Westchester–A Pictorial History

The New Year traditionally brings with it anticipation and excitement for the future. We’re all wondering, as you no doubt are, what’s in store for 2010. But this time of year also makes us reflect on our past, so we thought it would be appropriate to take a few moments (er, pages) to look back. Whether you’re a third-generation Westchesterite or a recent transplant, knowing Westchester’s history can help place what’s to come in proper context—plus, it’s fun.


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According to nycroads.com, the Bronx River Parkway, completed in 1925, was North America’s first modern, multi-lane (but sans dividers) limited-access parkway. One assumes that, shortly thereafter, it was also the site or North America’s first traffic jam.

This is what Pleasantville’s train station looked like in 1936.

The Westchester County Center, completed and open for business in the 1930s.

In 1930, Ardsley residents used to be able to go ice-skating at Woodlands Park. Today, they have to go to Murray’s with everyone else.

Before Playland was built in 1927, residents complained that the area attracted rowdy, bawdy crowds. By 1930, when this photo was snapped, the amusement park and adjacent Rye Beach was safe for families.

Hachaliah Bailey, of Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus, built the Elephant Hotel as a pit stop for other traveling performers. Not pictured: Old Bet, Bailey’s Asian Elephant that he paraded up and down the East Coast. Today, you can visit the third floor of the building to see The Somers Historical Society and the Museum of the Early American Circus.


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