Patterson Businesses


The commercial area in the village of Patterson was the primary center for commerce and industry in the Town on Patterson. The coming of the Harlem Railroad acted as a magnet to draw more businesses into the village. Large factories, like the Pendleton & Townsend Sash and Blind Factory, had their own railroad sidings to allow raw materials and finished products to be loaded to and unloaded from railroad cars. Long distance mail once moved solely by rail, and the daily mail trains drew Patterson residents and business owners to the village post office that collected and distributed mail. Every area of the United States was once served by a community center where government offices, stores, factories, churches, libraries, and schools were located. These "main streets" were not only the center of business activity, but also served as centers for social and religious activities. Patterson's commercial area once contained a rich mix of shops, including general stores, grocery stores, meat markets, feed and farm supply, clothing, furniture, appliances, bicycles, horse saddles and harnesses, lumber and building supplies, and shoe repair.

The convenience of the railroad and long distance bus service, however, allowed Patterson residents to travel to larger commercial areas, such as Brewster, Danbury, and Poughkeepsie. But it was the coming of the automobile and the construction of an improved network of roads that allowed Patterson residents to easily travel longer distances to other business and shopping areas. Automobiles made suburban shopping malls possible and turned many American workers into commuters, and, as a result, America's "main streets" declined. Patterson's Front Street bears little resemblance to the once thriving commercial strip that it used to be. In evidence of its decline, Patterson's Main Street is no longer known by that name, but rather by the less charming and more industrial name "NYS Route 311". The early 1970s brought the interstate highways into Patterson, and the 1980s saw the construction of the Jefferson Valley Mall, while the 1990s brought the Danbury Fair Mall in nearby Connecticut. Patterson's factories closed and the Town became a bedroom community of people who worked in New York City. Patterson's stores were small, and were unable to compete with the larger chains of "box" stores in nearby communities. Patterson's stores offered more limited merchandise at higher prices than the malls. The buildings that had served the Patterson community for almost a century by 1980, started to look tired and old. Efforts to revitalize Front Street have not had much success in approving its appearance.

A Gallery of Businesses in the Village of Patterson: A - C

Next: Businesses in the Village of Patterson D - O
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