Located in southeastern Delaware County, Andes borders Ulster County and is partly in the Catskill Park. The town includes 112.7 square miles. Its population was 1,301 at the 2010 Census.
The town of Andes was formed in 1819. Its name was inspired by a resident, who, seeing that the new town was to include one of the hilliest and highest sections of the county, remarked that it ought to named for the South American mountain range.
Andes was the site of the seminal event in the tenant farmer rebellion in Upstate New York during the 1840s. Tired of being exploited by large, and often absent, landowners, tenant farmers, disguised as “Calico Indians”, confronted law enforcement officials at a livestock sale organized to pay back rent. Undersheriff Osman Steele, who famously said “Lead cannot penetrate Steele”, was shot during the confrontation and later died. Hundreds of tenant farmers were arrested and a few protesters were sentenced to death by hanging. The Anti-Rent Party gained political support in Delaware County as well as in Albany and the farmers’ sentences were commuted. The Anti-Rent War led to the end of the feudal practice of land tenure and widespread tenant farming.