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MAY 25, 1912.
OUR WESTCHESTER AND CONNECTICUT SUBURBS.
Tendencies of Growth in the Commuting Area North of the City—Last
Important Undeveloped Section Opened Up by the Westchester and Boston.
WESTCHESTER County occupies an
important position in the residential
and industrial scheme that, in spite of
their political distinctiveness, is grad¬
ually making of New Tork City and its
suburban area on economic unit. In this
scheme, becoming each year more ciearly
defined, three determining factors have
placed Westchester County in a forward
iila-ce in the friendly competition that is
going on between the semi-suburban dis¬
tricts within the municipal limits of New
York City, and the more distinctly sub¬
urban communities included in the com¬
muting area ol Westchester County on
the north. Long Island on the east and
New Jersey on the west.
First of these is its geographical rela¬
tion to the City of New To-rk.
This, early in the days of country life
development, gave it tlie beneflt of that
By R. O. CHITTICK
Rye, settled in lUijQ by some 40 iami-
lies of Rye, England, who obtained their
grant from King Charles II, had in course
of time added a few well-to-do families
to the remnant of its original colonizers.
White Plains had been settled in 168S
by the neighboring men of Rye through
purcha-se of the Quarropas tract from
tiie Wequaesqueek Indians. It had con¬
ducted it municipal affairs since 1725, and
had since the last quarter of the
eighteenth century enjoyed the distinc¬
tion of being the county seat. Eut it
was slill a typical rura,! settlement.
New Rochelle, colon'ized in the 17 th
century by the French Huguenots, and an
o'lc. city, hafl taken but little advantage of
its waterfront position, though its so¬
cial life was perhaps more vigorous than
that of some of its neighbors.
Tonkers began early in its career to
Chester County might require. Their sub¬
urban traffic was not given any special
But this gateway for freight traffic in¬
to New Tork City Avas also the gateway
from the metropolis out into an unusually
attractive territory, capable of supply¬
ing the housing needs of a fast multi¬
plying city population.
Moreover, as has been pointed out. cir¬
cumstances had comibned to establish, at
strategic points for commercial and resi¬
dential expansion, four important centers,
to which population was steadily being
attracted even under unfavorable transit
conditions, and from ivhich it should be
diffused quite rapidly just as soon as
this impediment should be removed. A
glance at the accompanying map of West¬
chester County will make plain the im¬
portance of this point.
WHERE SUMMER PORCH LIFE CAN BE ENJOYED
Price, $8,000. Feature; Adajited to ali
Location, Pelhamwood. N. Y. weather conditions.
SECLUSION AND CHARM OF A SCARSDALE HOME.
Location. Scarsdale, N. Y. Feature: Simplicity and comfort.
historic tendency of New Tork City's
growth to move in a northward direction,
a longitudinal moA'ement forced upon it
by physical harriers on east and west.
Second, its natural beauty and variety
of scenery, in which commanding eleva¬
tions and extensive eaist and west coast
lines are important features.
In this particular it has had to com¬
pete on even terms with some parts of
Long Island and New Jersey, but has
had the aclvantage of closer proximity
and greater accessibility.
Third, its railroad facilities.
The development of the transit facili¬
ties of AVestchester County owes its origin
to commercial rather than residential
needs. Both the New Tork Central &
Hudson Hi ver Railroad and the K'ew
Tork, New Haven & Hartford Railroad
were trunk lines, bringing the great raw
and manufactured products and food sup-
lies from foreign 'States to New Tork
for local consumption and for export.
They traversed a sparsely settled country
rich in natural beauty, full of historic
'reTics and associations, btit utilizeid
mainly for agricultural purposes and for
extensive country estates of a few wealthy
pioneer residents from New Tork. Here
land there the germ of future community
life on a larger scale lay dormant about
settlements dating from Colonial times,
but still more or less antiquated and oqt
of touch, with metropolitan life,
plant the seeds of sturdy coinmercial
growth. Its position on the Hudson
River placed it in the path of the ship¬
ping coming down from the great grain
and lumber and brick making centers be¬
tween Albany and New Tork. The an¬
nexation to New Tork, in 1874, of that
portion of Westchester County lying north
of New Tork City and west of the Bronx
Kiver brought Tonkers to the border line
of the Metropolis; a fact which ultimately
increased its business and residential
Mount Vernon owes its origin to the
desire of certain citizens of New Tork,
among them Horace Greeley, to encourage
on others the love for country life and
incidentally to reap such pecuniary bene-
fi; a'S might accrue from purchasing cheap
acreage which promised to enhance a
value. The New Tork Industrial Home
Association No, 1, incorporated about
1850, secured its first 1,000 subscribers in
six months. It was shrewd enough in
1S51 to donate to the New Tork, New
Haven and Hartford Railroad land for
a station. By 1S5S the settlement boasted
some 300 houses. When Mount Vernon
became an incorporated village in 1853 its
population was about 1,400.
However, until comparatively recently
-—about two generations ago—the rail¬
roads directed their energies mainly
toward providing such facilities as the
freight traffic cominf through West-
First there was the City of Tonkers
on the Hudson River, touching the New
Torlc City line, with growing commer¬
cial and manufacturing interests, a con¬
sequently increasing local Tvorking popu¬
lation, a substantial middle class and
even well-to-do residence population aiid
a tendency to develop its own suburban
Next there was the City of Mount
Vernon, also bordering on New Tork City
and occupying a position midway between
Ihe Hudson River and the Long Island
.^ound, growing steadily, with large prom¬
ise of business and residential increase.
Next there was the City of New
Rocheiie on the Sound, attracting a more
or less well-to-do residence population
and showing a tendency to empha'size its
social rather than its business import¬
Finally, there was White Plains, the
county seat, deriving new importance
«s the b.usintess of the cities further
south brought its official position more
.md more into prominence.
The gradual overflowing of local popu¬
lation into localities adjacent or conveni¬
ent to tlie larger centers was steadily peo¬
pling the hitherto unsettled territory and
pressing fhe claim for better transporta¬
tion. Finally, to this local demand -vi'as
added the constant complaint of a body
Of commuters growing yearly larger as