Rockland County, New York
Rockland County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York, 12 miles north-northwest of New York City. As of the 2000 census, the population was 286,753. The county seat is New City. The name comes from "rocky land", an early description of the area given by settlers. Rockland is New York's southernmost county west of the Hudson River. It is suburban in nature, with a considerable amount of scenic designated parkland.
Rockland County ranks 9th on the list of highest-income counties by median household income in the United States with $75,306 according to the 2004 census. It is served by area code 845.
Rockland County is one of 24 areas in New York State designated a Preserve American Community.
The area that would become Rockland County was originally inhabited by Algonquian-speaking Indians, including Munsees, or Lenni Lenape.
In 1609, Henry Hudson, thinking he had found the legendary "Northwest Passage", sailed up the river that would one day bear his name and anchored near the area that is now Haverstraw before continuing to disillusionment at Albany.
The Dutch were the first Europeans to settle in the area. A number of unique Dutch-style red sandstone houses still stand, and many placenames in the county reveal their Dutch origin.
When the Duke of York (who became King James II of England) established the first twelve counties of New York in 1683, present-day Rockland County was part of Orange County. Orangetown was created at the same time, originally encompassing all of modern Rockland County. Haverstraw was separated from Orangetown in 1719 and became a town in 1788; it included the present-day Clarkstown, Ramapo and Stony Point. Clarkstown and Ramapo became towns in 1791, followed by Stony Point in 1865. Rockland County was split from Orange County in 1798.
During the American Revolution, when control of the Hudson River was viewed by the British as strategic to dominating the American territories, Rockland saw skirmishes at Haverstraw, Nyack and Piermont, and significant military engagements at the Battle of Stony Point, where General "Mad" Anthony Wayne earned his nickname. George Washington had headquarters for a time at John Suffern's tavern, the later site of the village of Suffern.
British Major John André met with American traitor Benedict Arnold near Stony Point to buy the plans for the fortifications at West Point. André was captured with the plans in Tarrytown on his way back to the British lines; he was brought to Tappan for trial in the Tappan church, found guilty, hanged and buried nearby.
The American Industrial Revolution was supplied, in part, from forests and iron mines in Rockland County. Resource utilization extracted a heavy toll on the region, especially from lumbering and agriculture, since the poor, thin soils on hillsides were easily depleted. By the early 1900s development along the lower Hudson River had begun to destroy much of the area's natural beauty.
Many unsuccessful efforts were made to turn much of the Hudson Highlands into a forest preserve. However, when the State of New York tried to relocate Sing Sing Prison to Bear Mountain in 1909, some of the wealthy businessmen who had homes in the area, led by Union Pacific Railroad president E. H. Harriman, donated land as well as large sums of money for the purchase of properties in the area of Bear Mountain. Bear Mountain/Harriman State Park became a reality in 1910, and by 1914 it was estimated that more than a million people a year were coming to the park.
Communities in Rockland
There are five towns in Rockland County. The most populous is Ramapo with 108,900 people, while the least populous is Stony Point with 14,200 people. Clarkstown, Haverstraw and Orangetown all come in between with a range of 33,800—82,000 people.
There are nineteen incorporated villages in Rockland County, twelve of which are located at least partially in the town of Ramapo:
Airmont (Town of Ramapo)
Chestnut Ridge (Ramapo)
Grand View-on-Hudson (Orangetown)
New Hempstead (Ramapo)
New Square (Ramapo)
South Nyack (Orangetown)
Spring Valley (Ramapo/Clarkstown)
Upper Nyack (Clarkstown)
Wesley Hills (Ramapo)
West Haverstraw (Haverstraw)
There are no villages in the town of Stony Point.
Rockland County has a number of unincorporated hamlets, including:
Bardonia (Town of Clarkstown)
Central Nyack (Clarkstown)
Grassy Point (Stony Point)
Jones Point (Stony Point)
Mount Ivy (Haverstraw)
New City (Clarkstown)
Pearl River (Orangetown)
Stony Point (Stony Point)
Tomkins Cove (Stony Point)
Valley Cottage (Clarkstown)
West Nyack (Clarkstown)
Upper Grandview (Orangetown)
Doodletown (Town of Stony Point) in Harriman State Park is now a ghost town.
Communities of significant population
According to the 2000 census, these nine Rockland communities have a population exceeding 10,000 people:
New City, a hamlet of 34,038
Spring Valley, a village of 25,464
Nanuet, a hamlet of 16,707
Pearl River, a hamlet of 15,553
Monsey, a hamlet of 14,504
Stony Point, a hamlet of 11,744
Suffern, a village of 11,006
West Haverstraw, a village of 10,295
Haverstraw, a village of 10,117
 School Districts
There are 8 school districts in Rockland
Nanuet Union Free
 Post-Secondary Schools
Alliance Theological Seminary-Alliance Graduate School of Counseling (See Nyack College)
Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (Palisades)
Cornell Cooperative Extension (Thiells)
Dominican College (Orangeburg)
Empire State College (New City)
Iona College (Pearl River)
Long Island University (Orangeburg)
NYU School of Social Work (Sparkill)
Nyack College (Nyack)
Rockland Community College (Ramapo)
Rockland Teachers Center Institute (Garnerville)
St. Thomas Aquinas College (Sparkill)
Sunbridge College (Chestnut Ridge)
Yeshiva Gedola Ohr Hatorah (Spring Valley)
Yeshiva Shaarei Torah of Rockland (Suffern)
Hospitals in Rockland County
Helen Hayes Hospital - Route 9W West Haverstraw, New York 10993 845-786-4225 Toll Free: 1-888-70-REHAB (73422), TTY: 845-947-3187, FAX: 845-947-3097 - One of the country's first physical rehabilitation facilities, recognized as a leader in rehabilitation medicine and research. For over 100 years, Helen Hayes Hospital helped restore function to individuals with catastrophic injuries and chronic disabling illnesses, enabling them to move on to active, productive, independent and fulfilling lives using state-of-the-art equipment and technology, making recovery a reality.
Good Samaritan Hospital, 255 Lafayette Ave., Suffern, New York 10901 (845) 368-5000, is a non-profit, 370-bed hospital providing emergency, medical, surgical, obstetrical / gynecological and acute care services to residents of Rockland and southern Orange Counties in New York; and northern Bergen County, New Jersey. The hospital also serves these communities as an Area Level II Trauma Center.
Nyack Hospital, 160 North Midland Ave Nyack, New York 10960. (845) 348-2000, is a 375-bed community acute care medical and surgical hospital located at
Summit Park Hospital & Nursing Care Center, Pomona, New York 10970. (845) 364-2700 (Daytime Phone), (845) 364-2910 (Night & Weekend).
Rockland County has been paired with San Marcos and Huehuete, Nicaragua as its Sister City. The Rockland County Sister City Project with San Marcos and Huehuete, Nicaragua, is coordinated by Cleta Ciulla of Nyack, NY. Since 1990, the organization has collected donated clothes, bicycles and other useful things for our Nicaraguan partners in community development. Fundraising consists of donations and yardsales. Participants travel regularly to Nicaragua to review project details and community needs.
Additionally, the town of Ramapo is twinned with a number of cities.
Famous/Notable people from Rockland County
Salman Ahmad Musician
Maxwell Anderson Playwright; long time resident of South Mountain Road
Christine Andreas Actress
Vic Arnell Comedian
Jake T. Austin (born Jake Syzmanski) Child actor attends Felix Festa middle school
Billy Baldwin Actor
Stephen Baldwin Actor/producer
Sandy Baron Comedian
Mikhail Baryshnikov Actor
Harry Bellaver Actor
Thomas Berger Writer
Bill Boggs talk show host, stage performer, TV producer, journalist, won four Emmies
Barry Bostwick Actor, lived until 2005 in a house once owned by Maxwell Anderson
Lorraine Bracco Actress
Keith Bulluck Tennessee Titans All Pro Linebacker
Ellen Burstyn Actress
Milton Caniff Cartoonist, creator of "Terry and the Pirates" and "Steve Canyon"
Madeleine Carroll Actress
Tom Chapin Singer/Musician
Ina Claire Actress
Myron Cohen Borscht Belt Comedian
Chelle Cordero Writer
Norman Corwin Radio
Katherine Cornell Actress
Joseph Cornell Artist
John Costigan Artist/Illustrator
Noel Coward Playwright
Will Cunnane Major/Minor League pitcher.
Arlene Dahl Actress
Richard Daly Actor
Tim Daly Actor
Tyne Daly Actress
Philip D’Antoni Producer
Millia Davenport Scenic and Costume Designer
Jonathan Demme Director
John Dos Passos Writer
Charles Ellis Actor
Maurice Evans Actor
Freddie Feldman Award winning record producer
John Flannagan Artist/Illustrator
Betty Friedan Writer
Jeremy Garelick Co-screenwriter of the hit film "The Breakup"
Margalo Gillmore Actress
Adam Grupper Broadway actor, "La bohème", "The Wild Party"
Morty Gunthy Comedian
Fred Gwynne Actor
Berta Hader Artist/Illustrator
Elmer Stanley Hader Artist/Illustrator
Marion Hargrove Writer *Alan Kirschenbaum Creator, "Yes, Dear"
Rebekah Harkness Art patron
Valerie Harper Actress
Helen Hayes Actress
Maurice Heaton Artist/Illustrator
Ben Hecht Playwright
Pat Hingle Actor
Rupert Holmes Composer
Edward Hopper Artist/Illustrator
John Houseman Actor, The Paper Chase
William Hurt Actor
Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones-- owned a home in New City while recording an LP
Zita Johann Actress
John Johnson Television
Bill T. Jones Dancer
Isley Brothers Singer/Musician
Margot Kidder Actress
Richard Kiley Actor
Mike Killen Actor
Ernie Kovacs Actor television entertainer
Audrey Landers Actress
Judy Landers Actress
Lotte Lenya lived on South Mountain Road with husband Kurt Weill until her death
Charles MacArthur Playwright
James MacArthur Actor
James Maritato Professional wrestler
Bill Mauldin Cartoonist
Tim McCann Director
Guthrie McClintic Director
Carson McCullers Writer
Thomas Meehan Playwright
Burgess Meredith Actor
Mitch Miller Conductor
Russell (Big Chief) Moore Singer/Musician
Toni Morrison Writer
Mary Mowbray-Clarke Artist/Illustrator - Designed Dutch Garden - New City
Larry Mullen Jr Singer/Musician
Bill Murray Actor
Harry Nilson Singer/Musician
Rosie O’Donnell Comedienne
Al Pacino Actor
Hayden Panettiere Actress
Rollo Peters Actor
Henry Varnum Poor Artist/Illustrator
Jon Pousette-Dart Singer/Musician Pousette-Dart Band
Richard Pousette-Dart Artist/Illustrator
Tito Puente Singer/Musician
Aidan Quinn Actor
Hazard Reeves Cinerama Entrepreneur
Ruth Reeves Artist/Illustrator
Chita Rivera Actress
Hugo Robus Artist/Illustrator
Adam Rodriguez Detective Eric Delko from CBS's CSI: Miami.
Freddie Roman Comedian and Dean of the Friar's Club
Sam Rosen Announcer for the New York Rangers and NFL on FOX
Philip Rosenthal Executive Producer, Everybody Loves Raymond
Herman Rosse Set Design
Alan Ruck Actor
Martha Ryther Artist/Illustrator
Morley Safer Television correspondent and commentator
Eddie Sauter Singer/Musician
Brian Santa Maria Actor
Chiz Schultz Producer
Connie Selleca Actress
Richard Shoberg Actor
Ellen Simon Playwright
William Sloane Publisher
Kim Stanley Actor
John Steinbeck Writer
Harry Streep Dancer
Elaine Stritch Actress
Henry Le Tang Choreographer
Mark Triscott Award winning microbiologist, responsible for several coagulation patents.
John Van Druten Director
Jon Voight Actor
Mike Wallace Television
Andre Watts Singer/Musician
Jimmy Webb Composer
Kurt Weill lived in New City from time of naturalization until his death
Randi Weingarten Current President, United Federation of Teachers
Walt Weiss Baseball player
Arnie Zane Dancer
Adolph Zukor Founder of Paramount Pictures, donated land for Zukor Park
Ryan Grant running back of the Green Bay Packers was born in Suffern, New York.
Additionally, singer-songwriter Regina Spektor produced a demo named "Rockland County", about staying with a relative in Rockland County after coming to America from Russia.