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Walden is a village located in Orange County, New York, United States. It was settled in the early 18th century by German Palatine immigrants, who named the area "Adolphustown" after Prince Adolphus Frederick, Duke of Cambridge. The village was later renamed "Walden" in honor of writer Ralph Waldo Emerson's book "Walden; or, Life in the Woods."
In the mid-19th century, Walden became known for its thriving hat-making industry, which utilized the abundant beaver pelts and other furs found in the nearby Shawangunk Mountains. The village's hat factories supplied hats to customers throughout the United States and Europe.
During the American Civil War, Walden was an important center for the Union Army's hat production. Many of the village's residents fought in the war, including members of the 124th New York Volunteer Infantry, which was raised in Orange County.
After the war, the hat-making industry declined, and Walden's economy shifted to agriculture and dairy farming. The village remained a small, rural community throughout much of the 20th century, but experienced growth in the 1980s and 1990s as suburbanization spread from nearby New York City.
Today, Walden is a diverse community of approximately 6,000 residents, with a mix of residential, commercial, and industrial areas. The village is home to several parks, including Bradley Park, which features a swimming pool, playground, and sports fields. Walden also hosts several annual events, such as the Walden Harvest Fest and the Walden Community Day.