Lower Hudson River Valley

  • Hudson River - Poughkeepsie, NY

  • Woodbury Common Premium Outlets - Central Valley, NY

  • Culinary Institute of America - Hyde Park, NY

  • Kingston, NY

  • Tappan Zee Bridge - South Nyack, NY

  • Vassar College - Poughkeepsie, NY

The Retail Market

The five counties that make up the Lower Hudson River Valley are Orange, Rockland, Dutchess, Ulster and Putnam Counties. Orange County is the county with the greatest population and Putnam County has the least population.. Except for Putnam County, each county has one dominant enclosed regional mall.

In Orange County, The Galleria at Chrystal Run in Middletown is the only enclosed regional mall in the county and serves as the anchor for a concentration of box retail that stretches along Route 211 across the towns of both Middletown and Wallkill. The strong regional nature of this corridor is due to its’ location at the intersection of I-84 and Route 17, both of which are limited access highways. Although access to the retail is only via the exit at Route 17 for Route 211, I-84 provides the ability to extend the trade area significantly from east to west. The second regional retail corridor is centered around Woodbury Common Premium Outlets in Central Valley & Harriman, NY along Route 32 at the intersection of Route 17 and Route 6 at I-87 (NY State Thruway). Woodbury Common is one of the largest concentrations of outlet stores in the world. Due to its proximity to New York City, Woodbury Common is a major destination for foreign tourists. Tour buses make daily trips from New York City and Woodbury Common employs a staff of interpreters along with providing on site currency exchange and foreign shipping services. With the regional draw created by the outlets, conventional big box retail has also located in this corridor. The third regional retail corridor in Orange County is located in Newburgh at the intersection of I-84 and I-87 (NY State Thruway). Route 300 both north and south of I-84 and Route 17K are the two arterial streets that have concentrations of regional retail with exits from both I-84 and I-87 (NY State Thruway). Community retail corridors exist in New Windsor along Route 300 and Route 32; along Route 17M and Route 94 in Chester at the exit for Route 17; and in Monroe along Route 17M. Grocery and convenience retail in the county can be found in Montgomery at the exit on I-84 for Route 208; along Route 17M in Middletown; at the Thruway Shopping Center on Oak Street in Walden; along route 94 in Warwick; near the intersection of Route 94 and Route 208 in Washingtonville and along Route 52 in Pine Bush.

Rockland County benefits from the regional access provided by the 14 miles of I-287 (NY State Thruway) that runs east to west across almost the entire southern portion of the county. The eastern end of I-287 (NY State Thruway) in Rockland County is in Nyack where the Tappan Zee Bridge crosses the Hudson River at its widest point in New York State, connecting to Westchester County on the eastern banks of the Hudson River. The Tappan Zee Bridge is the northernmost of the three Manhattan area toll bridges. Located 13 miles from the northern tip of Manhattan, the Tappan Zee Bridge is the only major crossing of the Hudson River between the George Washington Bridge (I-95) 16 miles to the south and the Hamilton Fish Newburgh Beacon Bridge (I-84) 32 miles to the north. The regional nature of this section of I-287 (The NY State Thruway) also benefits by being the northern terminus of the Garden State Parkway at the approximate east – west mid-way point of I-287 as it crosses the county, providing direct access to Bergen County NJ, the most populous county in New Jersey. As I-287 (The NY State Thruway) exits the western end of Rockland County in Suffern, NY it continues south into Bergen County, New Jersey as I-287 or continues north into Orange County, NY as I-87 (NY State Thruway). Given this strong regional road network, the strongest regional retail corridors in Rockland County are located along I-287. These include the 2,200,000 square foot Palisades Center at the intersection of Route 303 with I-287 (NY State Thruway) and Route 59 in West Nyack, the only enclosed regional mall in Rockland County. No ancillary retail exists surrounding Palisades Center given the lack of available sites as well as the fact that Palisades Center is anchored by a strong combination of fashion department stores and typical big box power center tenants. Two and ½  miles to the west of Palisades Center on Route 59 in Nanuet & Spring Valley, starting at the intersection of Route 304 and continuing two miles west past the intersection of Route 59 with I-287 (The NY State Thruway) is the other large concentration of regional retail  that is anchored by the Shops at Nanuet, a 750,000 square foot open air lifestyle project.  Community retail corridors exist in Orangeburg along Route 302 near the interchange with the Palisades Parkway; along Route 59 in Suffern & Tallman and along Main Street in New City.  Grocery and convenience retail can be found along Route 202 / 9W in West Haverstraw and Stony Point and along Route 202 both east and west of the Palisades Parkway in Mt. Ivy and Garnersville.

Dutchess County has one major regional retail corridor which is Route 9 as it runs through Fishkill, Wappinger Falls and Poughkeepsie. Starting at the intersection of Route 9 with I-84 on the southern end of the corridor and continuing 11 miles north, the Route 9 corridor is home to all types and sizes of retail. Big box stores, grocery stores, convenience retail, restaurants of all varieties and everything in between are all located along this section of Route 9. Poughkeepsie Galleria, the only enclosed regional mall in the county is also located on Route 9, eight miles north of I-84. Given the unusual 11 mile length of retail along Route 9,  the corridor is unique in that it is home to regional, community, neighborhood and convenience retail all at the same time. Route 44 and Main Street in the city of Poughkeepsie is filled with an eclectic mix of retail, grocery and restaurants. Grocery and convenience retail is also found in LaGrangeville along both Route 82 and Route 55 where each road has an interchange with the Palisades Parkway; in Hopewell Junction at the Route 55 & State Highway 9 intersection;  along Route 9 in Hyde Park just north of the border with the city of Poughkeepsie and in both Red Hook and Rhinebeck on Route 9 in the northeast corner of the county.

Ulster County has one major road on which all regional retail serving the county is located. Route 9W, south of the interchange with Route 209, is home to the 765,000 square foot Hudson Valley Mall as well as a large concentration of big box retail. Community retail can be found along Route 299 at the interchange with I-87 (NY State Thruway) in New Paltz; as well as along Route 209 in Napanoch & Ellenville. Grocery and convenience retail is provided at Kingston Plaza on Plaza Road in Kingston; along Route 9W in Highland and in Saugerties along Route 212 at the interchange with I-87 (NY State Thruway).

Putnam County has the least amount of retail of any of the five counties in the Lower Hudson River Valley. With no major enclosed regional mall, there is only a small concentration of big box regional retail in Brewster that is located on Route 312 at the interchange with I-84. Most major regional box retailers are not located in Putnam County. Route 6 and Route 52 in Carmel represent the only community retail corridor in the county and Route 22 in Pawling represents the only other corridor in the county with a major grocery store.

Major grocery operators in the Lower Hudson River Valley are Stop & Shop, Price Chopper, Shop Rite, Hannaford, Tops and Aldi.

ALDI - Stony Point Shopping Center - Stony Point, NY

Cumberland Farms - Wallkill, NY

The Economy

Orange County’s economy benefits from a strong infrastructure system with three interstate highways,  an international airport and a strong railroad system.. The intersection of I – 84 and I- 87 in Newburgh is the epicenter of this system. I – 84 runs east to west from Scranton, PA through Connecticut to I-90 (the Massachusetts Turnpike) and the Boston Metro market. I 87 (the New York State Thruway), runs north to south and is the longest intrastate/interstate highway in the Interstate Highway System. To the south, it originates in the Bronx, New York and ends to the north at the Canadian border. I -86 / NYS Route 17 intersects I – 84 in Middletown and further augments the infrastructure system by providing easy access to markets to the north and west. Stewart International Airport, located in Newburgh, is operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The airport’s air cargo facilities provide an important element in the supply chain options available to Orange County businesses. Two major commercial rails carriers service the county. Norfolk Southern Railway operates approximately 21,000 route miles in 22 states including all major eastern container ports. CSX serves nearly 2/3 of America’s population through its network covering 23 states. Both rail services are strategically located near I – 84, I – 87 and Stewart International Airport. This diverse transportation network is the primary reason for companies locating in Orange County as it efficiently facilitates both the production of goods and services as well as the distribution of finished products. Major industry clusters include advanced manufacturing, healthcare/pharmaceuticals, distribution, food and beverage, and software development.

Rockland County, located just 16 miles northwest of the George Washington Bridge, is bounded by the Hudson River to the east and New Jersey to the south. Except for the five boroughs of NYC, it is the smallest county in New York State in terms of land area. With excellent access to NYC, Northern New Jersey and Westchester County via the Palisades Parkway, the Garden State Parkway and the Tappan Zee Bridge, this close proximity to these dense and expensive markets is one of Rockland County’s greatest economic assets. Major economic clusters include life sciences (biomed & biotech), financial services, and advanced manufacturing of electrical, chemical and mechanical components. Of particular emphasis are the life sciences. Rockland County is part of a seven county region (Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Sullivan, Ulster, Dutchess and Putnam) that has been branded NY BioHud Valley. The state of New York offers economic incentives to life science companies to locate in any of these seven counties. This marketing effort has been very successful, with over 80 life science companies currently located in the NY BioHub Valley. Rockland County currently has 16 such companies, which is the second largest concentration of any of the seven counties except for Westchester County which has 32 companies.

Dutchess County has long been associated with IBM, which in 1948 built its first plant in Poughkeepsie. In 1962, IBM expanded its’ presence in Dutchess County by purchasing 450 acres of farmland in East Fishkill to build a massive state-of-the-art microelectronics complex for manufacturing microprocessors, research, and development. In 1983, IBM expanded again with the acquisition of an additional 160 acres of contiguous land in East Fishkill. By the late 1980’s IBM employed over 24,000 people in Dutchess County at its’ facilities in Poughkeepsie and East Fishkill. During the mid 1990’s IBM began having problems which resulted in layoffs that reduced employment in Dutchess County to less than 9,000. Although devastating at the time, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. IBM shed over 15,000 jobs, but it left a vast infrastructure of high tech friendly real estate that civic leaders aggressively marketed along with the highly trained and educated former IBM employees. New companies began to relocate to these former IBM facilities and put to work this unique and highly available workforce. The result was a more diversified high tech economy that was not vulnerable to the ups and downs of a single large employer. Today the county has a favorable mix of large corporations,  innovative startups and small to medium businesses that are attracted to the region by its highly educated workforce and its’ low cost of doing business relative to other areas of NYC Metro. In 2015, the county’s economic base was diversified even further as IBM decided to exit the semiconductor manufacturing business and sold its East Fishkill (and Burlington, VT) manufacturing facilities to Global Foundries, the world’s second largest semiconductor manufacturer. Global Foundries continues to operate that facility today with similar employment levels that existed before the sale. This sale further reduced Dutchess County’s reliance on any single large employer while maintaining a high level of technology employment. IBM has maintained its Poughkeepsie plant which employs over 4,000 and manufactures main frame computers. As the northern most suburb of NYC, Dutchess County provides employers with proximity to major consumer markets, diversified industries and top talent without extraordinary operating costs. Dutchess County is serviced by nine train stations along the Harlem and Hudson lines of MetroNorth. The express train from Beacon to Grand Central Station takes 75 minutes. Helicopter service, utilized with surprising frequency by Dutchess County businesses, is just 22 minutes to Manhattan from Hudson Valley Regional Airport. Dutchess County’s world class colleges and universities, including Marist College, Vassar College, Bard College, and the Culinary Institute of America draw talent from around the world. These schools collaborate with the local business community to create cutting edge programs in technology, healthcare, advanced manufacturing and specialty food production to insure a highly skilled workforce moving forward.

Ulster County suffered a similar economic downturn as Dutchess County due to IBM’s downsizing, but has had a more difficult time recovering. In 1954 IBM bought a 200 acre dairy farm in Kingston (Ulster County) and ultimately built out a 2,500,000 square foot manufacturing and research campus that would employ 7,100 people up until the early 1990’s. But IBM’s sudden problems in the mid 1990’s caused the campus to shut down entirely in 1995. In 1998 IBM sold the entire campus to a privately developer, but efforts to bring in one or more large employers to the campus have been unsuccessful. The campus, known today as Tech City, is about 40% occupied with a range of office and industrial tenants. Efforts to attract life science and technology tenants to Tech City has been difficult due to an ongoing 20 year environmental remediation program by IBM due to activities from IBM’s historic use of the site. Those cleanup efforts are nearly complete and the hope is that with the environmental issues behind it, Tech City will be able to attract knowledge based industries that want to take advantage of facilities that are available at well below replacement cost. Economic Development since the IBM plants’ closing have been focused on keeping the existing industry clusters of manufacturing and distribution strong while at the same time expanding with organic growth in life sciences and technology. Today, Ulster County nurtures a “creative ecosystem” that is home to a large and diverse population of artists and craftspeople, working in many different styles forms and disciplines. Kingston is ranked 5th in the nation in art establishments per capita and 6th in the nation for “best places to live for artists”. This “creative ecosystem”, combined with the county’s small town atmosphere, has made Ulster County an appealing alternative for tech savvy Millennials who want to grow their businesses while at the same time enjoying their lives  in a more relaxed and affordable environment then in an urban center. Ulster County has been successful in attracting millennial entrepreneurs from startup and early stage tech companies that with today’s technology, can easily do the majority of their work remotely from Ulster County, but can also be in NYC within a few hours whenever the need may arise. Promoting these same lifestyle benefits has also proven successful with Ulster County’s efforts in working with the NY BioHud Valley program, with more than a dozen life science companies now operating in the county.  Although these technology and life science companies are small in terms of each companies employment numbers, they  are proving that Ulster County’s efforts to make itself a cluster for these industries is a viable strategy.

Putnam County has the smallest employment base of any county in the Lower Hudson River Valley. Several factors account for this. Much of Putnam County is in the New York State Watershed, which prohibits development in large portions of the county and adds a higher level of restrictions to developable lands then would be found in non-watershed counties. The employment base is strongest on the eastern side of the county. This is due to the fact that the western side of the county is more residential in nature as a result of its’ geography and scenic boundary along the Hudson River but also because of the lack of any significant commercial transportation network. Although the Taconic State Parkway is a limited access highway that runs north and south through the west side of the county, only passenger cars are permitted. Without a roadway system that has the ability to handle commercial vehicles, the west side has been limited to development that is mostly residential in nature. The area surrounding the intersection of I-84 and I-684 in Brewster represents the largest  concentration of private employers in the county. I-84 traverses 13 miles in a generally north south direction through the county and provides access to the west across the Hudson River and to the east to into Connecticut and Massachusetts. Although I-684 runs only three miles into Putnam County while terminating at I-84, it provides critical access to all of Westchester County and NYC, 56 miles to the south. Other than healthcare providers, there are very few large private employers in the county. The most significant private companies in the county employ between 100 and 200 employees with the majority of companies at fewer than 100 employees. The largest industry segment is manufacturing, across a wide range of disciplines, with a fledgling life sciences sector. Metro North provides commuter rail service from the east side of the county via the Harlem Line and from the west side of the county via the Hudson Line. Both the Harlem and Hudson Lines provide weekday service to Grand Central hourly and every 25 minutes during rush hour, with a travel time of approximately 1 hour 25 minutes.

Marist College - Poughkeepsie, NY

Area colleges and enrollment



SUNY – New Paltz New Paltz (Ulster) 7,600
Marist College Poughkeepsie (Dutchess) 6,600
United States Military Academy West Point (Orange) 4,400
St. Thomas Aquinas College Sparkill (Rockland) 2,800
Culinary Institute of America Hyde Park (Dutchess) 2,800
Vassar College Poughkeepsie (Dutchess) 2,500
Mount St. Mary College Newburg (Orange) 2,300
Bard College Annandale-on-Hudson (Dutchess) 2,300
Dominican College Blauvelt (Rockland) 2,100
Nyack College Nyack (Rockland) 1,000
Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine Middletown (Orange) 500
Total   34,900

Orange County Choppers - Newburgh, NY

Major Employers



Global Foundries Computer Chips East Fishkill
C&S Wholesale Grocers Distribution – Grocery Products Newburgh
Liptis Pharmaceuticals HQ – Biotech Spring Valley
Fishkill Correctional Facility Prison – NY State – Medium Security – Men Beacon
PDI Healthcare HQ – Biomed – Infection Preventing Medical Products Orangeburg
Verizon Cellular Phone Service – Administrative Offices Orangeburg
Mohonk Mountain House Resort Hotel New Paltz
Kellogg Distribution Center – Breakfast Cereals Orangeburg
 Pfizer Biotech Pearl River
 Honeywell Aircraft Engines and Components Middletown
Gap, Inc Distribution Center for Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic Fishkill
Eastern NY Correctional Facility Prison – NY State – Maximum Security – Men Napanoch
Lamont – Doherty Earth Observatory (Columbia University) Scientific Research Palisades
Amscan Distribution – Party Supplies Chester
Shawangunk Correcitonal Facility Prison – NY State – Maximum Security – Men Wallkill
Kolmar Labs HQ – Cosmetics and Personal Care Products – Contract Manufacturer Port Jervis
Staples Distribution – Office Supplies Montgomery
Verla HQ – Cosmetics, Perfumes and Personal Care Products – Contract Manufacturer New Windsor
Intercos America Cosmetics Congers
YRC Frieght Trucking – Cargo and Freight Delivery Maybrook
Jabil Circuit Printer Circuit Boards Poughkeepsie
Nice Pak Products HQ- Wet Wipe Products  Orangeburg
United Natural Foods Distribution – Natural, Organic and Specialty Foods Montgomery
Rockland Bakery HQ – Baked Goods Nanuet
Ulset Correctional Facility Prison – NY State – Medium Security – Male Napanoch
Aluf Plastics Can and Industrial Liners Orangeburg
Becton Dickinson Biomed – Medical and Surgical Instruments Nyack
Allegiance Health Care (Cardinal Health) Distribution – Medical Supplies Montgomery
Superior Pack Group Contract Packaging  Harriman
Acquirelists Mailing, Email and Telemarketing Lists Valley Cottage
IBM – Business Continuity and Resiliency Services Computer Consulting Sterling Forest
Raymour & Flanigan Distribution – Home Furniture Soffern
Active International HQ- Corporate Trade Pearl River
FCI Otisville Prison – Federal – Medium Security – Men Otisville
Avon Global Research & Development Reserach & Development – Beauty Products Soffern
Newburgh Auto Auction (Manheim – New York) Auto Auction – Wholesale Newburgh
Rotron HQ – Military and Aerospace HVAC Components Woodstock
Pawling Corp Specialty Industrial Rubber Products Pawling
President Container Corrugated Boxes Middletown
Milmar Food Group Kosher Frozen Foods Goshen
Wallkill Correctional Facility Prison – NY State – Medium Security – Male Wallkill
Chemprene Rubber Coated Textiles Beacon
Balchem HQ – Specialty Performance Ingredients for Food, Nutrition, Pharma, Feed and Medical New Hampton
Medline Distribution Center – Medical Supplies Middletown
Par Pharmaceuticals HQ – Biotech Chestnut Ride
Laerdal Medical HQ – Biomed – Medical Simulation Devices Wappinger Falls
Deluxe Corporation Financial Products Spring Valley
RSR Corporation Secondary Lead Smeling & Refining – Lead Battery Recycling Middletown
The Salvation Arm – Eastern U.S. Headquarters Charitable Organization – Administrative Offices West Nyack
Indotronix IT Consultants Poughkeepsie
FDI Otisville Prison – Federal – Minimum Security – Men Otisville
KJ Poultry Processing Kosher Chicken and Turkey Products Monroe
Milmar Food Group Frozen Food Products Goshen
Instrumentation Laboratory Biomed – Diagnostic Products Orangeburg
U.S. Information Systems Cable, Wire, Video and Wireless- Installation and Services Pearl River
Advanced Distribution Systems Distribution – Cosmetics and Beauty Products – Third Party Palisades
Teledyne Lecroy HQ – Biomed – Electronic Medical Devices Chestnut Ride
Unitex Textile Industrial Laundry – Medical Linens Newburgh
Federal Express Ground Trucking – Cargo and Freight Delivery Newburgh
Oak Beverages Distribution – Beer, Wine and Alcohol Blauvelt
LSI Industries LED Lighting Systems New Windsor
Genpak Plastics – Food Packaging Middletown
Metal Container Corp Beer and Soft Drink Cans New Windsor
Chromalloy Aircraft Engines and Components Orangeburg
Huck International Fabricated Metals – Nuts, Bolts, Rivets, Washers Kingston
Ace Endico Distribution – Food Products for Restaurants Brewster
UPS Freight Trucking – Cargo and Freight Delivery Montgomery
Pep Boys Distribution – Auto Supplies Chester
Home Depot Distribution – Home Improvement Products Montgomery
Epicor Software – Business Systems  Newburgh
UPS Customer Center Trucking – Package Delivery Chester
Aerco International Boilers and Water Heaters Blauvelt
Aptar Pharma Biomed – Elastomeric Injectables Congers
Harney & Sons Beverage Production – Tea Products Millerton
Putnam Precision Products Precision Machining Components – Medical, Aerospace & Industrial Brewster
Nexans Optical Fiber and Copper Cable Chester
Clarins Group USA Distribution – Cosmetics and Beauty Products Orangeburg
Ampac Shopping Bags Walden
NexxLinx Call Center – Third Party Montgomery
U.S. Mint Gold Storage – Precious Metal Coin Production West Point
Selux Lighting Fixtures and Systems Highland
Camplex Fiber Optic Products Saugerties
Stanley, Black & Decker Power Tools Brewster
Valois of America HQ – North America – Dispensing Systems for Perfumes, Cosmetics and Pharmaceuticals Congers
Phoenix Manufacturing Electronic Cabling Highland
Ball Corporation Aluminum Cans Middletown
Pratt and Whitney – Advanced Coating Technologies Aerospace Component Coatings Middletown
Brooklyn Bottling Group (Iberia Foods) Beverage Production & Distribution – Non Alcoholic Miltom
Zumtobel Lighting Lighting Fixtures and Systems Highland
Fair Rite Products Ferrite Components Wallkill
Innovative Plastics HQ – Plastic Packaging – Retail Products Orangeburg
Charles River Laboratories Biotech – Research Facility – Laboratory Animals Stone Ridge
Williams Advanced Materials (Materion) Technology- Specialty Materials Brewster
Hudson Machineworks Fabricator & Installer – Architectural and Industrial Metal and Glass Brewster
Ultra Seal Specialty Packaging – Contract Manufacturing New Paltz
Powers Fasteners HQ – Anchors and Fasterning Systems Brewster
Hiptronics High Voltage Test Equipment Brewster
Bread Alone HQ – Bread and Pastry Bakery Lake Katrine
Dairy Conveyor Corporation HQ – Conveyors and Material Handling Systems – Food Industry Brewster
Lamothermic Precision Metal Castings Brewster
Dunmore Engineered Films, Foils, Coatings and Fabrics Brewster
Ceres Technologies HQ- Semiconductors and Industrial Equipment Saugerties
Akzo Nobel Chemicals – Surfactants Brewster
Unilock Interlocking Masonry Paver Systems Brewster
Frito Lay Distribution – Snack Foods New Paltz
Fryer Machine Systems HQ – Machine Tools Patterson
Spectral Systems Infrared Optical Components Hopewell Junction
JRS Pharma Biotech – Excipients Patterson
Vista Lab Technologies Biomed – Liquid Transfer Pipetts Brewster
Silarx Pharmaceuticals Biotech – Liquid Generic Pharmaceuticals Carmel
Brewster Plastics Plastic Injection Molding Patterson
Ultra Tab Laboratories Biotech – Contract Manufacturer Highland


West Point

The United States Military Academy at West Point (USMA), commonly refered to as just West Point, is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located in West Point, New York that is the world’s foremost military academy. Located in Orange County, the academy sits on scenic high ground overlooking the Hudson River, 50 miles (80 km) north of New York City. The entire central campus is a national landmark and home to scores of historic sites, buildings, and monuments. The majority of the campus’s buildings are constructed from gray and black granite with a consistent Norman architectural theme. The campus is a popular tourist destination complete with a large visitor center and the oldest museum in the United States Army.

Candidates for admission to West Point must both apply directly to the academy and receive a nomination, usually from a member of Congress or the President and Vice President of the United States. Students are officers-in-training and are referred to as “cadets” or collectively as the “United States Corps of Cadets” (USCC). Tuition for cadets is fully funded by the Army in exchange for an active duty service obligation upon graduation. Approximately 1,300 cadets enter the Academy each July, with about 1,000 cadets graduating. Upon graduation, each cadet receives a bachelor of science degree and is commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army, with a requirement to serve a minimum of five years on active duty and three years in the Inactive Ready Reserve. It is the stated goal of the USMA “to educate, train and inspire the Corp of Cadets so that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character to the values of Duty, Honor, Country and prepared for a career of professional excellence and service to the Nation as an officer in the United States Army”.

West Point was originally built in 1778 as a military fortress that was of key strategic importance during the American Revolution. At the time of its construction, George Washington called West Point “the most strategic military location in America because whoever controlled the Hudson River would win the war”. Washington chose the location because the land where the fort was located is a “point” on the “west” bank that jutted out into the river making it one of the narrowest points in the river’s 300 mile length. This narrow crossing allowed Washington to erect chains and barriers between the east and west banks that prevented the British from being able to proceed downriver to New York harbor. Also, from the high perch along the cliffs of the west bank of the Hudson, American soldiers were able to easily attack the British ships as the struggled to change direction. Fortress West Point was never captured by the British, despite  treason by the fort’s commander, Major General Benedict Arnold in 1780. West Point today is the oldest continuously occupied military post in the United States.

In 1802 President Thomas Jefferson signed legislation establishing The United States Military Academy at West Point (USMA) converting West Point from strictly a military base to the academic and military institution it is today. George Washington, Alexander Hamilton and John Adams were strong proponents of the legislation to establish the USMA, desiring to eliminate America’s early reliance on foreign engineers and artillerists, these founding fathers urged the creation of an institution to the art and science of warfare. Colonel Sylvanus Thayer, known as the “father of the Military Academy” served as Superintendent from 1817 to 1833. He upgraded academic standards, instilled military discipline and emphasized honorable conduct; all cornerstones of today’s West Point. Aware of the concerns of the founding fathers about foreign engineers and artillerists, Thayer made civil engineering the foundation of the curriculum. For the next half century, USMA graduates were largely responsible for the construction of the bulk of the nation’s initial railway lines, bridges, harbors and roads.

The list of West Point graduates who have gone on to become household names is endless. During the Civil War there was Ulysses S. Grant who commanded all Union forces and who went on to become the country’s 18th President as well as William Sherman, known for his scorched earth policy that led to what became known as “Sherman’s March to the Sea”. On the confederate side both Robert E. Lee, commander of all Confederate forces, and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, the best battle commander in the Confederate Army were both West Point graduates. During the American Indian wars following the Civil War, the most notorious cavalry commander of that time was George Armstrong Custer, known more for his stunning defeat in 1876 by Indian Chiefs Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse at Little Big Horn in what became known as “Custer’s Last Stand”. In 1917 General John J. Pershing was appointed by President Woodrow Wilson as commander of the American Expeditionary Force in Europe during World War I. Pershing was a graduate of the West Point Class of 1886. During World War II there was Dwight D. Eisenhower who was Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe and also went on to become the 34th President of the United States. Other well-known generals from World War II who were West Point graduates include Omar Bradley, George S. Patton, George Marshall and Douglas McArthur.

Although General Douglas McArthur is probably best known for his role in World War II, it is his service after World War I in 1919 when he became Superintendent at West Point that may have had the most lasting impact. During his tenure leading the USMA, McArthur created the formal doctrine at West Point known as “The Cadet Honor Code” which simply states “A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do.” For the last century those words have been lived by all West Point graduates and that tradition will continue long into the future. A great legacy not only for McArthur but for the United States Military Academy at West Point as well.

The Geography


Lower Hudson River Valley Population
Orange County, NY 396,000
Rockland County, NY 352,000
Dutchess County, NY 296,000
Ulster County, NY 182,000
Putnam County, NY 110,000


Largest Municipalities by Population
City/Town Population County
Poughkeepsie (Town) 44,600 Dutchess County
Monroe 40,620 Orange County
New City 33,510 Rockland County
Warwick 31,750 Orange County
Spring Valley 31,740 Rockland County
Poughkeepsie (City) 31,170 Dutchess County
Newburgh (Town) 30,350 Orange County
East Fishkill 29,130 Dutchess County
Newburgh (City) 28,730 Orange County
Middletown 27,950 Orange County
Wallkill 27,690 Orange County
Wappinger 27,110 Dutchess County
New Windsor 25,500 Orange County
Kingston 23,820 Ulster County
Fishkill 23,080 Dutchess County
Montgomery 22,810 Orange County
Hyde Park 21,510 Dutchess County
Saugerties 19,420 Ulster County
Nanuet 18,580 Rockland County
Monsey 18,340 Rockland County
Pearl River 15,840 Rockland County
La Grange 15,770 Dutchess County
Beacon 14,720 Dutchess County
Beekman 14,620 Dutchess County
Shawangunk 14,250 Ulster County
New Paltz 14,060 Ulster County
Goshen 13,670 Orange County
Wawarsing 13,240 Ulster County
Cornwall 12,610 Orange County
Stony Point 12,520 Rockland County
Highlands 12,400 Orange County
Ulster 12,270 Ulster County
Chester 11,980 Orange County
Haverstraw 11,950 Rockland County
Woodbury 11,360 Orange County
Red Hook 11,290 Dutchess County
Town of Lloyd 10,810 Ulster County
Suffern 10,800 Rockland County
Plattekill 10,410 Ulster County
West Haverstraw 10,240 Rockland County
Pleasant Valley 9,660 Dutchess County
Vly Cottage 9,620 Rockland County
Crawford 9,290 Orange County
Esopus 9,020 Ulster County
Congers 8,810 Rockland County
Port Jervis 8,770 Orange County
Airmont 8,690 Rockland County
Town of Dover 8,640 Dutchess County
Pawling 8,440 Dutchess County
Mahopac 8,090 Putnam County
Chestnut Ridge 7,990 Rockland County
Lake Carmel 7,860 Putnam County
Hillcrest 7,800 Rockland County
Rhinebeck 7,580 Dutchess County
New Square 7,130 Rockland County
Nyack 6,980 Rockland County
Tappan 6,960 Rockland County
Carmel Hamlet 6,550 Putnam County