Saugerties

HITS-on-the-Hudson, Saugerties, NY

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Map | Saugerties

One of Budget Travel’s “10 Coolest Small Towns in America” and home to the Woodstock ‘94 reunion rock concert, the Town of Saugerties, NY, is cradled by the Hudson River and the Catskill Mountains in Ulster County. Once a thriving industrial community, the former home of Jimmy Fallon and Levon Helm is now known for its arts and amenities, amidst an array of still-standing historical landmarks and old-time establishments.

Saugerties was settled in the mid-1600s by the Dutch and purchased by Governor Edmund Andros from the Esopus Sachem tribe in 1677. In 1811, the Town of only 21 homes was organized from Kingston. It was incorporated in 1831 as Ulster and became Saugerties in 1855.

Thirty years earlier, the Manhattan importer Henry Barclay arrived, spurring what would become Saugterties’s industrial revolution. Barclay immediately secured titles to land on both sides of Esopus Creek, constructed a dam, and leveraged the resulting water flow to power his mill and help build an industrial community. Barclay recruited engineers and skilled workers from England, as well as Ireland and Germany, and in the next half century Saugerties grew from 40 families in total to 4,000 people in the Village alone. Barclay’s mill was purchased upon his death in 1851, and it operated for another 24 years.

In 1832, quarries in Saugerties were found to contain some of the world’s most beautiful bluestone, bringing even more workers to town and inspiring the launch of many new businesses necessary to sustain a growing village center. Some of these establishments, such as the Exchange Hotel, still exist, and the Village of Saugerties has the distinction of being the first business district in the United States placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Today, the bluestone mined in Saugerties can be found in the sidewalks that line the streets of New York City, Philadelphia, Boston and even Cuba. In Saugerties, you can visit any of the Town’s 12 National Historic Places, including Opus 40, a series of dry-stone structures created by sculptor and quarryman Harvey Fite on 6.5 acres of bluestone quarry, and the Saugerties Lighthouse, which once delivered its warning signals using five whale-oil lamps and parabolic reflectors and now functions as a remote and serene bed and breakfast on the shores of the Hudson.

In Saugerties you can rent a kayak or paddleboard to travel the Esopus, traverse 155 acres of the protected Esopus Bend Nature Preserve, or visit the family-friendly Catskill Animal Sanctuary. You can also skate a full-sized, indoor ice rink, watch a Saugerties Stallions (semi-pro) baseball game at Cantine Field, attend the largest food festival in the United States — the annual Hudson Valley Garlic Festival — or watch Olympic-level horseback riding at the HITS-on-the-Hudson equestrian facility.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Saugerties Steamboat Co., established by Ulster County resident and entrepreneur Thomas Struzzieri, is a 2018 TheKnot.com “Best of Weddings” destination on three acres of historic waterfront property in Saugerties. Struzzieri purchased the land in 2015 with what he calls “a vision to develop the underutilized marina as a center that will give visitors a chance to discover and experience the Hudson River in a new way,” and the name he chose for his event venue was certainly intentional. The site was where many soon-to-be Saugerties residents stepped ashore from steamboats cast off from the greater New York City area; and it’s where, today, you can sometimes, during very low tides, catch a glimpse of the remains of the Saugerties steamboat, which caught fire near shore and was towed, burned to the waterline, to the Saugerties Lighthouse cove.

FAST FACTS

Established: 1831/1855
Total Area: 67.96 square miles
Zip Code: 12477
Population (2010): 19,482

ATTRACTIONS

Arm of the Sea Theatre
ARTAK Studio & Gallery
Augusta Savage House and Studio
Boice’s Farm & Garden
Cantine Field
Capsule Collection Boutique
Catskill Animal Sanctuary
Cross Contemporary Art
Diamond Mills
The Dutch Ale House
Emerge Gallery
Esopus Bend Nature Preserve
Fay Wood Studio
Fiberflame
Grey Mouse Farm
HITS-on-the-Hudson
Hudson Valley Garlic Festival
I Paddle New York
Kiersted House Museum
Loerzel Beer Hall
The Loveland Museum
Main-Partition Streets Historic District
Opus 40
The Perfect Blend Yarn & Tea Shop
The (Paul Green) Rock Academy
Savor Spa
Salt & Soul
Sauer Farm
Saugerties Antiques Center
Saugerties Artists Open Studios
Saugerties Farmers Market
Saugerties Lighthouse
Saugerties Performing Arts Factory
Saugerties Pro Musica Concert Series
The Saugerties Steamboat Co.
Slabsides
Trumpbour Homestead Farm
Ulster Ballet Company
Vinny’s Farm Market
Woodstock Museum

Photos (L-R): Saugerties Lighthouse – Danniel Mennerich | Cross Contemporary Art Gallery | HITS-on-the-Hudson | Family Hiking

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