Dutchess County, New York “Prior to Anglo-Dutch settlement, what is today Dutchess County was a leading center for the native Wappinger peoples. They had their council-fire at what is now Fishkill Hook, and also held gatherings along the Danskammer.
On November 1, 1683, the Province of New York established its first twelve counties, with Dutchess County being one of them. Its boundaries at that time included the present Putnam County, and a small portion of the present Columbia County (the towns of Clermont and Germantown). The county was named for Mary of Modena, Duchess of York dutchess is an archaic spelling of the word duchess”.