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Ellenville is a village in Ulster Countymarker, New Yorkmarker, United Statesmarker. The population was 4,130 at the 2000 census. The postal ZIP code is 12428. The telephone exchange is predominantly 647 and an overlaid 210 in the 845 area codemarker.


The village of Ellenville is within the town of Wawarsingmarker, approximately ninety miles northwest of New York Citymarker and ninety miles southwest of Albanymarker. The village is located at the junction of Routes NY 52 and US 209 and is bisected by the recently-designated Shawangunk Scenic Byway. Ellenville lies in the Rondout Valley, at the eastern base of the Catskill Mountains, and the western base of the Shawangunk Ridge, which is listed by The Nature Conservancy as one of the "75 Last Great Places on Earth."

The north-flowing Sandburg Creek and east-flowing Good Beer Kill intersect in Ellenville near the current site of the Ellenville Central School to become the Rondout Creek, which flows north to join the Hudson River near Kingstonmarker. Ellenville is within the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 22.7 km² (8.8 mi²). 22.6 km² (8.7 mi²) of it is land and 0.2 km² (0.1 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.68% water.


As of the census of 2000, there were 4,130 people, 1,540 households, and 1,033 families residing in the village. The population density was 183.1/km² (474.4/mi²). There were 1,778 housing units at an average density of 78.8/km² (204.2/mi²). The racial makeup of the village was 69.06% White, 11.67% African American, 0.48% Native American, 1.57% Asian, 0.00% Pacific Islander, 12.32% from other races, and 4.89% from two or more races. 28.40% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 1,540 households out of which 36.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.2% were married couples living together, 21.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.9% were non-families. 26.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.16.

In the village, the population was spread out with 28.9% under the age of 18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 27.5% from 25 to 44, 21.6% from 45 to 64, and 12.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 88.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.1 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $27,474, and the median income for a family was $40,942. Males had a median income of $30,732 versus $21,250 for females. The per capita income for the village was $15,272. 23.4% of the population and 20.8% of families were below the poverty line. 31.4% of those under the age of 18 and 15.2% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.


Ellenville is one of only three incorporated villages in Ulster County, along with New Paltzmarker and Saugertiesmarker.

Ellenville village offices are housed at the Ellenville Government Center, 2 Elting Court. In 2007, the village transferred its offices and the police department from its location at North Main Street, primarily to address the old village hall's limited space and failure to meet mandated handicapped-accessibility requirements.

The government of Ellenville is headed by an elected board composed of a mayor and four trustees. As of 2007, all terms were increased from two years to four years, and elections were moved from March to November, to be held on odd-numbered years only. Daily administration of Ellenville is supervised by an appointed village manager, an appointed village clerk, an appointed village treasurer, and department heads for the five departments:
  • police
  • street
  • building and code enforcement
  • water
  • sewer

The following appointed volunteer boards, committees, and commissions are responsible for various aspects of village maintenance and development:
  • Planning Board
  • Zoning Board of Appeals
  • Housing Authority Commission
  • Local Development Corporation
  • Historic Preservation Commission
  • Ellenville Government Study Committee.


The first building erected in what is now the center of the village was built around 1798 by Alpheus Fairchild, who moved west from Connecticut. However, in what is now the eastern-most part of the village, the Bodley homestead most likely stood well before the Revolution, as did portions of the Bevier and Sax farms. Originally named "Fairchild City," or just "The City," after Alpheus Fairchild, who bought most of today's village in 1798 from John A. DeWitt, Fairchild had a dwelling erected on part of the site where the George and John R.marker Hunt Memorial Buildingmarker stands today. Nathan and Maria Hoornbeek bought the dwelling and enlarged it, converting it into an inn. The Hoornbeek Tavern was a gathering place for the citizens and many important decisions about the community were made at meetings held there. Indeed, the decision to change the name of the community to "Ellenville" was proposed at the Hoornbeek Tavern. Village leaders, unable to agree upon a new name, were persuaded by Ellen Snyder, Maria Hoornbeek's sister, to name the village after her.

Charles Hartshorn came to "The City" to try a case in the Hoornbeek Tavern in 1823. He would open the first store that same year, and led a drive to choose a "real" name for the community. Hartshorn also applied to the federal government for approval of a post office and was named the first postmaster. He later erected a home for his family on the former site of the Hoornbeek Tavern. In 1856, he was elected first President of the newly-incorporated village of Ellenville.

Noted American composer Homer Newton Bartlett resided at 32 Maple Avenue in Ellenville for many years during the late 19th century.

Just north of the village, the Joseph Y. Resnick Airport (N89) is named in honor and memory of U.S. Congressman Joseph Yale Resnick, a Wawarsing native. Ellenville Regional Hospital, just north of the airport, and the Nevele Tower, just south of the village, were both dedicated by then-President Lyndon B. Johnson, at Congressman Resnick's request. Two other U.S. Congressman were from Ellenville: Isaac Newton Cox and Joseph Hasbrouck Tuthill.

Actor Jim Conroy was born in Ellenville in 1971.

Ellenville was the fourth community featured on ABC's television show, My Kind of Town, recorded in New York Citymarker on August 6, 2005, and broadcast on September 4, 2005.

The village's post officemarker building, the George and John R.marker Hunt Memorial Buildingmarker and the former D&H Canal are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Ellenville has three copies of the statue known as "The Boy with the Leaking Boot."

Transportation & commerce

One of the first roads in America, the "Old Mine Road," which followed earlier Indian trails, led to sporadic Dutch and later settlements along its 104-mile length from New Jersey to Kingston, including Ellenville. But, with no navigable rivers, it was the construction of the Delaware & Hudson Canal in the 1820s that led to the first major boom in development of Ellenville as a canal town and manufacturing center. The D&H Canal was eventually superseded at the close of the 19th century by the New York, Ontario and Western Railway, more commonly known as the O&W or NYO&W, which opened up a significant tourism and hospitality industry, including dozens of hotels, inns, boarding houses, and bungalow colonies. The eventual modernization of the "Old Mine Road" into US 209 brought continued vacationers to "the mountains," even as the railroad closed in the 1950s. However, relatively inexpensive and increased air travel beginning in the 1960s, a generational change in tastes, and, most recently, the economic downturn's impact on tourism in general, have taken their toll over the decades. The Nevele Hotel, perhaps the most famous local resort, recently closed its doors. Its sister resort hotel, the Fallsview, has recently been purchased and renamed Honor's Haven, and has undergone major renovations and introduced health-related programs in an attempt to attract new customers.

The canal and westward expansion led to various industrial opportunities. It's said that every pioneer wagon heading west carried a Napanoch axe and an Ellenville demijohn. Ellenville pottery and glassworks still remain sought-after collector items; many examples are on display at the Ellenville Public Library's Terwilliger House Museum. Knife manufacturing was a major industry in Ellenville and Napanoch for over 100 years; the Ulster Knife Company set up in the 1870s, eventually merging with Imperial Knife Company and Schrade Cutlery, finally becoming Imperial Schrade until its closing in 2004. Famous for "Uncle Henry" and "Old Timer" knives, the Schrade tradition is now maintained by several former executives and employees in the newly-created Canal Street Cutlery, specializing in high-end quality collector knives.

In the early 20th century, the rediscovery of the lost "Old Spanish Tunnel" at the base of the Shawangunk Ridge in Ellenville led to the development of the "Sun-Ray Spring" and the international marketing by White Rock beverage entrepreneur Frank T. Huntoon of "Sun-Ray Water," tested and promoted as the "World's Purest Spring Water." Although beset by financial difficulties from its inception, the water and its carbonated derivatives were sold until the early 1920s, and re-developed as "Pure Rock Mineral Water" in 1939, also serving as a base for Pepsi-Cola bottled in Ellenville during World War II.

In the late 1940s, Joseph Resnick, a radio officer in the U.S. Merchant Marine during the war, developed a turnable DIY antenna system just as the TV boom was taking off. He, and his brothers Harry and Louis, created Channel Master, and built one of the region's major manufacturing plants just north of the Ellenville border, along with an aluminum plant to fabricate necessary components. After selling the company to Avnet, production moved to South Carolina. The vacated Channel Master factory was eventually bought by Imperial Schrade, and the aluminum plant by V.A.W., and later Hydro Aluminum; both factories closed in the first decade of the 21st century, leaving hundreds unemployed, compounding Ellenville's economic doldrums that began with a decline of the tourism and hotel industry in the 1960s, and the development of regional shopping malls, which directed much shopping traffic away from the village.


Ellenville is served by Ellenville Central School, a grades Pre-K to 12 school. Many students continue their education at SUNY Ulster, a two-year community college located roughly 20 miles north of the village in the hamlet of Stone Ridgemarker.


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