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Ulster, New York
Location in Ulster County and the state of New York.
Location in Ulster County and the state of New York.
Country United States
State New York
County Ulster
 • Total 28.9 sq mi (74.8 km2)
 • Land 26.8 sq mi (69.4 km2)
 • Water 2.1 sq mi (5.4 km2)
Elevation 161 ft (49 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 12,327
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
FIPS code 36-75935
GNIS feature ID 0979569

Ulster is a town in Ulster County, New York, United States. The population was 12,327 at the 2010 census.

The Town of Ulster is in the northeast part of the county. The town is directly north of the City of Kingston. Ulster is partially inside Catskill Park.

The New York State Thruway (Interstate 87) and U.S. Route 9W pass through the western part of the town. US Route 209 crosses the Hudson River from the east side of the town.


The Town of Ulster, youngest of the twenty towns in the county, was created by an act of the Ulster County Board of Supervisors on November 28, 1879 when the supervisors voted to form the new township with land taken from the Town of Kingston. Formed in protest to what was considered political misrule by the authorities of the Town of Kingston, the action of the supervisors was soon ratified by the state legislature. The first meeting of the Town of Ulster was held in the hotel of George A. Stoddard on the first Tuesday of March 1880. James Myer, Jr. was selected to be its first Supervisor. The newly created town contained approximately 27.5 square miles of land. It bordered the City of Kingston on three sides and was bordered by the Hudson River and the Towns of Kingston, Saugerties, Hurley, Woodstock, and Rosendale. The Rondout Creek separated the Town of Ulster from the Town of Esopus to the South.

"While the establishment of Ulster solved the problem of political corruption in the parent Town of Kingston, another problem was inadvertently created. When the boundaries of Ulster were established, it was obvious just how severe the punishment of the Town of Kingston had been: the new town had Eddyville with the Delaware-Hudson Canal Terminus lock, the land bordering the Hudson with its icehouses and brickyards and all the advantages for trade and travel, the flat farm land of the Saugerties Road and the Brabant with its road leading into the interior. The Esopus Creek with all the potential for mills was locate within the new town. Finding a Centrum or hub around which the township could unite was virtually impossible as it was little more than a collection of hamlets bound together by only a legislative act." (Burgher manuscript)

Although the new town lacked a geographic center, Eddyville was its economic hub. Named for George Eddy, a mill owner whose family established a cotton mill and a sawmill on the Rondout, Eddyville became a thriving hamlet in large part due to the Delaware and Hudson Canal.

An area we now know as East Kingston was in earlier times referred to as Flatbush. Originally named by the Esopus, the Dutch called it "Vlakke Basch". Here were the cement works, ice houses and brickyards that made this area second only to Eddyville in importance to the town. Rider Park and the Town of Ulster Post Park are sited on lands where brickyards once flourished.

Lake Katrine, was named after a small lake near the community. The lake was formerly called Auntrens Pond and the area was once called Pine Bush. It was the site of numerous country cottages, inns and summer resorts.

If one travels up Route 28 (once a private toll road called Brabrant Plank Road) you will find Stony Hollow, an area once populated by Irish quarry workers.

Bluestone quarrying was the main industry in Ruby, which was known as both the Dutch Settlement and the German Settlement in earlier times.

"The township remained primarily rural and agricultural until the post World War II years when so much happened so quickly and Ulster had to move into the 20th Century ready or not. A major corporation, IBM, opened its Kingston facility. The economy of Ulster, the City of Kingston and neighboring towns changed irreversibly as housing developments sprang up, schools were built and other businesses arrived." (Burgher manuscript)

The Town of Ulster is principally noted as being "The Business Hub" of Ulster County. Many historical sites dot the landscape we know as the Town of Ulster.

In 1999, Lisa Groppuso was the first female Supervisor elected into office on the Democratic ticket. She served 4 terms (2 years each), from 1990 until 1998 as Town Clerk before serving one term as Town Supervisor, her term was 2000 -2001. She is the only female Supervisor in history to date, in the Town of Ulster. On November 8, 2005, the Town of Ulster Elected Nicky B. Woerner as the youngest town supervisor in New York State history (age 21) and elected the first Democratic Town Board in the town's history.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 28.9 square miles (75 km2), of which, 26.8 square miles (69 km2) of it is land and 2.1 square miles (5.4 km2) of it (7.20%) is water.

The east town line is formed by the Hudson River, and the south part of the town borders the City of Kingston.

Esopus Creek flows northward through the center of the town.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 2,806
1890 3,222 14.8%
1900 3,582 11.2%
1910 3,554 −0.8%
1920 2,622 −26.2%
1930 3,597 37.2%
1940 3,993 11.0%
1950 4,411 10.5%
1960 8,448 91.5%
1970 11,711 38.6%
1980 12,319 5.2%
1990 12,329 0.1%
2000 12,540 1.7%
2010 12,327 −1.7%
Est. 2014 12,131 −1.6%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 12,544 people, 4,850 households, and 3,278 families residing in the town. The population density was 468.1 people per square mile (180.7/km²). There were 5,239 housing units at an average density of 195.5 per square mile (75.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 93.44% White, 2.89% African American, .17% Native American, 1.56% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.36% from other races, and 1.52% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.45% of the population.

There were 4,850 households out of which 30.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.2% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.4% were non-families. 26.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the town, the population was spread out with 23.5% under the age of 18, 6.3% from 18 to 24, 28.1% from 25 to 44, 24.4% from 45 to 64, and 17.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 91.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.9 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $43,707, and the median income for a family was $51,095. Males had a median income of $38,655 versus $26,146 for females. The per capita income for the town was $22,069. About 5.9% of families and 9.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.2% of those under age 18 and 7.9% of those age 65 or over.

Communities and locations in the Town of Ulster

  • East Kingston – A hamlet in the southeast part of the town.
  • Flatbush – A hamlet at the north town line.
  • Glenerie Lake Park – A hamlet by the north town line and Esopus Creek.
  • Lake Katrine – A hamlet in the western part near the Esopus Creek, named after a small lake near the community. The lake was formerly called "Auntrens Pond," and the community was formerly called "Pine Bush."
  • Lincoln Park – A hamlet in the south part of the town.
  • Ruby–A hamlet in the north west section, bordering the Town of Kingston.
  • Ulster Landing – A hamlet by the east town line and the Hudson River.
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