Explore the Hudson Valley

Experience The Hudson Valley

History Happened Here

  |   November 1, 2017  |  Comment

Fall is the perfect time to explore some of the rich cultural history that surrounds the area. But don’t worry—when the cold comes, there are indoor museums as well.

Independent, not-for-profit museum Locust Grove is located in Poughkeepsie. Set on 200-acres, Locust Grove Estate features an Italianate villa dating to 1851. Designed for Samuel Morse, the mansion is the work of architect A. J. Davis. The carriage roads, views of the Hudson River, and manicured gardens make for a picturesque fall afternoon.

Not too far from Locust Grove lies Historic Huguenot Street in New Paltz, first established in 1698 by a group of Huguenot families. In 1894, their descendants formed what is today the community of Historic Huguenot Street to preserve their legacy. This 10-acre National Historic Landmark District includes a visitor center, seven historic stone houses, and a reconstructed 1717 Huguenot church. For a spooky walk, we recommend a dusk stroll through the burial ground, which contains some of the original inhabitants.

In 1714, American Jewish leader Luis Moses Gomez purchased 1,000 acres in Newburgh. Later, his two sons, Jacob and Daniel, accumulated a total of 4,000 acres. The Gomez Mill House has been home to many notable members of American history, such as American Revolutionary patriot Wolfert Eckert; 19th-century gentleman farmer and conservationist William Henry Armstrong; Dard Hunter and social activist Martha Gruening. The Gomez Mill House is open to visitors on a guided tour only.

Newburgh is also home to Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site. General George Washington spent crucial months here, making key historical decisions. Tour the rooms where he pondered whether or not to be king after the war; decided to eliminate military control of the government; developed and awarded the Badge of Military Merit; and floated a letter to state governors that influenced the writing of the United States Constitution.

West Point, the United States Military Academy, was founded in 1802. Its official motto is “to educate, train, and inspire the Corps of Cadets so that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character committed to the values of Duty, Honor, Country and prepared for a career of professional excellence and service to the Nation as an officer in the United States Army.” Visitors should head to the visitor center to take a guided tour. While there, the West Point Museum is open to the public as well.

In Kingston, the Hudson River Maritime Museum’s newest edition for 2017, “The Modeler’s Craft,” features boat models from the museum’s collection as well as some on loan from Friends of Historic Kingston and the Newburgh Historical Society. In the more permanent collection in the East Gallery, industrial, maritime, and ecological history is profiled. Don’t miss one of the few remaining steam boats with her original engine intact Mathilda, permanently docked at the museum’s yard.

Pictured above: Dard Hunter Mill at The Gomez Mill House, Newburgh

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