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Dutchess County is located in southeastern New York State, between the Hudson River on its west and the New York-Connecticut border on its east, about halfway between the cities of Albany and New York City.
What is today's Dutchess County was once the leading center for the native "Wappinger" peoples who held their gatherings along the Danskammer. The People had their council-fire at what is now Fishkill Hook.
Dutchess County was one of the first 12 counties established in the "Province" of New York in 1863, settled by the Anglo-Dutch and named for Mary of Modena, Dutchess of York. President Franklin D. Roosevelt lived in his family home in Hyde Park, which overlooks the Hudson River and is now a Presidential Library managed by the National Park Service.
Prior to the 1960s, Dutchess County was primarily agricultural. Since then, the southwestern part of the county has developed into a largely residential area, with many of its residents commuting to jobs in New York City. The northern and eastern regions of the county are still very much rural with large farmlands.
Higher Education institutions in Dutchess include Bard College, the Culinary Institute of America, Dutchess Community College, Marist College, Ridley-Lowell Business & Technical Institute and Vassar College.
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