Cornwall is a town in Orange County, New York, USA. As of the 2010 census, the population was at 12,646. Located about 50 miles north of New York City on the western shore of the Hudson River, Cornwall has become a bedroom community for New York City. Commuter rail service is available via the Salisbury Mills-Cornwall train station, operated by NJ Transit, and several other nearby stations on Metro North Railroad. While the town is located less than an hour from the George Washington Bridge, major commuter routes like the New York State Thruway and the Palisades Parkway run nearby, but not through the heart of Cornwall.
Cornwall's Main Street includes a co-op, gift shops, taverns, restaurants, coffeehouses, yoga studios and boutiques. Government offices, churches, parks, the riverfront, and St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital, a part of the NewYork-Presbyterian Healthcare System, are situated within walking distance of downtown. The town is a designated Tree City.
When the explorer Henry Hudson visited the region in 1609 the land was occupied by the Waoraneck Indians. In 1685 a colony of twenty-five Scottish families settled around the mouth of the Moodna Creek, led by the soldier Major Patrick McGregor and his brother-in-law, David Toiseach, the laird of Monzievaird. In the ensuing 50 years, English and Scotch families came to the fertile tableland above the river meadows naming it "new Cornwall" because of the marked similarity to the County of Cornwall, England, It is believed that the hamlet of Canterbury was the site of this settlement. The first recorded Town meeting was held here in April 1765, and here that public action was taken to change the name to Cornwall, in 1799. The late 1800s were the heyday of Cornwall's fame. It became a summer resort because of the natural beauty of the river, its mountain vistas, scenic trails, fresh country air and convenience to New York City via riverboat or railroad.
The area that was to become to Town of Cornwall was part of Governor Dongan's 1685 Tract. The Precinct of Cornwall was created in 1764. The Town was founded in 1788 as New Cornwall, which was changed in 1797 to Cornwall.