Twenty tobacco boxes, 100 tobacco pipes, 1,000 fish hooks, 40 knives, two swords, eight muskets, three pistols, some rum and some beer were among the enticements the Kitchawank tribe accepted in 1685 to surrender their land — now Peekskill — to six Dutchmen, according to this feature article appearing on Sunday, Sept. 16 in The New York Times.
The small city hugging the Hudson River inherited its name from Jan Peeck, an early Dutch trader. In Dutch, "kill” means creek.
Peekskill’s strategic position on the river made it valuable for shipping and proved an important military base during the American Revolution.
General George Washington was a frequent visitor. A downtown plaque marks the site where, in 1780, Washington gave Benedict Arnold command of West Point, a trust Arnold betrayed when he colluded with the British.
A lot of architecture got destroyed by urban renewal, according to Frank Goderre, city historian. Peekskill fell on hard times after its iron foundries and factories folded. “But what remains is beautiful,” Goderre told the Times.
Today there’s a revitalized vibe and a multicultural citizenry on the streets, in restaurants and in coffee shops, the Times wrote, feasting on views of the marina, the glittering river and Bear Mountain.
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