The Birth and Growth of an Old Village
Wappingers Falls, New York, 1707-1977
Author: Edgar A. Popper
125 pages, paperback
This book is considered to be the “bible” of the history of the Village of Wappingers Falls. A comprehensive recording of Village history, including first land owners, prominent families, early factories, major village fires and early fire companies, churches and village businesses throughout the years.
Preface by Edgar Popper:
“In my latter and retired years, I have often felt that I would like to write and relate a history of the Village of Wappingers Falls in Dutchess County, New York. Born in the old homestead located on lower Market Street which was directly across the street from the Falls and Creek Gorge and the old Garner Print Works, near the beginning of the Twentieth Century, I have always been interested in the beauty and operations of this location. Also, the parks, library, factories, churches and other noteworthy buildings which very few other Villages possess.
In a total of sixty-seven business years in the Village, it has given me a further insight and connection with the people, residences, businesses and manufacturing in and around the Village. With this information, memory, old maps and pictures, some dating back to 1800, newspaper clippings, and historical records in my possession, and some information compiled and written in the old Wappingers Chronicle by the Historian, Clinton W. Clapp, who was the son of Benjamin Clapp, one of the early settlers of the Village, I feel prepared to proceed with a further history of the Village of Wappingers Falls to the present time.
This history of the Village would not be complete unless the names of the men and women who contributed so much of their time and efforts in the past were mentioned.
I will endeavor to cover each subject in several chapters such as the birth of the Village, the pioneers and early settlers along with the bridges, factories, fire departments, utilities, roads and streets, recreation, the churches and several chapters on the Dutchess Print Works and its successors. This complex started in 1832 and closed in 1955, a period of 123 years, contributing so much to the growth, prosperity and employment in the Village. Without it we may not have had the Village as it is today.”
In completing the history of the Village of Wappingers Falls, I wish to acknowledge with thanks those persons who helped me in any manner in compiling this information.
I would also like to thank my typist, Mrs. Rita J. O'Leary, for her work in translating several hundred pages of my handwriting of history and dates and typing them into legible and readable form.
I have endeavored throughout to write the history as completely and accurately as possible, relying on the dates and information taken from old maps, newspapers, pamphlets and clippings written by others in the past century and augmented by my own records and memory of the present century.
1977 Edgar A Popper
1991 Comments from Catherine O. Lyons, President of the Wappingers Historical Society
The year 1991 marks the 250th anniversary of our own pre-Revolutionary Mesier Homestead. Situated on a grassy knoll in the center of Wappingers Falls, the Homestead looks out over the Village whose growth and development Edgar Popper has herein recounted. It seems most appropriate that, with the publication of this history, we salute our prized Homestead which, since 1741, has been a silent witness to all these events happening around it.
In publishing this work, we have chosen to minimize editing and to present the story in the original form, just as Edgar Popper, our business man turned historian, wrote it.