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New Paltz (village), New York

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Title: New Paltz (village), New York  
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Subject: National Register of Historic Places listings in Ulster County, New York, New Paltz, New York, New York State Route 299, Ulster County, New York, Alfred Harcourt
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New Paltz (village), New York

New Paltz
Administrative divisions of New York
Buildings on Main Street downtown
Name origin: From Palatine German pronunciation of Pfalz
Country USA
State New York
Region Hudson Valley
County Ulster
Town New Paltz
Landmark SUNY New Paltz, Huguenot Street
River Wallkill
Highest point S village line near SE corner
 - elevation 360 ft (110 m)
 - coordinates
Lowest point Wallkill River at E village corner
 - elevation 160 ft (49 m)
 - coordinates
Area 1.8 sq mi (5 km2)
 - land 1.7 sq mi (4 km2)
 - water 0.1 sq mi (0 km2)
Population 6,818 (2010)
Founded 1887
Government Village Hall
 - elevation 260 ft (79 m)
 - coordinates
Mayor Jason West (G)
Timezone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Postal code ZIP Code
Area code 845
Exchanges 255, 256
FIPS code 36-50551
GNIS feature ID 0958443
Location of New Paltz within New York
Wikimedia Commons:
Website: VoNP - The Village of New Paltz

New Paltz is a village in Ulster County located in the U.S. state of New York. It is about 80 miles (130 km) north of New York City and 70 miles (110 km) south of Albany. The population was 6,818 at the 2010 census.

The Village of New Paltz is located within the Town of New Paltz. New Paltz is also home to the State University of New York New Paltz, founded in 1828.


Early development

An 1875 map of the Town of New Paltz; the village was created in the central portion

New Paltz was founded in 1678 by French Huguenots settlers, including Louis DuBois, who had taken refuge in Mannheim, Germany, for a brief period of time, being married there in 1655, before emigrating to the Dutch colony of New Netherland in 1660 with his family. Mannheim was a major town of the Palatinate (in German, the Pfalz), at the time a center of Protestantism. The settlers lived in Wiltwyck (present day Kingston, NY) and in 1677 purchased a patent for the land surrounding present day New Paltz from a Lenape tribe known as the Esopus.

The people of Mannheim use a dialect form of the name Pfalz without the "f", pronouncing it "Paltz." Records of the New Paltz Reformed Church, which was formed in 1683, show the name of the settlement was first expressed not in German, nor in English, but in French: Nouveau Palatinat. The community was governed by a kind of corporation called the Duzine, referring to the twelve partners who acquired the royal patent. That form of government continued well past the time of the American Revolution, by special action of the New York State legislature.

The 40,000 acres (16,000 ha) or so of the patent, stretching to the Hudson River and augmented soon by the other patents on the south, were eventually divided among those twelve partners, their relatives, and a few friends into large plots – part wilderness and part farm. The farms were grouped principally around the heights west and east of the Wallkill River. The commercial center serving the agricultural base was located on the east shore of the Wallkill River, in the area where the first settlers had built their shelters. The street is now known as Huguenot Street.

Stone houses of Historic Huguenot Street in New Paltz. They are among the surviving examples of early stone houses built by Europeans in North America.
There, the church, schools, blacksmith, seamstresses, and stores flourished for the benefit of farmers who required goods such as seed, tools, clothing, and food not available on all farms, including alcoholic beverages. The church, which was also used as a school, was located here. Many of the buildings still stand today, as a living museum community.

Population slowly spread from the Wallkill up along the street now known as North Front Street and then along what is now Chestnut Street. In the nineteenth century, development continued along what is now Main Street. The secession of the Town of Lloyd and parts of Shawangunk, Esopus, and Gardiner, between 1843 and 1853, reduced New Paltz to its present size. In 1887, the Village of New Paltz was incorporated within a town of the same name.

Higher education has been one of the main concerns of the community since the 1830s, with facilities on Huguenot Street and North Front Streets. Late in the nineteenth century, the college was built in the area of Plattekill Avenue and Manheim Boulevard, where the State University of New York at New Paltz now stands.

The Wallkill Valley Railroad reached New Paltz by 1870, and provided passenger service through the town until 1937. After the rail line's closure in 1977, the section of the corridor running through New Paltz was converted to the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail, and the former train station in New Paltz was renovated as a restaurant, La Stazione. Many different types of restaurants are located in New Paltz, including several that have earned high ratings from both local and national critics, making it a destination for those seeking a variety of good food.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 1.8 square miles (4.6 km²), of which, 1.7 square miles (4.5 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (1.70%) is water.

The Wallkill River runs north along the western border of New Paltz, flowing into the Rondout Creek and eventually the Hudson River.


As of the census of 2000,[1] there were 6034 people, 1898 households, and 586 families residing in the village. The population density was 3482.5 people per square mile (1346.7/km²). There were 1957 housing units at an average density of 1,129.5 per square mile (436.8/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 73.42% White, 7.79% Black or African American, 0.27% Native American, 7.01% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 8.35% from other races, and 3.07% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11.93% of the population.

There were 1898 households out of which 12.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 21.1% were married couples living together, 7.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 69.1% were non-families. 41.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.03 and the average family size was 2.66.

In the village the age of population was disbursed as such: 6.9% under the age of 18, 58.7% from 18 to 24, 19.0% from 25 to 44, 10.1% from 45 to 64, and 5.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 22 years. For every 100 females there were 80.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.8 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $21,747, and the median income for a family was $51,186. Males had a median income of $33,103 versus $22,935 for females. The per capita income for the village was $11,644. About 11.8% of families and 36.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.6% of those under age 18 and 12.2% of those age 65 or over. While this is one of the lowest median household incomes in the area, it includes large number of college students who attend SUNY New Paltz, many of whom have incomes that would place them below the poverty line.

New Paltz in fiction

  • New Paltz is the place of residence for Zipporah and Tyler James in V.C. Andrews' book Secrets in the Shadows.
  • In the television show Supernatural, Sam and Dean visit New Paltz in the episode entitled "Provenance", which is about a haunted antique painting.
  • New Paltz appears as "Little Heart" in the 2013 novel "The Cusp of Sad" by Nikki Pison, set in the late 1980s punk scene.


Women in Black staging a protest in front of Elting Memorial Library
The current mayor is Jason West, who was re-elected in May 2011 to another four-year term, after being out of office since 2007. The four trustees on the village board are Ariana Basco, Sally Rhoads, Rebecca Rotzler and Thomas Rocco. The village maintains its own sewer district and Department of Public Works, but depends upon the town government to provide police services.

In May 2003, students and community members elected the Innovation Campaign candidates Jason West, Rebecca Rotzler, and Julia Walsh to the Village of New Paltz government to serve a 4-year term. The three activists ran on a platform that promoted environmental sustainability & democracy. Under West's leadership, the village was among four locations in early 2004 to marry same-sex couples, catapulting the village briefly into the national spotlight.[2] West lost his bid for reelection in May 2007, while Rotzler and Walsh chose not to seek reelection.

The Women in Black have a small but active chapter in New Paltz that has been protesting in front of Elting Memorial Library weekly since November, 2001.[3]


Charles J. Ackert, the first newspaper publisher in New Paltz

The first local newspaper in New Paltz, the New Paltz Times, was founded by Charles J. Ackert and printed its first issue on July 6, 1860. It was a weekly paper and supported the Democratic Party. The New Paltz Independent, a Republican newspaper, was founded in 1868.[4] Both the Times and Independent merged in 1919,[5] becoming the New Paltz Independent and Times that ran until 1972, when it became the Old Dutch New Paltz Independent and Times. That same year it was renamed the Old Dutch independent, and ran until it was discontinued in 1975. The New Paltz News was founded in 1935, and merged with the Wallkill paper Wallkill Valley World in 1980. The Huguenot Herald was first published in 1976 and merged in 1985 with the Highland paper, the Highland Herald.[6] SUNY New Paltz founded a college newspaper in 1938, the New Paltz Oracle.[7] The Huguenot Herald and New Paltz News continued to run until they were merged by Ulster Publishing as the New Paltz Times[8] in 2001.[9] The modern Times is published weekly and has no continuity with the 19th century paper of the same name.


New Paltz hosts a number of cultural events.

Unity in Diversity Day

This event, sponsored by the Village, Town, and SUNY New Paltz, celebrates the differences among people through food, spoken word poetry, artistic endeavors and theatrical performance. The 2007 theme was derived from Dr. Seuss's story about Sneetches.


Haunted Hasbrouck Park

For over a quarter of a century the Guenther family put on a free haunted house for area residents, which attracted thousands of visitors on Halloween night. After complaints about traffic and noise concerns, owners Ann and Dan Guenther announced in 2006 that they would no longer create the attraction. However, interest continued, and the attraction was relocated to Hasbrouck Park in 2007,[10] utilizing the park's castle playground as a centerpiece. This move also increased community involvement for the event, drawing upon the local YMCA, Department of Public Works, and volunteers from the area.[11]

Halloween Parade

The Village hosts an annual Halloween parade, open to all residents, on Halloween night.

Haunted Huguenot Street

On the nights leading up to Halloween, stories of spirits, tragedy, misfortune and the paranormal fill the 330-year-old street, as Historic Huguenot Street hosts their annual and popular Haunted Huguenot Street tours.

Night of 100 Pumpkins

Since 1990 local eatery The Bakery has hosted this pumpkin carving contest, which had over 2000 attendees in 2006.[12][13]

Gay Pride Parade

New Paltz hosts an annual Gay Pride Parade that draws participants and spectators from many far off places.

Memorial Day Parade

New Paltz hosts an annual Memorial Day parade.



New Paltz is exit 18 on the New York State Thruway, which is also designated as Interstate 87.


There is frequent bus service between The Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City and New Paltz provided by Trailways of New York, with connections to many other villages and cities in New York State. Express bus service is also available from New Paltz to New York City via Trailways of New York, serving the park-ride lot at Exit 18 of the Thruway. Ulster County Area Transit also provides service to Metro-North Railroad in Poughkeepsie, along with local bus service to Kingston, Newburgh, and points in between along Route 32. In January 2009 the New Paltz Loop Bus, stopping at points throughout the community, was launched.


Stewart International Airport is the nearest major airport to New Paltz. It is located in Newburgh, thirty minutes to the south.


The former station, La Stazione, as viewed from the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail

The Wallkill Valley Railroad, founded in 1866, stretched from Montgomery to Kingston. It later came under New York Central ownership; it was abandoned by Conrail in 1983. The former roadbed was converted for use as the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail[14] The former New Paltz railroad station, (now called La Stazione) was originally built in 1870,[15] rebuilt after a 1907 fire,[16] and sold to private interests in 1959.[17] The building was in a state of disrepair by the early 1980s,[18] but renovated in 1988[19] and converted to an Italian restaurant in 1999.[20]

The nearest active railroad station is the Poughkeepsie Metro-North station, which is served by several Amtrak trains and is the terminus for the Metro-North Railroad's Hudson Line. The Hudson Line stretches from Poughkeepsie to Grand Central Terminal in New York City. Poughkeepsie is a 15-20 minute drive east of New Paltz.

Transportation plan

In 2006, the Town and Village paid for a transportation study to analyze the transportation needs of the area. The study's suggestions included turning Main Street into a one-way route and improving bicycle and pedestrian access. An implementation committee was appointed in 2007 to study ways to use the plan.

Notable people

Sister city

Niimi, Okayama, Japan[21]

See also


  1. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  2. ^ Justin Silverman (2004-02-28). "N.Y. village mayor jumps into same-sex marriage fray". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-09-15. 
  3. ^ Lubinski, Amy (2007-09-06). "New Paltz Women in Black Going on Six Years Strong". The New Paltz Oracle. SUNY New Paltz. Retrieved 2008-11-28. 
  4. ^ Sylvester 1880, p. 14
  5. ^ Dew, Mary (Fall 2002). "The Temperance Movement New Paltz during the Late Nineteenth Century: A Research Guide".  
  6. ^ "Ulster County (NY) newspapers on microfilm and paper at all NYS locations".  
  7. ^ Lubinski, Amy (2008-03-27). "Student Senate debates over The New Paltz Oracle, amends Bylaws Regarding Line-Item Budget Requests". New Paltz Oracle 17 (79) ( 
  8. ^ Jackman, Ethan P. (2008-11-13). "Highland and its newspapers: Post Pioneer-New Paltz Times merger brings end to 121 years of intensely local journalism" (PDF). Highland Mid-Hudson Post (Highland, NY). Retrieved 2011-01-14. 
  9. ^ "Ulster County (NY) newspapers on microfilm at NYSL".  
  10. ^ Quinn, Erin (2007-10-11). "Fright Fest: Haunted House moves from Center Street to Hasbrouck Park". New Paltz Times (Ulster Publishing). Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  11. ^ Quinn, Erin (2008-10-16). "Oh the horror: Haunted house returns to Hasbrouck Park". New Paltz Times (Ulster Publishing). Retrieved 2008-10-18. 
  12. ^ Halloween Happenings, New Paltz Times, October 2004, accessed October 27, 2007 at 13:08
  13. ^ The Bakery's Night of 100 Pumpkins Page
  14. ^ Wallkill Valley Rail Trail site
  15. ^ New Paltz Times (New Paltz, NY). 1870-09-01. 
  16. ^ New Paltz Independent (New Paltz, NY). 1907-12-31. 
  17. ^ "'No Bar in R.R. Station', Zoning Bd. Of Appeals". New Paltz News (New Paltz, NY). 1977-04-13. 
  18. ^ Muise, Jeff (1984-01-25).  
  19. ^ "New Paltz rail station to become real estate office". Huguenot Herald. 1988-01-07. 
  20. ^ "Pasta junction – on the right track in New Paltz".  
  21. ^ "New Paltz and Niimi City, Sister Cities". Village of New Paltz. Retrieved 2011-01-16. 

Pison, Nikki. "The Cusp of Sad." 2013. Little Heart Press: Rosendale, NY.


External links

  • Village of New Paltz Official Site
  • New Paltz Community Information
  • Historic Huguenot Street a National Historic Landmark District featuring early 18th century stone houses, a library of genealogical information about the founding families and their descendants and substantial Archives
  • Elting Library contains a special local history collection
  • State University of New York at New Paltz
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