Where in the Hudson Valley?
photo by Thomas Moore (above)
Towns and villages have always loved to celebrate local heroes by erecting statutes of them. But this historic downtown monument was put up to honor the contribution made by a notable American who didnÂ¡Â¯t even live in the town, but played a big part in saving the local economy.
The village was first populated by settlers of European descent in the 1700s. In the 1820s, a New York businessman set up a successful enterprise, and by the next century, the area was home to several manufacturers. The village fathers encouraged new companies to come to town to help boost the economy Â¡Âª one firm even made equipment for Union soldiers during the Civil War.
By the late 19th century, however, trade tariff changes brought a flood of European goods into the U.S. market. Coupled with a national economic slowdown, village businesses were plunged into debt; the townÂ¡Â¯s future started to look dicey.
Enter our now-bronze hero. A buddy of a village businessman, he had tremendous political clout Â¡Âª which he used to help shift the tariffs so that they once again benefited U.S. companies.
The result: a happy ending for the town. Local businesses turned around, paid off their debts, and regained profitability. The village was once again a thriving place to live. In thanks, the businessman had the statue you see here erected to honor his high-powered political pal.
Do you know where in the Valley this statue is? And who it depicts? If you think you know the answer to both questions, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. The first person to correctly identify the person and the location wins a small prize. Check next monthÂ¡Â¯s issue for the answer.Â¡Ã¶