Development of Towns


Tarrytown 1400’s -1800’s


The Weckquaesgeek, Pocantico, Mamaroneck, Nepperhan, Muscoot, Katonah, Shenorock and Tuckahoe Indians were the first to live in the area today known as Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow. The major Weckquaesqeek Village, stood where Mercy College is now in Dobbs Ferry near the Wysquaqua Stream, now named Wicker’s Creek. Along the Hudson, which the Indians called Mohicannituck, was another village called Alipconck, now Tarrytown. In the year of 1703 the last of the Indian tribes living in Westchester sold and for $4,750 dollars in cash and 1,800 in wampum (which is money the Indians used).
In the year of 1609, the first white man to look at the Hudson River was a Florentine explorer named Verrazano, who was exploring for the French. He sailed in to what is now the New York Harbor in 1524. The Indians were true to their heritage; they were very friendly with the blue eyed strangers. The first minor clash was between Indian and European cultures that were located in the Hudson Valley.

The Dutch Colony (1664-1783) of the New Netherlands lay between thriving English settlements in Connecticut and New Jersey. The residents of these areas recognized a choice location and the natural riches from the Dutch lands and began migrating into the territory north of the Harlem and the west of the Connecticut Rivers. The Dutch did not welcome the English influx and the friction between the two groups are in common. In sprite of the initial success of the patrioon system in attracting new comers, the number of Dutch settlers was unable to match the growning ranks of the English settlers.


1800’s- Present Day

In March 1800, Joseph Cutler bought the 165-acre farm from John Van Tassel on the east side of Broadway in Tarrytown. In the 1800’s, North Tarrytown was still farmland and was still owned by Gerald Beekman. After Beekman’s death in 1882, the town started to flourish. In the 1831, Tarrytown built a district school on a lot on the north side of West Franklin Street, east of south Washington Street.

In September 29 1849, they began building the railroad station. Twenty years before that time, the Hudson River Line took passengers up and down the Hudson River. The freight went between Peekskill and New York. Tarrytown started to see rapid expansion through the strength of the "iron horse" - the railroad.

General Village Law was passed to create new and better dirt roads roads. At this time kerosene lamps were used to light up the streets. Horses were the common method of travel.


In 1870, the General Village Law was passed, which made the town provide police, firefighters and other services and do what the residents wanted or needed. In May 1887, the town switched from kerosene lamps to electrical lamps for the street. In 1917, Tarrytown paved Broadway with concrete all over the roads. On November 16, 1926, busses took over the route.

In 1950, the Tappan Zee Bridge was started in Tarryotwn. The Tappan Zee Bridge was completed in 1955. Once the Tappan Zee Bridge opened in 1955 the last Hudson River Ferry service from New York City ended in 1963.

In the year 1997, North Tarrytown changed its name to Sleepy Hollow.





1) Picture from Daily News,Tarrytown, N.Y., Fri., Nov. 28,1969.

2) Buxton,Wally, and Canning, Jeff, History of the Tarrytowns, Harbor Hill Books, Harrison, NY, 1975.

3) Connor, John R.O’, and Schwartz, Melvin, Exploring American History, Globe Book Company, Inc. New York and,Cleveland and, Toronto.

4) Half Moon Press February,1997 Volume 2, Issue 1 newspaper