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Wappingers Falls Village


Wappingers Falls Village Hall is located at 7 Spring Street, Wappingers Falls NY 12590; phone: 845-297-8773.

Beginnings [1]

Located on Wappingers Creek, from which it derives its name, approximately 7.5 miles east of the creek's entrance into the Hudson River, Wappingers Falls has had a long history of industrial growth and development. First settlement by New Englanders began at the mouth of Wappingers Creek c. 1660. Settlement followed Wappingers Creek and eventually spread to both eastern and western banks. Industry was drawn to the area early by the hydropower of the seventy-five-foot Wappingers Falls and the transportation afforded by the Hudson River. Adolphus Brewer operated a gristmill at the falls by 1738. This mill and much of Brewer's land was purchased in 1776 by New York merchant Peter Mesier. The Mesier Family eventually acquired most of the lands occupied by the present village of Wappingers Falls. The house built by Adolphus Brewer and later acquired and altered by Peter Mesier remains in Wappingers Falls as an important example of a pre-Revolutionary Hudson Valley house.

The manufacturing of textiles began at Wappingers Falls in the early nineteenth century. In 1819, John Gnans and Benjamin Delavergne constructed a cotton mill along the creek. In 1829, an old flour mill was converted to a textile printing works by John Ingham, who was subsequently bought out in 1848 by Thomas Garner. After his purchase of Ingham's printworks, Garner established the Duchess Company, which became the largest single employer in Wappingers Falls for nearly a century. With the increasing use of steam power, other manufacturing concerns located themselves in the vicinity on sites removed from Wappingers Creek.

Wappingers Falls was incorporated on September 22, 1871. Prior to this time, the west side of Wappingers Creek was known as Channingville and was considered a part of the town of Poughkeepsie. In the early twentieth century, the mills were converted to bleaching and dyeing. Little development occurred in the village after the turn-of-the-century, although in recent years, the relocation of International Business Machine's headquarters just north of the village has changed the character of the area to a more suburban nature.

  1. Gobrect, Larry E., Wappingers Falls Post Office, nomination document, 1989, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.
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