Here’s How Dutchess County Got Its Name
In 1683 Dutchess County became one of the twelve original counties of New York, here's how it got its name.
According to the Dutchess County Government website, Henry Hudson sailed up the Hudson River in the year 1609 and claimed the valley for the Dutch Crown. When it came time to name the area, it was named after Mary of Modena, then Duchess of York and wife of the future King of England, King James II.
Settlements in the area were initially built up along the river in towns like Beacon, Fishkill, Poughkeepsie Rhinebeck and Red Hook. Settlers from New England began founding communities in the eastern portion of Dutchess County early in the 18th century. The Treaty of Dover in 1734 brought some stability to the border of the county.
DID YOU KNOW: It wasn't until the year 1967 that local voters passed a county charter that created the Office of the County Executive and Dutchess County Legislature.