The settlement of Esopus [Kingston] by Europeans began with the purchase
of land from the Esopus Indians by Thomas Chambers in 1652, but the history
of the Rondout area begins earlier with Henry Hudson´s 1609 voyage of
According to journals from Hudson's voyage, the Half Moon anchored near
the Rondout. Although not permanently settled prior to 1652, Esopus was
recognized as a distinct geographical location by the early Dutch fur traders.
By the mid 1600´s the village of Wiltwyck (previously Esopus) had developed
on high ground two miles from the creek. Wiltwyck was given the name
Kingston following the English takeover of the Hudson Valley in 1663.
Early communication with the outside world was by Hudson River sloops. By
1820 two active sloop landings on the north bank of Rondout Creek served
Kingston. Southbound cargoes consisted of firewood, hoop-poles, grain and
sawed lumber. Return freight consisted primarily of supplies for area
merchants. The two sloop landings were named Twaalfskill, later Wilbur,
located on the north shore of the Rondout Creek, and Kingston Landing, or
the Strand, nearer the mouth of the Creek, at the foot of what is now
Dramatic growth did not occur in Rondout until the Wurts brothers built the
Delaware & Hudson Canal in the 1820s
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Kingston's Historic Waterfront District
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