Kinderhook, New York

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Kinderhook, which means Children’s Corner in Dutch, contains two villages, one also named Kinderhook – the birthplace of President Martin Van Buren – and Valatie, as well as the hamlet of Niverville next to Kinderhook Lake.

According to the Town of Kinderhook, New York, website, the explorer Henry Hudson, “while moored on the river that today bears his name, noticed the Mahican Native American children gathering on the shore and coined the name of our town Kinderhook. While many years have passed since those early encounters, the passage of time has been kind to the oldest town in Columbia County.”  

Residents enjoy bicycling through town, where Lindenwald, the retirement home of Martin Van Buren, still stands. The Van Alen House and its farm are believed to have served as the inspiration for homestead of the Van Tassel family in Washington Irving's short story, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”  “Irving visited this area in the early 1800s and was a friend of Jesse Merwin, the local schoolmaster,” notes the town’s website. “Purportedly Irving modeled his character Ichabod Crane after Jesse.”

The Ichabod Crane Schoolhouse, a National Historic Landmark, also is in Kinderhook.

Photo Credit: Kathyrn/DJPryByl

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