Kingston is a city in and the county seat of Ulster County, New York, USA. It is 91 miles (146 km) north of New York City and 59 miles (90 km) south of Albany. It became New York's first capital in 1777, and was burned by the British Oct. 16, 1777, after the Battles of Saratoga. In the 19th century, the city became an important transport hub after the discovery of natural cement in the region, and had both railroad and canal connections. Passenger rail service has since ceased, and many of the older buildings are part of three historic districts, such as the Stockade District uptown, the Midtown Neighborhood Broadway Corridor, and the Rondout-West Strand Historic District downtown. For what's happening in Kingston this week go to: Kingston Happenings The town of Rondout, New York, now a part of the city of Kingston, became an important freight hub for the transportation of coal from Pennsylvania to New York City through the D & H canal. This hub was later used to transport other goods, including bluestone. Kingston shaped and shipped most of the bluestone made to create the sidewalks of New York City. Natural cement deposits were found throughout the valley, and in 1844 quarrying began in the "Ponchockie" section of Rondout. The Newark Lime and Cement Company shipped cement throughout the United States, a thriving business until the invention of the cheaper, quicker drying Portland Cement. Large warehouses of ice sat beside the Hudson river from which the ice was cut during the winter and preserved all year to be used in early refrigeration. Large brick making factories were also located close to this shipping hub. Rondouts central location as a shipping hub ended with the advent of railroads which ran through Rondout and Kingston but could transport their loads through the city without stopping.