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Fishkill (town), New York facts for kids

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Fishkill, New York
Downtown Fishkill
Downtown Fishkill
Official seal of Fishkill, New York
Location of Fishkill, New York
Location of Fishkill, New York
Country United States
State New York
County Dutchess
 • Type Town Council
 • Total 32.0 sq mi (82.9 km2)
 • Land 27.3 sq mi (70.8 km2)
 • Water 4.7 sq mi (12.1 km2)
262 ft (80 m)
 • Total 22,107
 • Density 809/sq mi (312.2/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
12524, 12527
Area code(s) 845
FIPS code 36-25978
GNIS feature ID 0978958

Fishkill is a town in the southwest part of Dutchess County, New York, United States. It lies approximately 60 miles (97 km) north of New York City. The population was 22,107 at the 2010 census. Fishkill partly surrounds the city of Beacon.

The town of Fishkill contains a village, which is also named Fishkill. The name derives from the Dutch vis kill, meaning "fish creek."

The location of Fishkill was known as Tioranda by the Native American peoples. The name means "The place where two waters meet".


In 1683 New York City merchants Francis Rombouts and Gulian Verplanck purchased 85,000 acres (340 km2) in Dutchess County from the Wappinger confederacy of Native Americans for a quantity of goods including rum, powder, and tobacco. Neither ever lived on the land, intending to use it only for fur trading. The first white settlers were Rombout's daughter, Catharyna, and her husband, Roger Brett, who built a mill at the mouth of Fishkill Creek as it flows into the Hudson River.

Fishkill played an important role in the American Revolutionary War when a huge military encampment was established one mile (1.6 km) below the village to guard the mountain pass to the south. Signal fires lay in readiness on tops of the surrounding mountains. The Fishkill encampment became the main supply depot for the northern division of the Continental Army. The first copies of the New York State Constitution were printed at Fishkill in 1777.

In the 19th century mills and factories sprang up in Glenham and Matteawan, bringing an influx of skilled weavers from the British Isles. The healthy economy came to an end in the post-Civil War depression, and the once thriving factories fell into decay. In 1931, Texaco purchased the old woolen mill site and established a research center there. Today, the town's industry is mostly technology based.

In 1996, the animal rights group PETA suggested the town change its name to something less suggestive of violence toward fish. The town declined.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 32.0 square miles (82.9 km2), of which 27.3 square miles (70.8 km2) is land and 4.7 square miles (12.1 km2), or 14.55%, is water. The elevation of the town varies from sea level along the Hudson River (Fishkill Waterfront, Fishkill Landing, Dutchess Junction) to 1,600 feet (490 m) above sea level (South Beacon Mountain).

The southern town line is the border between Dutchess and Putnam counties. The western town line is defined by the Hudson River and the city of Beacon. To the north is the town of Wappinger, and to the east is the town of East Fishkill.

Fishkill Creek gives the town its name and empties into the Hudson River. Interstate 84 passes through the town, with access from Exits 11, 12, and 13, and US 9 passes through both the town and village of Fishkill.

Dutchess Stadium, home of the Class A Minor League baseball Hudson Valley Renegades, is in the town.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1820 8,203
1830 8,292 1.1%
1840 10,437 25.9%
1850 9,240 −11.5%
1860 9,546 3.3%
1870 11,752 23.1%
1880 10,732 −8.7%
1890 11,840 10.3%
1900 13,016 9.9%
1910 13,858 6.5%
1920 2,095 −84.9%
1930 2,890 37.9%
1940 3,615 25.1%
1950 3,863 6.9%
1960 7,083 83.4%
1970 11,935 68.5%
1980 15,506 29.9%
1990 17,655 13.9%
2000 20,258 14.7%
2010 22,107 9.1%
Est. 2014 23,596 6.7%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 20,258 people, 6,856 households, and 4,264 families residing in the town. The population density was 738.9 people per square mile (285.3/km²). There were 7,040 housing units at an average density of 99.1 persons/km² (256.8 persons/sq mi). The racial makeup of the town was 77.19% White, 14.13% African American, 0.19% Native American, 2.99% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 4.49% from other races, and 0.99% from two or more races. 10.47% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 6,856 households out of which 27.7% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.0% were married couples living together, 8.1% have a woman whose husband does not live with her, and 37.8% were non-families. 32.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 3.02.

In the town, the population was spread out with 18.3% under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 38.1% from 25 to 44, 22.3% from 45 to 64, and 14.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 135.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 142.6 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $52,745, and the median income for a family was $63,574. Males had a median income of $42,106 versus $32,198 for females. The per capita income for the town was $22,662. 5.4% of the population and 3.4% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 6.2% are under the age of 18 and 7.5% are 65 or older.

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