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Highlands illustrates the history of a remarkable town that commands the heights of the Hudson River, 50 miles above New York City. Once the home of Native Americans, the region was admired by the Dutch, settled by the English, and loved by the patriots who shed their blood for independence on its rocky soil. Rich iron mines, small farms, mills, and cordwood provided a livelihood in this glorious setting, bounded by forests and one of America''s great rivers. Four diverse communities--Highland Falls, Fort Montgomery, Bear Mountain State Park, and West Point--developed in close proximity, forming the town of Highlands. Its strategic location, at a sharp bend in the Hudson River, made Highlands the ideal site for the new U.S. Military Academy in 1802, changing its destiny forever.