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The Fishkill Supply Depot should be preserved

The Fishkill Supply Depot should be preserved

Dave Palmer 6:05 p.m. ET Sept. 29, 2016


From my current home in Texas, I have been watching the unfolding “Continental Commons” debate occurring near my former home in the Hudson Highlands. It is an important topic to me not only as a one-time neighbor (12 years at West Point, the last five as superintendent) but also as an author and TV commentator on the American Revolution in and around Fortress West Point.


Whatever one’s position is in the debate, there can be no overlooking the one-of-a-kind historical significance of the area at the northern portion of the Hudson Highlands. Existing there is a cluster of sites from the American Revolution unique in our country: Fortress West Point, The New Windsor Cantonment, the Fishkill Supply Depot, Washington’s Headquarters in Newburgh, and more. So many vital activities grouped so close to one another shows how centrally strategic that small corner of New York was to the war effort. All those links to our history have survived the ravages of time, and the spread of development approaches the miraculous.


Those hallowed sites complement one another in telling the story of the Revolution. The fortress complex called West Point, backed by the vital logistical complex at Fishkill, formed a bastion impregnable to British forces, while George Washington’s stationing of the Continental Army and his own nearly constant presence there or nearby amply demonstrated the area’s strategic significance. He labeled it “The Key of America.”

Fortunately, individuals and organizations have worked over the decades to preserve this historical treasure trove, such as The Friends of the American Revolution at West Point, the Friends of the Fishkill Supply Depot and the establishment of the New Windsor Cantonment as a New York State historic park. In fact, a major effort is ongoing at West Point to preserve existing fortification sites and to make them more available to students, citizens, and historians. I believe a similar effort is underway for the Fishkill Supply Depot.


I hope that movement to save and preserve the supply depot is successful. My hat is off to the modern patriots and public-minded citizens striving to do so. It was an absolutely essential site during the war. The outcome of the debate is important locally, of course, but make no mistake—it is important as well to all Americans and to posterity.

Although battles and campaigns are more “sexy" to talk about, they could never be won without logistical support. Making the Fishkill Supply Depot a permanent historical park will complete the special triad of Fortress, Cantonment, and Depot.


Dave Palmer is a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general.













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joriley
joriley
Feb 25, 2020

Anyone that lived in the Hudson Valley that went through the massive IBM layoffs in the 1990s can attest to how devastating that was to the local economy. Diversity is the key to a vibrant local economy, and the area around the Fishkill Supply Depot is already saturated with retail space and hotels. The thing is that tourism is the one form of economic development that does not move away or move its jobs to more desirable locations overseas or down south. Tourism is the only intrinsically economic resource that cannot be simply moved, because it is based on a historic location and event that should be featured and valued rather than distorted and built over with yet more unneeded…

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FSDHS
FSDHS
Feb 21, 2020

Many people have asked the developer similar questions and his standard reply is that he doesnt own the property where the abandoned mall sits vacant. This still does not justify building retail space on property that is designated as historic by a Federal Agency .

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alicechase43
alicechase43
Feb 19, 2020

The Fishkill Supply Depot should be preserved. The fact of the matter is that retail is a dying industry. The Sears store in the Poughkeepsie Galleria just announced its closure after decades of retail establishment. It makes no sense to add a thirteenth hotel to the area, when several recently closed down right near the 84 and Route 9 exchange. Also, why would you build retail space across the road from the abandoned Dutchess Mall?

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coldwinterknight
coldwinterknight
Feb 15, 2020

Wow, another 2 Star General speaking out on behalf of this site!?! I hope that the active duty guys at West Point, especially the staff that teach history, know about and can help turn the Fishkill Supply Depot and the Colonial Soldiers cemetery into a protected military park rather than an ISLOP?

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