Beacon, New York
The town of Beacon in New York’s Dutchess County has a total area of 4.9 square miles and is located on the Hudson River’s eastern shore, 60 miles from New York City and 90 from Albany.
Best known for its convenient proximity to many historical areas and big cities, Beacon received its name in honor of the historic beacon fires that were lit at the Fishkill Mountains to alert the Continental Army of the British troops during the Revolutionary War. Today, Beacon is “gaining recognition as one of the Hudson Valley's gems come back to life,” according to Beaconhudson.com. “The town has it all, a rich in history and small town Americana charm. Beacon, with an abundance of Victorian architecture, shops for the collector, art galleries, museums and fine dining, it has something for everyone. Beacon is on the Metro North commuter train line offering visitors and residents an easy in and out of NYC.”
Beacon is divided into the River Side and Mountain side sections with several secondary and historic neighborhoods. Among its many noteworthy attractions are the Madam Brett Homestead, which is the oldest building in Dutchess County and on the National Register of Historic Places; Eustatia, a brick cottage built in 1867 in the Victorian Gothic style that overlooks the Hudson River, its original form has remained largely intact; and the Howland Cultural Center, also known as Howland Library, it is the former public library building, designed in 1872 by Richard Morris Hunt.
The town has a thriving arts culture as well, and is proudly home to Dia: Beacon, a contemporary arts museum that opened in 2003. The Beacon Theatre was built in the 1930s. The Beacon Institute of Rivers and Estuaries, a river and estuary research facility, is located in the town. Bannerman Castle on an island just offshore is a well-known tourist destination as are the many parks and gardens in the area. Forrestal Park, Green Street Park, Hammond Field, Hudson Highlands State Park, Memorial Park, Mt. Beacon Park and Riverfront Park.
Photo Credit: Doug Kerr