordinates: 41°55′14″N 73°59′06″W / 41.92056°N 73.98500°W / 41.92056; -73.98500