Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Quadricentennial - The Hudson Valley marks historic 1609 voyage

Here in the Hudson Valley it's an auspicious time to be in an early Dutch-American house. This year marks the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's voyage in 1609, sponsored by the Dutch East India Company, when he discovered the river that now bears his name. He sailed across the Atlantic and up the river in "de Halve Maen" as far as present day Albany looking for a western route from Europe to China and India. Although Hudson was English, he was sailing for the Dutch, so his discovery laid the foundation for a claim by them on this area of North America. He was followed by Dutch explorers and merchants, who established New Amsterdam on Manhattan around 1625, spreading out from there into the Hudson Valley and across to the Connecticut and Delaware Rivers. The English took control of the the New Netherlands in 1664 but the Dutch influence here lasted well into the 18th Century. We are very lucky to live and work in a house that exemplifies this influence today, and to be in a position to share it with guests in this quadricentenial celebration year.

For an extensive list of some of the signature events taking place up and down the Hudson Valley this year, along with listings for museums and historic sites hosting related exhibits try http://www.exploreny400.com/, or http://www.hudson400.com/.

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