Maid Service in Scarsdale NY

Scarsdale NY History

Note: In order to keep the scale of our pages manageable for readers, we have divided the regional history of southern Westchester County among our Bronxville, Scarsdale, and Larchmont pages as follows:

Frontier Times

Long before there was the village of Scarsdale (est. 1788), Larchmont (est. 1891), or Bronxville (est. 1898), there were the Siwanoy Indians living in the immediate area, mostly concentrated along Pelham Bay. Next to nothing is known about them.

They were a very small tribe within a larger, loosely organized Wappinger Confederacy that stretched from the eastern shore of the Hudson River to the western shore of the Connecticut River. They also are known for killing Ann Hutchinson, a very early settler, in 1643.[1, 2]

Due to ongoing conflict with white settlers, the remaining Siwanoy were eventually forced out of the area and absorbed by other tribes west and north of Westchester County.[3]

In 1639, Jonas Bronck (died 1643), who was either Dutch or Swedish, was the first white settler to the area which was part of the Dutch colony of New Netherland. The colony was controlled the Dutch West India Company as a means to capitalize on the North American fur trade. Bronck saw farming as an excellent opportunity to make good money selling food to other settlers who were engaged directly and indirectly in the fur trade.[4, 5]

Although he only lived on his 680-acre farm for about four years, the general area became known as the “Broncksland” well into the 18th Century. Eventually, The Bronx River, Bronx County, and The Bronx borough of New York City were named after him. He located his homestead in an area which is now called Mott Haven, Bronx.[6]

The Dutch West India Company hired Willem Kieft (c. 1597-1647) in 1638 to become the Director-General of New Netherland. Initially, Kieft tried to drive out the Indian population through the levy of harsh taxes. Eventually, he resorted to armed force.[7]

Kieft was more than willing to provoke the Indians by committing massacres during his tenure. Starting in 1641, Dutch colonists and Indians, particularly the Manhattans tribe, fought one another on and off until 1663. Though far fewer skirmishes erupted while Peter Stuyvesant was director-general, the ongoing war claimed more than 1,000 Indian and settler lives. Probably far more Indians died than colonists?[8, 9]

A number of these Indian attacks occurred around the time of Jonas Bronck’s death in 1843. It is possible he might have died in one of them.[10]

Learn more about Jonas Bronck by visiting Wikipedia’s Jonas Bronck page.

Anne Hutchinson (c.1541-1643), an Englishwoman banished from Boston’s fanatical Puritan circle in 1638, settled in the wilderness area of what would today be between the river and parkway that bare her name. Not far from what is now a famous outcrop called Split Rock.[11]

In 1643, around the time of Jonas Bronck’s death, Hutchinson, six of her children, and nine others were massacred by Siwanoy Indian Tribe. Only her nine-year-old daughter, Susanna, who was at Split Rock at the time of the massacre survived. Susanna was taken captive.[12]

Today, Hutchinson is a controversial figure. She is either disparaged as a religious fanatic or praised as a courageous woman. Learn more about her by visiting Wikipedia’s Anne Hutchenson page.

Return Of White Settlers

In 1646 Adriaen Van der Donck (c.1618 – 1655) who was the first Dutch lawyer in New Netherlands, purchased a 16-mile stretch of land along the Hudson River, from Spuyten Duyvil Creek (now filled-in) to what is present-day Crotonville, NY. [13] Locals called him “de Jonkheer” and the area of his land became known as “Jonkheer’s.” Yonkers County’s name comes from this nickname. Van der Donck built a mill on the Nepperhan River whose name eventually changed to Saw Mill River. [14]

Learn more about the fascinating Adrian Van der Donck by visiting Wikipedia’s Adrian Van der Donck page.

Authoritarian Peter Stuyvesant (c. 1610-1672) replaced the failed Willem Kieft as Director-General of New Netherlands in 1647. Due to Kieft’s ineptitude, only a few settlements remained outside of New Amsterdam when he took over from Kieft. Stuyvesant did not enjoy much success either.[15]

Though he his dealings with the Indians were more sensible, the new director general tenure was plagued by internal strife. He was extremely controversial, acting as a despot by exercising too much control over the lives of ordinary citizens and the Dutch Reform Church.[18]

In 1655, local Siwanoy attacked Van der Donck’s settlement and the Dutch on Manhattan Island after an Indian squaw was shot while illegally picking peaches in a New Amsterdam orchard. Some 100 settlers were killed and 150 captured. Another 300 lost everything they owned. Stuyvesant did not retaliate with force but instead ransomed Indian prisoners. [19]

70 Dutch settlers were killed or captured in 1663 near what is now Wall Street by northern tribes. The director general responded by wiping out the invaders, marking the end of major troubles with local Indians. [20]

Stuyvesant surrendered New Amsterdam to the British Navy in 1664, at least partly due to the lack of Dutch colonist support. His own people refused to rally to defend the city against the British.

This proved to be a huge blow to Dutch ambitions in the New World. Soon after the English captured of New Amsterdam, changing the name to New York, the British took control of the remainder of New Netherlands, including New Jersey and parts of New England.[21]

The year 1673 saw the Dutch briefly regain New Amsterdam, renaming it New Orange. [22] That happened in July. However, by November 1674, as part of the Treaty of Westminster, the settlement was returned to the British and the name reverted to New York. [23]

Learn more about the unpopular Peter Stuyvesant by visiting New Netherland Institute’s Peter Stuyvesant page.

In 1654, Thomas Pell, an English physician carved out his own manor (Pell Manor) by purchasing about 50,000 acres of land from Siwanoy Chieftan Wampage under the Treaty Oak near Bartow Pell Mansion in Pelham. A manor at the time was a tract of land granted to one person to administer. [24]

About 9 years later, he transferred lands to 10 settler families at what became to known as the Village of East Chester (eventually, the Town of Eastchester). Local lore has it that Pell purchased land from Siwanoy Chieftain Gramatan on Sunset Hill in what later became Bronxville, NY.[25]

Learn more about Thomas Pell by visiting Wikipedia’s Thomas Pell page.

North Riding on the Main

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Soon after England gained control of New Netherlands, “North Riding on the Main,” present-day Westchester County, ever more British settlers arrived. And with more settles came more manors.[26]

From North to South along the Hudson, Cortlandt Manor (1683), Philipse Manor (1693), Fordham Manor (1671), Morrisania Manor (1697) were established. Essentially, the new owners named their lands after themselves and became landlords to persons leasing smaller tracts. Morrisania Manor was originally part of Jonas Bronck’s land. Philipse Manor was originally Adriaen Van der Donck’s estate.[27]

Other manors and purchases sprung up eastwards as well, including Rye (1660), Mamaroneck (1661), Eastchester (1666), Pelham Manor (1666), Harrison (1696), Scarsdale (1701).

King Charles II of England (c. 1630-1685) gave his brother, the Duke of York, the territory between Delaware Bay and the Connecticut River in 1664. Holland took New Amsterdam back [28]

In 1687, the northeast section of Thomas Pell’s manor was bought by French Protestants called Huguenots. Eventually, as more Frenchmen fled religious persecution in France and settled in the area, it was renamed New Rochelle after La Rochelle, the French stronghold. [29]

Westchester County itself was formed in 1683 and named after West Chester, one of Thomas Pell’s original settlements established soon after his 1654 land purchase. West Chester has since been absorbed by Bronx County development encroachment. [30, 31]

More and more people began to arrive after the British ended the threat of Indian attack. Gradually the last tracts of Indian land were sold off. By 1700, 1500 settlers had made Westchester County their home. Fifty years later, the county’s population had grown to 11,000. [32]

Even without the Indian threat, Westchester was still a wilderness. Settlements were scattered and small. If you were riding through the county on horseback, you would see heavy woods, streams still abundant with fish…occasional farms…saw and grist mills.” [33]

[Section Under Construction]

Rigged Election

American Revolutionary War

Civil War

19th Century

20th Century

Note: In order to keep the scale of our pages manageable for readers, we have divided the general history of southern Westchester County among our Bronxville, Scarsdale, and Larchmont pages as follows:

Notable People

Bruce Beck (born 1956), television sports broadcaster for multiple televised programs and events including World Series, Stanley Cup Finals, Super Bowls, NBA Finals, US Open Golf Championship, and Olympics, New York Giants football pre-season reporter, host of Rutgers University basketball and football.[1]

Joan Geraldine Bennett (1910-1990), owned a home on Chase Road North, stage, film and television actress, appeared in more than 70 films including many silent movies, played character Elizabeth Collins Stoddard on the television show Dark Shadows and Madame Blanc in the horror film Suspiria, Emmy and Saturn Award nominee.[2]

Aaron Brown (born 1948), once lived in Scarsdale, news broadcaster, known for his coverage of the September 11, 2001 false-flag attacks, former professor at Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.[3]

Dorothy Dalton (1893-1972) died at her Scarsdale home, stage and silent film actress, vaudevillian, appeared in numerous early films, co-starred with Rudolph Valentino and Tyrone Power Sr., and has her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.[4]

Joseph “Joey Dee” DiNapoli (born 1935), caporegime or captain and Ruling Committee/Panel member of the Lucchese crime family, indicted for racketeering, gambling, loansharking, gun trafficking, and extortion.[5]

Lisa Donovan (born 1980), grew up in Scarsdale, actress, YouTube celebrity, and entrepreneur, co-founder of Maker Studios, a company providing YouTube video production and marketing services, founder of Zappin Productions, a production company specializing in viral YouTube videos.[6]

Jimmy Fink (born?), New York City area radio personality, producer, writer[7], bakery and restaurant owner, freelance marketer, and named “Best Radio Personality” 2008 and 2010 by readers and editors of Westchester Magazine.[8]

Judy Garland (born Frances Ethel Gumm 1922-1969), lived on Cornell Street, singer, actress, and vaudevillian, The American Film Institute named her eighth among the Greatest female stars of Golden Age Hollywood cinema, subject of multiple biographies, winner of the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997, Grammy Hall of Fame inductee, and twice honored on U.S. postage stamps.[9]

William R. Glendon (c. 1920-2008)[10], former major of Scarsdale, First Amendment attorney, represented The Washington Post in the Pentagon Papers case, navy communications officer earning five battle stars for his participation in the amphibious invasions of North Africa, Italy, and the Normandy Landings.[11]

Robert Philip Hanssen (born 1944), used to live in Scarsdale, his children attended Immaculate Heart of Mary School, Soviet and Russian spy while working as an FBI agent[12], currently in prison serving 15 consecutive life sentences, the damage his spying caused has been described as “possibly the worst intelligence disaster in U.S. history.”[13]

Cabot Lyford (1925 – 2016), sculptor, worked mostly in wood and black granite; pieces found within public parks, museums, and schools throughout Maine and the US.[14]

Eric Mindich (born 1967), raised in Scarsdale, hedge fund manager.[15]

Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel (1906-1947), teenage thief, armed robber, rapist, and murderer, eventual Jewish mobster, hitman, muscle[16], Prohibition bootlegger, gambling entrepreneur, co-founder and leader of Murder, Inc., one of the most “infamous and feared gangsters of his day,” and owned a house in Scarsdale.[17]

Lauren Spierer (born 1991), grew up in Scarsdale, Indiana University student, presumed dead after she disappeared on June 3, 2011, her disappearance gained national press coverage and remains unsolved.[18]

Bob Wilber (born 1928), grew up in Scarsdale, jazz clarinetist, saxophonist, bandleader, and author, traditional jazz advocate[19], formed The Scarsdale Jazz band, played with Bobby Hackett, Benny Goodman, Sidney Bechet, Jack Teagarden, Eddie Condon, and other notables, original member of the World’s Greatest Jazz Band, Soprano Summit band member, formed the Bechet Legacy Band, director of the Smithsonian Jazz Repertory Ensemble, wrote music for films.[20]

George Zimmer (born 1948), Zimmer attended primary school in Scarsdale, entrepreneur, widely known as the founder and former spokesman of the Men’s Wearhouse, a men’s clothing retailer.[21]


Scarsdale NY History section
Notable People section

1. Kaplan, Ron. “WNBC anchor among MetroWest sports hall inductees”, New Jersey Jew News, June 19, 2008.
3. Pogrbin, Abilgail. Stars of David: Prominent Jews Talk about Being Jewish, Broadway Books, 2007 ISBN 0767916131, 9780767916134
4. Wikipedia.
5. The State of New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety Office of the Attorney General.
6. Morrissey, Brian. “Lisa Nova On The Spot”, Adweek, January 01, 2007

7. “Meet Scarsdale’s Rocker King Jimmy Fink”
9. Bayard, Louis. “Supernova”, Washington Post, April 16, 2000
10. Grimes, William. “William R. Glendon, 89, Dies; Argued for Right to Publish Pentagon Papers”, The New York Times, January 3, 2009
11. Wikipedia.
12. Havill, Adrian. “The Spawning of A Spy.” Robert Philip Hanssen: The Spy who Stayed out in the Cold.
13. Risin, James. “Spy’s Wife Speaks, After Taking a Lie Test”, NY Times, 16 May 2002
14. Wikipedia.
15. Wikipedia.
16. Wikipedia.
17. “Siegel, Gangster, Is Slain On Coast. Co-chief of ‘Bug and Meyer Mob’ Here. Is Victim of Shots Fired Through Window”, The New York Times. June 22, 1947
18. Wikipedia.
19. Wikipedia.
20. Johnson, Ron D. “Tracking the Wildcat.” The Mississippi Rag, June 1974
21. Wikipedia.