N2S - QSY Society & Mt. Beacon ARC
Dutchess County >> Poughkeepsie >> College Hill Park
Poughkeepsie is easy to visit and is full of history and local attractions which the Mt. Beacon Amateur Radio Club and the QSY Society can share more about with you during this special event where they will be operating a "pop-up" radio station from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM on June 12th 2021 as part of the Hudson River Radio Relay Featuring Bannerman's Island.
College Hill Park The Highpoint Of Poughkeepsie NY
College Hill Park is set on the highest point in Poughkeepsie and has somewhat of an interesting history. The park has actually played home to a number of structures and area landmarks.
In 1870 the city reservoir was constructed below College Hill and became a favored place for locals to picnic, catch some down time, and take in concerts. There was a hotel on the site which ultimately failed. Plans for an orphanage were on John Guy Vassar’s list for the location but the orphanage never materialized.
In 1893 local cough drop mogul W.W. Smith of Smith Brothers Cough Drops purchased the land and donated it to the city for purposes of building a park. And they did.
The Greek style structure in the image stands on the park’s high point. Many assume incorrectly that this structure was built at the same time the park was developed. There have been a number of Greek style structures in that location that at some time burned down. The existing structure replaced one that burned down in 1944.
College Hill Park has always interested me due to that central structure. It seems so out of place being in Poughkeepsie but so in place being part of College Hill Park.
Dutchess's Twin Sister Cities
Poughkeepsie and nearby Beacon to its south share much more in common than its two more historical amateur radio clubs along with the newer Hudson Valley Digital Network organization.
Both Beacon and what is known today as Poughkeepsie both played important parts in American Revolutionary history and along with the towns of Fishkill, Wappingers, Hopewell, New Hamburg and Hughsonville that live between them, there is much to explore within the area many have come to call the Mid Hudson Valley, especially by those that live on the east side of the mighty Hudson River.
The Queen City Today
Poughkeepsie has been called " The Queen City of the Hudson ". It was settled by the Dutch in 1683; its name, of Wappinger Indian origin, means “reed-covered lodge by the little water place".
The site of Poughkeepsie was purchased from Native Americans in 1686 by Robert Sanders, an Englishman, and Myndert Harmense Van Den Bogaerdt, a New Netherland-born Dutchman. The first settlers were the families of Barent Baltus Van Kleeck and Hendrick Jans van Oosterom.
The settlement grew quickly, and the Reformed Church of Poughkeepsie was established by 1720. The community was set off from the Town of Poughkeepsie when it became an incorporated village on 27 March 1799.
The City of Poughkeepsie was chartered on 28 March 1854. Outside of municipal designations, the City and Town of Poughkeepsie are generally viewed as a single place and are commonly referred to collectively as Poughkeepsie, with a current combined population of approximately 75,000.
Spared from battle during the American Revolution, Poughkeepsie became the second capital of New York. In 1788, the Ratification Convention for New York State, which included Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and George Clinton, assembled at the courthouse on Market Street, debated, and ratified the United States Constitution. With its ratification, New York entered the new union as the eleventh of the original thirteen colonies to join together as the United States of America. In 1799, a new seal was created for Poughkeepsie.
Early on, Poughkeepsie was also a major center for whale rendering, and during the 19th century, the industry flourished through shipping, hatteries, paper mills, and several breweries along the Hudson River, including some owned by Matthew Vassar, founder of Vassar College. Due to the area’s natural beauty and proximity to New York City, families such as the Astors, Rogers, and Vanderbilts built palatial weekend homes nearby.
The Vanderbilt mansion , located several miles up the Hudson from Poughkeepsie, is registered as a National Historic Site; it is considered to be a sterling example of the mansions built by American industrialists during the late 19th century.
The city is also home to the oldest continuously operating entertainment venue in the state, the Bardavon 1869 Opera House.
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Upcoming QSY & MBARC 2021 Events
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About MBARC & QSY Society
The Mt. Beacon ARC has a focus on maintaining its network of Hudson Valley amateur radio repeaters and the QSY Society focuses on other aspects of the hobby which are not all tied just to the repeaters. Both clubs share membership between each other as well as across other area amateur radio organizations. Both are listed here to show how well they work together for different purposes and a common goal.