Hudson Valley

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This article is about the region. For the magazine, see Hudson Valley (magazine).
The Hudson Valley

The Hudson Valley comprises the valley of the Hudson River and its adjacent communities in the U.S. state of New York, from the cities of Albany and Troy southward to Yonkers in Westchester County.[1]

Geology and physiography[edit]

The lower Hudson Valley cuts through the Appalachian zones of the eastern USA - USGS

The Hudson River valley runs more or less north to south down the eastern edge of New York State, cutting through a series of rock types including Triassic sandstones and redbeds in the south and much more ancient Precambrian gneiss in the north (and east). In the Hudson Highlands, the river enters a fjord cut during previous ice ages. To the west lie the extensive Appalachian highlands. In the Tappan Zee region, the west side of the river has high cliffs produced by an erosion-resistant diabase; these cliffs range from 400–800 feet in height.[2]

The Hudson Valley is one physiographic section of the larger Ridge-and-Valley province, which in turn is part of the larger Appalachian physiographic division.[3] The northern portions of the Hudson Valley fall within the Eastern Great Lakes and Hudson Lowlands Ecoregion.

During the last ice age, the valley was filled by a large glacier that pushed down as far as Long Island. Near the end of the last ice age, the Great Lakes drained south down the Hudson River, from a large glacial lake called Lake Iroquois.[4] Lake Ontario is the remnant of that Lake. Large sand deposits remain from where Lake Iroquois drained into the Hudson; these are now part of the Rome Sand Plains.

History[edit]

Colonial era[edit]

The Catskill Mountains seen from across the Hudson River.
The lower Hudson River and west end of Long Island photographed from the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1993.

At the time of the arrival of the first Europeans in the 17th century, the area of Hudson Valley was inhabited primarily by the Algonquian-speaking Mahican and Lenape Native American peoples,[6][7] known collectively as River Indians.[8]

The first Dutch settlement was in the 1610s with the establishment of Fort Nassau, a trading post (factorij) south of modern-day Albany, with the purpose of exchanging European goods for beaver pelts. Fort Nassau was later replaced by Fort Orange. During the rest of the 17th century, the Hudson Valley formed the heart of the New Netherland colony operations, with the New Amsterdam settlement on Manhattan serving as a post for supplies and defense of the upriver operations.[9]

During the French and Indian War in the 1750s, the northern end of the valley became the bulwark of the British defense against French invasion from Canada via Lake Champlain.[10]

The valley became one of the major regions of conflict during the American Revolution. Part of the early strategy of the British was to sever the colonies in two by maintaining control of the river.[11]

19th century[edit]

Following the building of the Erie Canal, the area became an important industrial center. The canal opened the Hudson Valley and New York City to commerce with the Midwest and Great Lakes regions.[12] However, in the mid 20th century, many of the industrial towns went into decline.[13]

In the early 19th century, popularized by the stories of Washington Irving, the Hudson Valley gained a reputation as a somewhat gothic region inhabited by the remnants of the early days of the Dutch colonization of New York (see, e.g., The Legend of Sleepy Hollow). The area is associated with the Hudson River School, a group of American Romantic painters who worked from about 1830 to 1870.[14]

Morning, Looking East over the Hudson Valley from Catskill Mountains by Frederic Edwin Church (1848), of the Hudson River School

The natural beauty of the Hudson Valley has earned the Hudson River the nickname "America's Rhineland",[15][16] a comparison to the famous 40 mile (65 km) stretch of Germany's Rhine River valley between the cities of Bingen and Koblenz. A similar 30-mile (48 km) stretch of the east bank in Dutchess and Columbia counties has been designated a National Historic Landmark.

Tourism became a major industry as early as 1810, as elite visitors frequented the mineral water at Ballston Spa and Saratoga Springs for their health. With convenient steamboat connections in New York City, and numerous attractive hotels in romantic settings, tourism became an important industry. Early guidebooks providing suggestions on their itinerary. Middle class women People who read James Fenimore Cooper's novels, or saw the paintings of the Hudson River School, where especially attracted. [17]

Hudson river pollution[edit]

The numerous factories that at one time lined the Hudson River poured garbage and industrial waste directly into the river. This pollution was not assessed in a comprehensive fashion until the 1970s. By that time, the largest company still operating factories in the area was General Electric, which became primarily responsible for cleaning the Hudson River. In 2009 dredging was started to remove contaminated sediments from the river bed and in 2010 General Electric agreed to finance and conduct a second dredging campaign at the Upper Hudson River between Fort Edward and Troy. These works will be supervised by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.[18] Though the work is slow going, environmental advocacy groups have lent their voice to the problem of pollution. Scenic Hudson, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Hudson Riverkeeper, and the NRDC continue to push for more action from General Electric.[19][20]

Regions[edit]

The Hudson Valley is divided into three regions: Lower, Middle, and Upper. The following is a list of the counties within the Hudson Valley sorted by region.[21] The Lower Hudson Valley is typically considered part of the Downstate New York region due to its geographical and cultural proximity to New York City

Lower Hudson


Mid-Hudson

Upper Hudson/Capital District

Communities[edit]

Sports[edit]

The Hudson Valley Renegades is a minor league baseball team affiliated with the Tampa Bay Rays. The team is a member of the New York - Penn League and plays at Dutchess Stadium in Fishkill. The Rockland Boulders of the independent Can-Am League play in Rockland County.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mountains, Valleys and the Hudson River". Hudson Valley Tourism. 2009. Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
  2. ^ Van Diver, B.B. 1985. Roadside Geology of New York. Mountain Press, Missoula. p. 59-63.
  3. ^ "Physiographic divisions of the conterminous U. S.". U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 2007-12-06. 
  4. ^ Eyles, N. Ontario Rocks: Three Billion Years of Environmental Change. Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Markham, Ontario. 339 p.
  5. ^ "National Historic Landmarks Program - Lake Mohonk Mountain House". National Park Service. Retrieved 2012-09-03. 
  6. ^ Ruttenberg, Edward Manning (1872). History of the Indian tribes of Hudson's River: Their Origin, Manners and Customs, Tribal and Sub-tribal Organizations, Wars, Treaties, etc.. Albany, NY: J. Munsell. OCLC 85801464. 
  7. ^ Wermuth, Thomas S.; Johnson, James M.; Pryslopski, Christopher, eds. (2009). America's first river: the history and culture of the Hudson River Valley. State University of New York Press. ISBN 978-0-615-30829-6. 
  8. ^ Dunn, Shirley W. (2009). The River Indians – Mohicans Making History. Purple Mountain Press. ISBN 978-0-916346-78-2. 
  9. ^ Gehring, Charles T.; Starna, William A., "Dutch and Indians in the Hudson Valley: The Early Period". Wermuth et al., pp. 13–29.
  10. ^ Thomas, A and Smith, P; Upstate down: thinking about New York and its discontents University Press of America 2009, p78
  11. ^ Glatthaar, Joseph T., and Martin, James Kirby (2007). Forgotten Allies: The Oneida Indians and the American Revolution, p. 39. Macmillan. ISBN 0-8090-4600-8.
  12. ^ Stanne, Stephen P., et al. (1996). The Hudson: An Illustrated Guide to the Living River, p. 120. Rutgers University Press. ISBN 0-8135-2271-4.
  13. ^ Hirschl, Thomas A.; Heaton, Tim B. (1999). New York State in the 21st Century. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 126–128. ISBN 0-275-96339-X. 
  14. ^ Dunwell, Francis F. (2008). The Hudson: America's river. Columbia University Press. p. 100. ISBN 978-0-231-13641-9. 
  15. ^ Collins, Clay (2011-01-01). "Venison juniper berry marinade". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2011-09-29. "Christmas at my German in-laws’ house in New York’s Hudson Valley – America’s Rhineland – means goose, red cabbage, and klösse (potato dumplings)." 
  16. ^ "Grapes of the Hudson Valley". Hudson Valley Wine Magazine. Retrieved 2011-09-29. "The Hudson Valley’s beautiful river, shorelines and mountains have led some to call our valley ‘America’s Rhineland.’" 
  17. ^ Richard H. Gassan, The Birth of American Tourism: New York, the Hudson Valley, and American Culture, 1790-1835 (2008)
  18. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". Hudson River PCBs. New York, NY: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
  19. ^ Revkin, Andrew (15 May 2009). "Dredging of Pollutants Begins in Hudson". New York Times. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  20. ^ Dyer, Johanna (18 January 2013). "New Hudson River PCB Contamination Report Confirms Need for Thorough Cleanup". National Resource Defence Council. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  21. ^ Silverman, B et al; Frommer's New York State Frommer's 2009, p196

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]