Gazetteer of New York, 1860 & 1861 page 706
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center. Its surface is broken by ridges in the s.; in other parts it spreads out into level plains.
Croton River forms the s.
e. boundary. Muscoot River1 and Plum Brook flow s. through the town
into Croton River. Croton Lake, tbe fountain head of the Croton Water Works, lies in the
s. w. corner, extending into Yorktown. The soil is a sandy and gravelly loam. Somers, (p. v.,)
in the
n. e. part, contains 2 churches, a bank, and 20 houses.2' Croton Falls, (p.v.,) in the
n. E. corner, on the line of North Salem, is a small village and station on the Harlem R. R. It has
a good water-power. West Somers (p. o.) is a hamlet. This town, in the allotment of the
manor in 1734, fell to the share of Mrs. Margaret Bayard, Philip and Stephen Yan Cortlandt,


Andrew Johnston, Miller, Stephen De Lancey, and Mrs. Susannah Warren. The census

reports 5 churches in town.3

WESTCHESTER4—was organized as a town, Nov. 7, 1788. West Farms was taken off in
1846. It lies on the Sound, in the extreme s. part of the co. It is bounded on the w. by Bronx
River, and on the s. and
e. by the Sound. Its surface is generally low and flat along tbe coast and
rolling further inland. Several bays and estuaries extend far inland and divide tbe land into
several peninsulas and necks. The principal of tbe latter are Classons Point
,5 between Bronx and
Westchester Rivers
; Zeregors Point, next e. ; and Throggs Neck,6 a long and narrow promontory
extending s.
e. into the Sound. About 2,500 acres along Westchester River is a salt meadow, a
portion of which is held as public property and managed by 3 trustees. The people are princi¬
pally engaged in gardening and fruit growing. Westchester, (p.v.,) at the head of navi¬
gation on Westchester Creek, is a scattered village of about 1,000 inhabitants. Bronxdale,
on the line of West Farms, has an extensive tape factory, a dye and bleach works, and about 400
inhabitants. Schuylerville, upon Throggs Neck, is a scattered village of 300 inhabitants.
Integrity, near Bronxdale, has a tape factory. Connersville, Wakefield, Center¬
ville, and Unionport are modern villages. Fort Schuyler, upon the extremity of Throggs
Neck, was begun in 1833; aul in 1851 $848,013 had been expended upon it. The estimated cost of
construction and repairs was then $873,013.6 The first settlement on Throggs Neck was made in
1642, by John Throckmorton and 35 associates, from New England, with the consent of the Dutch.
The Indian title to the land was extinguished in 1643, by the Dutch, and a land brief was granted
in that year, and another in 1652. The English began a settlement at Westchester
7 in 1642; but
the Dutch, considering them intruders, arrested several of them, and in 1656 they surrendered
themselves to the Dutch Government. The settlement was claimed by Conn. in 1663; but tho
next year it came under the government of the Duke of York. A patent was granted by Gov.
Nicoll, Feb. 13, 1667, and by Gov. Dongan, Jan.
6, 1686. A market was established at West¬
chester, May 11, 1693, to be held weekly ;* and the same year an annual fair was established, to
meet alternately at this place and Rye. It was made a borough town April 16,1696, with mayor,
aldermen, and common council, “ according to the form of the best governed towns and corpora¬
tions of the realm of England,” and the right of holding a mayor’s court, and a representation by
one delegate in General Assembly. The De Lancey family, prominent officials under the Colonial
Government, and loyalists of the Revolution, resided in.this town. The first church (Cong.) was
formed soon after the arrival of the first settlers

WEST FARMS—was formed from Westchester, May 13, 1846. Morrisania was taken off in
1855. It lies upon the Sound and along Harlem River, in the s. part of the co. The surface is
rolling, the ridges extending
n. and s. Bronx River forms its e. boundary, and Sawmill Brook
flows through the center. Its soil is a gravelly and sandy loam, rendered very productive by scien¬
tific farming. West Farms, (p. v.,) a large village at the head of navigation on Bronx River,

7 It was built to accommodate 1,250 men and to mount 318
cannon. With the projected work upon Wilkins Point, in
Flushing, Queens co., these fortresses -would effectually protect
New York against the approach of a hostile fleet from the
Sound. The fort is built of granite from Greenwich, Conn.

8 The settlers at “ Vreedlandt” at this time were Lieut. Thos-
Wheeler, Thos. U. Newman, Robert Bassett, John Cloes, Sher¬
wood Davies, Wm. H. Fenfall, Richard C. Meares, Samuel
Havelt, Isaac Hoibert, Robert Roes, Jas. Bill, John S. Genner,
Richard Osbort, and Wm.Ward. The Dutch released Capt. R
Ponton, Wm. Elet Black, John Gray, and Roger Wheeler, who
had been arrested for taking up arms at “
Westchester, II, p.
160. In 1662 they were allowed to nominate
their own magistrates and hold their own courts; “ but in dark
and dubious matters—especially in witchcraft—the party ag
grieved might appeal to the Governor and Council.”

9 There are 7 churches in town; 2 Friends, Cong., Prot. E.
M. E., Presb., and A£ Meth.


This river is said to discharge 3,628,800 gallons of water per


Hachaliah Bailey, of Somers, about 1815 imported the first
elephant brought into the United States. “Old Bet” with
other animals soon after imported formed the first travel¬
ing menagerie in the country, with which Van Amburgh, the


Lion Tamer, was afterward associated. Thaddeus and Gerard
Crane, Lewis Titus, and John June, familiar to the public as
enterprising showmen, were from this town and North Salem.


8 2 M. E., 2 Presb., and Prot. E.


* The Dutch called this region “Vreedlandt,” or the land of
peace, and the village “
Oorst Dorp,” or East Village.


t>r Cprnell, in 1646.


6 Named from John Throckmorton, the pioneer settler. A
lighthouse, 61 feet high and 66 feet above the Sound, was built
here in 1826, and refitted in 1855. It has a fog bell struck by


machinery 7 times per minute.


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