Fishkill is an upscale village within the much larger town, Town of Fishkill, one of the fastest growing towns in the region, in Dutchess County, New York, USA. Fishkill is a suburb of New York City. The village population was 2,171 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Poughkeepsie–Newburgh–Middletown, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area as well as the larger New York–Newark–Bridgeport, NY-NJ-CT-PA Combined Statistical Area.
The Village of Fishkill was located in the territory of the Wappinger Indians. It was part of the Rombout Patent granted to Francis Rombout, Gulian VerPlanck, and Stephanus VanCortlandt of New Amstersdam in 1685. The name Fishkill evolved from two Dutch words, “vis” (fish) and “kil” (stream or creek). In 1714, Dutch immigrants settled in the area. The Village of Fishkill was a significant crossroads in the overland transportation network in the 18th and 19th centuries. The Kings Highway, connecting Albany to New York City, intersected with a major overland route from New England to the Hudson River.
By 1716 the settlers wanted their own Dutch Reformed church so they would not have to cross the river to Kingston or New Paltz to worship. A congregation was established and the church building was finished in 1731. The first Dominie (minister) who arrived from the Netherlands in 1731 served churches in Poughkeepsie and Fishkill. The church was used as a military prison during the American Revolution. The 4th New York Provincial Congress met in the church in 1776, making Fishkill the state capital, until the Congress moved to Kingston in 1777.
The Village of Fishkill became part of one of the largest Colonial military encampments during the Revolutionary War. General Washington’s aide-de-camp, Alexander Hamilton took residence here. The Trinity Church, on Hopewell Avenue in the Village, was organized in 1756 and the structure built in 1760. It was used as a hospital during the Revolutionary War.
In 1871, construction began for a schoolhouse on Church Street. The site used for the schoolhouse belonged to the Fishkill Reformed Church and was formerly used as pasture land for the pastor’s cow.