New York Counties
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New York Counties

There are sixty-two counties in the State of New York. The first twelve counties in New York were created immediately after the British annexation of the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam, although two of these counties have since been abolished. The most recent county formation in New York was in 1912, when Bronx County was created from the portions of New York City that had been annexed from Westchester County.

Westchester County, New York

Westchester County Education, Geography, and HistoryWestchester County, New York Courthouse

Westchester County is a county in the state of New York. Westchester covers an area of 450 square miles (1,200 km2), consisting of 48 municipalities. According to the 2010 Census, the county had a population of 949,113. Established in 1683, Westchester was named after the city of Chester, England. The county seat of Westchester is the city of White Plains.

Etymology - Origin of Westchester County Name

for Chester, England


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Westchester County History

Established in 1683, Westchester was named after the city of Chester, England. The county seat of Westchester is the city of White Plains.

Learn about our past, our heritage and our roots. This account of the first 300 years of recorded history of Westchester County

 Susan Cochran Swanson and Elizabeth Green Fuller in 1982.

To 1783: Colonial Period to the Revolution

The Elijah Miller house on Virginia Road, North White Plains, was One of Washington's headquarters during the Revolution. Mrs. Miller nursed sick and wounded solders in her home during the war. The Miller house has been restored and is now a museum.

1783-1865: The Pastoral Life

Smith's Tavern, on Bedford Road in Armonk, is believed to have been built in the late 1700's. John Smith, a former captain in the Continental Army, operated the house as a tavern, post office, and stopping place for the Danbury stage as early as 1797.

1865-1920: A Period of Change

Muscoot Park, on Route 100 in Katonah, is a beautiful Georgian Colonial house purchased by Ferdinand Hopkins in 1880 and operated as a gentleman's farm. Today, it is a county park with farm animals on display as well as herb and vegetable gardens.

1920-1983: Westchester Comes of Age

The Medieval Revival style of architecture, also known as Tudor, reached a peak of popularity in Westchester following World War I. Shops, apartment houses, and even gas stations took on the look that during the 20's became synonymous with with stylish living.

 Susan Cochran Swanson and Elizabeth Green Fuller in 1982.

The first European settlement in Westchester dates from 1639 when Jonas Bronck, a Dane, established a farm between the Bronx and Harlem Rivers. The Bronx, which was named in his memory, was part of Westchester County until it was annexed to New York City, part in 1874, and the rest in 19\895 (my guess is it should be 1895 and someone typed in 1995 and missed the backspace key!). Adriaen Van der Donck, the county's first lawyer and only patroon, established Colen (Colony) Donck in 1646 north of Spuyten Duyvil. His settlement was known as "Der Jonkheer's Land" (the young gentleman's land), from which the name of Yonkers derived.


Westchester County is located in the southeastern end of New York State. As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 500 square miles (1,295 km2), of which, 433 square miles (1,121 km2) of it is land and 67 square miles (174 km2) of it (13.45%) is water.

The highest elevation in the county is a US Coast and Geodetic Survey benchmark known as "Bailey" at 300 m (985 ft) 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 (11 km2), 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).

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Putnam County, New York - north
  • Fairfield County, Connecticut - northeast
  • Bergen County, New Jersey - southwest
  • Rockland County, New York - west
  • Nassau County, New York - southeast, water boundary only, across Long Island Sound
  • Bronx County, New York - south


Westchester County contains 48 public school districts, 118 private college-preparatory and parochial schools, and 14 colleges and universities. Many public and private high schools are continuously ranked among the best in New York State and the United States.

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