About Warwick, New York

WARWICK is a town in the Southwest part of Orange County in the Hudson Valley, NY with a population of a bit less than 32,000.Warwick village is the home of Applefest and the Hudson Valley Jazz Festival.

The area has been referred to as Warwick since the early eighteen century. The town of Warwick was officially created in 1788. During the American war of independence, Warwick was the site of continental army encampment. In 1783 Georges Washington pass one night at Baird’s Tavern. The first people to live in that place were Native Americans, inhabiting the area for about 12,000 years. In 1700 Dr Samuel Staats, surgeon of Dutch descent was Promised Land here. His son and crew built a house. This house still stand at what is now “Apple wood orchard” merely 500 yards from Shalimar Alpacas. Johannes and Elizabeth Weesner (Wisner) a Swiss couple came from long Island 1n 1712 and settled on 200 acres.

With the opening of the Warwick Valley Railroad in 1862, wealthy New Yorkers build lavish weekend and summer houses. A surge of wealth sparked by the railroad and prosperity of surrounding farmers who, thanks to the train had a way to get their crops to a ready market in New York city.  This small Railroad became the first in America to use refrigerated cars to transport liquid milk. This golden age of Warwick came to an end around 1920’s with the great Depression.

Starting in the late 50’s a new kind of new comer arrived, middle class families from New York five boroughs, New jersey and Wechester, in search of less expensive housing and better schools. This exodus accelerated in the 80’s and 90’s. The community is becoming more and more international.

The transformation of the land first from forest to farm, then from farm to suburban neighborhood, continues, with tools now to preserve something of a rural character in the valley. Warwick has now cows farm, one of them, Mont Vale farm, using their milk to produce and sell one of the best ice-creams around New York City at the Creamery. Different apple orchards bring people from all around the New York area for wonderful apple picking. There are many horses farm and for the moment one alpaca farm at Shalimar Alpacas of Warwick.

Sources S. Gardner, July 1999

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