Located approximately 75 miles north of New York City on the east bank of the Hudson River, Poughkeepsie was settled over three hundred years ago by Dutch and English immigrants. The village grew quickly as merchants shipped agricultural produce from its hinterland and manufactured goods from numerous industries on sloops and steamboats on the metropolis to the south. Poughkeepsie was incorporated as a city in 1854 and reached its highest population a century later, with bustling retail and commercial trade in a vibrant downtown. However, as with almost all older cities in the northeast and upper mid-west of the United States, Poughkeepsie experienced a major decline throughout the middle of the 20th century. Manufacturing businesses, retail establishments, and many segments of the population left the city while suburbs grew in the surrounding town and countryside. In the 21st century, the city continues to change.
A Digital Tour of Poughkeepsie is an attempt to understand the City of Poughkeepsie as a small urban center that has an important human history and continues to evolve over time. Narrated by Harvey Flad (Vassar College Emeritus Professor of Geography), this DVD explores the landscape and history of 15 Poughkeepsie landmarks and neighborhoods.
All archival images courtesy of the Dutchess County Historical Society unless otherwise indicated.