Sullivan County, New York

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Sullivan County
Stream in the hamlet of Rock Hill
Stream in the hamlet of Rock Hill
Flag of Sullivan County
Official seal of Sullivan County
Map of New York highlighting Sullivan County
Location within the U.S. state of New York
Map of the United States highlighting New York
New York's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 41°43′N 74°46′W / 41.72°N 74.76°W / 41.72; -74.76Coordinates: 41°43′N 74°46′W / 41.72°N 74.76°W / 41.72; -74.76
Country United States
State New York
Founded1809
Named forJohn Sullivan
SeatMonticello
Largest villageMonticello
Area
 • Total997 sq mi (2,580 km2)
 • Land968 sq mi (2,510 km2)
 • Water29 sq mi (80 km2)  2.9%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total78,624 [1]
 • Density81.2/sq mi (31.4/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district19th
Websiteco.sullivan.ny.us

Sullivan County is a county in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2020 census, the population was 78,624.[2] The county seat is Monticello.[3] The county's name honors Major General John Sullivan, who was labeled at the time as a hero in the American Revolutionary War in part due to his successful campaign against the Iroquois (see Sullivan Expedition).

The county was the site of hundreds of Borscht Belt hotels and resorts, which had their heyday from the 1920s through the 1970s.

In 2010, the state's center of population was at the southern edge of Sullivan County.[4]

History[edit]

John Sullivan, general in the Continental Army, delegate in the Continental Congress, Governor of New Hampshire, and namesake of Sullivan County

When the Province of New York established its first twelve counties in 1683, the present Sullivan County was part of Ulster County. In 1809, Sullivan County was split from Ulster County.[5]

In the late 19th century, the Industrial Revolution and the advent of factories driven by water power along the streams and rivers led to an increase in population attracted to the jobs.[6] Hamlets enlarged into towns. As industry restructured, many of those jobs left before the middle of the twentieth century. The economy changed again after that, shifting to a more tourist-based variety and benefiting from resorts established by European Jewish immigrants and their descendants in what became called the Borscht Belt of the 20th century. Resort hotels featured a wide variety of entertainers, some nationally known. At the beginning of this period, visitors traveled to the area by train, and later by automobile.[7] The area's natural resources also provided a setting for numerous summer camps frequented by the children of immigrants and their descendants.

Geography[edit]

Swan Lake
Hamlet of Grahamsville

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 997 square miles (2,580 km2), of which 968 square miles (2,510 km2) is land and 29 square miles (75 km2) (2.9%) is water.[8]

Sullivan County is in the southern part of New York State, southeast of Binghamton and southwest of Albany. It is separated from Pennsylvania along its southwest boundary by the Delaware River.

The county, which starts about 70 miles northwest of New York City, is in the Catskill Mountains. Its northeastern corner is within the Catskill Park.

The highest point in the county is a 3,118-foot (950 m) peak unofficially known as Beech Mountain, near Hodge Pond, a subsidiary summit to Mongaup Mountain[9] across the Ulster County line. The lowest point is along the Delaware River.[10]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18106,108
18208,90045.7%
183012,36438.9%
184015,62926.4%
185025,08860.5%
186032,38529.1%
187034,5506.7%
188032,491−6.0%
189031,031−4.5%
190032,3064.1%
191033,8084.6%
192033,163−1.9%
193035,2726.4%
194037,9017.5%
195040,7317.5%
196045,27211.1%
197052,58016.1%
198065,15523.9%
199069,2776.3%
200073,9666.8%
201077,5474.8%
202078,6241.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[11]
1790-1960[12] 1900-1990[13]
1990-2000[14] 2010-2020[2]
Hamlet of Callicoon

As of the 2000 Census,[15] there were 73,966 people, 27,661 households, and 18,311 families residing in the county. The population density was 76 people per square mile (29/km2). There were 44,730 housing units at an average density of 46 per square mile (18/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 85.31% White, 8.51% Black or African American, 0.27% Native American, 1.12% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 2.89% from other races, and 1.87% from two or more races. 9.25% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 16.6% were of German, 13.9% Irish, 12.5% Italian, 7.3% American and 6.2% English ancestry according to Census 2000. 86.6% spoke English, 7.4% Spanish and 1.0% German as their first language. A small population of Russians, late twentieth-century immigrants, live in the villages. There are a few persons in Sullivan and nearby counties who are of mixed Dutch and Mohawk or Lenni-Lenape ancestry in this region of upstate New York, the legacy of indigenous peoples in the region and the New Netherlands colonial era in the 17th century.[citation needed]

There were 27,661 households, out of which 31.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.10% were married couples living together, 11.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.80% were non-families. 27.90% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 24.90% under the age of 18, 7.30% from 18 to 24, 28.10% from 25 to 44, 25.40% from 45 to 64, and 14.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 103.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $36,998, and the median income for a family was $43,458. Males had a median income of $36,110 versus $25,754 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,892. About 11.60% of families and 17.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.60% of those under age 18 and 10.70% of those age 65 or over.

2020 Census[edit]

Sullivan County Racial Composition[16]
Race Num. Perc.
White (NH) 52,691 67.01%
Black or African American (NH) 6,069 7.72%
Native American (NH) 174 0.2%
Asian (NH) 1,569 2.0%
Pacific Islander (NH) 10 0.01%
Other/Mixed (NH) 4,104 5.22%
Hispanic or Latino 14,007 17.81%


National protected area[edit]

Government and politics[edit]

Sullivan County is a swing county, backing the national winner in all but three presidential elections from 1952 to the present. In 2004, Republican George W. Bush defeated Democrat John Kerry by a margin of 49.47% to 48.55%, or a difference of 285 votes.[17] In 2008, however, it was won by Democrat Barack Obama over Republican John McCain by a margin of 54% to 45%.[18] Then, in 2016, the county voted for Republican Donald Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton by a margin of 53% to 42%.[19] In 2020, the county didn't back the winner nationally for the first time since 2000. Incumbent Republican President Donald Trump won the county with 54% of the votes that year compared to the national winner Democrat Joe Biden's 45%.[20]

There are thirty-six town and village courts in Sullivan County.[21]

Legislative authority is vested in the county legislature which consists of nine members, each elected from single member districts. Currently, there are six Republicans and three Democrats.

Sullivan County Legislature
District Legislator Title Party
1 Robert Doherty Chair Democratic
2 Nadia Rajsz Democratic
3 Michael Brooks Vice Chair Republican
4 Bicholas Salomone, Jr. Republican
5 George Conklin III Republican
6 Luis Alvarez Democratic
7 Joseph Perrello Republican
8 Ira Steingart Minority Leader Democratic
9 Alan Sorensen Majority Leader Republican
United States presidential election results for Sullivan County, New York[22]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 18,665 53.79% 15,489 44.64% 543 1.56%
2016 15,931 53.18% 12,568 41.96% 1,456 4.86%
2012 12,705 44.71% 15,268 53.73% 442 1.56%
2008 13,900 44.58% 16,850 54.04% 433 1.39%
2004 15,319 49.47% 15,034 48.55% 613 1.98%
2000 12,703 44.53% 14,348 50.29% 1,477 5.18%
1996 9,321 33.00% 15,052 53.29% 3,871 13.71%
1992 11,396 36.02% 13,717 43.36% 6,522 20.62%
1988 15,713 57.00% 11,635 42.20% 220 0.80%
1984 18,037 63.09% 10,475 36.64% 78 0.27%
1980 15,089 55.44% 9,553 35.10% 2,576 9.46%
1976 13,709 48.79% 14,189 50.50% 198 0.70%
1972 17,035 63.24% 9,847 36.55% 56 0.21%
1968 11,657 48.17% 10,860 44.88% 1,681 6.95%
1964 8,006 32.31% 16,728 67.52% 41 0.17%
1960 13,744 54.37% 11,486 45.44% 49 0.19%
1956 15,845 63.94% 8,937 36.06% 0 0.00%
1952 14,926 63.26% 8,421 35.69% 247 1.05%
1948 11,253 53.20% 7,654 36.19% 2,245 10.61%
1944 11,258 55.82% 8,836 43.81% 73 0.36%
1940 11,877 54.64% 9,785 45.01% 76 0.35%
1936 9,757 48.83% 9,908 49.58% 317 1.59%
1932 8,294 44.79% 9,656 52.15% 567 3.06%
1928 10,331 61.27% 6,207 36.81% 323 1.92%
1924 7,734 56.85% 4,057 29.82% 1,813 13.33%
1920 8,029 64.45% 3,623 29.08% 806 6.47%
1916 4,340 53.05% 3,659 44.73% 182 2.22%
1912 3,039 37.56% 3,864 47.75% 1,189 14.69%
1908 4,593 52.52% 3,911 44.72% 242 2.77%
1904 4,452 54.37% 3,582 43.74% 155 1.89%
1900 4,393 53.92% 3,625 44.49% 130 1.60%
1896 4,589 58.35% 3,073 39.08% 202 2.57%
1892 3,664 48.28% 3,567 47.00% 358 4.72%
1888 3,860 49.66% 3,757 48.33% 156 2.01%
1884 3,332 45.31% 3,607 49.05% 415 5.64%

Education[edit]

Public school districts[edit]

Higher education[edit]

Transportation[edit]

Sullivan County has services provided by Short Line to New York City. It also has some local service provided by the county itself, as well as community organizations.[23][24][25]

Sullivan County International Airport is located in Bethel and is used frequently for general aviation purposes.

Major Roadways[edit]

Tourism[edit]

Sullivan County has been a popular vacation spot since the 19th Century, with mountain climbing, boating, and other outdoor activities, as well as the Monticello Raceway being among the attractions. The majority of the tourism occurs in the summer months. It was the site of the hundreds of resort complexes of the Borscht Belt (with their golf courses, social events, and entertainers), between the 1920s and 1970s.

Borscht Belt hotels, bungalow colonies, summer camps, and kuchaleyns (a Yiddish name for self-catered boarding houses). The bungalows usually included "a kitchen/living room/dinette, one bedroom, and a screened porch" with entertainment being simple: bingo or a movie.[26] The kuchaleyns were also visited often by middle and working-class Jewish New Yorkers. Because of the many Jewish guests, this area was nicknamed the Jewish Alps and "Solomon County" (a modification of Sullivan County) by many people who visited there.[27]

Many famous comedians tested their material and performed regularly at Borscht Belt hotels, including Milton Berle, Mel Brooks, and Henny Youngman. Eddie Fisher performed often at Grossinger's, where in 1955 he married Debbie Reynolds.

By the late 1950s, many began closing with most gone by the 1970s, but some major resorts continued to operate, a few into the 1990s. Grossinger's Catskill Resort Hotel closed in 1986[28] and the Concord Resort Hotel struggled to stay open until 1998.[29] By that time, the business owed millions in back taxes to Sullivan County, but the property was sold "for $10.5 million" and a new resort was eventually built.[30][31]

Sullivan County was the site of the 1969 Woodstock Festival located at the present-day Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. During the period August 15–18, 1969, approximately 500,000 people gathered in Sullivan County's Town of Bethel at Max Yasgur's farm to attend the Woodstock Festival. The entertainers included The Who; the Grateful Dead; Jefferson Airplane; The Band; Canned Heat; Joan Baez; Arlo Guthrie; Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young; Janis Joplin; Santana; Sly and the Family Stone; Blood, Sweat and Tears; Jimi Hendrix; and Richie Havens. The state and the town of Bethel council subsequently passed laws prohibiting future mass event types of festivals. In 2019, a 50th celebration of Woodstock was organized: "Sullivan County ... finally embracing the ultimate symbol of peace and love, the 1969 Woodstock festival".[32] The Woodstock 50 festival, scheduled for August, was canceled months earlier so it did not take place.[33] The Bethel Woods Center for the Arts did organize of weekend of "low-key" concerts.[34]

Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, which also includes a museum of the sixties and Woodstock, holds many concerts and other events throughout the year.

Other notable cultural destinations include the CAS Arts Center, a multi-arts exhibit space and education center run by the Catskill Art Society in Livingston Manor, New York, the NaCl Theatre, a professional regional theater company focusing on experimental work in Highland Lake, and the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance (DVAA) which serves as the Arts Council for Sullivan County and is located in Narrowsburg. DVAA offers two art galleries, performing arts and cultural programming, grant opportunities for artists and nonprofits, the Big Eddy Film Festival, and Riverfest.

Communities[edit]

Village of Wurtsboro
Monticello Raceway in Monticello

Towns[edit]

Villages[edit]

Census-designated places[edit]

Hamlets[edit]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ "US Census 2020 Population Dataset Tables for New York". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 2, 2022.
  2. ^ a b "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Sullivan County, New York". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 2, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  4. ^ "Centers of Population by State: 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
  5. ^ "Sullivan County, NY - History & Nostalgia Gallery". Hudson Valley Sojourner. Retrieved February 8, 2022.
  6. ^ Administrator. "Sullivan Life". www.scnyhistory.org. Retrieved February 8, 2022.
  7. ^ Roberts, Sam (May 25, 2017). "Guides for Exploring New York". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 8, 2022.
  8. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on May 19, 2014. Retrieved January 7, 2015.
  9. ^ "Beech Mountain - Peakbagger.com". www.peakbagger.com. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  10. ^ "Sullivan County". www.dianebutlerrealestate.com. Retrieved May 19, 2020.
  11. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 7, 2015.
  12. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 7, 2015.
  13. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 7, 2015.
  14. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 7, 2015.
  15. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  16. ^ "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE – 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) – Sullivan County, New York".
  17. ^ http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/statesub.php?year=2004&fips=36105&off=0&elect=0&f=0[bare URL]
  18. ^ http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/statesub.php?year=2008&fips=36105&off=0&elect=0&f=0[bare URL]
  19. ^ http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/statesub.php?year=2016&fips=36105&off=0&elect=0&f=0[bare URL]
  20. ^ http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/statesub.php?year=2020&fips=36105&off=0&elect=0&f=0[bare URL]
  21. ^ Sullivan County Evaluation (PDF), National League of Defenders Association, January 2009, p. 8, archived from the original (PDF) on July 27, 2011
  22. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
  23. ^ "Bus Stops, Fares & Transfers". Archived from the original on November 11, 2013. Retrieved December 19, 2013.
  24. ^ County, Sullivan. "Sullivan County > Departments > Transportation". www.co.sullivan.ny.us. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
  25. ^ http://www.coachusa.com/CoachUsaAssets/files/98/HudsonSL.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  26. ^ Borscht Belt staff reminisce about the glory days of the Jewish Alps and their part in making it happen
  27. ^ Did Jew Know?: A Handy Primer on the Customs, Culture & Practice of the Chosen People, page 160
  28. ^ Ruins of Grossinger's Resort
  29. ^ The Bygone Era of the Jewish Catskills Resorts
  30. ^ The Concord over the years: a timeline
  31. ^ "Finally it's here: Sullivan's casino opening Thursday". Times Herald-Record. Middletown, NY. February 7, 2018. Retrieved March 9, 2021.
  32. ^ 50 years later, Sullivan County shows love for Woodstock festival
  33. ^ Woodstock 2019: Bethel Woods ready for party 50 years in making
  34. ^ Woodstock Gets a Low-Key 50th Party With Ringo, Santana and That Album Cover Couple

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]