Town Hall, on Bracken Road
|Etymology: For Richard Montgomery|
Transportation Hub of the Northeast
Location of New York in the United States
|• Type||Town Hall|
|• Supervisor||Brian Maher|
|• Total||51.19 sq mi (132.58 km2)|
|• Land||50.26 sq mi (130.16 km2)|
|• Water||0.93 sq mi (2.42 km2)|
|Elevation||410 ft (120 m)|
|Highest elevation||820 ft (250 m)|
(Wallkill River at north town line)
|240 ft (70 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||472.84/sq mi (182.56/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (EST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
12534, 12549, 12550, 12561, 12586, 12589
|Wikimedia Commons||Town of Montgomery, New York|
Montgomery is a town in Orange County, New York, United States. The population was 22,606 at the 2010 census. It was named in honor of Richard Montgomery, an American Revolutionary War general killed in 1775 at the Battle of Quebec. The northern town line is contiguous with the Ulster County border. Montgomery is immediately west of the town of Newburgh. Within its borders are three villages, one eponymous, as well as Walden and most of Maybrook.
The early town began as a patent to Henry Wileman in 1710, who was the first settler. He was the first of a group of Palatine Germans to emigrate and settle land around what is now the village of Montgomery.
The town was originally established as Hanover in 1772, but became the town of Montgomery in 1782.
The community of Montgomery was set off by incorporation as a village in 1810, and in 1855, the community of Walden was incorporated as well. Maybrook was the last village to be incorporated, in 1926.
Montgomery is bordered on the east by the town of Newburgh and on the north by the town of Shawangunk in Ulster County. The town of Crawford is to the west. The towns of Wallkill, Hamptonburgh and New Windsor, from west to east, border on the south.
The village of Walden is located in the north central portion of town. Montgomery is close to the center, and Maybrook is in the southeast corner. There are few significant year-round settlements outside of the villages; there is a summer colony around Lake Osiris in the northern section of town. Some inhabitants of Lake Osiris have made it their permanent residence. Fox Hill Bruderhof is located on the southern edge of Walden and has about 250 residents who work in their furniture factory and the Plough Publishing House.
The town's topography is generally level and low, except along parts of its eastern and western boundaries, reflecting the passage of the Wallkill River through it from north to west. There are large swamps in the south portion of town, some of them draining into the Otter Kill. Further north, the land becomes drier and more arable. It is mostly farmed, used for small residential subdivisions or left as undeveloped open space. There are a few exceptions: the business parks along Bracken, Neelytown and Stone Castle roads and NY 208, several of the Valley Central schools, the large Shop Rite plaza on Goodwill Road and Orange County Airport.
Two areas along the river have been set aside as parks. The county's Winding Hills Park is partially within Montgomery, as are portions of two larger state-level protected areas: Highland Lakes State Park and Stewart State Forest. The Thomas Bull Memorial Park, which expands over 719 acres and is the second largest developed park in Orange County, is named after a sympathizer to the British during the American Revolution.
The Wallkill River is the town's major watercourse, flowing through it from south to north past both the villages Montgomery and Walden, also partially serving as its border with Hamptonburgh. Two of its tributaries flow through Montgomery as well. The Muddy Kill, located entirely within the town, drains the area below the Comfort Hills in west central Montgomery. Tin Brook, the Wallkill's only major eastern tributary, rises just southeast of the town and flows north, then west, through Walden to drain into the river just north of the village.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 51.1 square miles (132.3 km²), of which, 50.4 square miles (130.6 km²) of it is land and 0.6 square miles (1.7 km²) of it (1.25%) is water. The highest point in the town is the U.S. Geological Survey's Garrison benchmark at a corner of the Ulster County line on Kings Hill, at 820 feet (250 m) above sea level; this is also the highest point in the neighboring Town of Newburgh as well. The lowest elevation is 240 feet (73 m), where the Wallkill River flows across the northern town and county line.
Montgomery is referred to as the "transportation hub of the northeast" from the days when the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad (later part of Penn Central) had a major presence north of Maybrook, and the Wallkill Valley Railroad (later absorbed into the New York Central) ran through Montgomery and Walden, connecting to the Erie Railroad mainline at Goshen. As of the late 20th century the rail lines have been reduced to freight spurs and rail trails, and roads have taken over that role.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 20,891 people, 7,273 households, and 5,447 families residing in the town. The population density was 414.2 people per square mile (159.9/km²). There were 7,643 housing units at an average density of 151.5 per square mile (58.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 91.28% White, 3.69% Black or African American, 0.25% Native American, 0.68% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 2.35% from other races, and 1.73% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.75% of the population.
There were 7,273 households out of which 40.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.3% were married couples living together, 11.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.1% were non-families. 20.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.84 and the average family size was 3.28.
In the town, the population was spread out with 29.3% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 31.1% from 25 to 44, 21.9% from 45 to 64, and 10.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.6 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $49,422, and the median income for a family was $56,376. Males had a median income of $40,881 versus $29,163 for females. The per capita income for the town was $20,222. About 4.6% of families and 7.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.2% of those under age 18 and 10.3% of those age 65 or over.
Like most other towns in New York, Montgomery is governed by a five-member town board, consisting of the full-time town supervisor, in whom executive power is vested, and four councilmembers. The town clerk, highway superintendent and receiver of taxes (essentially the town's chief financial officer) are also elected. All officials serve four-year terms except the supervisor, who is elected every two years. Elections are held in odd-numbered years.
In 2004, Susan Cockburn, a Democrat, was elected supervisor, and served two terms from 2005 to 2009. She was the first female supervisor from out-of-area and was the first supervisor to have a professional degree. During her time as supervisor, she created a 24-hour police force and started the Boys and Girls club in that area. Michael Hayes was elected supervisor in 2009, beating Cockburn in the general election. He served in that position until 2017, the year which Rodney Winchell beat Hayes in the Republican caucus. Hayes chose not to run an official primary for his seat. In the general election, Winchell won. In 2019, former Walden mayor Brian Maher beat Winchell in the Republican and Independence primaries, but Winchell won the Conservative party primary. The town supervisor election was a three-way race between Maher, Winchell, and Maybrook mayor Dennis Leahy. Brian Maher ultimately won the 2019 election and now serves as supervisor.
The current serving board members are Sherry Melick, Cindy Voss, Ron Feller and Kristen Brown. All are Republicans except Brown, a Democrat.
Three of the 21 members of the Orange County Legislature represent districts which include portions of the town. Chairman L. Stephen Brescia, also mayor of the village of Montgomery, represents District 9, which covers not only his village but Maybrook and the western half of the town. Walden and most of the eastern half of the town are in District 17, represented by Mike Anagnostakis. The northeastern corner of the town is in District 16, represented by Leigh Benton. They are also Republicans.
Representation in the state legislature is split between Republicans and Democrats in the town of Montgomery. It is at the southern end of the 101st Assembly district, currently represented by Brian Miller. State Senator James Skoufis represents the town as part of the 39th District.
Despite long being represented exclusively by Republicans at the state and county level, Montgomery has long been part of U.S. House districts held by Democrats. It, like all of Orange County, is currently part of the state's 18th congressional district, represented by Sean Patrick Maloney. Prior to the 2010s, it was one of three towns in the county to be part of what was then the 22nd district, represented by Maurice Hinchey. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand represent the town and all of New York in the U.S. Senate.
Communities and locations in the Town of Montgomery
- Allards (formerly "Allards Corners") – A hamlet near the north town line.
- Berea – A hamlet east of Montgomery village on NY-17K, west of Coldenham.
- Coldenham – A hamlet east of Montgomery village on NY-17K.
- Maybrook – Most of the Village of Maybrook is located in the southern part of the town on NY-208.
- Montgomery – The Village of Montgomery is located near the center of the town at the intersection of NY-17K and NY-211.
- Morrison Heights – A hamlet north of Maybrook by Interstate 84, on the 208 into Montgomery.
- Scotts Corner – A hamlet two miles east of Montgomery village, located at the intersection of NY-17K and NY-208.
- Walden – The Village of Walden is in the northern part of the town by the Wallkill River and NY-208.
- "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jul 5, 2017.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
- Dreher, Rod. "Life Among The Bruderhof". The American Conservative. Retrieved 2019-10-09.
- "Bruderhof Communities - GAMEO". gameo.org. Retrieved 2019-10-09.
- McKenna, Chris. Thomas Bull Memorial Park named after British loyalist during Revolutionary War era. Times Herald-Record July 2, 2015. http://www.recordonline.com/article/20150702/NEWS/150709804. Accessed January 2, 2017.
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Orange County Legislature". Orange County. 2017. Retrieved June 25, 2017.
- Orange County Legislative Districts (PDF) (Map). Cartography by Orange County GIS services. Goshen, NY: Orange County. June 14, 2013. Retrieved June 25, 2017.
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