College Hill Park is set on the highest point in Poughkeepsie and has somewhat of an interesting history. The park has actually played home to a number of structures and area landmarks.
In 1870 the city reservoir was constructed below College Hill and became a favored place for locals to picnic, catch some down time, and take in concerts. There was a hotel on the site which ultimately failed. Plans for an orphanage were on John Guy Vassar’s list for the location but the orphanage never materialized.
In 1893 local cough drop mogul W.W. Smith of Smith Brothers Cough Drops purchased the land and donated it to the city for purposes of building a park. And they did.
The Greek style structure in the image stands on the park’s high point. Many assume incorrectly that this structure was built at the same time the park was developed. There have been a number of Greek style structures in that location that at some time burned down. The existing structure replaced one that burned down in 1944.
College Hill Park has always interested me due to that central structure. It seems so out of place being in Poughkeepsie but so in place being part of College Hill Park.