Then & Now

West Point cadets and the sex-and-drug ’60s; IBM, Luckey Platt, and ice harvesters; airports, bridges, and those famous ferries. Join us for a look back at the last 100 years of Valley history


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The modern history of the Hudson Valley stretches back four hundred years. It was 1609 when Dutch explorer Henry Hudson first sailed up our mighty river; sadly, there were no cameras back then to record that momentous event. But the popularity of photography during the last century has enabled us to capture for posterity the growth of our picturesque region. In the first half of the 20th century, the region’s waterfront cities — Beacon, Newburgh, Haverstraw, Kingston, and Poughkeepsie among them — thrived, producing everything from cement to bleach. But the advent of the automobile — and the construction of bridges spanning the Hudson — gave rise to suburban sprawl; as manufacturing declined, so did these once-vibrant urban centers. But the more things change, the more they stay the same. While the small towns, farms, and yes, even suburban areas continue to prosper, the revitalization of our small cities is an ongoing process.

We hope you’ll enjoy this journey down memory lane. Of course, in 20 pages we can only touch on a tiny portion of our most recent history; to experience much more of our vital past — and to see where we’re going — browse, and be sure to take a peek at our Then & Now complementary image gallery on the last page of this article. Enjoy the trip — and be thankful that the fashions of the ’70s haven’t come back into vogue (at least not yet).

Next: IBM


Click on any image below to view more historic photos from 'round the Valley


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