Saugerties is a town in Ulster County, New York, USA. The population was 19,482 at the 2010 census. The Town of Saugerties contains the Village of Saugerties in the northeast corner of Ulster County. Part of the town is inside Catskill Park.
U.S. Route 9W and New York State Route 32 pass through the town, converging at the center of the village and overlapping to the south. These routes parallel the New York State Thruway (Interstate 87), which passes through the town just 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. The name Saugerties means "Little Sawyer" in Dutch. He had secured a title from the Esopus Sachem to this lands sometime before 1663. Volge likely left the area at the outbreak of the first Esopus War in 1658. The "footpath to Albany" was not laid out until 1670. In April 1677 Governor Edmund Andros purchased land of from the Esopus Indian Kaelcop, chief of the Amorgarickakan tribe for the price of a piece of cloth, a blanket, some coarse fiber, a loaf of bread, and a shirt. The Mynderse House was built by John Persen, formerly of Kingston, an early mill owner, around 1685.
In October 1710, 300 families who had emigrated to England from the Palatine region of Germany established camps on the east and west side of the Hudson. The camp on the west side of the river became known as West Camp in the Town of Saugerties. They were sent by the British government to manufacture naval stores for Her Majesty's fleet. The villages at West Camp were called Elizabethtown, Georgetown, and Newtown. Sawmills were established on the Esopus Creek. In 1998 a monument commemorating their arrival was erected on the lawn of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in West Camp.
Sometime before 1730 the Katsbaan area northeast of the village was settled by Dutch farmers from Kingston and Palatines from the "camps". In 1732 they built a stone Dutch Reformed Church.
During the American Revolution, a British Squadron lay at anchor at Saugerties from October 18–22, 1777, while raiding parties burned Clermont and Belvedere, across the Hudson River. These were the estates of Margaret Beekman Livingston and her son, Chancellor Livingaton. The British also burned sloops, near the Esopus Creek, and several homes and barns. While here British General Vaughan learned of Burgoyne's surrender at Saratoga on October 17. On October 22, 1777, the British fleet had left from the Mid-Hudson Valley, never to return.
The town was organized from the town of Kingston on April 5, 1811. At that time the hamlet of Saugerties contained twenty-one houses.
Henry Barclay (1778-1857), was an importer from Manhattan who with his wife, Catherine (1782-1851) came to Saugerties about 1825. Barclay, who had business relationships with Robert L. Livingston, had a dam constructed on the Esopus Creek near today’s 9W bridge. Around 1828 he established the Ulster Iron Works to produce bar and hoop iron. It had a capacity for manufacturing about 6,000 tons annually. and employed about 300 hands working rpund the clock shifts. In 1830 Henry Barclay built a paper mill powered by water from the Esopus Creek, which at that location had a fall of thirty-one feet. Barclay imported skilled workers and engineers from England to man his mills.
Upon Barclay's death in 1851, the mill was taken over by the Sheffield Company. The Sheffield Paper Mills, of I.B. Sheffield, manufactured writing paper. There were two buildings. They were rebuilt in 1860 by Messrs. White & Sheffield, and again rebuilt in 1868-9. The mills produced two and a half tons daily, and employed about 130 people. William Sheffield built the Clovelea mansion around 1880. In 1888 Martin Cantine built a paper mill on the North side of the dam, and in 1903, the Cantine Company bought out the Sheffield mill. The Cantine mill closed in 1975. Part of the complex has been renovated as senior citizen housing.
The village was incorporated in 1831 as "Ulster," and changed its name to "Saugerties" in 1855.
In 1832, bluestone was quarried in nearby Toodlum (now Veteran).At one time, 2,000 men were employed in quarrying, dressing and shipping about one and a half million dollars’ worth of blue stone annually from Glasco, Malden, and Saugerties. Blue stone was used for curbing, paving, doorsills and windowsills: much of it in New York City. The Ulster White Lead Company at Glenerie produced nine hundred tons of lead each year.
St. Mary of the Snow Roman Catholic Church was founded around 1833. Henry Barclay was a major contributor to the church for his workers. The basement of the church served as a stop on the Underground Railroad. Like Trinity Episcopal Church, St. Mary’s has stained glass windows designed and installed by Louis Comfort Tiffany.
By 1870, the population of the town of Saugerties was about 4000.
The ice industry thrived during the 1880′s to 1900′s. Icehouses were located in Glasco and Malden. Ice was also harvested on the Upper Esopus and on the Sawyerkill. The brick industry also developed in Glasco.
In the early hours of November 9, 1879, the steamer Ansonia of the Saugerties Line ran against the Lighthouse dock on its return trip from New York, smashing the paddle wheel. A tug from Kingston hauled the steamer off the flats, and it was taken to New York City for repairs. In 1889 Robert A. Snyder, John and George Seaman, Henry L. Finger, and James and William Maxwell started the "Saugerties and New York Steamboat Company". In 1892, the steamerboats M. Martin and Tremper arrived at Saugerties at the same time, and collided near the lighthouse as each tried to get to the dock first. The steamboat Saugerties burned to the waterline in 1903 and the charred remains were scuttled in the cove north of the Lighthouse. It's remains can sometimes be seen at very low tides.
In 1890 the Orpheum Theater was built by John Cooper Davis. It was a center for movies, basketball, Vaudeville acts and roller skating. Lucille Ball and Burns and Allen performed at the Orpheum.
In 1906 Poultney Bigelow, editor and co-owner of the New York Evening Post, built Bigelow Hall in Malden. In April 1910 the Esopus Creek flooded the village of Saugerties.
The Hudson Valley Garlic Festival was established in 1989 by Pat Reppert of Shale Hill Farm and Herb Gardens. In 1992 the Kiwanis Club of Saugerties took over sponsorship of the Festival and moved it "Cantine Field" where now the Festival is held every September. It attracts about 50,000 people within a three day weekend.
In 1994, Saugerties was the home of the Woodstock '94 music festival, held on the 25th anniversary of the original Woodstock Festival. Saugerties is just east of the town of Woodstock, New York. The original festival was held some southwest of the town of Woodstock (on Max Yasgur's farm in Bethel, New York), while the 1999 festival in Rome, NY was away from Woodstock.
HITS("Horseshows In The Sun"), opened in 2003. They occupy of land and have a 10 ring, Olympic-status horse show facility in central Saugerties.
In 2005 the Esopus Bend Conservancy formed and acquired over with a little more than of the shoreline on the upper Esopus
In 2014, Saugerties was home to the Hudson Music Project- which notoriously became known as the "Mudson Project". After 2 days of music and other festivities, the festival came to an abrupt halt on the third and final day as rain and mud infested the concert and camp areas. Hundreds were left without food and water when their cars became stuck in the ubiquitous muck that dominated the camp ground. Many campers stayed and continued to party through the night when the rain subsided.