Westchester County New York
Westchester County is a primarily suburban county located in the U.S. state of New York with about 950,000 residents. It is part of the New York Metropolitan Area. It was named after Chester, in England, and the county seat is White Plains. According to 2006 HUD data, the median income for a household of one person in the county was $67,555 and the median income for a family of four was $96,500.
The native inhabitants of Westchester County belonged to the larger family of Native Americans called the Algonquin Lenape. Their connection to the Mound Builders of the Mississippi Valley, the Aztecs of Mexico or the native groups of Central America, if any ever existed, must have been extremely remote. Their traditions referred in a very vague way to long journeys from the Northwest and of contests with a people who occupied the land before them. As a group, they were not very aware of their own history and records were never made. From this the European settlers were able to obtain very little information about the Algonquin people or their forefathers. Fortunately title deeds given to the European settlers supply considerable information about the location of sub-tribes in the region. The Manhattans occupied the island upon which New York City was built, as well as land in Southern Westchester now covered by the city of Yonkers. The Weckquaesgeeks occupied land along the Hudson River and the central portions of the county where Dobbs Ferry, Tarrytown and White Plains now stand. The Siwanoy tribe lived along the coast of Long Island Sound where Pelham, New Rochelle, Larchmont, Mamaroneck and Rye now stand. The northern portions of the county were occupied by smaller tribes such as the Tankitekes, Kitchawanks and Saint Siks.
The first Europeans to explore Westchester were Giovanni da Verrazzano in 1524 and Henry Hudson in 1609. The first European settlers were sponsored by the Dutch West India Company in the 1620s and 1630s. English settlers arrived from New England in the 1640s. Westchester County was an original county of the Province of New York, one of twelve created in 1683. At the time, it also included the present Bronx County, which constituted the Town of Westchester and portions of three other towns: Yonkers, Eastchester, and Pelham. In 1846 a new town, West Farms, was created by secession from Westchester; in turn, in 1855, the Town of Morrisania seceded from West Farms. In 1873, the Town of Kingsbridge seceded from Yonkers.
In 1874, the western portion of the present Bronx County, consisting of the then towns of Kingsbridge, West Farms, and Morrisania, was transferred to New York County, and in 1895 the remainder of the present Bronx County, consisting of the Town of Westchester and portions of the towns of Eastchester and Pelham, was transferred to New York County. By that time, the portion of the town of Eastchester immediately north of the transferred portion had seceded from the town of Eastchester (1892) to become the City of Mount Vernon so that the Town of Eastchester had no border with New York City. In 1914, those parts of the then New York County which had been annexed from Westchester County were constituted the new Bronx county.
Today it is one of the most affluent counties in the country, home to many of New York City's most desirable suburban communities. It is a haven for commuters, whether traveling by car or by the Metro-North Commuter Railroad.
The highest elevation in the county is a U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey benchmark known as "Bailey" at 300 m (985 feet) above sea level in Mountain Lakes Park near the Connecticut state line. The lowest elevation is sea level, along both the Hudson and Long Island Sound.
Officially, the Westchester County Department of Planning divides the county into North, Central and South sub regions.
The closest point on the southern border of Westchester is a little under 11 miles from Columbus Circle in Manhattan (which is a customary point at which distances from New York City are measured), where Pelham Manor meets Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx. At over 2,700 acres, Pelham Bay Park is the largest of New York City's Parks and forms a substantial 'buffer' between suburban Westchester and urban Bronx County. The closest point on the northern border is a little over 38 miles by air (51 miles by road).
Westchester County has 6 cities, 19 towns and 23 villages.  The largest city is Yonkers.
The six cities in the county (in order of size) are:
With the exception of the towns of Rye, Pelham, Harrison, Mount Kisco, and Scarsdale, all the towns contain area and residents which do not belong to any village. These areas may contain communities referred to as hamlets, or "unincorpated areas". Hamlets have no legal status and depend upon the town for all municipal government and services. There are also areas called census-designated places (CDPs), which are defined by the U.S. Census Bureau for statistical purposes only. A CDP may or may not correspond to a hamlet.
Because some municipalities have the same name, it is often necessary to indicate whether one is referring to the city, town, village, or hamlet. For example, the town of Rye is completely separate from the city of Rye. Pelham is the name of a town and also of a village in the town. The village of Mamaroneck is located partially in the town of Mamaroneck and partially in the town of Rye, but has nothing to do with the city of Rye.
All of the towns have Justice Courts, and some of the villages do as well.
Bedford, containing no villages
Cortlandt, containing two villages:
Greenburgh, containing six villages:
Harrison, coterminous with the village of the same name
Mamaroneck, containing two villages:
Mount Kisco, coterminous with village of same name
Mount Pleasant, containing three villages:
New Castle, containing no villages
North Castle, containing no villages
North Salem, containing no villages
Ossining, containing two villages:
Pelham, containing two villages:
Town of Rye (Rye is also the name of a city.), containing three villages:
Scarsdale, coterminous with village of same name
Somers, containing no villages
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