about schuyler falls

the setting

About the setting:

Like its fellow upstate New York towns Armonk and Purchase--homes to IBM and Pepsi, respectively-- Schuyler Falls has, for many years, been synonomous with its most famous resident (OmniCorp, the closely-owned company run by the Campbell family). Unfairly, its charms as a lovely place to visit have been overshadowed by its significance as a home to this huge corporation. Let's try to rectify that.  

There are about 30,000 people living in "SkyFalls," as it's often referred to by its residents. This prototypical upstate New York town is populated by old money WASPs; the nouveaux riche of more varied ethnicities who earned their money post-WWII; dairy farmers who live in the rural northwest portion of town; people on welfare, most of whom live in the gray area known as "The Numbers"; and members of the young working class, striving to live the lives their parents wanted for them.

Watervalstad (literally, "Waterfall Town") was founded by the Dutch in the mid-1600s, with an eye to its strategic importance--located close enough to the Hudson River to be easily accessed by the south, but distant enough to be independent, not under the eye of the state capitol (at the time, located in NYC). 

In the late 1700s, the town was renamed "Schuyler Falls," in honor of Philip John Schuyler, the noted 18th century New York politician, army general and businessman. Run by old monied European families such as the Van Dorens (cousins of the Schuyler family) for the past two centuries, SkyFalls' quiet, sleepy nature didn't change until it was forced to by the influx of immigrants in the early 20th Century.

The primary mover-and-shaker was the infamous Winston Campbell (1930-1974), whose lofty name hid a background of poverty back in his native England. (If you want to cause a town historian distress, ignore her diatribe on Philip Schuyler and ask her to relate the sordid history of Mr. Campbell's final years.)

Campbell and his cousin Egbert Brooke came to SkyFalls and brought ambition and commerce to its reluctant midst. In the prosperous years after WWII, their successful venture into the retail clothing market (the famous Campbell & Brooke department store chain, now known as C&B) transformed the town from upper-crust enclave to home of OmniCorp, the conglomerate eventually founded to control the cousins' growing empire. Of course, a huge company means many employees. A new district was built to house these workers, lending an urban flavor to valleys that had once been grazing fodder for sheep.

Links to the map, the official city pages, and a guide to local hotspots.



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