Thousands upon thousands of people visit Dutchess County each year, and they come here for all different reasons. Its wondrous natural beauty, its world-class cuisine and craft beverages, its vibrant arts and culture scene — these are only a few of Dutchess County's biggest attractions.
Not to be overlooked, however, are Dutchess County's many historical sites. Significant events have transpired here in Dutchess, and iconic people have called it home.
With several exciting events planned for the weekend of Oct. 7–9, I Love N.Y. makes it possible to step back in time along its Path Through History and explore Dutchess County's rich heritage. Here's a look at what’s on the calendar:
Saturday, Oct. 7, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. at the Van Wyck Homestead Museum, Fishkill
Local artisans offer their masterfully hand-crafted wares on the grounds of the Historic Van Wyck Homestead Museum. Browse among the colorful pottery, soft knit items, stunning gifts and aromatic skin care products. Grab a bite to eat at the concession stand; be sure to have one — or two — of the Fishkill Historical Society's famous made-to-order Dutch apple fritters. While you’re there, enjoy a tour of the homestead, a Dutch colonial house from the early 1700s, and hear about how craftspeople of the past kept Fishkill running while it served as a headquarters of the Northern Department of the Continental Army's supply depot during the Revolutionary War. Guided tours of the homestead are held Saturdays and Sundays, 1–4 p.m., from June to October. Self-guided tours of the grounds are available every day from dawn until dusk. Click here for more information.
Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 7 and 8 at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, Red Hook
Some people like to bake pumpkins into pies, while others enjoy carving cute or scary faces into them. The folks at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome? Well, they like to toss their pumpkins out of antique airplanes and watch them splatter on the ground. This popular spectacle is one of several special events held throughout the season at the Aerodrome, which hosts air shows every weekend from mid-June through mid-October. Each Saturday, the "History of Flight" program highlights the Pioneer Era before World War I and the Golden Age of Aviation in the 1920s and 30s. The Sunday air show is the World War I dog-fight spectacular, with a hero or heroine, the villainous Black Baron of Rhinebeck, scenery, pyrotechnics and a World War I tank, along with many antique automobiles. Of course, the stars of the shows are the historic airplanes, including a 1909 Bleriot, a Fokker DR-1 Triplane and a precise replica of the Spirit of St. Louis. There are usually between 15 and 20 flyable aircraft for each show. You can even book your own flight in an open-cockpit biplane! Click here for details.
Sunday, Oct. 8, tours at 12, 1, 2 and 3 p.m. at Mount Gulian Historic Site, Beacon
The amount of history documented at Mount Gulian is simply astounding and dates back roughly 8,000 years to the ancestors of the Wappinger indigenous tribe who inhabited the land along the Mahikannituck (Hudson River). A guided tour of the historic site highlights the many fascinating people and events that have been linked through the centuries to Mount Gulian, where the Verplanck family built their homestead around 1730, and where Patriot General Friedrich Von Steuben established his headquarters during the Revolutionary War. You’ll hear the fascinating story of James F. Brown, an African American man who was born into slavery in Maryland, escaped to freedom in New York, was hired by the Verplanck family and, by 1829, was working as the master gardener and property manager at Mount Gulian. For about the next 40 years, James kept a journal of everyday life, one of very few such accounts of life experienced by a Black person anywhere in America at that time (he somehow learned to read and write while still a slave in Maryland). Selected transcripts of these journals are available at Mount Gulian. You’ll also hear the story of Robert Newlin Verplanck, who was attending Harvard when the Civil War broke out. After graduating from Harvard at age 20, Robert reported to the Union Army and was trained to be a volunteer officer in the newly formed United States Colored Troops. Robert led his troops into battle against the Confederates in Virginia, and his letters home to his mother and sister dramatically recall the courage of the African American soldiers. Tours of Mount Gulian’s historic home, its 18th-century barn and its heritage garden are available each week on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday from June 21 through Oct. 29. Reservations are preferred, but walk-ins are always welcome. To learn more, click here.
Monday, Oct. 9, 6 a.m.–12 p.m. at Innisfree Garden, Millbrook
Innisfree is recognized as one of the world's ten best gardens and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Its design was influenced by a Chinese style dating back 1,000 years, and its 185 acres include 40-acre lake surrounded by cliffs, low hills, waterfalls and streams. It’s a beautiful and serene setting perfect for a leisurely stroll or a picnic. Click here to learn more and to purchase tickets to both special events at Innisfree on this Community Day:
• Morning Light: Sunrise at Innisfree (6-10 a.m.): The garden will open an hour before sunrise so visitors can experience golden light dramatically flooding the garden, making everything and everyone look even more beautiful. As the morning mist clears, fall colors will be doubled in reflections on the lake. Come early with your camera, easel or birding binoculars. Advance registration is required for this special early morning access. Tickets include exclusive garden access before 10 a.m., and general access until 5 p.m.
• Curator's Tour (10:30 a.m.-12 p.m.): Join Innisfree's landscape curator, Kate Kerin, for a lively 1.5-hour walking tour exploring this powerful work of art. In a story akin to the Great American Novel, learn about the people and ideas that shaped this living landmark. Find inspiration for your own garden as you explore Innisfree’s timeless design strategies and timely, nature-based maintenance practices. Participation in this tour is limited, so advance registration is strongly suggested.
• Note: Innisfree's Community Day features discounted special programs (like this one) and free regular garden admission to residents of these Northeast Dutchess County communities: Amenia, Clinton Corners, Dover Plains, Millbrook, Millerton, North East, Pine Plains, Stanford, Washington, Wassaic and Wingdale and their hamlets. To take advantage of this special Community Day opportunity, neighbors must present proof of residency upon arrival.
Thank you for reaching out to Dutchess Tourism, Inc. Due to the volume of inquiries, please allow 48 hours for a response. For immediate assistance, please call our main line at (845) 463-4000.
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