Kingston is situated at the point where the Rondout Creek and the Hudson River meet, in the shadows of the scenic Catskill Mountains. In 1609 when Henry Hudson sailed north on the river, the site and its natural beauty must have been appealing, because seven years later, the Dutch established a trading post here and Kingston welcomed the first visitors.
The first permanent settlement was in 1652 and Governor Stuyvesant ordered the original stockade built in 1658 to protect the settlers from the Indian attacks and massacres which included the burning of the village in 1653.
Kingston, originally named Esopus, became the first capital of New York State in 1777. The senate first met here in the house which today remains a historic site and museum. It was here that Governor George Clinton was inaugurated and is also buried in the city’s Old Dutch churchyard.
Today, almost two dozen of the original pre-revolutionary stone houses remain standing and are occupied. These treasures are just part of the magnificent architecture found in this river city. The Rondout is resplendent with its 19th century commercial and residential structures housing a reborn "village" on the waterfront.
The City is a chronology of American architecture spanning four centuries from the early Dutch and English, including Federalist, Georgian, Greek Revival, Victorian, Romanesque, Italianate, Neo-Classical, Art Deco and Contemporary. The blend makes a beautiful landscape for every visitor.
Ours is a City of diverse interests. Visitors can enjoy a cruise on the Hudson River, including a stop at the Rondout Lighthouse…tour colonial stone homes…ride an antique trolley…browse through numerous museums and visit quaint boutiques, galleries and antique shops. Experience quality performing and visual arts, enjoy water sports or a concert in the park, and plentiful marine space for avid boaters.
Today, the city of Kingston can be distinguished by three different sectors. These are the
In the Fall of 1777, amidst the turmoil of a British military offensive, the elected representatives of rebellious New Yorkers convened in Kingston to form a new state government. The session, New York's first Senate, met in September and October in the simple stone house of Abraham Van Gaasbeek, a local merchant. Now part of a complex of three buildings located on three acres in Kingston's historic Stockade District, the Senate House tells the story of New York's early government, and gives a taste of life and art in the Hudson Valley 200 years ago. The treasures housed in its museum include major art works by John Vanderlyn and other members of the Vanderlyn family of Kingston, dating from the 1720s through the 1870s, as well as paintings by Ammi Phillips, Joseph Tubby, James Bard, and Thomas Sully.