In terms of history, the area was settled by British; many who were Quakers. The area was a post for the shipment of agricultural products, but became more popular when an area author, Nathaniel P. Willis, wrote about Cornwall’s Hudson Highlands scenery, easy river access and healthy climate. In the late 1800s to mid 1900s the First Carpet Company was the largest area industry. The town is now mostly a residential community. Even with over 12,500 people, this area continues to have a small town feel and is very popular with commuters to New York City.
Cornwall has a historical museum at 183 Main Street that can be visited at various times during the week. The town’s historical society also hosts a Wine & Cheese events, and holds informative programs and dinners. They can also be found participating at the Independence Day Celebration, summer River Fest and Cornwall’s Fall Festival.
Things to do in the Cornwall area include visiting Storm King State Park, which provides unparalleled views of the Hudson Valley and Catskills. In addition, there is the Storm King Art Center, Sands-Ring House and Kerridge Farm.
Cornwall on Hudson
This village of approximately 3,500 was originally called the village of Cornwall. It is situated on the Hudson River, and the name eventually changed to Cornwall on Hudson. Many of the summer visitors in the 1800s had estates on the bluffs above the riverside docks and railroad yards. Some of these families contributed to the area. The library was donated by the Matthiessens, and a hospital and printing press were donated by the Stillmans.
Mountainville is a small hamlet of Cornwall; so small in fact, that the census data does not specifically indicate the number of people living there. It’s located near Moodna Creek and the Taylor Road area. The hamlet has a post office and fire department. It is also home to the Black Rock Fish & Game Club where members can participate in archery and shooting sports, with ranges for archers, pistol and rifle shooting. The club has several hunting properties as well as various activities throughout the year.
Salisbury Mills is another small community, this one with a population of slightly over 500. The town is home to the Caldwell House Bed and Breakfast which claims to be the Hudson Valley’s most romantic getaway! At the time of this writing, the hamlet is home to various small businesses as well as Cumberland Farms, liquor store, a pizzeria and Irish pub. Salisbury Mills is also the site of the Metro-North Railroad station. From this station, travel to Penn Station in NYC will take around an hour and a half.
The Kowawese Unique Area at Plum Point is a 102 acre park that is open from dawn to dusk. The park has a beach which is great for launching a kayak or canoe or doing some fishing. There are picnic tables and barbecues which make it a good spot for picnics and relaxing.
There is also a dog park in the town. It’s located at 15 Muser Drive, and is also available from dawn to dusk.