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Water Works

 

 

Located along a major thoroughfare on the Valley’s eastern side, this charming fountain pays tribute to the Native American founders of the small town in which it stands. Long ago, Mohicans living in the region discovered warm mineral springs located in the present village. In the 18th century, white settlers came to the area; one of them was James Hitchcock, an officer in the British army. Legend has it that Hitchcock was taken ill with a mysterious skin disease which the best physicians in New England were unable to treat. His native neighbors, however, quickly came to his aid. They carried him on a litter (he was too sick to ride a horse) to the springs, where he bathed for several weeks in the healing waters. Lo and behold, the officer’s ailment was soon cured.

 

The Mohicans eventually sold the land to another settler, on the condition that the water from the springs would remain free in perpetuity for everyone to enjoy. The town grew steadily between 1780 and 1830, as visitors came from far and wide to “take the waters” — one source even refers to the place as “the American Baden.”

 

Do you know where in the Hudson Valley this is? If you do, e-mail us at edit@hvmag.com. The first person to correctly identify the location wins a small prize. Check next month’s issue for the answer.

 

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