A hamlet in Westchester County, New York, a county right north of New York City. Best known as the home of Bill Clinton, or not at all. Is, unless you are a bureaucrat, teacher, or coach, synonymous with "Newcastle." It is a suburban community with three primary schools (Westorchard Elementary School, Roaring Brook Elementary School, and Douglas Grafflin Elementary School), two secondary schools (Bell Middle School, Seven Bridges Middle School), and one high school (Horace Greeley High School). Seven Bridges, the newer middle school, was finished only several years ago. Horace Greeley lived here to escape from unhealthy New York City, where several of his children had died.

Was also the name of a 1966 cult film about drugs.


If you want history, there's really only one good place to go to, and that is I will basically be summarizing where I can and copying verbatim where I am too lazy to actually summarize. But basically, the place was dominated by the Mohicans, as was the rest of the east bank of the South Hudson (mostly Westchester and Putnam counties). Then, the white folks came along and Nathaniel Turner bought a lot of Newcastle. It was part of the town of North Castle until April 5, 1791, when it had its first town meeting. It had been settled earlier by Anglicans and Quakers, who called it "Shapequa." Until the mid-19th Century it was a self-sufficient town of crafters, farmers, and part-time millers.

Then, the railroad came, and everything changed. The town started making goods for export, because it could sell to a larger market. Prominent among the industries that developed were a pickle factory (Which caused a problem, since the pickle brine was dumped into Greeley Brook) and a barrel factory. Later industries were an optics factory and the Bischoff shoe factory. But the town remained small.

These industries eventually waned, but the town remained prosperous nevertheless; and the beauty of the area and the accessibility by train attracted wealthy New Yorkers, including the very famous Horace Greeley, who once ran for president but lost to Ulysses S. Grant. The new train station was built in 1902 and burned down soon afterward. We got a new one in 1910, when it was shipped on a flatbed.

In 1904, a tornado came to Chappaqua and ripped down Quaker Street. In 1912, it got a central water system. The Saw Mill River Parkway reached the town in 1934 and in the postwar period, the population grew sharply. From 1950 to 1960, the population rose by 60% to 14,000. This happened because of the well-known excellence of the school system (which I can attest to; it is a very good education compared to other towns, and in general). It still is a relatively small town, with a main street about five blocks long.

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