A Brief History of the Township of Rosendale
By Ann Gilchrist, Rosendale Town Historian
The township of Rosendale came into being on April 26,1844 by an act of New York State’s General Assembly which formed the new political identity from land that had previously been included in the towns of Hurley, New Paltz and Marbletown. The new town included 11,413 acres according to the census of 1875, and its creation was no doubt due to the state’s desire to bring the booming cement industry under one political body.
These mining businesses began in 1825 when blasting for the construction of the locks on the Delaware and Hudson Canal in High Falls had begun and uncovered a natural, hydraulic cement which was extremely durable. This discovery of cement led directly to the formation of the township of Rosendale in 1844 because the state intended to place the booming cement industry under the control of one political body.
At its peak during the second half of the eighteenth century, this cement business involved the operation of at least 19 large companies and several smaller ventures and employed more than 5,000 men. Four million barrels of cement a year were produced which was 50 percent of the total production of natural cement in the United States.