100 Fascinating Facts About Westchester County
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21. The Ramones were buried at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. Temporarily. Sort of. The Sleepy Hollow tourism website says that punk “brothers” Joey, Dee Dee, Johnny, and Marky shot a music video in an open grave at the Cemetery in 1989. At the end of the video—which mostly just features the band walking around and singing, “I don’t want to be buried in a pet sematary / I don’t want to live my life again”—the foursome is sealed in a hole beneath a mock stone with the band’s name. The video was shot for “Pet Sematary,” the title song of the film adaptation of Stephen King’s novel. Neither Joey nor Dee Dee nor Johnny, all of whom have since passed away, chose the spot for their final rest.
22. Tuckahoe Marble, which was at one time “the single most important white marble deposit in America,” according to the City University of New York, was used to build New York City Hall, the New York Public Library’s main branch, St. Patrick’s Cathedral , the Federal Reserve Bank on Wall Street, the Washington Square Arch in New York City (right), and the Washington Monument and U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Today, the main quarry, which is next to a playground with a very high fence, lies inactive and filled with water.
23. In contrast to the “Big” one south of us, Westchester is known as the Golden Apple, albeit only to a few of us.
24. One local legend says that Huckleberry Island, one of several small islands off the coast of New Rochelle, was home to Captain Kidd’s buried treasure (See No 26). Today, the eastern end of the six-acre island is a protected nesting area for great egrets, snowy egrets, and black-crowned night herons.
25. In Yorktown Heights, there stands a monument to the First Rhode Island Regiment of the Revolutionary War. The Regiment, which comprised predominately enslaved African Americans who enlisted to secure their freedom, was charged with defending Northern Westchester against British and Loyalist troops. Sadly, all the soldiers were slain in a surprise attack by Loyalists on May 13, 1781.
26. Shiver our timbers! Captain William Kidd is said to have traded with Frederick Philipse, one of Westchester’s earliest and wealthiest landowners and slaveholders. Kidd is said to have docked in nearby Tarrytown, and legend holds that he even hid some treasure on our Hudson shores.
27. John Peter Zenger, the Colonial-era newspaper editor, wrote an article about an Eastchester town election that heavily criticized the New York governor. The resulting trial for “seditious libel” led to the enshrining of freedom of the press in the Bill of Rights. Today the intersection of Mill Road and Route 22 in the town is known as Bill of Rights Plaza.
28. Of the 43 cities, towns, and villages in Westchester County, 36 have increased in population since 1980; only seven (Rye City, unincorporated Eastchester, Hastings-on-Hudson, unincorporated Mamaroneck, Briarcliff Manor, Pelham, and Pelham Manor) have decreased.
29. A tunnel of the shuttered and set-to-be-demolished Memorial Field was used to film Coca-Cola’s famous “Mean Joe” Greene commercial in 1979. The stadium, which stands on Sanford Boulevard in Mount Vernon, was dedicated in 1931 to honor the city’s war veterans.
30. Although Boston Post Road has kept its name in many of the Sound-side towns, many don’t know that a post road to Albany ran along today’s Route 9 on the Hudson shores at the same time.
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