Mount Vernon is the eighth-most populous city in the state of New York. It is a predominantly African-American city but with a large Brazilian population estimated by the city and the Brazilian Consulate to be one in 10 residents. Between 2000-2006, Mount Vernon’s economy grew 20.5%, making it one of the fastest growing cities in the metropolitan area of New York. Mount Vernon has a large amount of commercial industry which boosts the city’s economy, with industries such as manufacturing, electronics, engineering, and high tech mainly located in the Southside section of the city.
Mount Vernon is typically thought to be divided into four major sections in four square miles: The North Side, the South Side, Mount Vernon Heights and Downtown. Within the city are a number of parks, large and small, and Wilson Woods Park, a 23-acre county-owned park. The city has the largest public library system in Westchester County and the sixth largest in New York State.
Mount Vernon was named after the Virginia plantation where George Washington lived, just as neighboring Wakefield was named after the plantation where he was born. A landmark on Gramatan and Lincoln Avenue since the late 1800s was called simply “The Circle” until about 1942 when it was named McArthur Circle after General Arthur MacArthur. The general was a Civil War and Spanish-American War hero, a Medal of Honor winner and father of WWII hero, General Douglas McArthur. A statue of a Spanish-American War soldier was added and the area was rebuilt and reopened in 2000.
Yonkers is the fourth most populous city in the state of New York (behind Rochester, Buffalo, and New York City), and the most populous city in Westchester County, with a population of 196,086. Yonkers borders the Bronx and is two miles north of Manhattan at the city’s closest point. Though Yonkers contains many small residential enclaves and communities, it can conveniently be divided into four quarters, demarcated by the Saw Mill River.
Amidst a growing need for increased economic viability in Yonkers, a vast revitalization project proposal has been designed for the city. It promises to add luxury housing, waterfront development, commercial and retail space, has been designed for the city. With hopes of increasing the city’s tourism and economic importance in the state and county, the project is one of the largest revitalization projects ever proposed for any locality within the New York Metropolitan Area, totaling more than $3 billion.
Several exceptional institutions of higher education are located here including Mercy College, Sarah Lawrence College, Westchester Community College and St. Joseph’s Seminary
For its first 200 years, Yonkers was a small farming town with an active industrial waterfront. Yonkers’ later growth rested largely on developing industry. In 1853, Elisha Otis invented the first safety elevator, and created the Otis Elevator Company the first elevator factory in the world on the banks of the Hudson near what is now Vark Street.
Scarsdale sits just south of the County Seat in White Plains, stretching from the Bronx River Parkway in the west to the Hutchinson River Parkway in the east. The 2010 census set the town’s population at 17,166. Scarsdale is officially both a town and a village, operating with a village government.
The former estate of Caleb Heathcote was officially founded as a town in 1788. By that time, the area already housed more than 200 people, and had seen a skirmish between the Continental Army and the British forces of General Howe. Author James Fenimore Cooper wrote one of the earliest American novels, The Spy, while living here, basing the novel on the town’s wartime history.
New Rochelle is the seventh-most populous city in the state of New York, with a population of 77,062 as of the 2010 census. The city is comprised of several established communities.
The village of La Nouvelle-Rochelle was founded in 1688 by French Huguenot refugees, and remained predominantly French throughout the colonial era. New Rochelle grew rapidly during the 19th Century, and in 1899, Governor Theodore Roosevelt signed the bill chartering the City of New Rochelle.
James Montague’s “Queen City of the Sound” features historic landmarks such as Leland Castle, Trinity-St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, and the cottage of Thomas Paine. The attractive 2.7-mile stretch of coastline on the Long Island Sound contains several parks and recreational areas, and overlooks numerous islands with park areas and beaches, including Glen Island Park and Huckleberry Island.
Mamaroneck stretches from Saxon Woods Park to the shore of the Long Island Sound, and contains the Village of Larchmont and part of the Village of Mamaroneck, as well as a large unincorporated area. The 2010 census set the population at 29,156.
The town of Mamaroneck was created by the New York Legislature in 1788. During the 1890’s, Larchmont became a summertime hot-spot for families from New York City, and more people moved to live there year-round. Meanwhile, farther up the shoreline of the Sound, fishing, shipping, and manufacturing industries developed in what would become the village of Mamaroneck. Both villages were created during that decade.
Mamaroneck is home to the historic Walter’s Hot Dog Stand, a Westchester County landmark, and the famous Winged Foot Golf Club, which has hosted a number of U.S. Opens, as well as the 1997 PGA Championship.
Eastchester contains the villages of Bronxville and Tuckahoe as well as the unincorporated area of Eastchester. The suburban area had a population of 32,363 at the time of the 2010 census.
In 1665, an agreement called the “Eastchester Covenant” was created by ten families living along the Eastchester River, establishing laws and community bonds for the area. In 1708, Queen Anne of England issued a grant for the land to the Eastchester settlers, resolving a dispute with the settlers of neighboring New Rochelle. During the second half of the 19th Century, Eastchester began to develop into a more suburban area, and the villages of Bronxville and Tuckahoe were incorporated in 1898 and 1903, respectively.
Rye is the oldest permanent settlement in Westchester County. Situated on Long Island Sound, the prosperous community of Rye City contains a unique blend of old and new, retaining its tranquil atmosphere and historic landmarks. The 2010 census set the population at 15,720.
Rye is famous for being the childhood home and resting place of Founding Father and first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Jay. Rye is also home to Playland, a historic amusement park featuring one of the oldest wooden roller coasters in the Northeast.
Pelham contains the villages of Pelham and Pelham Manor, two historic villages nestled in the southeastern corner of Westchester County. The area was bought in 1654 by Thomas Pell, and named after his tutor, Pelham Burton. The current boundaries of the town were established in 1895.
Pelham is a small, residential area, with a population of 12,396 as of the 2010 census. The town was home to William Jay Bolton, the first stained glass artist in the United States, as well cartoonist Charles Voight, who created the famous comic strip Betty. The town is also home to the historic Pelham Picture House, one of the country’s oldest movie theaters.
Greenburgh contains several villages, including Ardsley and Hastings-on-Hudson, as well as unincorporated areas such as Edgemont. The town encompasses a wide area, stretching from the Bronx River to the banks of the Hudson and as far north as the Tarrytown Reservoir. Greenburgh was home to nearly 90,000 people as of the 2010 census.
Each of the villages in Greenburgh has its own unique history. Since its incorporation in 1896, Ardsley has undergone several transformations in response to major events, including a devastating fire in 1914 and the construction of the New York State Thruway in the 1950’s. Meanwhile, neighboring Hastings-on-Hudson developed a rich industrial history, and was home to artist Jasper Cropsey and actress Billie Burke.