Introduction to Poughkeepsie, New York
The county seat of Dutchess County, New York, is the Hudson River Valley city of Poughkeepsie. The city is nestled halfway between New York City (to the south) and Albany (to the north), roughly 82 miles from each. Major highways serving Poughkeepsie are U.S. Route 9, U.S. Route 44, and N.Y. State Highway 55.
Settled in the late 1600s by the Dutch, Poughkeepsie was first organized as a town in 1788. It was in this year that the U.S. Constitution was ratified there by the state of New York, as Poughkeepsie was serving at that time as the temporary state capital. In 1799, the city of Poughkeepsie was taken off the town of the same name and organized separately as a village, later to become incorporated (in 1854) as a city. The city's name is derived from the phonetic translation of an Algonquian Indian term variously interpreted as meaning "waterfall", "pleasant harbor", or "campsite by small water". The Town of Poughkeepsie is home to several colleges, including Vassar College, Marist College, and Dutchess Community College.
Arts and Culture in the Poughkeepsie Area
In the early to mid-20th century, famous families such as the Astors, Rogers, and Vanderbilts built seasonal retreats in the Poughkeepsie area, many of which today are open to the public as historic sites. Located in Poughkeepsie itself are the Locust Grove (former home of inventor Samuel F. B. Morse) and Clinton House (named for George Clinton, New York’s first governor). Nearby Hyde Park is home to the Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site, the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site, and the Vanderbilt Mansion.
Other cultural sites located in Poughkeepsie include the following:
- Bardavon Opera House: Home of the Hudson Valley Philharmonic
- Glebe House: A 1767 house restored to represent a late 18th-century home
- Maple Grove: Built in 1850 by banker Charles Al Macy
- Poughkeepsie Post Office: A National Historic Landmark
- Frances Lehman Loeb Art Museum: Located at Vassar College
- Springside National Historic Site
- Mill Street Loft
- Barrett Art Center
Nearby cultural sites include:
- Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum (Hyde Park)
- Bannerman Castle (Fishkill): A Scottish-style castle on the Hudson River features a two-hour cruise around Bannerman Island.
- Clermont State Historic Site
- Hyde Park Railroad Station
- Mount Gulian Historic Site (Beacon)
- Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome Museum
- Sports Museum of Dutchess County (Wappingers Falls)
- The Howland Cultural Center (Beacon)
Sports are abundant in the greater metropolitan New York City area, which can be reached in about 90 minutes by car. Some of the Major League New York area sports teams include: Major League Baseball's Mets (Queens) and Yankees (Bronx), the National Football League's Giants and Jets (both play at the Meadowlands Sports Complex, East Rutherford, New Jersey), the National Basketball Association's N.Y. Knicks (Manhattan) and New Jersey Nets (Meadowlands Sports Complex), the National Hockey League's N.Y. Islanders (Uniondale), N.Y. Rangers (Manhattan), and New Jersey Devils (Meadowlands Sports Complex), the Women's National Basketball Association's New York Liberty (Manhattan), Major League Lacrosse's Long Island Lizards (Uniondale), and Major League Soccer's Red Bull New York (formerly the Metrostars) who play at the Meadowlands Sports Complex.