On Saturday, February 18, at 2 pm, Historic Huguenot Street will host a talk and book signing with historian Vernon Benjamin, author of The History of the Hudson River Valley: From Wilderness to the Civil War.Benjamin’s book chronicles the valley’s development from Native American homeland to revolutionary battlefield and beyond. After being settled by Europeans, the Hudson River Valley developed a vital colonial trading post in Manhattan while retaining the native beauty that inspired artists from James Fenimore Cooper to Thomas Cole. Wealth from Manhattan flowed north to the flourishing valley, creating a cultural renaissance of art, literature, and architecture. Published in 2014, The History of the Hudson River Valley: From Wilderness to the Civil War was 20 years in the making. Benjamin recently followed up with the publication of The History of the Hudson River Valley: From the Civil War to Modern Times in 2016. Benjamin has lectured on the history of the Hudson Valley at Marist College and Bard College since 2003. He holds a Master’s in Literature from Long Island University and a Bachelor’s in Sociology from Siena College. A former editor of the New Saugerties Times, he has written extensively on the Hudson Valley for various publications and has appeared on C-SPAN. He lives in Saugerties, NY. Copies of Benjamin’s book will be available for sale at the event, which will take place at Deyo Hall (6 Broadhead Avenue, New Paltz) at 2 pm on February 18.