Once known as “the hippest little town you never heard of,” Rosendale, NY, home to the Hamlets of Tillson, Bloomington, Cottekill and Creeklocks, has for years been stealing tourists and New York City transplants from its pricier Ulster County counterparts like Stone Ridge and New Paltz. The Town’s thriving underground arts and music scene, hiking trails and caves, farmers market, townwide celebrations and quirky, walkable Main Street make Rosendale one of the most popular destinations in the Hudson Valley.
Founded in 1844, Rosendale was synonymous with cement for a century, at one time employing 5,000 workers and producing four-million barrels of cement per year. Coveted for its durability, the Town’s cement was used in the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty and the Washington Monument.
The Town is nestled between Rondout Creek and Joppenburgh Mountain and is home to portions of the Shawangunk Ridge and Wallkill Valley Rail Trail, the Rosendale Trestle and Binnewater Lakes.
Crossing through ‘The Village,’ the Town’s Main Street features the 260-seat Rosendale Theatre, which opened as a casino in 1905 and has been showing movies (still only $5 for admission) for nearly 100 years; Belltower Lighting, a glass gallery and studio (and wedding venue) in a Gothic-style red-brick building built by the Dutch Reformed Church in the 1800s; an eclectic mix of highly rated restaurants; a number of Bohemian art spaces and outdoor venues; a spattering of unusual shops, including one dedicated to pickles; and Victorian-era wooden houses painted in pastels, some with balconies where, during ‘freer’ times, prostitutes are said to have advertised their services.
In walking distance is the infamous Widow Jane Mine, a limestone cave where subterranean parties, concerts and other events are held, as well as the recently refurbished Community Center, with its tennis courts, pool, pavilion and playground equipment.
The Rosendale community is comprised of artists and activists, many of whom have lived in town for more than 50 years, as well as young families who’ve recently relocated to town for its unique charm and comparably cheaper home prices.
DID YOU KNOW?
The same limestone-filtered water found in the 19th and 20th centuries in Rosendale Limestone Mine — now known as Widow Jane Mine — in the Town of Rosendale is used today by a boutique Brooklyn whiskey distillery known as Widow Jane to distill its artisan spirits.
Total Area: 20.75 square miles
Elevation: 56 feet
Zip Code: 12472
Population (2010): 6,075
The 1850 House Inn & Tavern
The Big Cheese
International Rosendale Pickle Festival
Rosendale Community Center
Rosendale Farmers Market
Rosendale Street Festival
The Rosendale Trestle
Sky Lake Retreat Center
Wallkill Valley Rail Trail
Widow Jane Mine
Women’s Studio Workshop