Dutchess County, New York
Dutchess County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York, in the state's Mid-Hudson Region of the Hudson Valley. The 2000 census lists the population as 280,150, but the United States Census Bureau gives an estimate of 292,706 residents for the 12-month period ending July 1, 2007. It is part of the New York metropolitan area. The county seat is Poughkeepsie. James II.
In 1683, the Province of New York established its first twelve counties, with Dutchess County being one of them. Its boundaries at that time included the present Putnam County, and a small portion of the present Columbia County (the towns of Clermont and Germantown).
Until 1713, Dutchess was administered by Ulster County.
In 1812, Putnam County was detached from Dutchess.
From 1715-1730 most of the new settlers in Dutchess county were Germans. From 1730 until 1775 New Englanders were the main new settlers in Dutchess County.
In the 1960s G. Gordon Liddy (now a radio talk show host and who went to prison for crimes committed during the Nixon administration's Watergate scandal), was an assistant Dutchess County district attorney when he repeatedly tried to have Timothy Leary arrested on drug charges. By the 1980s, the two ex-cons went on a speaking tour together.
Prior to the 1960s Dutchess county was primarily agricultural. Since then the southern part (from Fishkill south) of the county has developed into a largely residential area suburban in character with many of its residents commuting to jobs in New York City. The northern region of the county at the same time developed many residences used during the summer and or on weekends by people living in the New York City urban area.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 825 square miles (2,138 km²), of which, 802 square miles (2,076 km²) of it is land and 24 square miles (62 km²) of it (2.88%) is water.
The terrain of the county is mostly hilly, especially in the Hudson Highlands in the southwestern corner and the Taconic Mountains to the northeast. Some areas nearer the river are flatter.
The highest point in the county is the summit of Brace Mountain, in the Taconics, at 704 m (2,311 feet) above sea level. The lowest point is sea level, along the Hudson.
National protected areas
The Harlem Line, on the eastern side of the county, has station stops in Pawling, Wingdale, Dover Plains, and two stops in Wassaic (one along the Tenmile River and the other the namesake terminus of that line).
For intercity bus service, Adirondack Trailways and ShortLine also operate some service through Poughkeepsie and the southern part of the county. The last time service ran outside that area was in the late-1990s when Peter Pan/Bonanza ran service to New York City in the eastern part of the county.
Cities, Towns and Villages are official political designations.
North: Columbia County
East: Fairfield and Litchfield Counties in Connecticut*
South: Putnam County
*: There is also a northern border of about 1 km (1 mi) in length with Berkshire County, Massachusetts, however this is in a forested area in Taconic State Park and there is no direct road access from Dutchess County to Berkshire County.
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