Wawarsing, New York
|o Total||133.86 sq mi (346.70 km2)|
|o Land||130.51 sq mi (338.01 km2)|
|o Water||3.36 sq mi (8.69 km2)|
|Elevation||1,204 ft (367 m)|
| o Estimate |
|o Density||98.33/sq mi (37.97/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||0979609|
Wawarsing is a town in Ulster County, New York, United States. The population was 13,157 at the 2010 census. The name means "a place where the stream bends" in the Warwarsink language and refers to the geography of the land; particularly the joining of the Ver Nooy Kill and the Rondout Creek.
The Town of Wawarsing is in the western part of the county. The southern and eastern-most portions are on the Shawangunk Ridge. Most of the hilly town is in the Appalachian foot-hills, while the northernmost part is in the Catskills. It has three State Forests (Shawangunk Ridge, VerNooykill, and Witches Hole), as well as most of Minnewaska State Park and Sam's Point Preserve, and portions of the Catskill Preserve and Sundown State Park. US 209 crosses the town, passing through many principal communities: Spring Glen, Laurenkill, Ellenville, Napanoch, the hamlet of Wawarsing, Soccanissing, and Kerhonkson. US 44 begins at a junction with 209 near the east town line. N.Y. Route 52 runs east-west near the southern border. All three roads are part of the Shawangunk Ridge National Scenic Byway.
Wawarsing is located above a leak in the underground Delaware Aqueduct, part of the New York City water supply system, which has caused subsidence and seepage problems affecting over 50 homes in the area, as well as contamination of drinking water.
The Lenape settlement "at Wawarasinke" was burned by English militiamen, led by Marten Crieger, after the Natives attacked Wiltwyck and took captives in 1663. In 1685, Warnaar Hoornbeek leased land there and was accepted as its first European pioneer. In 1703 the areas of Mombacus and Wawarasink, Ulster County, were made The Town of Rochester. During The Revolutionary War, Wawarsing, Napanoch and Pinebush (Kerhonkson area) where attacked by British raiders, who massacred many women and children and burned the farms. In 1906, Wawarsing, Napanoch, Laurenkil, Lackawack and Grenfield joined together to form The Town of Wawarsing out of Southern Rochester and parts of unincorporated Ulster County.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 133.9 square miles (347 km2), of which 130.8 square miles (339 km2) is land and 3.1 square miles (8.0 km2) (2.32%) is water.
The northern part of the town is the southernmost portion of the Catskill Mountains. The eastern border is the Shawangunk Ridge (pronounced Shaw-ong-ungk). Rondout Creek passes through the town, as do the Sandburgh, Laurenkill, Beerkill, Fantinekill and VerNooykill creeks.
As of the census of 2000, there were 12,889 people, 4,382 households, and 2,966 families residing in the town. The population density was 98.6 people per square mile (38.1/km²). There were 5,821 housing units at an average density of 44.5/sq mi (17.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 75.03% White, 12.45% African American, 0.52% Native American, 1.17% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 7.76% from other races, and 3.06% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 18.05% of the population.
There were 4,382 households out of which 32.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.8% were married couples living together, 14.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.3% were non-families. 26.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.07.
In the town, the population was spread out with 23.2% under the age of 18, 8.2% from 18 to 24, 33.1% from 25 to 44, 23.4% from 45 to 64, and 12.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 117.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 119.9 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $35,872, and the median income for a family was $43,828. Males had a median income of $32,121 versus $24,656 for females. The per capita income for the town was $16,512. About 13.3% of families and 19.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.6% of those under age 18 and 12.9% of those age 65 or over.