100 Fascinating Facts About Westchester County


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31. The Glen Island Harbour Club, home to Westchester Magazine’s popular “Best of Westchester” parties, was built in 1879 as a summer resort. By 1923, it was the county’s Glen Island Park and Casino and, during the Big Band Era, helped launch the careers of Ozzie Nelson, Les Brown, The Dorsey Brothers, and Glenn Miller. The casino was closed in 1978.

32. Neil Simon’s play Lost in Yonkers (which many have described as autobiographical) tells the story of two boys left with their extremely hard-edged immigrant grandmother in an apartment above her Yonkers candy store during the Great Depression. The play won the 1991 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

33. Howard Stern began his radio career in Briarcliff Manor. The boundary-pusher and original “shock jock” started as a disc jockey making $4 an hour at 107.1 WNRW, the predecessor of the (decidedly more genteel) Peak. Stern got the job in 1976, right after graduating from Boston University.

34. Although frequently cited as belonging to railroad tycoon Jay Gould, the Gothic Revival masterpiece Lyndhurst in Tarrytown was actually built for former New York City Mayor William Paulding, Jr., in 1838. Gould, though, was the fourth-to-last owner: his daughter Helen inherited the property upon Gould’s 1892 death and cared for it until her own death in 1938. Helen’s sister, Anna, took care of the property until she died in 1961, when it passed to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which owns it today.

Photo by Bryan Haeffele

Photo by Susie Cushner

35. Dan Barber, 42, chef and co-owner of Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills and a leader of the farm-to-table movement, has been named the Top Chef in the U.S., made it onto Time magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people, given a TED talk, and been placed on the President’s Council on Physical Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition.

36. Beyoncé Knowles is no stranger to Westchester. The video for her single “Best Thing I Never Had,” released in June, was filmed at the Sleepy Hollow Country Club in Scarborough. Other celebs who’ve filmed on Sleepy Hollow’s grounds include Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler for their not-so-romantic, not-so-comedic “rom-com” The Bounty Hunter.

37. According to Crain’s New York Business, “Westchester County is New York’s slimmest, fittest county for its low rates of obesity, inactivity, and diabetes.” Looking at those three measures together, we came across as the healthiest county in the state—yes, even besting Manhattan (which has a higher rate of diabetes).

38. The 2000 U.S. Census ranked Westchester as the 33rd highest median household income county in the U.S., with $63,582.

39. Despite this, Westchester had the highest property taxes in the nation from 2007 to 2010 (the latest year with available data). In 2007, though, the Bureau of Economic Analysis gave us the seventh highest average per capita income in the country at $74,878.

40. Westchester was labeled the ninth best place to grow old by Forbes, which cited “the gorgeous natural scenery along the Hudson River” and our proximity to Manhattan.

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