Luis Moses Gomez: Three Centuries of History in New York’s Hudson Valley-Zoom
The Hudson Valley played an instrumental role in the American Revolution, was the crossroads of America’s nineteenth-century industrialization, and witnessed the cultural revolution during the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival. One era of transformation is, however, often overlooked. Contrasting the region’s seventeenth-century settlements which were defined by ethnic, religious, and cultural identities, the eighteenth-century market revolution influenced these communities with evolving commercial forces. The development of transportation on the Hudson River and the growth of New York City as a center of trade linked local residents to the burgeoning Atlantic market. Regional farmers and artisans, however, often lacked the finances and influence to become directly engaged in these lucrative ventures, so instead, they consigned their wares through well-established intermediary merchants.
One of these businessmen was Luis Moses Gomez, a Jewish refugee who was a member of New York City’s Shearith Israel congregation. Expanding his business interests northward in 1716, Gomez purchased land in Marlboro, New York, where he occupied this important intermediary role between local residents and the expanding market revolution. Gomez’s position in this changing society, as well as the three centuries of history endured by his Hudson Valley property known today as the Gomez Mill House, are extraordinary lenses through which socioeconomic and cultural advancements in the Hudson Valley can be observed.
Alex Prizgintas is a historian, musician, and lecturer who focuses on neglected history of New York’s Hudson Valley. A Marist College graduate student studying public administration, he has been published in several journals such as the peer-reviewed Hudson River Valley Review and New York Archives Magazine as well as the Orange County Historical Society Journal and the Antique Bottle & Glass Collector Magazine. Since 2013, Alex has given more than forty lectures on topics of local history ranging from dairy farming to antique glass bottles, regional railroads, glassmaking in the Hudson Valley, and early area settlers.