Portal:Hudson Valley

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The Hudson Valley is the canyon of the Hudson River and its adjacent communities in New York State, generally from northern Westchester County northward to the cities of Albany and Troy. Historically a cradle of European settlement in the northeastern United States and a strategic battleground in colonial wars, it now consists of suburbs of the metropolitan area of New York City at its southern end, shading into rural territory, including "exurbs," farther north. Geographically, the Hudson Valley could refer to all areas along the Hudson River, including Bergen County, New Jersey. However, this definition is not commonly used and the Tappan Zee Bridge is often considered the southern limit of the area. Though Westchester County is often classified as part of the region, Westchester residents who live at the southern end of the county (and especially the locations closer to the Long Island Sound than the Hudson River) generally do not associate themselves with the region.

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The Hudson River, called Muh-he-kun-ne-tuk in Mahican, the Great Mohegan by the Iroquois, or as the Lenape Native Americans called it in Unami, Muhheakantuck (Θkahnéhtati in Tuscarora), is a river that runs through the eastern portion of New York State and, along its southern terminus, demarcates the border between the states of New York and New Jersey. It is named for Henry Hudson, an Englishman sailing for the Dutch East India Company, who explored it in 1609. The Hudson River was originally named the Mauritius River, which is claimed to be the name given by Hudson in honor of Prince Maurice of Nassau.

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Downtown Patterson, NY.jpg

New York State Route 311 (NY 311) is a state highway located entirely within Putnam County, New York, United States. The highway begins at New York State Route 52 in Lake Carmel, and intersects Interstate 84 shortly thereafter. It crosses NY 164 and NY 292 as it heads into the northeastern part of the county, finally curving east to reach its northern terminus at NY 22 just south of the Dutchess County line. The route passes several historical sites. Part of modern-day Route 311 was originally the Philipstown Turnpike, a road built in 1815 to overcome a lack of transportation when the Hudson River froze during the winter months. The turnpike was a large business center for the county, though it was abandoned due to insufficient tolls to maintain it. Another section was constructed in the early 1900s, from the Patterson Baptist Church near the modern-day intersection of Route 311 and Route 164 to the Village of Patterson, by a group of Italian immigrants. In the 1930 renumbering, the segment of former NY 39 east of West Patterson was renumbered to NY 311. In the late 1930s, NY 52 was realigned to its current alignment between Stormville and Lake Carmel.

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Credit: Daniel Case
Looking east along Main Street from NY 214 towards Mount Tremper in Phoenicia, New York

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Farmhouse in Garrison Grist Mill Historic District

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Kiliaen van Rensselaer (before 1596 – after 1642) was a Dutch diamond and pearl merchant from Amsterdam who was one of the founders and directors of the Dutch West India Company and was instrumental in the establishment of New Netherland. He became one of the first patroons and ended up being the only successful one, having founded the Manor of Rensselaerswyck in what is now mainly New York's Capital District. His estate lasted as a legal entity until the 1840s, having lived through Dutch and British colonial times, the American Revolution, and eventually coming to an end during the Anti-Rent War.

Van Rensselaer was born in the province of Gelderland to a soldier and a homemaker. To keep him from risking his life in the army like his father, he apprenticed under his uncle, a successful Amsterdam jeweler. He too became a successful jeweler and was one of the first subscribers to the Dutch West India Company upon its conception. He may very well be the source of the idea of patroonships and was probably the leading proponent of the Charter of Freedoms and Exemptions.

His patroonship became the most successful to exist, with van Rensselaer making full use of his business tactics and advantages, such as his connection to the Director of New Netherland, his confidantes at the West India Company, and his extended family members that were more than happy to emigrate to a better place to farm. He was married twice and had at least eleven children, two of whom succeeded him as patroons of Rensselaerswyck. Van Rensselaer died sometime after 1642.

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The Hudson River looking north from the Poughkeepsie Bridge

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