North Salem History | North Salem Westchester County New York
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North Salem History

North Salem

Westchester County

North Salem History


History of North Salem
Westchester County
Hudson Valley

The Town of North Salem is located in the northeastern corner of Westchester County, NY. North Salem encompasses just over 23 square miles and is noted for its open lands, lakes, reservoirs, and many horse farms. North Salem, also known as "horse country" is unique in its beautiful rural landscape. The North Salem Bridle Trails Association maintains and develops the historic system of trails, which extends and connects more than one hundred linear miles of trails in the towns of North Salem, N.Y. and Ridgefield, CT.

North Salem is comprised of the hamlets and villages of Croton Falls, in the northwest corner of North Salem; Grants Corner, in the southeast of North Salem, the hamlet of North Salem, in the western part of town, Purdy's, a hamlet south of Croton Falls in the western part of North Salem; Salem Center, which lies at the eastern end of the Titicus Reservoir; the hamlet of Twin Lakes Village which lies in the southern part of the town; and Peach Lake.

History of North Salem
The following history of North Salem is sourced from A History of the County of Westchester, from Its First Settlement to the Present Time , Volume 1 By Robert Bolton, Jr., Author of The Guide to New Rochelle and A Member of the N.Y. Historical Society., New York: Printed by Alexander S. Gould, 144 Nassau Street, 1848

    History of North Salem - Printed 1848
    "North Salem is situated twenty four miles north of the village of White Plains, distant fifty six miles from New York, and one hundred and twenty two from Albany, bounded north by Dutchess County, east by the state of Connecticut, south by South Salem, and west by Somers. Its extent east and west is about six miles, medial width four miles.

    "Prior to the Revolution, the two towns of Upper and Lower Salem constituted the old township of Salem proper, within Cortlandt's manor. The present township was erected on the 7th of March, 1788.

    "Upon the 8th of August, A.D. 1699, Sachima Wicker, sachem of Kightawonck and his associated sold to Stephanus van Cortlandt, all their rights as owners and proprietors in the "land lying and being within Cortlandt's manor, beginning on the south side of Kightawonck creek, and so along the said creek to a place called Kewighecock, and from thence along a creek called Peppeneghek to the head thereof, and then due east to the limits of Connecticut, and from thence northerly along the limits of Connecticut aforesaid to the river Mutighticoos ten miles, and from thence due west to the Hudson river, &c., &c.

    "A portion of the Salem lands, if not the whole, may have originally belonged to the great sachem Catonah, whose territory extended from the Sound as far north as Danbury in Connecticut' his possessions on the west appear to have been bounded by the western line of Bedford."

    North Salem this sixth day of April, 1790
    "A town meeting was held at the town house in North Salem, and that John Quick, Esq., was chosen moderator, (after which) the freeholders and inhabitants of said town proceeded on to choosing town officers, and doing all other business which concerned said town. . .

    "The surface of North Salem is in part covered with lofty hills' the soil, various, but chiefly composed of 'a gravelly and clay loam, well adapted to grass and summer crops.' The course of the Mutighticoos river, through the centre of this town is marked by beautiful mountain scenery, and rich tracts of meadow land, which skirt the margin of the stream. The Mutighticoos empties in the Croton a little south of Dean's bridge. In the northeast corner of the town lies Peach pond, a large sheet of water covering over four hundred acres of ground. At no great distance from it is situated Beaver pond.

    "The village of North Salem occupies a beautiful position on the north bank of the Mutighticoos, commanding a fine view of the valley and surrounding mountains. It contains about 200 inhabitants, thirty-five dwellings, on Episcopal, one Presbyterian, and one Methodist and one Universalist church, two taverns, three stores, one paper mill, one grist mill, and one clothiers' works. A little east of the village stands the North Salem Academy.

    "This edifice was erected between the year 1770 and 1775, by Stephen de Lancey, one of the principal proprietors of this town. It was intended for his own residence, but was not finished as such, as he soon after removed. In 1786 it was purchased by a company and completed as an Academy, which went into operation about that date, under the care of the Rev. Amzi Lewis. . .

    "For the last eight years North Salem Academy has held a respectable standing among its sister institutions in this part of the state; sometime numbering nearly one hundred students . . . During the revolution, the Academy was used as a jail and court house for the detention and trial of refractory tories. Here one Paine was tried and condemned as a spy; he was executed about half a mile from the Academy, though it appears that circumstances afterward threw some doubt upon his guilt . . . It is said that a reprieve was forwarded from head-quarters, and that when the unfortunate man was swung off, the bearer had just reached the Episcopal church, which was a mile as the road then ran, from the place of execution; he was of course too late."

To learn more about the history of Westchester County as written more than 200 years ago, read from the sources listed below.

A History of the County of Westchester, from Its First Settlement to the Present Time, Volume 1 by Robert Bolton, Jr., Author of the Guide to New Rochelle and A Member of the N.Y. Historical Society., New York: Printed by Alexander S. Gould, 144 Nassau Street, 1848

History And Antiquities
The following covers History and Antiquities , a general collection of interesting facts, traditions, biographical sketches, and anecdotes about Westchester County and its towns. When reading the following, remember to keep in mind that this information has been written about two hundred years ago. Population statistics and events have not been revised to reflect current events and perspective. We think this adds to the historical flavor and interest of the writings, giving a different perspective on much of this information and written in an "older world" writing style. Historical Collections of the State of New York , Published by S. Tuttle, 194 Chatham-Square,1841

    North Salem
    "North Salem is in the NE. corner of the county, 55 miles from New York, and 12 from Bedford. Pop. 1,161. North Salem, post village, has 3 churches, several mills and stores, and in its vicinity about 40 dwellings."

Location: North Salem

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