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.

Hudson river from bear mountain bridge.jpg

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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Mount Tremper from southeast.jpg

Mount Tremper, officially known as Tremper Mountain and originally called Timothyberg, is one of the Catskill Mountains in the U.S. state of New York. It is located near the hamlet of Phoenicia, in the valley of Esopus Creek.

At 2,740 feet (840 m) in elevation, it is well below the higher peaks of the region. Its slopes were a source of two major local products during the 19th century: hemlock bark, a source of tannin, and bluestone used in construction. Later it was the site of Tremper House, one of the Catskills' earliest railroad resorts. Henry Ward Beecher and Oscar Wilde were among the guests there.

In the 20th century it was acquired by the state and became part of the Catskill Park Forest Preserve. Its location in the Esopus Valley between the northern and southern Catskills made it an ideal place for a fire lookout tower, which still stands on the mountain's summit. The Mount Tremper Fire Observation Station has been restored and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Hikers often follow the old road to it from Phoenicia, also a section of the Long Path long-distance trail, to enjoy the views from the tower.

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Credit: Mark Fickett
North-South Lake, from Sunset Rock along the Catskill Escarpment

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Mark of Kiliaen van Rensselaer.svg

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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