Dutchess County brings to mind the FDR estate, the nation’s first Presidential Library and the only National Historic Site to honor a first lady -- Eleanor Roosevelt’s home, Val-Kill;
Vassar College, Millbrook and Rhinebeck estates, Harlem Valley farms and horse breeding stables, and the state’s oldest county historical society. The county is a magnet for researchers, historians, weekend
heritage tourists and those who seek a vacation home surrounded by scenic landscapes, history and culture.
The river- as a vital transportation artery to the interior- and the railroad, later, contributed to population diversity reflecting world demographics, Dutch, English, Scots, French
Huguenots, German Palatines, Irish and African Americans were among its earliest citizens, followed in the 19th century by waves of immigration from northern Europe, the Mediterranean, Middle East and Asia. In the
20th century, the mix has been enriched by Hispanics, Latinos, Indians and Southeast Asians.
Dutchess has been a cradle for intellectual achievement - a pastoral environment where ideas become action. From Beacon’s colonial business woman Cateryna Brett, to Hyde Park's Eleanor
Roosevelt; from Poughkeepsie’s Samuel F. B. Morse to Amenia’s Lewis Mumford; from Vassar College’s Female College to the Cary Aboretum’s Institute of Ecosystem Studies; from newcomer Harvey Eastman’s
visionary railroad bridge to absentee giant Thomas Watson’s IBM - Dutchess has it all.