The Town of Greenburgh is located in the southwestern part of Westchester County, NY. Greenburgh includes the villages of Ardsley, Dobbs Ferry, Elmsford, Hastings-on-Hudson, Irvington and Tarrytown. Greenburgh also includes the hamlet of Hartsdale with its railroad station and post office. Approximately 50% of Greenburgh's population resides within the town's six villages. The rest of the population lives in the town of Greenburgh, outside the six villages.
History of Hartsdale
The Weckquaesgeek Indians, a branch of the Mohican tribe of the Algonquin nation, originally inhabited most of the area now known as the Town of Greenburgh. The Weckqueskecks were a friendly tribe that was closely related to the Wappinger Confederacy.
It is thought that the Town of Greenburgh, which was once part of the Manor of Philipsburgh, was set-off and established with its present name and boundaries in the year 1788. The majority of inhabitants to Greenburgh had emigrated from Holland. Regarding the name “Greenburgh” "...in the language familiar to them the word groen, signifying green, and the words graan and grein, both signifying grain, might well, either the one or the other, have suggested the first syllable of the name, while the word burg, in the same language, signifying a borough, or an incorporated town or district of country, very evidently supplied the second. Green-district or Grain-district would thus express a prominent feature of the locality. The burg already belonged to it as part of its recognized title of Philipsburg, and when the Philipse proprietor and his family became Tories during the Revolution, and their property was confiscated at its close, the name Philipse naturally dropped out, and the descriptive term Green took its place." [Source: Excerpt from Scharf's History of Westchester County,..., Volume 2, Chapter II, Greenburgh, published in 1886.]
During the American Revolution, the Town of Greenburgh was the ground for many battles. Later on, the growth of this area was stimulated by the advent of the steamboat and later in the 1880s by the building of the railroad. The advent of the railroad had a large impact on the growth of Greenburgh. In fact, the railroad stimulated growth and industry in most towns running along the banks of the Hudson River. By the end of the 19th century, the region now known as Greenburgh attracted wealthy New Yorkers who established large estates. Large mansions were built in Greenburgh and nearby areas by people such as Henry Villard (a newspaper tycoon), the Vanderbilts, the Goulds, the Rockefellers, and others.
Historical information on each of the villages that comprise the Town of Greenburgh.
Point of Interest: John André, 1750–1780, was a British spy in the American Revolution. Three American militiamen captured André, who was dressed in civilian clothes and carrying a treasonous letter from Clinton to Benedict Arnold in his shoes. André was tried with a court martial. Found guilty, he begged George Washington to shoot him as a gentlemen instead of hanging him as a spy. Nevertheless, he was hanged as a spy in Tappan, New York on October 2, 1780. Learn more about
the American Revolution.
History and Antiquities
The following covers "History and Antiquities", a general collection of interesting facts, traditions, biographical sketches, and anecdotes about Westchester County and its towns. When reading the following, remember to keep in mind that this information has been written about two hundred years ago. Population statistics and events have not been revised to reflect current events and perspective. We think this adds to the historical flavor and interest of the writings, giving a different perspective on much of this information and written in an "older world" writing style.
"Historical Collections of the State of New York"
, Published by S. Tuttle, 194 Chatham-Square, 1841
"Greenburgh is pleasantly situated on the Hudson, 22 miles N. of the city of New York. Pop. 3,361. On the banks of the river are splendid sites for country residences, many of which are occupied by the wealthy. About two miles below the village of Tarrytown, beautifully situated on the Hudson, is the country residence of Washington Irving, Esq., and well known as the ‘Van Tassel’ house. Dobbs' Ferry, a noted place in the revolution, is situated on the Hudson, 22 miles N. of New York, and opposite the northern termination of the Palisades. There is here a village containing 2 churches, and about 30 dwellings. Hastings is a small settlement and landing on the Hudson, 2 miles below Dobbs' Ferry, 3 miles east of Tarrytown, is the small village of Greensburgh, where there is a store, a tavern, a few neat dwellings, and a Presbyterian church, in whose cemetery rest the remains of Isaac Van Wart, one of the captors of Andre; over which is a marble monument, consisting of a base and pyramid; with the following inscription: "Here repose the mortal remains of Isaac Van Wart, an elder of the Greenburgh church, who died on the 23d of May, 1828, in the 69th year of his age. Having lived the life, he died the death of the Christian. The citizens of the county of Westchester erected this tomb, in testimony of the high sense they entertained for the virtuous and patriotic conduct of their fellow citizen, and as a memorial sacred to public gratitude. Vincit Amor Patriae. Nearly half a century before this monument was built, the conscript fathers of America had, in the senate chamber, voted that Isaac Van Wart was a faithful patriot...one in whom the love of country was invincible, and this tomb bears testimony that the record is true. Fidelity. On the 23d of September, 1780, Isaac Van Wart accompanied by John Paulding and David Williams, all farmers of the county of Westchester, intercepted Major Andre on his return from the American lines in the character of a spy, and notwithstanding the large bribes offered them for his release, nobly disdained to sacrifice their country for gold, secured and carried him to the commanding officer of the district, whereby the dangerous and traitorous conspiracy of Arnold was brought to light, the insidious designs of the enemy baffled, the American army saved, and our beloved country freed."
There is a monument erected to John Paulding in Peekskill, the birthplace of John Paulding. Learn more about the
history of Peekskill and its role in the American Revolution.
There are many things to do in and around Hartsdale. Learn about activities, attractions, things to do, and places to go, in or near the
hamlet of Hartsdale, New York. Play golf at a
golf course in Hartsdale, or spend a day at the
Greenburgh Nature Center located in Scarsdale, New York. For a wonderful and inexpensive day out, visit the
parks around Greenburgh, including V. E. Macy Park. When its time to eat, select from many excellent
restaurants in Hartsdale and nearby areas.