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The Town of Wappinger is located in Dutchess County, New York in the Hudson Valley, 70 miles north of New York City, on the eastern bank of the Hudson River. The population was 27,048 at the 2010 census. The name is derived from the Wappinger Indians who inhabited the area.
- the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia
The Wappinger were a confederacy of Native Americans whose territory, in the 17th century, was spread along the eastern shore of the Hudson River. Primarily based in what is now Dutchess County, New York, their territory bordered Manhattan Island to the south, the Mahican territory bounded by the Roeliff-Jansen Kill to the north, and extended east into parts of Connecticut.
They spoke an eastern-Algonkian Native American language. Culturally they were closely related to the Lenape People (Delaware Indians) to the west and south of Wappinger lands; and also related to the Mahican People to their immediate north and to the Metoac Peoples of Long Island. “Wappinger” means “easterner” in most Algonkian languages.
The town of Wappinger, originally a part of the town of Fishkill, was formed on May 20, 1875, and lies wholly within the limits of the historic Rombout Patent, granted in 1685. Among the first settlers were the VanBenschotens of New Hackensack. The Town of Wappinger was primarily agricultural while mills lined the creek in the village of Wappingers Falls.
On the night of February 6, 1871, at the drawbridge in New Hamburg that crosses Wappinger Creek – where northbound trains pass from Wappinger into the Town of Poughkeepsie – the Hudson River Pacific Express crashed into a passing freight train, which had broken an axle. There were 22 confirmed deaths, but while some bodies were taken to Poughkeepsie for identification, others were never recovered. On September 1, 1892, at the same location, a mail train on the Hudson River Railroad derailed. The draw had been opened to let the small steamer Young America pass through, and was being closed when the train came northward. A gap of several feet remained when the engine reached the draw. The engine jumped the gap, but the rear end of the tender dropped enough to stop the progress of the train; then, the mail car, crashing into the tender, pushed it against the locomotive. The engineer, fireman, and mail clerk were all killed.
- Wheeler Hill Historic District is located in the town of Wappinger in Dutchess County. It includes 49 contributing buildings, 15 contributing sites, and four contributing structures. It encompasses the estates of Obercreek, Elmhurst, Edge Hill, the former estates of Henry Suydam and William Crosby, and Carnwath Farms that were developed between 1740 and 1940. Also included are two 18th century riverfront commercial structures, the Lent / Waldron Store and Stone House at Farmer's Landing. Within this district, Wheeler Hill Road was once known as Rives Avenue or hill, after Francis Rives who purchased the former Willis estate (Carnwath Farms) in 1870.
- The Wappingers Falls Historic District is in the center of the Village of Wappingers Falls, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. It is roughly centered along South Avenue and West Main Street and the Wappinger Creek. It includes Mesier Park and many adjacent residential neighborhoods, roughly bounded by Elm, Park, Walker, Market and McKinley streets. Much of the district was built in the wake of the industrialization of Wappingers Falls in the 19th century, and its styles represent a cross-section of that century. The two sides of the district are connected by an 1884 stone arch bridge that replaced earlier wooden structures.
- Chelsea – A hamlet in the southeast part of the town near the Hudson River, formerly Low Point and later, Carthage Landing. The hamlet's post office was established in 1840 as Low Point. The current post office was the former 1875 district school.
- Diddell was a hamlet in the northeast part of the town, just south of New Hackensack. By the 1800s the the Maybrook Railroad, which ran from Pawling to Poughkeepsie, established a station here.
- Hughsonville – A hamlet situated one mile south of Wappingers Falls and derives its name from William Hughson, one of four brothers who emigrated from England. The Presbyterian Church of Hughsonville was erected in 1840. A post office was established there in 1847. The Hughsonville Fire Department traces the hamlet's establishment to 1912.
- Middlebush, situated about a mile south-east of Wappingers Falls, was an early business center. A post office was located there in 1824 that also served residents of Chelsea. The first Baptist church in the town was organized there in 1782. Abm. Van Wyck deeded the Society a piece of land for a site for a church and burying ground. The old cemetery remains, southeast of the intersection of Middlebush Road and Old Route 9. In 1830 that meeting house became the property of the Methodist church, and was used by them as a house of worship until the present Methodist church in Wappingers Falls was erected in 1869, when it was taken down and the material used in the construction of the barn and sheds connected with that church. This hamlet has two schools, businesses, housing, and the town hall for the town of Wappinger.
- Myers Corners – at the intersection of Myers Corners Road and All Angels Hill Road was named after John Myers of Holland and was mostly farm land but had a doctor, a school and a tavern.
- New Hackensack – Johannes Schurrie was an early settler in the town. He came, about 1740, from Hackensack, New Jersey, from which the hamlet derives its name. Most of the early settlers were of Dutch and German descent. A portion of NYS route 376 is known locally as New Hackensack Road. The Main Street was present day N.Y.S. Route 376 and had a post office and several stores until the widening of the Dutchess County Airport in the early-mid-1900s.
- Swartwoutville is located at the intersection of the town All Angels Hill Rd. and Route 82. Named after General Jacobus Swartwout.
- Wappingers Falls – In 1741, two Dutchmen, Nicholas and Adolphus Brewer, purchased 750 acres of land around the falls and built the first stone house in the village near the present Mill Street. In 1742, the Brewers built a mill on the east side of Wappinger Creek. Nicholas Brewer built the Mesier Homestead, which he sold in 1777 to Matthew VanBenschoten, who, in turn, sold it to Peter Mesier, a merchant from New York City. The local waterfall was important for early industrial development. The village of Wappingers Falls was incorporated in 1871 and included the adjacent settlement of Channingville, which was on the west side of the Wappinger Creek.
- All Angel's Hill – All Angels Hill was originally known as Mount Hope and then Underhill Road. In the 1850s, farmer William Marvin, owned about 200 acres between the vicinity of the present Pye Lane and Myers Corners. His daughter Charlotte married New York doctor Anthony Underhill. In the mid-1800s, the Underhill family built a house on her father's land. In 1903 the property was purchased by the All Angels Episcopal Church in New York City as part of its ministry to the poor. The church maintained All Angels’ Farm, a forerunner of the Fresh Air Fund.
- Outstanding guide to Wappinger family history and genealogy resources (FamilySearch Research Wiki). Birth, marriage, and death records, town histories, cemeteries, churches, newspapers, libraries, and genealogical societies.
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