Rhinebeck, NY exists within Dutchess County and is comprised of two governmental jurisdictions, The Town of Rhinebeck and The Village of Rhinebeck. Residents of the village are citizens of both the town and village. Town residents who live outside the village are citizens only of the town.
The Town of Rhinebeck has a rich historical and cultural past spanning over 300 years of European settlement and several thousand years of pre-historic habitation by Native Americans. In 1686, land on the east bank of the Hudson River was acquired by three Dutchmen from Kingston. In a separate transaction, another Dutchman, Hendrick Kip, acquired additional acreage which he divided with his brother Jacob, land which is now just north of Rhinecliff. This settlement, on the east bank, became known as Kipsbergen.
In 1695, Henry Beekman acquired the remaining land in what is now known as the Town of Rhinebeck. In addition to a sale of land to citizens from Kingston, Henry was able to settle 35 families from Germany on his property. This settlement became the nucleus for a community which soon was known as Rhinebeck and was located north of the present 9 & 9G intersection.