is the oldest continuously occupied military post in the United States. Located on the Hudson River
in New York
, West Point was identified by General George Washington
as the most important strategic position in America during the American Revolution
. Until January 1778, West Point was not occupied by the military. On January 27, 1778, Brigadier General Samuel Holden Parsons
and his brigade crossed the ice on the Hudson River and climbed to the plain on West Point and from that day to the present, West Point has been occupied by the United States Army. It comprises approximately 16,000 acres (6,500 ha) including the campus of the United States Military Academy
, which is commonly called "West Point".
View of the West Point area from Fort Putnam
, c. 1865.
It was staffed by a small garrison of Continental Army Soldiers from early in 1776 through the end of the war. A great iron chain
was laid across the Hudson at this point in 1778 in order to prevent British Navy vessels from sailing further up the Hudson River
, but it was never tested by the British.
The site comprised multiple redoubts
, as well as Fort Putnam
, situated on a high hill overlooking the river. Named after its builder, Revolutionary War General and engineer Rufus Putnam
, the fort is still preserved in its original design.
In perhaps the most infamous act of treason in American history, General Benedict Arnold
attempted to turn the site over to the British Army
in 1780 for a bribe
consisting of a commission as a brigadier general in the British Army and a cash reward of £
20,000 (about $1.3M in 2009 dollars). However, Arnold's plot failed when British Major John André
was captured as a spy by the Americans. Arnold received a decreased cash reward of £6,000 (roughly $350,000) but was commissioned as a brigadier general in the British Army.
After the conclusion of the American Revolution
, West Point was used as a storage facility for cannon and other military property used by the Continental Army
. For two months in 1784, the United States Army consisted of only about 80 soldiers under the command of Brevet Major John Doughty
at West Point.
The United States Military Academy
was established at West Point in 1802 and is the nation's oldest service academy. West Point has the distinction of being the longest continuously occupied United States military installation.
Geography and climate
West Point has a humid continental
climate (Köppen Dfa
), with four distinct seasons. Summers are hot and humid, while winters are cold with moderate snowfall. The monthly daily average temperature ranges from 27.5 °F (−2.5 °C) in January to 74.1 °F (23.4 °C) in July; on average, temperatures reaching 90 °F (32 °C) or 0 °F (−18 °C) occur on 17 and 1.4 days of the year, respectively. The average annual precipitation is approximately 50.5 inches (1,280 mm), which is distributed fairly evenly throughout the year; snow averages 35 inches (89 cm) per season, although this total may vary considerably from year to year. Extremes in temperature range from 106 °F (41 °C) on July 22, 1926 down to −17 °F (−27 °C) on February 9, 1934.
Looking north on the Hudson River from West Point (Seth Eastman
View of West Point from the eastern shore of the Hudson River
There were 685 households, out of which 75.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 87.8% were married couples
living together, 4.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 5.7% were non-families. 5.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and none had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.69.
The age distribution is 16.7% under the age of 18, 51.2% from 18 to 24, 23.0% from 25 to 44, 3.8% from 45 to 64, and 0.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 21 years. For every 100 females, there were 207.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 259.7 males. All of these statistics are typical for military bases.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $56,516, and the median income for a family was $56,364. About 2.0% of families and 2.0% of the population were below the poverty line
, including 2.6% of those under age 18 and none of those age 65 or over.
The New York Central Railroad
well into the 1950s operated several passenger trains a day on the West Shore Railroad
through the academy's Gothic style station; both the limited stop trains bound for Albany and the local trains to Newburgh and Kingston made stops at the station. Service finally ended in 1958.
Train station gallery
View of station, looking south (ca. 1980)
Entry door, trackside view
- ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- ^ Highlands town, New York[permanent dead link]." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on August 25, 2011.
- ^ "West Point CDP, New York[permanent dead link]." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on August 25, 2011.
- ^ Hubbard, Robert Ernest. Major General Israel Putnam, pp. 157–8, McFarland & Company, Inc., Jefferson, North Carolina, 2017. ISBN 978-1-4766-6453-8.
- ^ Livingston, William Farrand. Israel Putnam: Pioneer, Ranger, and Major-General, 1718–1790, pp. 373–5, G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York and London, 1901.
- ^ "The United States Mint at West Point". usmint.gov.
- ^ "NowData – NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2012-01-20.
- ^ "Artists in Canada". Canadian Heritage. Government of Canada. Archived from the original on 29 March 2019. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
- ^ 'Official Guide of the Railways,' December 1954, New York Central section, Table 80
- ^ "Comments On The West Shore from James Knecht". Nyc.railfan.net. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
Last edited on 2 April 2021, at 01:35
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