It’s hard to believe that some of the towns in the Hudson Valley can date back to the 1600s. We may pass older buildings, monuments or signs that display the history that surrounds us. I always love learning more about this beautiful area and all that inhibits the Hudson Valley.

Walden is a town located within Orange County. Until you stop and look around at the history, you would not have guessed the impact that this little town had on the world.

Let us take a step back in time to find out the history that lays in Walden.

The settlers

The first settlers in Walden were Native Americans who traveled along the banks of The Wallkill River. This route helped with transportation. By the 1650s, Europeans arrived along The Wallkill River as well in which they made this their permanent home. Over time, the settlers consisted of farmers, traders and more.

The name

Walden got its name from Jacob T. Walden who had his own mill where cotton and cloths were made. By 1840, Walden was known as one of the major manufacturing centers in Orange County for wool.

Walden’s Knife Company

This was my favorite story about Walden. Due to the success behind the wool making that took place, the production of cutlery became prominent. The New York Knife Company was then born and known as the first cutlery and knife factory within Walden. On site, there were 28 buildings that produced the first Boy Scouts of America knife. Have you heard of Hammer Brand knives? They were also made there too.

You can see the grounds from its located-on Orchard Street & West Main. While driving through Walden, be on the lookout for the historical sign that highlights the knife factory.

The title, “Little Sheffield”

Have you ever heard this title when referring to Walden? Maybe this is something that the local historian knew best. This title came from the creation of the success of the knife and cutlery business. Walden became the cutlery capital of the US.

Did you know the history behind Walden? Have you ever visited there before? Share your responses below.

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