Wappinger's name is derived from the Native American Wappani tribe that once lived along the eastern shore of the Hudson River. The era between 1870 and 1930 was the town's golden age, when Dutchess Bleach Works was at its height of operation and Sweet Orr and Factory sold denim overalls across the country. While the village of Wappingers Falls was the center of ecomic and community life, the rest of the town was rural by comparison. Farmland dominated the landscape to the east of the village, and small river hamlets dotted the Hudson to the west. Although the farmland and factories are gone and the river traffic has slowed, remnants of Wappinger's past are still visible.