Walden, New York

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Walden is the largest of three villages of the Town of Montgomery in Orange County, New York, United States. The population was 6,164 at the 2000 census. It has the ZIP Code 12586 and the 778 telephone exchange within the 845 area code. Walden is part of the PoughkeepsieNewburghMiddletown, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area as well as the larger New YorkNewarkBridgeport, NY-NJ-CT-PA Combined Statistical Area.

The village began in the early 18th century as a mill town along the Wallkill River. One miller, Jacob Walden, was so successful the village that incorporated in the mid-19th century took its name from him. Later on, it would be the three separate knife manufacturers based in the village that brought it growth and prosperity. They are gone today, but other industrial concerns remain. Walden is best known in the Hudson Valley as the home of the Thruway Markets hypermarket complex.



The area around present-day Walden was purchased in 1736 by Alexander Kidd, and settlers of Scots-Irish, English and German descent started arriving not long afterwards. It was the first settlement west of the Wallkill River, known at the time as Kidd's Town.

In the 1820s, a successful New York shipper named Jacob Walden convinced some of his business partners to finance the construction of woolen mills on the river, attracted by the Great Falls as a source of power and the railroad connections at nearby Maybrook. He dammed the Wallkill above the falls, creating a power station that remains in use today, and his mill was a success.

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