Poughkeepsie, NY vs. Poughkeepsie, AR

Poughkeepsie, New York takes on Poughkeepsie, Arkansas

On the road to the “other” Poughkeepsie

Photograph by Melissa Biggs

So you thought Poughkeepsie, New York was the only Poughkeepsie on the map, did you? Think again! A small town in Arkansas also bears the Native American name meaning “the reed-covered lodge by the little-water place.” Here’s the skinny on each locale.

Status: Technically, the Valley has two Poks, the city and the town. Arkansas’s Poughkeepsie (which they pronounce POW-keep-sie) is an unincorporated community located in Sharp County.

Population: We definitely have AR beat in sheer numbers. According to the Census Bureau’s 2012 estimates, we’re at 75,950 residents (city and town combined), and they’ve got about 400.

Age: The site where our Poughkeepsie now stands was purchased from Native Americans in 1686. The earliest records of the Southern town are from 1895.

Landmarks: The Southern Potown is near the scenic Ozark Mountains, where activities like fishing and canoeing abound. Here in
the north, we have the site where New York State ratified the Constitution, the Walkway Over the Hudson, and Noshi’s Coney Island Hot Dogs.

River: Ours is obviously on the Hudson, while Arkansas’s is pretty close to the Strawberry River, part of the Mississippi watershed. We’re still unclear if there are actually strawberry fields nearby, but we’d take those over PCBs any day.

Notable People: Among others, we’ve got Samuel Morse of Morse code fame; WWII correspondent, fashion model, and photographer Lee Miller; cough-drop makers the Smith Brothers; and Alfred Mosher Butts, the inventor of Scrabble. AR has… well, we’re still looking.

Distance: According to Google Maps, there are 1,230 miles between the Poughkeepsies; driving from one to the other would take 19 hours.

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