Gallatin is a town in southernmost Columbia County 100 miles north of New York City. The population was 1,668 as of the 2010 census, and the area covers 39.6 square miles which remain largely agricultural.
The region was part of Livingston Manor, formed from part of Ancram in 1830, and named for Albert Gallatin. The first European settlement in what is now Gallatin was in the early 1700’s.
The history of Columbia County names a Palatine German, Hans Dings, as first settler. Legend has it Hans Dings was following the Roeliff Jansen Kill River when he came across a native American who invited him to settle there. The area is now called Silvernails.
The Dings family cemetery, located off Silvernails Road, is the oldest cemetery in Gallatin, dating from before 1748. There was once a railroad station, post office and grist mill at Silvernails.
Gallatin Reformed Church on County Route 7 is the only standing church in town. It was established in 1748 as the Dutch Reformed Protestant Church. Gallatin Conservation Area is 26 acres and includes a quarter-mile stretch of the Roeliff Jansen Kill.
There is a new parking area facilitating visitors to the stream as well as nature lovers. Wide enough for fly fishing and stocked with trout by ENCON, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the stream is an exceptional resource.
For bird watchers, the hillside provides excellent viewpoints to see soaring hawks and woodland birds. The streamside habitat includes a multitude of tree species and wildlife, and the newly installed Wood Duck Box is ready for nesting.
On the town line between Gallatin and Taghkanic is Lake Taghkanic adjacent to the Taconic State Parkway. The Park features two beaches, East and West, and has fully equipped bathing facilities, picnic areas, game areas, and boat rentals.
Lake Taghkanic State Park offers a wonderful variety of recreational activities, or choose to just take in some sun while picnicking at the beach.