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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.
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.
The Hunter Mountain Fire Tower is located on the summit of the eponymous mountain, second highest of the Catskill Mountains in the U.S. state of New York. It was the first of 23 fire lookout towers built by the state in the region, and the next-to-last of the five still standing to be abandoned. Today it remains a popular attraction for hikers climbing the mountain. After it fell into disrepair in the 1990s and was recommended for removal by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), which had operated the tower, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1997. Local enthusiasts were able to raise money, matched by DEC, to restore the tower and adjacent observer's cabin to serve as a museum, with volunteers in the cab on some weekends.
Panoramic views of not only the mountains but the adjacent Hudson Valley, Massachusetts, Connecticut and sometimes southwestern Vermont are available from it. Likewise, it can be seen from many of the surrounding mountains, the village of Hunter and the upper slopes of the ski area. It is the highest fire tower still standing in the state and the second-highest in the entire Northeast.
Washington Irving (April 3, 1783 – November 28, 1859) was an American author, essayist, biographer and historian of the early 19th century. He was best known for his short stories "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip Van Winkle", both of which appear in his book The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. His historical works include biographies of George Washington, Oliver Goldsmith and Muhammad, and several histories of 15th-century Spain dealing with subjects such as Christopher Columbus, the Moors, and the Alhambra. Irving also served as the U.S. minister to Spain from 1842 to 1846.
He made his literary debut in 1802 with a series of observational letters to the Morning Chronicle, written under the pseudonym Jonathan Oldstyle. After moving to England for the family business in 1815, he achieved international fame with the publication of The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. in 1819. He continued to publish regularly—and almost always successfully—throughout his life, and completed a five-volume biography of George Washington just eight months before his death, at age 76, in Tarrytown, New York. The village of Irvington, New York, is named after Irving.
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