2 Town (1990 pop. 1,870), Ulster co., SE N.Y., in an area of fruit and dairy farms, at the foothills of the Catskill Mts. The Woodstock Guild manages an artists' colony there (Byrdcliffe, opened 1903) and sponsors exhibits. The Art Students League of New York also had a summer school in the town (1906-22, 1947-79); an art school is now there.
Woodstock gave its name to the most famous of the music festivals of the 1960s and 70s, actually held (Aug., 1969) near Bethel, N.Y., c.45 mi (70 km) to the southwest. The name Woodstock has since signified the 1960s heyday of rock music and the youth counterculture movement. In Aug., 1994, a 25th-anniversary Woodstock concert was held in Saugerties, N.Y., c.7 mi (11 km) east of Woodstock.
In 1675, when King Philip's War broke out, some of the town's Indians, (especially in the southern part of the town) sided with the Mohegans and the English while others sided with the Indians led by Philip, rallying to arms on what is now Curtis Island in present Holland, Massachusetts and Brimfield, Massachusetts. During the war, the Praying town became deserted, and the English with their Indian allies marched through Woodstock to present day Thompson in the summer of 1676 burning any crops or stored corn they could find.
In 1682, Massachusetts bought a tract of land, which included Woodstock, from the Mohegans. A group of 13 men from Roxbury, Mass. (home of the Pastorate of Woodstock's earlier visitor, John Eliot), settled the town in 1686 and named it New Roxbury. Judge Samuel Sewall suggested the town change its name to Woodstock in 1690, and in 1749 the town became part of Connecticut.
By the middle of the 19th century, industry almost ceased, and Woodstock reverted back to a rural state. The town then became a summer destination for wealthy city dwellers from around the East coast of the United States.
U.S. Presidents visited Bowen's summer home on Woodstock Hill: Ulysses S. Grant, Benjamin Harrison, and Rutherford B. Hayes, as his guests and speakers for 4th of July celebrations. However, only Grant visited while he was a sitting President. Grant spent a night there in spite of the fact that Bowen (a teetotaler) forbade drinking and smoking in his home (Grant was made to smoke out on the porch, and he drank covertly).
Roseland Cottage, also known as the Pink House or the Bowen House, was a summer home built by wealthy businessman Henry C. Bowen in 1846. This is where Bowen hosted U.S. Presidents for his then-famous Independence Day celebrations at Roseland Park. Ulysses S. Grant bowled his first strike in the bowling alley located in the carriage barn.
The pink colored house features "tall, angular gables, gingerbread trim, and 21 formal flower gardens outlined by dwarf boxwood hedges," according to a Hartford Courant article. Roseland is an example of Victorian Gothic Revival style, which can be seen in its pointed gables, scrolled bargeboards, many tall chimneys, and leaded glass windows in diamond shapes. The outside walls, of board and batten wood siding, have been painted 13 different colors over the past 150 years -- all shades of pink (as of the summer of 2006 the house was a coral or salmon color). The house still has the owners' original furniture and knickknacks.
Roseland was designed (under Bowen's direction) by architect Joseph C. Wells. The design was influenced by the architectural design books of architectural critic Andrew Jackson Downing.
Fine Homebuilding magazine named Roseland one of the 25 most important houses in America in its 2006 Fine Homebuilding Houses Annual Issue.
There were 2,754 households out of which 36.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.9% were married couples living together, 6.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.6% were non-families. 20.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.04.
In the town the population was spread out with 26.3% under the age of 18, 5.3% from 18 to 24, 30.1% from 25 to 44, 25.9% from 45 to 64, and 12.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 98.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.6 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $55,313, and the median income for a family was $65,574. Males had a median income of $46,017 versus $30,222 for females. The per capita income for the town was $25,331. About 1.9% of families and 4.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.3% of those under age 18 and 5.2% of those age 65 or over.
Today the school serves the towns of Woodstock, Eastford, Pomfret, Union, Canterbury, and Brooklyn with a student population of over 1100. The school is often described as "independent" as it is not controlled by any of the municipalities that it serves.
Presently the Woodstock Board of Education is in the process of negotiating a new contract with the school, but negotiations have been at an impasse these last two years as the Woodstock Board of Education has been trying to get more financial control over Woodstock Academy, a school which is, as of 2007, only administered by itself and the state of Connecticut.