This county, constituting one of the original divisions, of the State
under the English rule, soon after the first conquest, was organized
Nov. 1, 1683, with its present limits. It lies upon the e. bank of
the Hudson, in the s. e. part of the State, and is bounded on the e.
by Conn. and on the s. by Long Island Sound* It is centrally
distant 105 mi. from Albany, and contains 525 sq. mi. The sur¬
face consists of several ridges of hills parallel to the river and
separated by wide valleys. The hills are in two general ranges,
the first extending along the river and the second along the Conn.
line. They are subdivided into a great number of minor ridges
and hills, all extending n. and s. The highest summits are 600 to
1,000 ft. above tide. The valleys, extending n. and s., are continu¬
ous, affording ample opportunity for the construction of roads and railroads; and they are generally
bordered by gradually sloping hillsides.1 In some localities the hills are abrupt and rocky. The
principal streams are Peekskill Creek, Furnace Brook, Croton, Pocantico, and Neperhan Rivers,
and Tibbetts Brook, tributaries of the Hudson; Bronx River, Westchester and Hutchinsons Creeks,
Mamaroneck and Byram Rivers, flowing into Long Island Sound; Maharness and Stamford Mill
Rivers, flowing e. into Conn.; and Muscoot Creek, Plum Brook, and Titicus, Cross, and Kisko
i Rivers, tributaries of the Croton. The lakes are small bodies of water scattered through the hilly
portions. The s. e. portion of the co,, along the Sound, is deeply indented with bays and estuaries,
which in some places are bordered by extensive marshes. Most of the streams which flow into
the Sound afford, by the reflux of the tide, an intermitting hydraulic power, which is employed in
The rocks of the co. consist principally of granite and gneiss, of many dissimilar varieties, and
E of white crystalline limestone. These rocks crop out upon the declivities and summits of most of
the hills, affording an abundance of the best kind of building stone. The marble quarries at
Sing Sing and other places are extensively wrought, their products affording one of the most
valuable exports of the co. Traces of various kinds of ore have been discovered; but all search
for profitable metallic veins has proved unsuccessful. Several mineral springs are found in differ¬
ent sections, the principal of which is the Chappaqua Spring, 3 mi. e. of Sing Sing. It emits
sulphuretted hydrogen and is said to possess useful medicinal properties. The soil, derived prin¬
cipally from the disintegration of the primitive rocks, is light, sandy, and, naturally, only mode¬
rately productive; but, by a continued process of scientific culture, it has been rendered very
fertile. Upon the Hudson and the Sound and in various other localities are drift deposits and
alluvium, furnishing a much more productive soil. The people are principally engaged in gar¬
dening and fruit raising, fattening cattle, and supplying milk for the New York market. Bricks
in immense quantities are manufactured along the Hudson for exportation. Other manufactures
are largely carried on in the villages adjacent to New York.
This co. is distinguished for beautiful and picturesque scenery, noticeable in nearly every part.
The highlands that border upon the Hudson afford an extended view of that river, the Palisades,
and of the hilly country of Rockland and Orange. Along the s. e. border fine views are obtained
of the Sound, the numerous green islands along the coast, and the adjacent shores of Long Island.
In the interior the landscape is agreeably diversified by hills, dales, and clear, running streams.
Many wealthy inhabitants of New York have erected beautiful villas and country residences upon
the finest sites; and the hills of the co. are now studded with these splendid specimens of archi¬
In the vicinity of New York are numerous small villages inhabited by mechanics and working*
men doing business in the city. These people go back and forth daily on the lines of railroad, or
by steamboat, living in the country for the sake of economy. A considerable amount of manu¬
factures is carried on at these suburban villages. A large transient population, mostly from New
York, make this co. their residence during the summer months.
The roads that cross the co. e. and w. are a constant succession of ascents and descents, while those extending N. and S.
through the Talleys are nearly leyel.