Kingston, New York - With Pictures

With unexampled cruelty, you have reduced the fine village of Kingston to ashes, and most of the wretched inhabitants to ruin. I am also informed, you continue to ravage and burn all before you on both sides of the river… Letter to British Major-General John Vaughan from American General Horatio Gates

The Old Dutch Church

Current building built in 1852.  This is a side entrance.
Current building built in 1852. This is a side entrance. | Source

History of Kingston, New York

Settled by the Dutch in the sixteen hundreds, not old to those of you in Europe but old to those of us in the United States. The exact year of settlement seems to vary so it is safer to say during the sixteen hundreds. Located on the west bank of the Hudson River actually where the Hudson River and Rondout Creek come together. A large stockade was built to protect the settlers from the Indians. The Esopus tribe of Indians at that time lived in that area. Called by various names but the settlers finally decided on Kingston.

In 1777 Kingston became the first capital of New York State after the drafting of the State Constitution. The area of Kingston that formed the State Capitol is now known as the Stockade District. The Senate House where the Senate met is located in the Stockade District of Kingston.

The aforementioned constitution didn't sit well with the British so they sailed up river to Kingston and burned it down! After the war Kingston was rebuilt around the twelve pre-revolutionary buildings left standing. They can still be found there.

Governor George Clinton was inaugurated in Kingston and is buried in the Old Dutch Churchyard still in the middle of the Stockade District.

Farming and quarrying were popular trades in Kingston in the eighteen hundreds.

Location of Kingston

A markerKingston, NY -
Kingston, NY, USA
[get directions]

Patriots of the Revolution

Plaque about the burning of Kingston and the Patriots buried in the Old Dutch Churchyard.
Plaque about the burning of Kingston and the Patriots buried in the Old Dutch Churchyard. | Source

Kingston, NY Today

Like many small cities Kingston is a mixture of neighborhoods but Kingston has the added distinction of having the Catskill Mountains as a backdrop. The Stockade District houses many small businesses and restaurants along with the Senate Building and four corners with original stone buildings which is said to be the only intersection in the United States with an 18th Century stone house on each corner! It gives you a true colonial feel standing there with those four buildings around you.

The Stockade District is also known as "Uptown Kingston" to the locals. Restaurants, beauty parlors, stores and nine churches can be found in this area. This is also the place where the Farmers Market is held every Saturday throughout the warm months. During the cold months the market is held inside the Old Dutch Church. Not only can you buy excellent, fresh produce, fresh maple syrup, organic meats, etc., but it's a good place to meet the neighbors.

A re-enactment of the burning of Kingston is held 'uptown' every year in the fall. A great site to see as the "settlers" chase the "British" with guns blazing. Well as fast as they can blaze being muskets. You can run with them if you're so inclined. I had difficult keeping up.

The blend of different styles of architecture also make the Stockade District an interesting area.

The Senate House has been converted into a Museum and houses many artifacts and original paintings from artists like John Vanderlyn, Ammi Phillips, Joseph Tubby, James Bard, and Thomas Sully. While the Burning of Kingston is free to attend there is an admission price for the Senate House. It is four dollars for adults, three dollars for seniors and students and children under twelve are free.

Stockade District

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The Van Leuvan Mansion built in 1812 by Senator John Sudan who hosted  Washington Irving and Martin Van Buren as guests.  It was purchased by the Van Leuvan Family in 1880.My daughter and her family at the Uptown Kingston Farmers Market (that would be the Stockade District)One side of Wall Street in the Stockade District.  A majority of the shops/stores in this District are located on Wall Street.A front view of the Old Dutch Reformed Church with part of its 225 foot steeple visible.Some of the graves located in the Old Dutch Churchyard.  The earliest known burial here is 1710.St. Joseph's RC Church located across the street from the Old Dutch Reformed Church.A view down Pearl Street in the Stockade District of Kingston.A self portrait of artist John VanderlynMember of the First Ulster Militia.  (Free to share)
The Van Leuvan Mansion built in 1812 by Senator John Sudan who hosted  Washington Irving and Martin Van Buren as guests.  It was purchased by the Van Leuvan Family in 1880.
The Van Leuvan Mansion built in 1812 by Senator John Sudan who hosted Washington Irving and Martin Van Buren as guests. It was purchased by the Van Leuvan Family in 1880. | Source
My daughter and her family at the Uptown Kingston Farmers Market (that would be the Stockade District)
My daughter and her family at the Uptown Kingston Farmers Market (that would be the Stockade District) | Source
Source
One side of Wall Street in the Stockade District.  A majority of the shops/stores in this District are located on Wall Street.
One side of Wall Street in the Stockade District. A majority of the shops/stores in this District are located on Wall Street. | Source
A front view of the Old Dutch Reformed Church with part of its 225 foot steeple visible.
A front view of the Old Dutch Reformed Church with part of its 225 foot steeple visible. | Source
Some of the graves located in the Old Dutch Churchyard.  The earliest known burial here is 1710.
Some of the graves located in the Old Dutch Churchyard. The earliest known burial here is 1710. | Source
St. Joseph's RC Church located across the street from the Old Dutch Reformed Church.
St. Joseph's RC Church located across the street from the Old Dutch Reformed Church. | Source
A view down Pearl Street in the Stockade District of Kingston.
A view down Pearl Street in the Stockade District of Kingston. | Source
A self portrait of artist John Vanderlyn
A self portrait of artist John Vanderlyn | Source
Member of the First Ulster Militia.  (Free to share)
Member of the First Ulster Militia. (Free to share) | Source

Kingston Waterfront and Midtown

The Rondout or Kingston Historic Waterfront District - which was once known as the Strand and Kingston Landing, is down by the water (the Rondout) filled with some businesses and lots of restaurants. A place to get a boat for a river cruise and stop at the Kingston Lighthouse. You can watch the boats sailing and docking as you walk along the walkway on the Rondout Creek. Various events are held here each year including the Hoolie on the Hudson (an Irish Fest) and A Taste of Italy. There's also a Maritime Museum to peak your watery interest. A variety of antique shops and art museums can be found here as well.

Close by are several Bed & Breakfast Inns where you can stay in style. You can also visit the famous Clearwater Sloop, the boat built by singer Pete Seeger. The Clearwater is a 106 foot replica of an 18th Century sloop, built to raise awareness of pollution in the Hudson as well as a traveling environmental education vessel.

Midtown includes the Ulster Performing Arts Center, which continues to provide top stars and performances throughout the year. City Hall and the Kingston City High School are both in Midtown. Kingston City High School is nearing its one hundredth anniversary, the original building was built in 1915. It was built in the neo-classical style. City Hall on the other hand is a prime example of High Victorian Gothic municipal style architecture. Truly interesting to see as they sit across the street from each other.

There are a few restaurants but like any City this is an area in need of rebuilding to it's former glory days. A small Farmers Market has been started in this area not far from UPAC.

Have I told you everything? Certainly not but I think I've provided you with an introduction to a great city in a beautiful area.

Kingston Waterfront Photos

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A look at some of the boats docked on the Rondout in the Kingston Waterfront District.A view of a different area of the Kingston waterfrontEducational and entertaining bridge replica behind the Maritime Museum.A wonderful painting of the Rondout Landing.A large boat propeller on the Museum's property.A view of the mountains from the waterfront area.One of the many church steeples in Kingston.The Kingston Railroad Bridge near the Waterfront District.The end of the above railroad bridge.
A look at some of the boats docked on the Rondout in the Kingston Waterfront District.
A look at some of the boats docked on the Rondout in the Kingston Waterfront District. | Source
A view of a different area of the Kingston waterfront
A view of a different area of the Kingston waterfront | Source
Educational and entertaining bridge replica behind the Maritime Museum.
Educational and entertaining bridge replica behind the Maritime Museum. | Source
A wonderful painting of the Rondout Landing.
A wonderful painting of the Rondout Landing. | Source
A large boat propeller on the Museum's property.
A large boat propeller on the Museum's property. | Source
A view of the mountains from the waterfront area.
A view of the mountains from the waterfront area. | Source
One of the many church steeples in Kingston.
One of the many church steeples in Kingston. | Source
The Kingston Railroad Bridge near the Waterfront District.
The Kingston Railroad Bridge near the Waterfront District. | Source
The end of the above railroad bridge.
The end of the above railroad bridge. | Source

Kingston Midtown Photos

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Kingston's City HallA post card of City Hall before its restorationFront entrance to Kingston City High School.The front of Ulster Performing Arts Center, formerly a movie theater.
Kingston's City Hall
Kingston's City Hall | Source
A post card of City Hall before its restoration
A post card of City Hall before its restoration | Source
Front entrance to Kingston City High School.
Front entrance to Kingston City High School. | Source
The front of Ulster Performing Arts Center, formerly a movie theater.
The front of Ulster Performing Arts Center, formerly a movie theater. | Source

Daniel Craig

Source

Celebrity Sitings in and Around Kington

Who are you likely to see in and around Kingston? None other than 007, Daniel Craig and his wife Rachel Weisz. I really did see them as have many others. Kingston is known for its celebrity citings.

Who else have I personally seen? Aidan Quinn. Yes, his blue eyes are THAT blue! Of course there are others I have not personally seen like Melissa Leo, William DaFoe, Vera Farmiga, and Imam. There are more but that gives you a taste of the celebrity in our area. Why? Well, we're only two hours from New York City, have beautiful countryside and since we are used to having celebrities in our area we do not hound them or make their lives difficult. A simple hello and it's on your way.

Anthony Bordain filmed an episode of his show "No Reservations" in a small marina bar in Kingston named "Rondout Bay Marina". (I've listed some of this in my hub Living in the Hudson River Valley and the Valley's Celebrity.)

Pumpkin Picking With My Grandson

Pumpkin picking in the Kingston area.
Pumpkin picking in the Kingston area. | Source

Have you ever heard of Kingston, New York?

See results without voting

Other Places of Note in the Area

I hope you've enjoyed this little trip around Kingston. It is a beautiful, historic area with lots to offer any visitor from County Fairs to pumpkin picking. While some of these events are not in the City of Kingston they are not far away.

Back in 2011 the New York Times wrote an article about Kingston calling it a "Rest Stop on the Hudson" because of its wonderful restaurants. Groupon has included deals to nearby golf courses, batting cages, wine tasting, horse back riding and more.

The Kingston area is certainly a place to go to see the foliage turn or to ski the fabulous Catskill mountains. Ninety minutes from New York City and one hour from Albany puts Kingston in a spot that's handy to reach. If you're in the New York Area why not take a ride to Kingston and check it out?

Copyright Tillsontitan - All Rights Reserved

Downtown Kingston a/k/a The Rondout

You can see the Rondout Creek to the left.
You can see the Rondout Creek to the left. | Source

More by this Author


45 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

Great introduction, Mary. The perfect quote. I'm going to start a series of these articles for western Washington...a series....I think they will do quite well and I think a series by you in NY would do as well...just sayin!

Great job my writing friend.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

In fact, I have this idea to syndicate it nationwide, all articles using the same name, like Backroads of Western Washington....and yours would be Backroads of New York.....think about it and I'll write an article about it soon.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Oh my Bill, I love the idea and would certainly love to do the articles. Definitely will use more original photos. So would you byline the area then? I actually have a few local towns in mind.

Thank you so very much my friend.


grandmapearl profile image

grandmapearl 3 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

Hi Mary, this is certainly a timely article! My husband is looking to buy a house that was built in 1812 by Nathan Reynolds (we think--can't seem to verify this as yet). It's the first or second brick building in the Federal style built in Chemung County. The story is that he made the bricks on site and started the project in 1802.

It was part of the underground railroad for escaped slaves, and it has its own benevolent ghost, as verified by Cornell's paranormal team. It is in the same style as the Van Leuvan Mansion in your picture.

The thought is to eventually have it converted to a museum/bed and breakfast. So I'm thinking we need to visit Kingston for sure! I would guess that it might be about 4 hours or so from Elmira/Corning?

Thanks so much for writing this--I have always been in love with this beautiful State of New York ;) Pearl

Voted Up++++


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Oh I'm so glad I could help Pearl! The VanLeuven Mansion was built in 1812. I love the wide floorboards. Funny it is connected to the underground railroad as Soujourner Truth the abolitionist slave, was born right here in Ulster County.

What a wonderful project you have ahead of you! If you do travel to Kingston please let me know, maybe we can do lunch!


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

Mary, I'm still kicking the idea around....all article would start with the same word...."Backroads of".....it would be a whole nationwide series of Hubbers writing about the towns they know....and each writer would get credit for their own articles. My thinking is the "backroads of" would draw more views nationwide for all of us. Anyway, I'll write the hub in a week or so and start gathering writers and support for it.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Definitely put me on your list!


btrbell profile image

btrbell 3 years ago from Mesa, AZ

Mary....you have it all here! What an awesome hub! History, current, beautiful pictures and interesting facts! Up++ Thank you so much for sharing!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Thanks so much for reading...it is a great city with so much going for it.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Hey, Sister New-Yorker! Thanks so much for this interesting, useful & awesome info on Kingston. You've done a wonderful job of pulling in visitors. That's usually the only way I will take the time to single out somewhere new to go, I've never been before.......I hear much positive news from someone whose opinion I respect...and btw, the pictures are awesome.

I am always willing to hear about the History of an area......puts a whole new slant on things....Thanks, Til.UP+++


sheilamyers 3 years ago

Wonderful hub! I love reading about historical sites and love the way you added in the names of people who might be seen there. If I'm ever up in New York, I'll have to be sure to stop in Kingston.


wetnosedogs profile image

wetnosedogs 3 years ago from Alabama

Magnificent hub. I love history. I love the pictures of the old churches. It is amazing.

Thanks for this lovely trip.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

Excellent hub dear Mary! Very interesting history on Kingston and what a beautiful area, as one can tell from your fabulous photos! After my dad died, my mother went to live for ten years in Rockport, Mass ...with her sister, my aunt. When we went up to visit, it was so historical, like Boston is too, and this little town, just had everything, the shops, the lobsters, artists from all over the world and they even made movies there! We loved it. All the old homes from the 1600s had unique names and such great history too. Except the only thing is that in the winder, everyone packs up and heads to Florida for the winter to escape the bitter cold! Then it is desolate.

My little town I know live in was found by Scandinavians, and who would have thought, right in the middle of southern USA? We just had our annual Swedish Fest. So much fun.

Thank you for taking us along with you to Kingston, NY! We have family and a few friends up around those parts.

Up and more and sharing

God bless, Faith Reaper


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

I really enjoyed reading about Kingston, this was fascinating history, and I loved all your photos, and seeing the celebs too, did you go up to him and say, 'my name is Bond, james bond! lol! great read Mary, voted up and shared! nell


moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America

I've never been to Kingston but I do have a friend that lives there. Very beautiful town. Voted up and more.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 3 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Dear Mary,

You are such an engaging writer. I am easily swept away by your descriptive phrasings and your photography made me feel as though I was taking a walking tour of Kingston.

I enjoyed your comments with Bill and think this would be a delightful and informative series.

Voted UP and UABI. Hope you are having a good night. Love, Maria


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 3 years ago

This is the first I have heard of this town so I am glad that you brought this to our attention. It looks like a wonderful place to live and visit. I would love to see Daniel Craig up close! Thanks for the education.


donnah75 profile image

donnah75 3 years ago from Upstate New York

Nice profile of Kingston. I worked there when I was young. I grew up across the river in Tivoli. I should write a article about Tivoli. I live close to Albany now, but that area will always be home. I loved shopping at Adams! I miss that store.


carter06 profile image

carter06 3 years ago from Cronulla NSW

Kingston sounds like a fab place to visit Till..your hub makes it sound very enticing & the photos give such a great visual..really love to find out about new places..thanks for sharing this excellent hub..VUAI& shared..cheers


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Kingston, New York - With Pictures incredible hub with such beautiful photos. History is always worth reading a useful, interesting, awesome and voted up.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

I like first-hand information before I go somewhere too GF, the best way to travel the unknown. Glad you liked my pictures and enjoyed my area Paula.

Sheila its a nice little city with a lot of history. If you're ever in NY you won't be sorry if you visit Kingston.

Thanks WND, lots of history around here...lots of houses with Washington slept here ;)

Sometimes one is surprised about what happened in the past Faith. How amazing there is a Scandanavian town in the south...who would've thought? I've been to Rockport Mass and loved it! Thanks for the votes and share.

Nope Nell, I just oggled ;) Thanks for the vote and share.

Thanks moonlake. Come up and see us some time!

Thanks for the lovely comment Maria. The trials and tribulations here do not stop but life goes on. Thanks for caring and of course for the votes.

Wow teaches how nice that I could give YOU and education ;)

How interesting Donnah! You should write an article about Tivoli. If we all wrote about our home towns HP would have its own interesting Atlas. Adams is great!

Thanks Carter, I appreciate your comment as I do your votes and shares. Always good to see you.

Glad you enjoyed DDE and surely appreciate your votes.


hawaiianodysseus profile image

hawaiianodysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

Good morning, Mary!

Wow! What compelling history as well as contemporary interest! And the celebrities one encounters? The locales might be different, but the idea of seeing unharried Hollywood stars and other globally renown artists enjoying life among the locals reminds me of similar events back home.

Bill's invitation to you sounds fantastic, Mary, and I certainly encourage you to follow up on it. You have the talent, the desire and energy to mingle fine research with personal impressions, and an enthusiastic audience. Personally, I'd support you 100% in any of your literary campaigns!

Thanks for sharing this wonderful article. I am left with one burning question--I wonder if President Bill was a descendant of George Clinton.

Aloha, my friend!

~Joe


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Joe I think you have George Clinton twisting in his grave ;)

I am honored to even be considered by Bill and I have a feeling you will make the list as well.

As for the celebs, everyone needs a place to go to just live and not be hounded. I am so happy my area is one of them though in the past I did introduce myself to one soap opera star. In my defense I was young.

Aloha Hoaloha!


CraftytotheCore profile image

CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

What a wonderful Hub! I love learning about new places I've never been. I have been to the Catskill Mountains. I went when I was a young girl. I remember eating at a restaurant that served cantaloupe with every meal and grass milk which was literally green grass in milk.

Such great history and pictures!


Writer Fox profile image

Writer Fox 3 years ago from the wadi near the little river

Excellent article and your photo choices add so much. You should try to get a link to this from the local Chamber of Commerce! Voted up and shared.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

Till, I like reading your articles, the history, the education and most of all the sheer entertainment.. yeah voted awesome :)


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

The Catskills are like the "seven degrees of Kevin Bacon"...seems everyone's been touched by them in one way or another Crafty. I can't imagine drinking green milk but then....glad you enjoyed.

Writer Fox what a lovely idea, I never really thought about contacting the Chamber of Commerce but hey, you never know. Thanks for the vote and share.

Frank praise from you is of the highest caliber to me. You are the king of entertainment with your wonderful, chair gripping, nail biting stories!


midget38 profile image

midget38 3 years ago from Singapore

It looks like a beautiful, rustic place to be.Love older cities! Thanks for sharing, Mary. Up, and away!


jhamann profile image

jhamann 3 years ago from Reno NV

What a great travel hub, I have put this down as a new vacation location. Jamie


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Thanks Michele, it really is. I appreciate the votes.

We would love to have you and your family here Jamie.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 3 years ago from Nepal

For a non-westerner, the history of New World has always been fascinating. I like Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz, but I did not know they were a couple. I enjoyed the history and liked your photo, especially your original photos.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Thank you Vinaya. I didn't know they were married until my children told me, after we saw them in the store! So glad you enjoyed my photos, I treasure compliments from such great photographers as yourself.


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

This is definitely a great area to visit with something for everyone. It s so rich in history.


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida

Hi, Mary, although I have not had the pleasure of visiting Kingston in person, now thanks to your beautifully written history and tour, I feel as though I have checked it out myself. Thank you. And your photos, m'dear, are excellent.

Also you encountered two of my favorite actors: Craig and Weisz. I think I read somewhere that Rachel is now an incipient baby mama.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Well Deb glad you enjoyed my little tour!

Ah drbj 'twas fun for me too! I can't find anything saying dear Rachel is preggers but you never know!


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

Read what you said at billybuc's yesterday and my prayers are with you and your father-in-law and family. God bless you all and let life return to normal as soon as possible.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Thank you Jackie. Sadly my father-in-law passed away this morning. At least he will not face any more suffering. Thank you for your prayers and thoughts, they are much appreciated.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

I am so very sorry, my condolences. Maybe one day we will understand these things but now all we can do is leave it in God's hands.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Again, thank you Jackie and you are so right. We can't know God's plan but can put ourselves in His hands.


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 2 years ago from East Coast, United States

I once spent a day in Kingston and loved those old stone houses at the intersection. I love those old towns in New York! For some reason, my strongest memory of the day was when I dropped my camera and it went bouncing down the sidewalk.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York Author

Dolores, I think that would be my strongest memory too! Glad you liked our little piece of history.


Bk42author profile image

Bk42author 2 years ago from New York

Looks like a beautiful area. I'm in Brooklyn, NY and my husband and I love traveling and are always trying to think of new places on the East Coast to visit. Will definitely keep this one in mind!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York Author

BK42author, you not that far away. About a two hour drive. I grew up in Glendale and we came up here all the time.

Thanks for reading and commenting.


molometer profile image

molometer 2 years ago

Hi Mary, lovely photos of kingston and an interesting history.

The re-enactment of the burning of Kingston would make a great video.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York Author

Good idea! I think next year I'll have to try to video some. Thanks for stopping by.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working