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Westchester County, NY History

Westchester County, NY History

We are happy to offer our first items of genealogy and local history from Westchester County, NY, and we plan to offer additional items of historical interest soon.

"The Bronx" -- as Bronx County is usually known -- was originally a part of Westchester County, was annexed by New York County in 1873 and 1895, and became a county in its own right in 1914, although it had been a borough of New York City since 1898.  For that reason, publications earlier than 1898 include Bronx material in Westchester.  We will be adding more material in the future that is specific to Westchester County.  Please see our Bronx County page for more information.


Now Available for Download


The Westchester County chapter in Mather & Brockett's Geographical History of the State of New York (1848).  Treatment of this county is quite comprehensive in its treatment of the county's physical geography and history but a little spotty in coverage of the towns that comprised it.  Note that the Bronx was not to become a separate county for another half century, more or less.  We also include the two page summary of New York State land grants for background in this download.  8+ pages, PDF format, download now for $3.00

 Westchester County from Mather and Brockett

 The Westchester County chapter from French's Gazetteer of the State of New York (1860). Here is a quite comprehensive look at Westchester County (still including the Bronx) a bit over a decade after Mather & Brockett's treatment of the subject.  The localities mentioned in this chapter -- a long list, most of which are still extant today, are:  Bedford, Bedford Station, Katonah, Mount Kisco, Whitlockville, Cortlandt, Peekskill, Verplancks Point, Croton, Crugers, Annsville, Cortlandville, Oregon, Mount Airy, Montroses Point, East Chester, Mount Vernon, West Mount Vernon, East Mount Vernon, Waverly, Washingtonville, Bronxville, Tuckahoe, Burpos Corners, Fleetwood, Jacksonville, Greenburgh, Hastings, Dobbs Ferry, Irvington, Tarrytown, Harts Corners, Middletown, Halls Corners, Ashford, Abbotsford, Greenville, Harrison, Lewisboro, Purchase, South Salem, Cross River, Goldens Bridge, Vista, Mamaroneck, Orienta, Washingtonville, Chatsworth, Hickory Grove, Kelloggsville, Morrisania, Mott Haven, Port Morris, Wilton, Old Morrisania, East Morrisania, West Morrisania, South Melrose, East Melrose, Eltona, Woodstock, Claremont, High Bridgeville, Mount Pleasant, Pleasantville, Unionville, Beekmantown, Sleepy Hollow, Upper Cross Roads, Lower Cross Roads, New Castle, Chappaqua, Sarlesville, New Rochelle, West New Rochelle, Petersville, Upper New Rochelle, North Castle, Armonk, Kinsico, Quarter Station, North Salem, Salem Center, Purdys Station, Croton Falls, Ossining, Sing Sing, Prospect Hill, Spring Valley, Sparta, Pelham, Pelhamville, Prospect Hill, Pelham Priory, Poundridge, Boretontown, Rye, Milton, Ryebeach, Port Chester, Kingstreet, Glenville, Scarsdale, Scarsdale Station, Somers, Croton Falls, West Somers, Bronxdale, Schuylerville, Integrity, Connersville, Wakefield, Centerville, Unionport, Fort Schuyler, West Farms, Fordham, Tremont, Central Morrisania, Williams Bridge, Fairmount, Claremont, White Plains, Yonkers, Spuyten Duyvil, Tuckahoe, Kingbridge, Riverdale, South Yonkers, Yorktown, Crompond, Pines Bridge, Jefferson Valley, and Shrub Oak.  14+ pages, PDF format, download now for $3.00

Westchester from French's Gazetteer (including Bronx)


Hastings High School, Hastings on Hudson, New York, Yellowjacket For 1959

High school yearbooks are under-appreciated as historical documents.  Created as they are by “new eyes” for which every event is occurring for the first time, they tend to capture the era in which they are produced with a vision that older, sager, observers lack.  And occasionally they don’t.

This yearbook is an oddity.  It’s the first we’ve ever published where the name of the high school and the name of the town in which it’s located don’t appear together at any point in the volume.  The name of the high school, Hastings, appears only on the sports pages, and then only in a column facing a column of names of opponents with final scores.  The yearbook’s dedication, usually to some venerable faculty member, occasionally to a local figure who either did something for the school or died that year, and rarely to an individual student – then, typically, as an “in memoriam” dedication – is to the class of 1959 itself – the class that published the book.  There is a dearth of text in the yearbook.  No history of the class, no extensive write-ups of class activities like senior play or football season, no last will and testament. 

Yet at that time Hastings on Hudson was a suburb of New York City, served by commuter trains, and at the same time home to a major industrial facility of the Anaconda Corporation.  Overall, in 1959, the economy was doing very well.  There were no significant wars on (we are between the Korean and Vietnam wars here) and little else going on in the nation is likely to have caused what looks like inattention to a high school graduating class’ magnum opus.  There are advertisements in the back of the volume, and a substantial list of donors listed by name.  It does not look like lack of money was the reason for it either.

Was the problem – if there was one – simple unpopularity of yearbook as a senior activity?  Were there other problems at the high school on in the community that we do not know about today?   At any rate, this volume is a fascinating one as much because of what it does not say as it is for what it says.  70+ pages, in PDF format, download now for $4.00.

1959 Yellowjacket of Hastings High School, Hastings on Hudson, NY


Charity in New York State in 1906: State Institutions.  This chapter from volume II of the Annual Report of the State Board of Charities for the year 1906 contains a section about the New York State Reformatory for Women, located at Bedford, in Westchester County.   See our New York State Miscellany page for more information about this chapter.


The Old Post Road, by C. G. Hine (1905) --  “The Publick Common General Road and Highway from King’s Bridge to the Ferry at Crawlier over against the City of Albany”.  See our New York State Miscellany page for more information.

Click here to go to the Bronx County page

CLICK HERE to return to our New York State page



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