Klyne Esopus Museum

Preserving, interpreting and disseminating the history of the Town of Esopus.
The Klyne Esopus Historical Society Museum will not host the Annual Turkey Dinner in 2017 due to unforeseen circumstances.  This event is an important fundraiser for our town museum and we truly need the funds to maintain the 1827 Brick Church (which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places).  If you wish to contribute to our efforts, please send what you can. All funds collected will be used to maintain the building, update the exhibits and care for the collection. We appreciate your understanding and your support.

Our Events

Speaker @ Town of Esopus Town Hall
Nov 18 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

“Billy, I’ve killed your mother.” – Albert Devine, to his son. 1925 The Hudson Valley is drenched in history, culture and blood. In the fall of 1893, Lizzie Halliday left a trail of bodies in her wake, slaughtering two strangers and her husband before stabbing a nurse to death at the asylum housing her. A Jazz Age politician, tired of fighting with his overbearing wife, murdered her and buried the body under the front porch. In 1882, a cantankerous old miner, dubbed the “Austerlitz Cannibal” by the press, chopped up his partner before he himself swung from the end of a rope. Author Andrew Amelinckx dredges up the Hudson Valley’s dark past, from Prohibition-era shootouts to unsolved murders, in eleven heart-pounding true stories.

Author: Andrew Amelinckx
Published by The History Press (June 26, 2017)

Remarkable Residents

Read about remarkable people
who shaped the town, the state, the nation
and called Esopus home.

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Our Current Exhibit

See the broad range of exhibit topics from recent years presented to convey the richness of Esopus history.

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Esopus History

Over 550 years of rich history along the Hudson River
  • Native Americans – 1540

    The Esopus Indians live in the area. Esopus means "land of flowing water and high banks." In 1540, the French construct a trading post south of Albany.

  • 1600-1649

    1609 - Henry Hudson sails up the Hudson River. In his Captain's log he describes the Esopus area as "faire" land. 1615 - The New Netherlands Company receives its o

  • 1650-1699

    1651 - The area south of the Rondout Creek is first called Klyne Esopus, Dutch for "Little" Esopus. A trapper named Kit Davis lives in what is now the hamlet of Connelly along the Ron

  • 1700-1749

    1700's - Building starts on permanent homesteads using field stone found in abundance in Ulster County. Many of these early houses are still standing today. The Van Vliet Homestead, a

  • 1750 – 1799

    1776 - 1783 - A stone house, built above what will become Elmore’s Landing on the Hudson River, becomes an Inn. During the American War for Independence British officers party there

  • 1800-1849

    1811 - The Town of Esopus is formed. The area has previously been part of the Town of Kingston. 1814 - Esopus establishes a system of public school districts.

  • 1850 – 1874

    1851 - The Pennsylvania Coal Company builds a coal depot near the mouth of the Rondout Creek. The town of Port Ewen, named after John Ewen, the Company President, is laid out.

  • 1875-1899

    1877 - A gold mine is established on Hussey Hill. The vein dwindles after only a-year-and-a-half. 1883 - The West Shore Railroad (seen here in photo of railroa

  • 1900-1949

    1901 - Rifton gathers the hamlets of Swartekill, Rifton Glen, and Dashville to become a village. 1904 - Judge Alton B. Parker accepts the nomination to be the

  • 1950-1986

    1953 - The Port Ewen School opens on Clay Road. It is later named Mt. View School and finally, in 1978, it is named the Robert Graves School in honor of its long-time principal.