Traveling down the Hudson River, named by Native Americans the river that flows both ways, you discover people, places, and events that made American history. The cultural, historic, and scenic resources of the Hudson Valley are so numerous, so varied, and so compelling that it's no wonder Congress recognized the Hudson River Valley as a National Heritage Area in 1996. National Park Service called the region the "landscape that defined America" and characterized the valley as "an exceptionally scenic landscape that has provided the setting and inspiration for new currents of American thought, art, and history." Its political importance was demonstrated early in our history when the river played a critical role in the Revolutionary War. The many streams and waterfalls of the tributaries of the Hudson River powered early sawmills and gristmills. The river and its landscapes inspired the Hudson River school painters. Sublime and picturesque paintings by Thomas Cole, Frederic Church, and Asher Durand depicted this unique American landscape for the world to witness. Industrialists and commercial leaders like William and John D. Rockefeller, Frederick Vanderbilt, J. P. Morgan, and Ogden Mills built their great estates along the Hudson River.
The guide is a user-friendly, must-have companion to the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area, and the Heritage Sites within are places where you can still see the people, experience the landscape, and hear the stories that shaped our national story.
Affiliated Heritage Sites are organized by region and proximity to one another. To help you better plan your visit, sites are categorized as "absolutely must see," "highly recommended," or "special interest" based on significance, attendance, and amenities. Each Heritage Site profile page includes a full-color picture, a succinct description of the site and its significance, contact information, address, and GPS coordinates to make it easy to explore these resources. You can also explore sites by themes, including architecture; Revolutionary War; art, artists, and the Hudson River school; freedom and dignity; landscapes and gardens; and environment. Many sites within this book also participate in the National Park Service Passport Stamp Program.
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