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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A man announces into a megaphone at a Poughkeepsie regattaPhotographs courtesy of Dutchess County Historical Society

Row Your Boat

Then: Some sports are linked with their most famous locales. Open wheel racing and Indianapolis. Horse racing and Churchill Downs. And once upon a time, the city of Poughkeepsie was synonymous with championship rowing. When Cornell University, Columbia University, and the University of Pennsylvania traveled to the mid-Hudson for the first-ever Intercollegiate Rowing Association championship in 1895, the four-mile “Poughkeepsie Regatta” was born. For decades, the race brought national media attention to the city and drew tens of thousands of spectators. In 1949, however, IRA organizers moved the regatta to a lake in Ohio, where there was no river tide to affect the race’s start dates and times. The event never returned to the Hudson’s waters.

Poughkeepsie Regatta program covers


The original Cornell Boathouse is now owned by Marist CollegeCornell boathousePhotograph courtesy of HRRA

Now: Rowing came back to Poughkeepsie in a big way with the opening of the Hudson River Rowing Association Community Boathouse in 2006. The boathouse serves as the home to local high school crew teams and four area rowing associations, as well as a launching ground for community members interested in giving the sport a shot.

Next: (In)Famous Fires


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