Community Meets Luxury
Sleight Farm’s blog about building a custom home and living in Dutchess County, NY.
New Homes in the Hudson Valley…Near Wappingers Falls NY
March 1, 2021
Find History, Nature, Culture, and Cuisine in Wappingers Falls
Named for a cascade of waterfalls in the Wappinger Creek, the village of Wappingers Falls is just 10 miles from the Sleight Farm community of Hudson Valley new homes, and a truly unique treasure among the historic communities of Dutchess County.
The central part of this walkable little village includes the Wappingers Falls Historic District and showcases countless 19-Century buildings, including many 3-story Civil War era row rouses. The village also features Mesier Park and Homestead, a 1740s Colonial-era home now run as a history-filled museum by the Wappingers Historical Society. Wappingers Village Hall is also notable: once a United States Post office, President Franklin Roosevelt helped design the building while serving as President of the United States.
The falls and creek itself, which runs along the west side of the village, is a great place for hikes, picnics, and photos, but it was once an industrial workhorse of a waterway. Flowing between Wappinger Lake and the Hudson River, the creek proved an ideal place to build water-powered cotton mills and other factories in the 19th and 20th Centuries. Some of these sturdy brick buildings still stand, and many have been renovated to become 21Century workplaces and retail shops that still retain the design aesthetic of the “steampunk” Victorian factory era.
Fun fact: Although it’s easy to assume that “Wappinger” is the surname of a settler or other historical person, the word actually comes from the native Algonquian language, and means “easterner.”
Today, Wappingers Falls is a quintessential Hudson Valley town, balancing the old and the new in ways that offer something for everyone. Here are just a few:
Market Street Industrial Park
Frozen-in-time postcard visuals have made Wappingers Falls an increasingly popular location for film and TV production, including the HBO miniseries “I Know This Much Is True,” which filmed many 1920s sequences at the iconic Market Street Industrial Park. Formerly known as “The Bleachery,” the buildings once housed textile printing operations that served as one of the area’s biggest employers. Today, the cleaned up and revitalized site is part of the Wappinger Greenway Trail, and heading west on the trails will bring hikers to the 98-acre Reese Audubon Sanctuary, Bowdoin County Park, and the Hudson River. The property is located at 400 Market Industrial Park, across the creek from the village.
The Vinyl Room
Jonesing for a bit of that Brooklyn vibe? Check out Main Street’s The Vinyl Room, a mash-up of record store and bar that pays equal attention to your taste buds and your musical tastes. Sip and listen, buy and sell vinyl records, or challenge friends to beat your old high score on one of the retro arcade video games. When you’re hungry, you can even order pizza and subs through a seemingly magic window in the wall that provides food from a nearby pizza joint. 2656 East Main Street; (845) 297-3344
If you have an appetite for craft beer, cocktails, and comfort food (and who doesn’t?), then County Fare Bar & Grill, located on Main Street, is the perfect place for a meal. Billed as a “comfortable neighborhood hangout,” the casual restaurant blends the warmth of an old world pub with the style of a contemporary bistro. The large and ever-changing list of small-batch and artisanal beers offers something for every taste, and the feel-good food menu features classics from slider-style burgers to chili, Buffalo wings & pierogi. Since it’s located smack-dab in the middle of the village, County Fare is also the perfect place to end a day’s exploration of the history-filled surroundings. 2652 East Main Street; (845) 297-3300
The Chapel of Sacred Mirrors
If you’ve ever worried that life in the Hudson Valley doesn’t offer the kind of “out there” artistic experiences as you’d find in the big city, this mind-bending and soul-affirming church/museum should ease your mind…or expand it. With diverse roots reaching back to 70s experimental art, 90s new-age spirituality, and early 21st century NYC moon-gazing ceremonies, the one-of-kind Chapel of Sacred Mirrors was founded by artists Alex Grey & Allyson Grey, who describe it as “a place of contemplation & worship for community honoring the practice of art as a spiritual path.” Located in a restored 1862 mansion, the chapel houses a permanent exhibit of the Greys’ mind-bending artwork as well as a shop, and cafe, and serves as the venue for many special events and gatherings. Please note: COSM is temporarily closed due to the COVID pandemic, but will reopen as soon as it is safe to do so. 46 Deer Hill Road; (845) 297-2323
Here are a few more of our favorite places in Wappingers Falls:
The County Players at the Falls Theatre
County Players has been a staple in the Hudson Valley for 63 years and is widely considered the best community theatre in the area.
Grinnell Public Library
The sixth-oldest library in New York state, housed in a whimsical 1887 Swiss-inspired building.
Ground Hog Cafe
di’Vine Wine Bar