Wassaic, New York

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Wassaic, New York
Hamlet and CDP
Downtown Wassaic
Downtown Wassaic
Wassaic is located in New York
Location in New York state
Coordinates: 41°48′14″N 73°33′31″W / 41.8039825°N 73.5587368°W / 41.8039825; -73.5587368Coordinates: 41°48′14″N 73°33′31″W / 41.8039825°N 73.5587368°W / 41.8039825; -73.5587368
Country United States
State New York
139 m (456 ft)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP Code
Area code(s)845
GNIS feature ID968879[1]

Wassaic (/wəˈsɪk/ wə-SAY-ik)[2]) is a hamlet (and census-designated place)[3] in the town of Amenia, Dutchess County, New York, United States. Located in southeast New York in the valley of the Ten Mile River, Wassaic is bordered on the east and west by mountain ranges.

The name of the hamlet is derived from the Native American word Washaic; "land of difficult access" or "narrow valley". However, Europeans found ready access by following the Housatonic River valley up from Long Island Sound and through the mountains along the Ten Mile River.

One of the earliest recorded Europeans to settle in Wassaic was Richard Sackett. He petitioned the Colonial Government on March 11th 1703 for a license to purchase a tract of land in "Washiack". He was known as Captain Richard Sackett when appointed the first Dutchess County clerk in 1715.

By the 1770s Wassaic was processing Ancram pig iron into steel. This continued into the early 1800s, providing steel for the Harris scythe works at Hammertown, near Pine Plains in northern Dutchess.

During the Revolutionary War, General George Washington marched through Wassaic on the way to Connecticut.

Among Wassaic's main employers in the 19th century were Gridley Iron Works[4] and the Harlem division of the New York and Harlem Railroad. In 1861, Gail Borden opened a factory for producing a condensed milk that would not need refrigeration. This was a welcome ration for the Union troops during the Civil War. Long sold by Borden, it is today marketed as Eagle Brand Condensed Milk. Wassaic was also known for dairy, sheep and grain farming.

Wassaic is home to The Wassaic Project, a non-profit arts and music organization and the Wassaic Artist Residency. They provide summer programming as well as run an artist in residence program.

Wassaic station is the northernmost station of Metro-North Railroad's Harlem Line. The station, once located in the hamlet, has been moved a mile north of it. The station is also the southern access to the Harlem Valley Rail Trail for recreational hiking and biking.


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Wassaic, New York
  2. ^ "The Wassaic Project". Retrieved 7 April 2020.
  3. ^ "State of New York Census Designated Places - Current/BAS20 - Data as of January 1, 2019". tigerweb.geo.census.gov. Retrieved 2020-02-24.
  4. ^ Ghee, Joyce (1998). Harlem Valley Pathways. Arcadia Publishing. p. 57. ISBN 978-0738589831.

External links[edit]

Media related to Wassaic, New York at Wikimedia Commons