Kinderhook, New York

town in Columbia County, New York, United States of America

Kinderhook is a town in the northern part of Columbia County, New York, United States. The population was 8,330 as of 2020,[1] making it the municipality with the most people in the county. The name of the town comes from the phrase "bend in the corner where the children are" in the language of the original Dutch settlers, by the Dutch word Kinderhoek. The eighth president of the United States, Martin Van Buren was born in Kinderhook.

The city of Kinderhook has two villages and one hamlet.



Kinderhook was originally spelled 'Kinderhoek' by famous explorer Henry Hudson[2] in 1609, when spotting some American Indian children looking at his ship, the Half Moon sailing upstream.[3]



Hudson had many other encounters with the Indians, who were from the Mohican tribe, such as trading and skirmishing. When the Dutch settled Kinderhook, they had further warfare. However, the Dutch prevailed and established it as a district in 1772 and a town in 1788.[4] Since then, the town lost a lot of land to other towns. In 1775, Chatham took a significant portion of the town, followed by Ghent in 1818 and Stuyvesant in 1823.[5] Kinderhook is one of the original towns of Columbia County and as a result is the most populous.



The town has a total area of 32.4 square miles (83.9 km2), of which 31.8 square miles (82.4 km2) is land and 0.6 square miles (1.6 km2), or 1.87%, is water,[6] including Kinderhook Lake, Kinderhook Creek, and the waterfalls of Valatie. The north part of the town forms the border between Columbia and Rensselar County. U.S. Route 9 and New York State Route 9H pass through Kinderhook.

Arts and culture


The retirement home of U.S. President Martin Van Buren, Lindenwald is in Kinderhook,[7] as well as the famous Luykas Van Alen House, a National Historic Landmark said to be the inspiration for the Van Tassel Family in Washington Irving's book "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow", along with character Jesse Merwin. In honour of this fact, the Ichabod Crane schoolhouse was built next to the van Alen House in 1850, and is also a National Historic Landmark. The other two Landmarks are the James Vanderpoel House of History and the CCHS Museum & Library Building.

The Columbia County Historical Society has its headquarters in Kinderhook. In addition to managing the four National Historic Landmarks of Kinderhook, it owns and displays a permanent collection of important genealogical materials, along with paintings, furniture, and other art related to the culture of Columbia County.[8]

The Martin Van Buren Public School now no longer holds classes, but does have an international gallery of contemporary art, named The School. It is owned by the Jack Shainman Gallery in New York City.[9][10]



In the 2020 census,[11] there were 8,330 people. The races in Kinderhook were 88.5% white, 1.5% black or African American, 0.5% Native American or Alaska Native, 1.5% Asian, 2.1% from other races, and 5.9% two or more races.

In the town, the population was spread out with 17.9% under the age of 18, 56.4% between the ages of 18 and 65, and 25.7% above the age of 65. The median age was 49.5 years.

In 2022, the median income for full-time year-round workers in Kinderhook was about $71,758 for males and $68,013 for females.[12]



The current Town Supervisor is Patrice Leader.[13]

Famous Residents


Famous residents of Kinderhook include:



  1. "QuickFacts: Kinderhook town, Columbia County, New York". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 7, 2024.
  2. Collier, Edward Augustus (1914). A History of Old Kinderhook from Aboriginal Days to the Present Time: Including the Story of the Early Settlers, Their Homesteads, Their Traditions, and Their Descendants; with an Account of Their Civic, Social, Political, Educational, and Religious Life. G. P. Putnam's sons.
  3. "Town of Kinderhook, NY". 2014-12-10. Archived from the original on 2014-12-10. Retrieved 2020-03-07.
  4. "Town of Kinderhook, NY -". 2014-07-26. Archived from the original on 2014-07-26. Retrieved 2020-03-07.
  5. "History". COLUMBIA COUNTY, NY. Retrieved 2020-03-07.
  6. "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 7, 2024.
  7. "Martin Van Buren's Lindenwald--Presidents: A Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary". Retrieved 2020-03-07.
  8. "PERMANENT COLLECTION". Columbia County Historical Society. Archived from the original on 2020-09-24. Retrieved 2020-03-07.
  9. Hallenbeck, Brent. "Going Home, new Weekend feature: Columbia County, N.Y." Burlington Free Press. Retrieved 2020-03-08.
  10. "ABOUT: JACK SHAINMAN GALLERY". Retrieved 2020-03-08.
  11. "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2020 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Kinderhook town, Columbia County, New York". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 7, 2024.
  12. "S2001: Earnings in the Past 12 Months (in 2022 Inflation-Adjusted Dollars)". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 7, 2024.
  13. "Welcome to Town Of Kinderhook, NY". Archived from the original on 2020-10-16. Retrieved 2020-03-08.
  14. Healy, Patrick (2006-10-18). "An Ill-Timed Candidate Believes His Time Is Now". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-03-08.
  15. Hero, retrieved 2020-03-08
  16. All Due Respect, retrieved 2020-03-08