Wappinger, New York

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For the Native American tribe, see Wappinger.
Wappinger, New York
Town of Wappinger
Wappingers Falls Historic District "Downtown"
Wappingers Falls Historic District "Downtown"
Official seal of Wappinger, New York
Location of the Town of Wappinger, New York
Location of the Town of Wappinger, New York
Coordinates: 41°35′20″N 73°53′59″W / 41.58889°N 73.89972°W / 41.58889; -73.89972
Country United States
State New York
County Dutchess
Town of Wappinger May 20, 1875
 • Type Town Council
 • Town Supervisor Barbara Gutzler (R)
 • Town Council
 • Total 28.6 sq mi (74.1 km2)
 • Land 27.3 sq mi (70.6 km2)
 • Water 1.3 sq mi (3.4 km2)
Elevation 197 ft (60 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 33,523
 • Density 1,200/sq mi (450/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 12590
Area code(s) 845
FIPS code 36-78157[1]
GNIS feature ID 0979595[2]
Website Town of Wappinger

The Town of Wappinger is located in Dutchess County, New York. The Town of Wappinger is centrally located just 70 miles north of New York City in the heart of the Hudson River Valley, boasting a Hudson River coast. The population was 27,048 at the 2010 census. The name is derived from the Wappinger Indians who inhabited the area.


The town of Wappinger, originally a part of the town of Fishkill, was formed on May 20, 1875, and lies wholly within the limits of the historic Rombout Patent, granted in 1685.[3] The town was first settled around 1714, and its first settler was Elias VanBenschoten. The Town of Wappinger's main form of industry was agricultural while the village of Wappingers Falls was where all of the factories were located. The Town of Wappinger has a rich history being made up of many hamlets and historic sites. From the highest ranking general in Dutchess County history, Jacobus Swartwout, to the attorney who defended William "Boss" Tweed, Isaac Untermyer; Wappinger is a contributing factor to not just the history of New York, but the history of the nation.

The Wappinger People were a loose confederation of tribes living from the eastern banks of the Hudson River, from modern northern Dutchess County, south into Westchester County, and eastward into north-central Connecticut into the Connecticut River valley south to the Long Island Sound. They spoke an eastern-Algonkian Native American language. Culturally they are closely related to the Lenape People (Delaware Indians) to the west and south of Wappinger lands; also related to the Mahican People to their immediate north and to the Metoac Peoples of Long Island. “Wappinger” means “easterner” in most Algonkian languages.[4]

Historic districts[edit]

  • Wheeler Hill Historic District is a federally recognized historic district located in the town of Wappinger in Dutchess County. It includes 49 contributing buildings, 15 contributing sites, and four contributing structures. It encompasses the estates of Obercreek, Elmhurst, Edge Hill, the former estates of Henry Suydam and William Crosby, and Carnwath Farms that were developed between 1740 and 1940. Also included are two 18th century riverfront commercial structures, the Lent / Waldron Store and Stone House at Farmer's Landing.
    • Carnwath Farms Historic Site & Park was originally built in 1850 for William and Lydia Willis, relatives of the Mesier family in nearby Wappingers Falls. Willis was a retired hardware merchant from New York City. He sold the Carnwath Manor in 1855 and then built Obercreek. The property is now owned by the town of Wappinger as a park.[5] It is also home to the Sports Museum of Dutchess County. In May, 2005, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dedicated the Frances Reese Cultural Center.
      Carnwath Manor at Carnwath Farms Historic Site & Park
    • Obercreek was built by William H. Willis in 1856 as a new home after he sold Carnwath Farms just down the road. Since the Willis' were related to the Mesiers the estate was passed down to them and finally to the Reese family, who currently owns the house to this day.
    • Samuel S. Sands built "Elmhurst" in 1865. Sands was a banker and broker in partnership with William Henry Reese and joined the New York Stock Exchange in 1854. Sands died at the age of sixty-six at his country estate, July 26, 1892.[6] The property formerly housed the Deer Hill conference Center, now the Chapel of the Sacred Mirrors.
    • Henry Suydam was descended from an old New York City merchant family. In 1846 Henry Suydam purchased a farmhouse and a parcel of surrounding land from Job Angel for his country estate. In 1882 he privately published a book detailing the history of his mother's family, the Mesiers, combined with a history of the Zion Episcopal Church.[7] His home was demolished in September 2013
  • The Wappingers Falls Historic District is in the center of the Village of Wappingers Falls in Dutchess County, New York, United States. It is a 90-acre (36 ha) area roughly centered along South Avenue and West Main Street NY 9D and Wappinger Creek. It includes Mesier Park in the center of the village and many adjacent residential neighborhoods, roughly bounded by Elm, Park, Walker, Market and McKinley streets. Much of the district was built in the wake of the industrialization of Wappingers Falls in the 19th century, and its styles represent a cross-section of that century. However, the contributing properties include older buildings, such as the ca. 1740 Mesier Homestead, and newer ones like the Village of Wappingers Falls Police Station, formerly a post office designed under the supervision of Franklin D. Roosevelt during his presidency. The two halves of the district, and the village, are connected by an 1884 stone arch bridge that replaced earlier wooden structures. In 1984 the district was added to the National Register of Historic Places. It is described as a "collection of distinct nineteenth-century structures linked to the development of an important Hudson Valley industrial center."

Historic Hamlets[edit]

Downtown Chelsea, NY
  • Chelsea – A hamlet in the southeast part of the town near the Hudson River, formerly Low Point and later, Carthage Landing. The hamlet's post office was established in 1840 as Low Point. The current post office was the former 1875 district school.
  • Diddell – A hamlet in the northeast part of the town. Diddell was on several traders routes for caravans in the 1700s. By the 1800s the Maybrook/Dutchess County Rail Road created a train station here. It is also home to the Robinson Lane/Van Dyne Cemetery; the oldest stone dates back to 1751.[citation needed]
  • Hughsonville – A hamlet situated one mile south of Wappingers Falls and derives its name from William Hughson,one of four brothers who emigrated from England. The Presbyterian Church of Hughsonville was erected in 1840. A post office was established there in 1847.[8] It is believed that Captain Kidd's treasure is buried here. The Hughsonville Fire Department traces its establishment to 1912.
  • Middlebush, situated about a mile south-east of Wappingers Falls, was an early business center. A post office was located there in 1824 that also served residents of Chelsea. The first Baptist church in the town was organized there in 1782. Abm. Van Wyck deeded the Society a piece of land for a site for a church and burying ground. The old cemetery remains, southeast of the intersection of Middlebush Road and Old Route 9. In 1830 that meeting house became the property of the Methodist church, and was used by them as a house of worship until the present Methodist church in Wappingers Falls was erected in 1869, when it was taken down and the material used in the construction of the barn and sheds connected with that church.[8] Today Middlebush is the home of several homes and businesses, the Town of Wappinger Town Hall, and James S. Evans Elementary School, and Wappingers Falls Junior High School.
  • Myers Corners – at the intersection of Myers Corners Road and All Angels Hill Road was named after John Myers of Holland and was mostly farm land but had a doctor, a school and a tavern.[8] Currently the Wappingers Central School District operates two schools within the hamlet, Roy C. Ketcham High School, and Myers Corners Elementary School
Dutchess County Airport, New York
  • New Hackensack – Johannes Schurrie was an early settler in the town. He came, about 1740, from Hackensack, New Jersey, from which the hamlet derives its name.[3] Most of the early settlers were of Dutch and German descent.[9] A portion of NYS route 376 is known locally as New Hackensack Road. The Main Street was present day N.Y.S. Route 376 and had a post office and several stores until the widening of the Dutchess County Airport in the early-mid-1900s.
  • Swartwoutville: A hamlet in the southeast part of the town and it was established in 1775. Named after General Jacobus Swartwout. Swartwoutville once had a main street and several village shops. It is also home to the Swartwout Homestead (1779) and the Swartwout Burial Ground which is one of the oldest cemeteries in Wappinger. Swartwoutville a historic hamlet within Wappinger, is home to several 18th and 19th century homes and remains of former stores. Historic Swartwoutville was formed in 2009 to help recognize the hamlet by placing signage at the six entrances of the hamlet
  • Wappingers Falls –In the year of 1741, two Dutchmen, Nicholas and Adolphus Brewer, purchased 750 acres of land around the falls and built the first stone house in the village near the present Mill Street. In 1742, the Brewers built a mill on the east side of Wappinger Creek.[10] Nicholas Brewer built the Mesier Homestead, which he sold in 1777 to Matthew VanBenschoten, who, in turn, sold it to Peter Mesier, a merchant from New York City.[3] The local waterfall was important for early industrial development. The Village of Wappingers Falls was incorporated in 1871 and included the adjacent settlement of Channingville,which was on the west side of the Wappinger Creek. In the late 1700s-mid-1800s the east side was known as Franklindale. In 1909, the Garner Print Works were sold and became the Dutchess Bleachery. The plant, which at times employed as many as 1150 people, stopped printing calico but continued as a bleachery and dye works.[11]
  • All Angel's Hill – All Angels Hill was originally known as Mount Hope and then Underhill Road, which is the highest point in the town of Wappinger. During the American Revolution a beacon was placed at the top of the hill to alert the troops stationed at the Fishkill Supply Depot if the British ever came up that way. In the 1850s William Marvin, a farmer, owned about 200 acres between the vicinity of the present Pye Lane and Myers Corners. His daughter Charlotte married New York doctor Anthony Underhill. In the mid-1800s, the Underhill family built a house on her father's land. In 1903 the property was purchased by the All Angels Episcopal Church in New York City as part of its ministry to the poor. To give poor mothers and children a respite from the oppressive city summers, the church maintained All Angels’ Farm, a forerunner of the Fresh Air Fund.[12]

Wappingers Central School District[edit]

The Wappingers Central School District was formed in 1937 and is the second largest school district in New York State. It was decided to close all of the one room school houses in the area and condense them in to one centralized school. The first school in the Wappingers Central School District was the Wappingers Falls Junior High School, it was originally home to children Kindergarten-12th grade from the towns of Wappinger, Fishkill, Philipstown, Kent, East Fishkill, Lagrange, and Poughkeepsie. Now the district is home to two Senior High Schools, two Junior High Schools, nine Elementary Schools, and one alternative High School


The Town of Wappinger Recreation Department and Commission, led by Ralph Holt, oversees, maintains, and hosts events at our beautiful town parks

  • Robinson Lane Sports Complex
  • Major Daniel Martz Jr. Memorial Field
  • Brexel-Schlathaus Park
  • Spook Hill Park
  • Quiet Acres Park
  • Airport Park Soccer Fields
  • Card Road Park
  • Fleetwood Park
  • Castle Point/Dratz-Deegan Recreation Area
  • Chelsea Boat Ramp
  • Rockingham Farms Soccer Fields
  • Reese Park Nature Preserve & Trails
  • Ye Old Apple Orchard Pond
  • Carnwath Farms Historic Site & Park


  • World War II Statue and Monument at Brexel-Schlathaus Park
  • Kenneth Browne-Korean War Monument at Castle Point/Dratz-Deegan Recreation Area
  • Daniel Martz Jr.-Vietnam War Monument at Major Daniel Martz Memorial Field
  • Future Mark C. Palmateer-9/11 Memorial Park
  • 9/11 Memorial at New Hackensack Fire Company


  • Wheeler Hill Road was once known as Rives Avenue or hill, after Francis Rives who purchased the former Willis estate (Carnwath Farms) in 1870.[13]

Notable people[edit]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 28.6 square miles (74 km2), of which 27.3 square miles (71 km2) is land and 1.3 square miles (3.4 km2) (4.62%) is water. Part of the west town line is located at the Hudson River, and borders Orange and Ulster Counties.

Wappinger's boundaries are Fishkill to the south, East Fishkill across Sprout Creek to the east, the Hudson River to the west, the Wappinger Creek to the northwest, and LaGrange to the north. It contains part of the village of Wappingers Falls, the other section of which is across Wappinger Creek in the town of Poughkeepsie.

The highest point in the Town of Wappinger is located at Mount Hope, All Angel's Hill Road, and the lowest point is located down in Chelsea hamlet.


U.S. Route 9, NY 9D, New York State Route 82 and NY 376 pass through the town. Dutchess County Airport is located in Wappinger's New Hackensack hamlet. The Dutchess County Bus Transit "Loop" also runs through the town. Metro-North's Hudson Line tracks go through Wappinger, with the nearest stop being at New Hamburg.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 26,274 people, 9,793 households, and 6,992 families residing in the town. The population density was 963.3 people per square mile (372.0/km²). There were 10,144 housing units at an average density of 371.9 per square mile (143.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 86.18% White, 4.96% African American, 0.24% Native American, 4.29% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 2.44% from other races, and 1.88% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.87% of the population.

There were 9,793 households out of which 34.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.1% were married couples living together, 9.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.6% were non-families. 23.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.67 and the average family size was 3.17.

In the town the population was spread out with 25.4% under the age of 18, 7.6% from 18 to 24, 32.5% from 25 to 44, 24.1% from 45 to 64, and 10.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 98.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.2 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $58,079, and the median income for a family was $66,273. Males had a median income of $49,007 versus $31,444 for females. The per capita income for the town was $25,817. About 3.2% of families and 4.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.1% of those under age 18 and 4.9% of those age 65 or over.


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ a b c Clapp, Clinton W., "The Town of Wappinger" in Hasbrouck's History of Dutchess County
  4. ^ 'History of the Town of Wappinger'. Retrieved May 10, 2013.
  5. ^ Berry, Eric and Kuhn, Robert D., NYS Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, Wheeler Hill Historic District, nomination document, 1991, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.
  6. ^ Samuel Stevens Sands obit New York Times, July 26, 1892
  7. ^ "Henry Suydam", Questroyal Fine Art
  8. ^ a b c Smith, James Hadden, History of Dutchess County with Illustrations and Biographical Sketch, Syracuse, D. Mason & Co., 1882
  9. ^ Turner, David Wappingers, Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, SC, 2011, ISBN 978-0-7385-7559-9
  10. ^ Wappingers Historical Society
  11. ^ History of St. Mary's
  12. ^ A Brief History of All Angels Church
  13. ^ "Historic Carnwath Farms", Town of Wappinger

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°35′10″N 73°55′01″W / 41.58611°N 73.91694°W / 41.58611; -73.91694