Cornwall, New York

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Cornwall
Town
Storm King Mountain, Cornwall's best-known landmark.
Name origin: from Cornwall, England
CountryUSA
StateNew York
RegionHudson Valley
CountyOrange
LandmarkStorm King Mountain, Moodna Viaduct
RiverHudson River
CenterDowntown traffic circle
 - elevation240 ft (73 m)
 - coordinates41°26′04″N 74°02′09″W / 41.43444°N 74.03583°W / 41.43444; -74.03583
Highest pointSouthwest town line on Schunemunk Mountain
 - elevation1,540 ft (469 m)
 - coordinates41°23′52″N 74°06′39″W / 41.39778°N 74.11083°W / 41.39778; -74.11083
Lowest pointSea level
 - locationHudson River
Area28.2 sq mi (73 km2)
 - land26.8 sq mi (69 km2)
 - water1.3 sq mi (3 km2)
Population12,646 (2010)
Founded1788
Government
 - locationTown Hall
 - elevation240 ft (73 m)
 - coordinates41°26′20″N 74°01′42″W / 41.43889°N 74.02833°W / 41.43889; -74.02833
Town SupervisorD. Kevin Quigley (R)
TimezoneEastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - summer (DST)EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP Code12518
Area code845
Exchange534
FIPS code36-18300
GNIS feature ID0978869
Location of Cornwall within New York
Wikimedia Commons: Cornwall, New York
Website: www.cornwallny.com
 
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Coordinates: 41°26′04″N 74°02′09″W / 41.43444°N 74.03583°W / 41.43444; -74.03583
Cornwall
Town
Storm King Mountain, Cornwall's best-known landmark.
Name origin: from Cornwall, England
CountryUSA
StateNew York
RegionHudson Valley
CountyOrange
LandmarkStorm King Mountain, Moodna Viaduct
RiverHudson River
CenterDowntown traffic circle
 - elevation240 ft (73 m)
 - coordinates41°26′04″N 74°02′09″W / 41.43444°N 74.03583°W / 41.43444; -74.03583
Highest pointSouthwest town line on Schunemunk Mountain
 - elevation1,540 ft (469 m)
 - coordinates41°23′52″N 74°06′39″W / 41.39778°N 74.11083°W / 41.39778; -74.11083
Lowest pointSea level
 - locationHudson River
Area28.2 sq mi (73 km2)
 - land26.8 sq mi (69 km2)
 - water1.3 sq mi (3 km2)
Population12,646 (2010)
Founded1788
Government
 - locationTown Hall
 - elevation240 ft (73 m)
 - coordinates41°26′20″N 74°01′42″W / 41.43889°N 74.02833°W / 41.43889; -74.02833
Town SupervisorD. Kevin Quigley (R)
TimezoneEastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - summer (DST)EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP Code12518
Area code845
Exchange534
FIPS code36-18300
GNIS feature ID0978869
Location of Cornwall within New York
Wikimedia Commons: Cornwall, New York
Website: www.cornwallny.com

Cornwall is a town in Orange County, New York, USA. It is located about 50 miles north of New York City on the western shore of the Hudson River. As of the 2010 census, the population was at 12,646.

Cornwall continues to increase in popularity as a bedroom community for New York City. Commuter rail service is available via the Salisbury Mills-Cornwall train station, operated by NJ Transit, and several other nearby stations on Metro North Railroad.

Cornwall has a distinct walkable downtown along Main Street, including a co-op, gift shops, taverns, restaurants, coffeehouses, yoga studios and boutiques. Government offices, churches, parks, the riverfront, and St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital, a part of the NewYork-Presbyterian Healthcare System, are situated within walking distance of downtown.

While the town is located less than an hour from the George Washington Bridge, major commuter routes like the New York State Thruway and the Palisades Parkway run nearby, but not through the heart of Cornwall. The town is a designated Tree City.

Contents

History

The region was visited by the explorer Henry Hudson in 1609. The first settler, a Scotsman, named McGregor, arrived in 1684. In 1685, the future town was part of the Governor Dongan Tract.

The Town of Cornwall was founded in 1788.

The nineteenth century

In the mid-19th century, Cornwall took on another personality – a health retreat. Until the early 20th century, city folk flocked to the Valley to experience the therapeutic powers they believed it to hold. The mountains, fresh air and evergreen forests were thought to offer the perfect conditions for good health and they were not far from the city. Cornwall on the west side of the Hudson became especially popular as a health retreat, offering numerous boarding houses and many conveniences of the day, including accessibility to the railroad and steamboats, as well as a telegraph office and large library. Nathaniel Parker Willis, one of the Knickerbocker writers, enjoyed the time he spent here so much he bought property in Cornwall, establishing a country home he called Idlewild. His many writings on the area helped make Cornwall a popular spot for health-seekers.

Shifting attitudes toward a more healthy lifestyle began to make the Hudson Valley popular for outdoor activities and exercise. Hiking, rowing, swimming, fishing, hunting and biking all contributed to the development in the area of summer camps as well as the notion of the summer vacation.

An environmental issue

In 1962, a 17-year legal battle began that launched modern-day environmental activism. Consolidated Edison proposed building a giant hydro-electric plant on the river at Storm King Mountain near Cornwall. Despite pressure from local residents, Con Ed went forward with its plan, applying to the Federal Power Commission for a license to operate such a facility. Three years later, after hearings and appeals and more hearings, the U. S. Court of Appeals set a major precedent when it sent the case back to the FPC to start the process over again. Its reasoning was based on the commission's refusal to hear much of the environmental impact testimony the first time around. For the first time in U.S. history, a court had decided that protection of natural resources was just as important as economic gain. It prompted Congress to pass the National Environmental Policy Act in 1969, which requires an environmental impact study on all major projects needing an OK from the federal government.

Past residents of note

Much of the town can be seen from near its highest point on the northeast ridge of Schunemunk Mountain

Geography

The town is located 52 miles (84 km) north of New York City, and just 5 miles (9 km) north of the United States Military Academy at West Point, in eastern Orange County. It is shaped like an irregular pentagon pointing southwards. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 28.2 square miles (73 km2), of which, 26.8 square miles (69 km2) of it is land and 1.3 square miles (3.4 km2) of it (4.76%) is water.

Cornwall's terrain is quite diverse, with considerable relief. It is shaped by the valleys of Moodna and Woodbury creeks, and includes estuarine salt marshes, heavily-developed residential and commercial areas, rolling farms, and rocky, scrub-covered ridges and mountaintops. There are two major protected areas mostly within the town, Storm King State Park and the privately-managed Black Rock Forest.

Downtown Cornwall

The most level section is in the northeast corner, east of the curve of US 9W, sloping gently to the river, where it borders on the towns of Fishkill and Philipstown in Dutchess and Putnam counties respectively, across the river. Here is located the village of Cornwall on Hudson, and the most developed section of the town proper, the area usually meant by Cornwall, just to the southwest of the village. To its west lies another residential area, Firthcliffe, named for the carpet factory once located here along the banks of Moodna Creek. Much of the town's population is concentrated in the village and this area.

In its south section, Cornwall on Hudson rises to the high area known as Deer Hill, a foothill to Storm King Mountain to its immediate south. South of Storm King the town's southeast boundary, with Highlands, leaves the river just north of Crow's Nest and runs through Storm King State Park, taking in most of Black Rock Forest. It turns more southerly, taking in the northwestern sliver of the United States Military Academy Reservation before reaching Cornwall's southernmost point, its tripoint with Highlands and the town and village of Woodbury.

The Moodna Viaduct

This area of town is also mountainous and rugged, with the border descending along a northwesterly line to the narrow Woodbury Creek valley, where NY 32 and the New York State Thruway enter the town. At the valley's mouth, where Woodbury Creek drains into Moodna Creek, is the small hamlet of Mountainville, with its own fire district and ZIP Code. It gets its name from Schunemunk Mountain, where the town line climbs the northern end of Schunemunk, reaching the town's highest elevation at 1,540 feet (470 m) at the tripoint with Woodbury and Blooming Grove.

Just past Schunemunk's western ridge, the town line reaches another corner and changes course to due north. This takes in the rural, rolling countryside between the mountain and Salisbury Mills, where Storm King Art Center is located and the Moodna Viaduct, the highest and longest railroad trestle east of the Mississippi River, spans the valley between Schunemunk and the Salisbury Mills-Cornwall station on the Metro-North Port Jervis Line. This trestle was shown in the 2007 film Michael Clayton and is a well known landmark. NY 94 runs through this section of town.

The town's northeast corner is another tripoint, with Blooming Grove and New Windsor, located in the middle of Beaverdam Lake. From there the New Windsor boundary runs east, trending slightly to the north, just south of the hamlet of Vails Gate back to the salt marshes where the Moodna drains into the Hudson.

Moodna Creek estuary
Mountainville

Demographics

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 12,307 people, 4,625 households, and 3,330 families residing in the town. The population density was 458.8 people per square mile (177.2/km²). There were 4,852 housing units at an average density of 180.9/sq mi (69.8/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 94.68% White, 1.32% African American, 0.16% Native American, 1.28% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.17% from other races, and 1.34% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.11% of the population.

There were 4,625 households out of which 36.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.2% were married couples living together, 8.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.0% were non-families. 24.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.0% 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 3.18.

In the town the population was spread out with 27.9% under the age of 18, 5.2% from 18 to 24, 29.6% from 25 to 44, 24.8% from 45 to 64, and 12.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 92.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.7 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $72,000 and the median income for a family was $87,195. Males had a median income of $52,813 versus $37,546 for females. The per capita income for the town was $28,509. About 3.7% of families and 5.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.0% of those under age 18 and 3.4% of those age 65 or over.

Communities and locations in Cornwall

References

  1. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

External links