Find Vacation Lodging at a Chatham New York Bed and Breakfast
Chatham, New York, is located on the northern border of Columbia County, in the upper Hudson Valley, about 10 miles east of the Hudson River. Chatham was originally settled by the Dutch in the 1600’s and was officially established as a town in 1795. Typical of rural Columbia County, the township contains a number of hamlets, starting with the village of Chatham, which lies on its southern border, as well as East Chatham, North Chatham, Old Chatham and Chatham Center. Perhaps the most picturesque of its hamlets are Old Chatham, Malden Bridge and New Concord, due to the 18th and early 19th c. architecture of their buildings.
Agriculture has always been an important part of the economy in the township and remains so today. Traditionally Chatham and much of Columbia County supported many dairy farms, and although only 6 dairy farms remain in Chatham, other kinds of farming is on the rise, including produce farms, sheep, horse and alpaca farms, cheese-making businesses, and wineries.This agricultural heritage is also represented at the Columbia County Fair held each Labor Day weekend at the Chatham Fairgrounds.In the late 1800’s, Chatham village was an industrial center with multiple railroad lines intersecting in the heart of the village. Its handsome railroad station, built in 1887 and designed by famed architect Henry Hobson Richardson, is a prominent feature.The main shopping area is concentrated in one handsome block, lined with 4-story brick buildings, and anchored at one end by a clock tower. Restaurants, retail shops, bakeries, real estate offices, a Friday Farmer’s Market, several bookstores, a movie theater, a brewery, and a pub draw visitors, weekenders, and locals to the village.
The historic Crandell Theater still looks as it did when first opened in 1926. Now owned and operated by the Chatham Film Club, it hosts the excellent Film Columbia movie festival each October. Other cultural venues include the summer stock Mac-Haydn Theater presenting musicals in its 350-seat theater-in-the-round, and PS 21, a performance space that presents dance, music, theater and film in the middle of an orchard, under a space age tent.