Cornwall, New York

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Cornwall is a town in Orange County, New York, USA. It is located about 50 miles north of New York City on the western shore of the Hudson River. The estimated population in 2007 was 12,827.

Cornwall continues to increase in popularity as a bedroom community for New York City. Commuter rail service is available via the Salisbury Mills-Cornwall train station, operated by NJ Transit, and several other nearby stations on Metro North Railroad.

Cornwall has a distinct walkable downtown along Main Street, including a co-op, gift shops, taverns, restaurants, coffeehouses, yoga studios and boutiques. Government offices, churches, parks, the riverfront, and St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital, a part of the NewYork-Presbyterian Healthcare System, are situated within walking distance of downtown.

While the town is located less than an hour from the George Washington Bridge, major commuter routes like the New York State Thruway and the Palisades Parkway run nearby, but not through the heart of Cornwall. The town is a designated Tree City.



The region was visited by the explorer Henry Hudson in 1609. The first settler, a Scotsman, named McGregor, arrived in 1684. In 1685, the future town was part of the Governor Dongan Tract.

The Town of Cornwall was founded in 1788.

The nineteenth century

In the mid-19th century, Cornwall took on another personality – a health retreat. Until the early 20th century, city folk flocked to the Valley to experience the therapeutic powers they believed it to hold. The mountains, fresh air and evergreen forests were thought to offer the perfect conditions for good health and they were not far from the city. Cornwall on the west side of the Hudson became especially popular as a health retreat, offering numerous boarding houses and many conveniences of the day, including accessibility to the railroad and steamboats, as well as a telegraph office and large library. Nathaniel Parker Willis, one of the Knickerbocker writers, enjoyed the time he spent here so much he bought property in Cornwall, establishing a country home he called Idlewild. His many writings on the area helped make Cornwall a popular spot for health-seekers.

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