FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 14, 2022
City of Kingston Will Celebrate 150th Anniversary
with Event on May 13, 2022
KINGSTON, NY – Mayor Steven T. Noble is pleased to announce that the City of Kingston will mark its 150th anniversary with a celebration on May 13, 2022 at 5:30pm in Council Chambers at City Hall.
The event will include the burial of a time capsule filled with projects completed by Kingston City School District students that will be opened in 150 years, in the year 2172. There will be a musical performance by the Bruderhof, a display of original 19th century archival documents relating to the history of Kingston and Rondout, and a special theatrical performance by Theater on the Road, which will portray the merger debate between Kingston’s first two mayors, James G. Lindsley from Rondout and William Lounsbery from the Village of Kingston.
Special guest speakers will include Mayor Steve Noble, Ulster County Clerk Nina Postupack, Commissioner of Jurors Paul O’Neill, Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, County Executive Pat Ryan, and New York State Historian Devin Lander.
“The City of Kingston is reaching an enormous milestone this year – celebrating 150 years since the villages of Kingston, Rondout and Wilbur joined together to form what we now know of as our City,” said Mayor Noble. “It was a bold action, and we celebrate the vision and forethought that brought our great City into being.”
“Many Kingstonians know that Kingston dates back to the 1600s, but we don't often think about the Village of Kingston and Villages of Rondout and Wilbur as three separate entities,” said Taylor Bruck, City of Kingston Historian. “This celebration focuses on the merger of the villages into the unified City that we have today. Without this merger, it's not certain we would have basic municipal functionality that we have today - things like a police force, hospitals, water department, high school, and our beautiful City Hall.”
Historical background: In 1872, the villages of Kingston, Rondout, and Wilbur merged to form the City of Kingston. The original village of Kingston was settled in 1652 and became the first Capital of New York State by 1777 before it was burned by the British during the Revolutionary War that same year. The village of Rondout was officially incorporated in 1849 after experiencing an explosion of growth in both population and wealth due to the completion of the D&H Canal in 1828. The hamlet of Wilbur similarly experienced a period of rapid growth in the early 1800s due to the lucrative bluestone trade which lined New York City sidewalks.
With their downtown neighbors thriving, the old guard of uptown Kingston began to feel a bit alienated by their burgeoning and often rowdy rivals on the Strand. The village of Kingston proposed a merger into a consolidated city. Rondout and Wilbur were resistant at first, but after some back-and-forth over what the name of the new city should be, the newly formed City of Kingston was incorporated in 1872.
The 150th anniversary celebration is free and open to the public. More info here.