|o Total||35.97 sq mi (93.15 km2)|
|o Land||29.91 sq mi (77.47 km2)|
|o Water||6.06 sq mi (15.68 km2) 16.74%|
| o Estimate |
|o Density||204.91/sq mi (79.12/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
The Town of Hurley is in the northeast part of the county, west of the City of Kingston. Much of the town is inside the Catskill Park. Located within the town is a hamlet and census-designated place also named Hurley.
In the Spring of 1662, Petrus Stuyvesant, Director General of New Netherland, established the village of Niew Dorp on the site of an earlier Native American Settlement. On June 7, 1663, during the Esopus Wars the Esopus attacked and destroyed the village, and took captives who were later released. England acquired the Dutch Colony on September 6, 1664. On September 17, 1669, the village, abandoned since the Esopus attack, was resettled and renamed Hurley. It has been stated that the resettled village was named after Francis Lovelace, Baron Hurley of Ireland. However, no such title existed and it is more likely that Lovelace renamed the settlement Hurley somehow in reference to, or solidarity with, his kinsmen and fellow Royalists, the Barons Lovelace of Hurley in Berkshire, England (contemporaries as well as modern historians often confuse Francis Lovelace the colonial governor with a son of Richard, 1st Baron Lovelace (1564-1634) of Hurley, Berkshire. This earlier Francis was to be the grandfather of the John Lovelace (1672-1709) a later colonial Governor). In 1708 two large land patents from the New York Colonial government expanded the bounds of Hurley northward to near the present boundary with the Town of Woodstock and southward to the old boundary of the Town of New Paltz.
The southern section was quickly settled by farmers and the villages of Bloomingdale and Wagondale (now Creeklocks) were established. The discovery of limestone suitable for cement made this a valuable economic area and the village of Rosendale became its center. These villages and the surrounding area became the core of the Town of Rosendale, established in 1844.
The central part of the Town (known sometimes as Old Hurley) remained an agricultural community of close-knit families. Farming the Esopus Valley they supplied grain to the growing colony, New England, and the American Revolutionary forces. During October, November, and December 1777, Old Hurley was the military headquarters for General George Clinton's Continental forces and the temporary capital of New York State.
Old Hurley's Main Street is part of the National Register of Historic Sites due to its well-preserved stone houses which have served as residences for more than 300 years. Some are open to the public once a year in July on Stone House Day and one contains the Hurley Heritage Society's museum.
The northern section of the Town was a forested wilderness until the discovery, in the 1830s, of a fine quality shale. Known as Blue Stone, it was used in the construction of road curbing, sidewalks and building facades. West Hurley, Glenford, and Ashton were villages established by the quarry industry. In 1917, New York City's need for a dependable water supply resulted in land condemnation and the flooding of the valley to create the Ashokan Reservoir. The flooded villages of Glenford and West Hurley were resettled on the shores of the reservoir, but Ashton was never relocated.
The construction of the Ashokan Reservoir inundated many communities in 1912.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 36.0 square miles (93.2 km²), of which, 30.0 square miles (77.6 km²) of it is land and 6.0 square miles (15.6 km²) of it (16.74%) is water.
Esopus Creek, a tributary of the Hudson River, flows through the town. The eastern part of the Ashokan Reservoir is in the northern part of the town.
As of the census of 2000, there were 6,564 people, 2,694 households, and 1,872 families residing in the town. The population density was 219.2 people per square mile (84.6/km²). There were 2,946 housing units at an average density of 98.4 per square mile (38.0/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 95.64% White, 1.40% Black or African American, 0.12% Native American, 1.22% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 0.30% from other races, and 1.20% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.90% of the population.
There were 2,694 households out of which 28.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.8% were married couples living together, 8.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.5% were non-families. 25.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 2.88.
In the town, the population was spread out with 22.3% under the age of 18, 4.6% from 18 to 24, 24.5% from 25 to 44, 31.0% from 45 to 64, and 17.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.2 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $51,055, and the median income for a family was $59,487. Males had a median income of $39,565 versus $27,238 for females. The per capita income for the town was $25,864. About 4.4% of families and 6.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.2% of those under age 18 and 5.3% of those age 65 or over.