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
The William F. Romer (above, circa 1911) was one of four steamboats owned by the Romer and Tremper Steamboat Company and operated out of the Rondout Creek in Kingston. As the major port between New York and Albany, Kingston was also home to many other steamers that plied the river daily for both passenger and commercial purposes until the middle of the 20th century
Reprinted with permission from Kingston by Edwin Millard Ford with Friends of Historic Kingston. Available from the publisher on-line at www.arcadiapublishing.com or by calling 888-313-2665
(page 1 of 20)
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 www.hvmag.com, 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).
Click on any image below to view more historic photos from 'round the Valley