Historic Sites | Historic Hudson Valley
Dutchess County, one of the ten counties in the Historic Hudson Valley, is located between Putnam County and Columbia County on the east side of the Hudson River. Visit Dutchess where you'll find many historic sites including the exceptional Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site.
Dutchess County Historic Sites include Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s home and Presidential Library, Eleanor Roosevelt’s Val-Kill cottage, Vanderbilt Mansion Historic Site, Montgomery Place Historic Landmark, Wilderstein Historic Site, and Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park. In addition to history, the Hudson Valley radiates a breathtaking natural beauty and rural character that inspired the Knickerbocker writers, including Washington Irving author of "The Headless Horseman" and the Hudson River School of Art.
The Historic Hudson Valley has been designated a National Heritage Area extending from Albany in the upper-Hudson Valley to New York City, just south of Westchester County in the lower-Hudson Valley. This area contains a rich collection of nationally significant cultural and historical sites that are set against the beautiful landscapes of the valley. The period from the Revolutionary War to the Civil War is well represented.
The Historic Hudson Valley abounds with history. Visit the historic sites where much of American history was made. See historic homes and estates. Experience history as it was lived in the homes of presidents, signers of the Declaration of Independence, and leaders of industry. Go back in time to the American Revolutionary War and walk the battlegrounds that American patriots walked and fought for during the American Revolution.
Plan an educational vacation in the Hudson Valley. Find many fun things to do while experiencing history in the Hudson Valley. Plan the best vacation in the Historic Hudson Valley. Fill your days with history, natural beauty, and art as interpreted and painted by the Hudson River School of Artists. Relax in the breathtaking landscapes that are part of the inherent beauty of the valley.
The Historic Hudson Valley comprises ten counties, and is generally referenced as three geographic areas: the lower-Hudson Valley, mid-Hudson Valley, and upper-Hudson Valley. These counties all bank the Hudson River on either the east or west side of the river. The Hudson River runs through five counties to the east and five counties to the west of the river, as seen in this Hudson River Valley Map.
The mid-Hudson Valley is comprised of Putnam and Dutchess counties on the east side of the Hudson River, Orange and Ulster counties on the west side. Learn about the history of the mid-Hudson Valley by visiting the riverfront estates, art collections, and landscapes in nature.
Dutchess County Historic Sites include
"All that is within me cries out to go back to my home on the Hudson River. " FDRThe above quote captures FDR's connection to Springwood, the estate that he loved and the place he considered home. The first US Presidential Library was started by FDR here at Springwood.
"The Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site contains "Springwood", the lifelong home of America's only 4-term President. Also on the site is the Presidential Library and Museum, operated by the National Archives. Visitors may enjoy a guided tour of FDR's home, take a self-guided tour of the Museum and stroll the grounds, gardens, and trails of this 300-acre site. Start your visit at the Henry A. Wallace Visitor and Education Center and see the introductory film and arrange for self guided tours of the Presidential Library and Museum and Ranger-led tours of the historic home. Plan a minimum of two and one half hours to visit."
Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site
Val-Kill at Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site is located at Hyde Park NY 12538, Dutchess County in the Hudson River Valley.
“The greatest thing I have learned is how good it is to come home again.” Eleanor Roosevelt
This simple statement expresses Eleanor's love for the modest house she called Val-Kill. The only National Historic Site dedicated to a first lady, Val-Kill welcomes visitors in the style of Mrs. Roosevelt. Come and be part of the entire Roosevelt Experience at Eleanor Roosevelt's Val-Kill.
Eleanor Roosevelt chose Val-Kill for her retreat, her office, her home, and her "laboratory" for social change during the prominent and influential period of her life from 1924 until her death in 1962. During that time she formulated and carried out her social and political beliefs. This is the place most closely associated with one of the most prominent women of 20th-century America.
Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site
Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site is located at Hyde Park NY 12538, Dutchess County in the Hudson River Valley. "Vanderbilt Mansion NHS, in terms of architecture, interiors, mechanical systems, road systems and landscape, is a remarkably complete example of a gilded-age country place, illustrating the political, economic, social, cultural, and demographic changes that occurred as America industrialized in the years after the Civil War. Vanderbilt Mansion was the first home in the Town of Hyde Park to have electricity.
"The Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site was established as a monument to an era rather than a tribute to any one person or family. The estate illustrates a way of life modeled on the English country house and is only unusual today because so few examples survive in the 21st century. More than a place to discuss the lifestyles of the rich and famous, the park offers a window into the philosophy of the American country house, the lives of its domestic staff, and its relationship to the surrounding community."
Montgomery Place National Historic Landmark
A National Historic Landmark, Montgomery Place is an exceptional 434-acre Hudson River estate with beautiful scenic views of the Hudson River and the Catskill Mountains. It is located on historic River Road in the hamlet of Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, just north of the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge.
"The lover of the expressive in nature, or the beautiful in art, will find here innumerable subjects for study. The natural scenery in many portions approaches the character of grandeur, and the foreground of rich woods and lawns, stretching out on all sides of the mountain, completes a home landscape of dignified and elegant seclusion, rarely surpassed in any country" by Andrew Jackson Downing
Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park
The Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park is a legacy project of the Hudson Fulton Champlain Quadricentennial. The park provides access to the Hudson River's breathtaking landscape for pedestrians, hikers, joggers, bicyclists, and people with disabilities. The bridge deck stands 212 feet above the river's surface and is 6,678 feet (1.28 miles) long, making it the longest, elevated pedestrian bridge in the world.
Wilderstein Historic Site
Wilderstein Historic Site is located in Rhinebeck NY 12572, Dutchess County. The history of Wilderstein begins in 1852 with Thomas Holy Suckley's purchase of the river front site, then a sheep meadow of the adjacent late 18th-century estate. Thomas Suckley and his wife Catherine Murray Bowne wanted a building site endowed with striking natural features in the best traditions of the picturesque aesthetic.
"The last resident of Wilderstein was Margaret (Daisy) Suckley. A cousin and confidante of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Miss Suckley traveled extensively with FDR during his presidency, gave him his famous black Scottish terrier Fala and helped to establish his library in Hyde Park. Miss Suckley was with FDR when he was fatally stricken at Warm Springs, Georgia in 1945. She died at Wilderstein in 1991, in her 100th year. The letters they exchanged during their friendship, discovered in a black battered suitcase at Wilderstein, provide one of the best resources for understanding the private side of Roosevelt’s life during his presidency."
Plan a Manhattan-getaway, or plan a two-week vacation exploring history in the Hudson Valley. Take a leap back in time and visit the Historic Hudson Valley where you can place yourself in the homes and estates of presidents such as Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and titans of industry such as John D. Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan, all contributing to the development and growth of America in one way or another.
Plan a historic trip to the Historic Hudson Valley and learn about the American Revolution and the beginning of a new nation. Learn about the American Revolution, the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and the beginning of a new nation. Visitors of all ages can explore and delight in the history of the birth of the United States as they tour historic places of interest.
Listen to the history and stories of leaders of commerce, such as John D. Rockefeller, who made their fortune and later became equally distinguished as a philanthropist. Visit the grand estates that were part of the "Gilded Age" in America. Walk the halls and grounds in the estates of leading historic figures in government, of industry, art and architecture; all playing their part in the historic development of this United States of America.
Dutchess County Parks
Enjoy a picnic at Walkway Over the Hudson Historic Park. The Hudson Valley is flush with beautiful parks and magnificent scenic opportunities, almost all parks offer picnic tables, some with views over the Hudson River. Find a park that is conveniently located and have a Picnic in the park.