Kingston City

“The winter has wreaked havoc there and elsewhere, but the point is it is a road that has not really been taken care of by the Kingston city. It’s like a moonscape of pot holes.”

~ Dwight Druick

Kingston City is a small city in New York’s Hudson Valley, 91 miles north of New York City and 50 miles south of Albany. It is the county seat of Ulster County and was the first capital of New York state. It was ransacked and burned by the British during the American Revolution.

Kingston city is home to the longest continuously run boat yard in North America, now named the Jones River Landing. The American Revolutionary War era brig, USS Independence, was built by Kingston shipbuilders on the Jones River and has emerged as a town icon, featured on the Kingston town seal.

History

Kingston was first settled by Europeans shortly after the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock in 1620. It was settled once more in 1635. During 1675, several bloody battles during King Philip’s War are believed to have occurred within Kingston’s borders and the residence of Governor Bradford, which is now part of Kingston, was raided by Wampanoag warriors.

In 1685, the area was placed within the boundaries of Plymouth County and for a brief time, between 1686 and 1689, the borders of Kingston were within the Dominion of New England.

In the early-to-middle 19th century, Kingston flourished as a center for shipbuilding, as well as ice harvesting. Jones River Pond, the largest body of freshwater in town, was used during the long New England winters to harvest ice. The harvested product was then shipped throughout the world.

Kingston is also home to the first co-op store in North America, which was closed when the Silver Lake Post Office shuttered operations in 1954.

In the 1950s Kingston was transformed from a small rural town into an extension of the Boston metropolitan area when Massachusetts Route 3 was constructed, connecting Boston to Cape Cod, with two exits in Kingston.

Kingston saw its largest population growth in the 1990s when the Old Colony Railroad was reopened as a commuter rail line. More recently, Kingston has seen the construction of four industrial-sized wind turbines, located along Route 3.

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