Look magazine dubbed Glens Falls "Hometown USA" in an April 1944 article. But long before and long since, the four-square-mile city on the Hudson River has had a rich history, diverse economy and neighborly hospitality.
Native Americans called it "Che-pon-tuc," meaning "a difficult place to get around." But early settlers ,such as Quaker Abraham Wing, found it an ideal place to establish lumber, lime and quarry operations.
In the early 20th century, Glens Falls boasted of a diverse employment base that included textile, umbrella, paper and ale-making operations. The more-than-century-old Finch Paper, one of the few independent paper mills in the nation, remains one of the city's largest private employers today. Other employment opportunities are in health care, insurance, banking, tourism and small manufacturing.
The downtown business district has been experiencing a renaissance in recent years with new shops and restaurants opening and the renovation and expansion of Crandall Public Library completed in 2008.
Glens Falls is the home of several museums, including The Hyde Collection, a world-class art museum that includes the former home of Louis and Charlotte Hyde. The permanent collection includes about 2,800 paintings and other works of art.
The Chapman Historical Museum in the historic Delong House features exhibits and archives about the history of the Glens Falls-Queensbury area and its connection to the Adirondack region.
The World Awareness Children's Museum, expected to reopen in new quarters in late 2009, has a collection of more than 6,000 pieces of art by children around the world. The museum promotes understanding of other cultures through art, music and other activities.
Cooper's Cave, located just across the bridge in South Glens Falls, is another local tourism attraction. It is doubtful that any daughters or soldiers or Native Americans actually took refuge there in 1757 during the French and Indian War, But novelist James Fenimore Cooper visited the cave with a group of tourist in 1824, and later used it as the setting of a scene in "The Last of the Mohicans," a popular romantic novel for many years. Benjamin Franklin also reportedly viewed the cave and falls in 1776.
Concerts, sporting events, drama and other entertainment are held regularly at the 5,000-seat Glens Falls Civic Center and the 300-seat Charles R. Wood Theater.
Aimie's Dinner & Movie has two theaters offering movie viewing in a restaurant setting.
Victorian architecture, including that of the city's churches, can be appreciated on a walk around downtown. First Presbyterian Church has the 46th largest pipe organ system in the world, The system has 7,000 metal and wooden pipes.
For those interested in longer or more vigorous exercise, scenic bicycle and walking trails connect Glens Falls with Lake George and Hudson Falls. Trolley service between Glens Falls and Lake George runs daily from late June through Labor Day. A half-day walk can be followed with lunch in Lake George and a trolley ride back.