History of Ulster County

Ulster County, an original county, was organized in 1683. It is from New York centrally distant N. 110, and from Albany S. 60 miles. Greatest length E. and W. 50, breadth N. and S. 40 miles. The face of the country is mountainous. The Shawangunk mountain enters the county from Orange, and running NE. nearly 30 miles, sinks into low and irregular hills in Hurley; but its continuity is preserved to Kingston near the Hudson. Northward of that village it again rises, until it is
identified with the Catskill mountains. Between the Blue and Shawangunk mountains is a broad valley through which winds the Rondout river, a stream whose name is a corruption of the word Redoubt, so named after a fortification built upon the stream by the early Dutch settlers. The Wallkill runs a northeast course south of the Shawangunk mountain, receiving the Shawangunk creek, and uniting with the Rondout, 8 miles from its mouth. trhe three streams above noticed are the great drains of the county, and afford very advantageous mill power, within a few miles of the tide, much of which is yet unemployed. In the west the Nevisink river and other tributaries of the Delaware have their sources. The Delaware and Hudson canal enters the county at its southwest border, and passing through the towns of Wawarsing, Rochester, Marbletown, and Hurley, unites in the town of Kingston with the Rondout, 21 miles from the Hudson. The inhabitants are much engaged in manufacturing, and much attention has been given to the raising of sheep and cattle, for which purpose few counties are better adapted. The county was settled by the Dutch as early as 1616. Tradition says that at a very early period there were settlers upon the Minisink on the Delaware, who transported some valuable minerals by the road along the Rondout to the North river. This county appears to have suffered more from Indian hostilities than any other portion of the country while under the Dutch. The quarrel appears to have arisen on account of an Indian woman being killed when stealing peaches from a garden. The county is divided into 14 towns.

(Historical Collections of the State of New York, Past and Present, John Barber, Clark Albien & Co., 1851)