History of Mamaroneck
"Heathcote Hill is situated on the hill overlooking the harbor, developed since incorporation; The Heights, at the north eastern corner of the Village, developed in the 1920's; Old Rye Neck area, with older homes built in the 1880's along Barry and Melbourne Avenues; further east in Rye Neck, neighborhoods developed in the 1920's and 1930's; first developed before the Civil War, the Washingtonville area, which is also known as “The Flats” because of being surrounded by higher ground.
"The railroad first came through the Village in 1848 servicing riders from New York City to Connecticut and is now the New Haven line of Metro North. The enclosed harbor with its beautiful park is a treasure to the community and used by residents to participate in sports or relax and enjoy the view of the harbor and its surroundings. In early May when over 150 Japanese cherry trees are in bloom, the harbor park is at its finest.
"Mamaroneck, with its population of people from all over the world, is known as The Friendly Village - A place for all to enjoy living in a community that welcomes different cultures and appreciates their differences."
History And Antiquities, Compiled 1841
"Mamaroneck has a hilly surface and the township is generally under good cultivation. Pop. 1,416. The village of Mamaroneck is about 24 miles from New York, and 161 from Albany. It is situated on a bay about one mile from the sound, which admits vessels of 100 tons burden. The village contains 2 churches, 2 cotton factories, and about 50 dwellings."
Source "Historical Collections of the State of New York, Published by S. Tuttle, 194 Chatham-Square, 1841
History of Mamaroneck, Published 1886
"It will be remembered that John Richbell's original purchase from the Indians of what is now the Township of Mamaroneck - a purchase confirmed to him at the time by the Dutch authorities, and later by the English governor, Lovelace - comprised three necks on the Sound between the Mamaroneck River and Thomas Pell's lands, and that the interior extension of the purchase was twenty miles northward "into the woods". Of the three necks, called the East, Middle, and West Necks, the first was deeded by Richbell to his mother-in-law, Margery Parsons, and by her immediately conveyed to his wife, Ann; but the latter two were mortgaged and finally lost to Richbell's estate. These Middle and West Necks, with their prolongation into the interior, formed a triangular tract of land owned by several persons, which lay wedge-shaped between the Manor of Pelham, at the southwest, and what later became the Manor of Scarsdale, at the northeast. The East Neck, terminating at the mouth of the Old Guion Place, New Rochelle. Mamaroneck River, continued to be the property of Mrs. Richbell until its sale by her to Caleb Heathcote, in 1697. It formed the nucleus of Scarsdale Manor, erected in 1701. It is of interest, before coming to the period of Heathcote's proprietorship, to glance at the origin of the village of Mamaroneck, which we have omitted to do in our account of Richbell's connection with this section.
"Soon after procuring his English patent (1668), John Richbell and his wife set apart for the purpose of allotments, or house lots, a strip of land running from the Mamaroneck River westward along the harbor shore, and fronting on the old Westchester path. These lots were eight in number: one he reserved for himself, one he deeded as a gift to John Basset (1669), and the others he leased or sold. Among the purchasers was Henry Disbrough, or Disbrow, in 1676, who the next year erected on his lot the famous Disbrow house. Travelers along the Boston Post Road may still see, on the western outskirts of Mamaroneck, a stone chimney, all that remains of this structure. The ruin is remarkable for its great size, giving an idea of the enormous fireplaces in use at the time when the house was built. It is said that the Disbrow house is one of the landmarks described by James Fenimore Cooper (who lived in Mamaroneck) in the "Spy", and that a secret cupboard in the chimney served as a hiding place for Harvey Birch, the hero of that story. The strip devoted by Richbell to the Mamaroneck house lots was called "Richbell's two-mile bounds," from the fact that each lot ran two miles "northwards into the woods". Such was the beginning of the venerable village of Mamaroneck. For many years, however, only a very few settlers lived there, and in an instrument drawn as late as 1707, by "the freeholders of Mamaroneck" in common, the names of only eight persons appear as signers.
"Just before his death John Richbell was engaged in a controversy with the townspeople of Rye concerning the ownership of a tract called by the Indians Quaroppas, which had already become known among the whites as "the White Plains". This land was unquestionably embraced within the limits of Richbell's original purchase, described as running northward twenty miles into the woods; but in 1683 the people of Rye bought the same White Plains district from the Indians claiming its proprietorship. At that time the New York and Connecticut boundary agreement of 1664 was still in force, whereby the dividing line between the two provinces started at the mouth of the Mamaroneck River and ran north-northwest.
"Under the then existing boundary division, therefore, Rye was still a part of Connecticut, and, moreover, the White Plains tract also fell on the Connecticut side. This circumstance, strengthened by the incorporating of it within the Rye limits while the old boundary understanding still prevailed, enabled the Rye men to advance plausible pretensions to it when, very soon afterward (in fact, only six days subsequently), a new boundary line was fixed, beginning at the mouth of the Byram River, which gave both the White Plains and Rye to New York. The claim set up by Rye to the White Plains caused Richbell's title in the upward reaches of his twenty mile patent to assume a decidedly cloudy aspect; and to the confusion thus brought about was due the comparatively limited range of the bounds of the Manor of Scarsdale, which otherwise would have run twenty miles north from the mouth of the Mamaroneck River, instead of stopping short at the White Plains."
Source: History of Westchester County: New York, Including Morrisania, Kings Bridge, and West Farms, which Have Been Annexed to New York City, John Thomas Scharf, Editor John Thomas Scharf, Publisher L. E. Preston & co., 1886.
History of Mamaroneck, Compiled 1940
Mamaroneck was settled by English farmers about 1650. Factories producing woolen cloth, perfume oils, and motor oils provide local employment for some of the residents, but the majority commute to work in New York City. Seven yacht clubs have private basins along the jagged shore line of the village. The De Lancey Manor House, 404 W. Post Road, known in its heyday as Heathcote Hill, is now a gas station and restaurant; this was the ancestral home of the De Lanceys and in it James Fenimore Cooper married Susan A. De Lancey in 1811. The couple lived here for a time after the wedding. The building, which has been altered and enlarged, was bought at auction for $11 and moved to this place from its original position overlooking the Sound.
"Colonel Caleb Heathcote, lord of the Manor of Scarsdale, wrote in 1704: 'Westchester - the most rude and heathenish country I ever saw in my life, which call themselves Christian; there being not so much as the least marks or footsteps of religion of any sort; Sundays being the only time set apart by them for all manner of vain sports and lewd diversion . . . '
"Southwest of Mamaroneck the Post Road passes large estates. Ethel Barrymore, James Montgomery Flagg, and Robert 'Believe It or Not' Ripley live near by."
Source: Excerpts from "New York, A Guide to the Empire State", Compiled by workers of the Writer's Program of the Work Projects Administration in the State of New York, 1940 Albany
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