Dutchess County was one of NY's first 12 original counties having been established in 1683. The land was originally inhabited by Wappinger Native Americans (hence the naming of Wappingers area to this day). It wasn't until 1609 that Henry Hudson traveled to the area and claimed it for the Dutch Crown. The name, "Dutchess" however, was in honor of Mary of Modena, the Duchess of York at the time. Dutchess County went on to play a major role in the country's pursuit of independence in the 1700s. Fishkill was a major supply area for the Continental Army. Poughkeepsie perhaps landed the strongest reputation and became the state's capitol in 1777 after the original capitol of Kingston was burned down.
Route 9 in Dutchess County dates back to 1785 and had a similar purpose as today. Along the original Route 9 were places to stay, eat, and stop along long journies. This was a major route of transportation for many up until the introduction of the railroad, which reached the area in the 1830s. Poughkeepsie, and Dutchess County in general, became a hub of industrial and economic growth between the access to water transportation, land routes, and the railroad.
Today, some highlights of Dutchess County are Eleanor Roosevelt's National Historic Site, the home of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Vanderbilt Mansion. Aside from its historical offerings, Dutchess County is also home to many beautiful hiking areas and a growing number of breweries and restaurants, drawing in tourists and new residents every year.
Dutchess County Government