Postcard History Series: Wappinger
Author: David Turner
Wappinger’s name is derived from the Native American Wappani tribe that once lived along the eastern shore of the Hudson River. The era between 1870 and 1930 was the town’s golden age, when Dutchess Bleach Works was at its height of operation and Sweet Ore and Factory sold denim overalls across the country. While the village of Wappingers Falls was the center of economic and community life, the rest of the town was rural by comparison. Farmland dominated the landscape to the east of the village, and small river hamlets dotted the Hudson to the west. Although the farmland and factories are gone and the river traffic has slowed, remnants of Wappinger’s past are still visible.
David Turner has lived in the town of Wappinger his entire life. More than half of the 200 images in Wappinger are part of a personal postcard collection. Through the generous help of the Wappingers Historical Society, the Grinnell Library, and lifelong residents, Wappinger displays a vivid portrait of a bustling and ever-changing community.