The Village of Saugerties is located on the west bank of the Hudson River, at the mouth of the Esopus Creek. It is in the eastern part of the Town of Saugerties. U.S. Route 9W and New York State Route 32 pass through the village, converging at its center and overlapping to the south. These routes parallel the New York State Thruway (Interstate 87), which passes through the town a mile west of the village.
In the 1650s Barent Cornelis Volge operated a sawmill on the Sawyer's Kill, supplying lumber for the manor of Rensselaerswick. He had secured a title from the Esopus Sachem to this lands sometime before 1663. The name Saugerties means "Little Sawyer" in Dutch.
Around 1685 George Meals and Richard Hayes purchased land on both sides of the Esopus Creek where it enters the Hudson River. Within two years, they sold the riverfront land to Barent Burhans, a miller whose granddaughter's husband, John Brink Jr., established a ferry across the river to Clermont, the seat of the Lower Livingston Manor.
John Persen was an early mill owner. He had both a sawmill and a gristmill; he also operated a ferry crossing the river to the east shore. He built the Mynderse House around 1685.
During the American Revolution, a British Squadron lay at anchor at Saugerties from October 18–22, 1777, while raiding parties burned the Livingston estates of Clermont and Belvedere, across the Hudson River. Some of Benjamin Snyder's sloops were burned in Saugerties harbor as well.
The village was incorporated in 1831 as "Ulster," but it changed its name to "Saugerties" in 1855.