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


(page 11 of 20)

Cars race at the orange county speedway in the early 1900sReprinted with permission from Middletown Revisited by Marvin H. Cohen

Ready, Set, Go

Then: Orange County was known for thundering engines long before American Chopper came to town. But when the storied Orange County Fair Speedway opened in 1857, it was horses, not cars, that raced around its oval. Beginning in 1919, when the speedway held its first auto race, the track quickly gained a reputation as one of the busiest and most exciting racing venues in the Northeast.

Photograph courtesy of Orange County SpeedwayNow: Racecars zoom around the speedway

Now: The speedway now hosts five divisions of racing, and holds races at least once a week from April through September. Eastern States Weekend, a nationally recognized three-day marathon of races, takes place every October.


If you like what you see here, check out, the Web site of Arcadia Publishing. The leading publisher of history books in the U.S., the company generously supplied many of the vintage photographs for this article. Their list includes a large number of titles that profile Valley cities, towns, and other popular locations.


Next: Stewart International Airport


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


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