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A Historical Outlook on New Rochelle, NY

new rochelle dog bite lawyer near cottage

The dog bite lawyers in New Rochelle, NY present this article to share some historical information about the area.

New Rochelle is a city in Westchester County, NY. The city hosts a population of 79,067 and spans 13.14 square miles. New Rochelle also happens to be the safest city of its size in New York.

History of New Rochelle

New Rochelle gets its name from early European settlement. Many European settlers who migrated to New Rochelle were French Protestant artisans from La Rochelle, France, thus influencing the name of "New Rochelle."

Throughout the 18th century, New Rochelle remained a modest village with an abundance of agricultural land. However, during the 19th century, the village faced a shift when New York saw waves of immigration, many from Ireland and Germany. The more established families at the time moved out of the city and into New Rochelle. Despite the original French protestant population dwindling, they still owned the majority of the land and played an important role in political and social life.

In the latter 1800s, New Rochelle underwent some changes.

  • In 1857, the Village of New Rochelle was established within the borders of the Town of New Rochelle.
  • In 1861, a group of volunteers created the first fire service.
  • In 1899, a bill creating the New Rochelle City Charter, and joining the village and town of New Rochelle into one municipality, was signed by Governor Theodore Roosevelt.
  • In 1899, Michael J. Dillon became New Rochelle's first mayor.

By 1900, New Rochelle had a population of 14,720, and farms were being turned into real-estate developments. There were more residential neighborhoods across New York than ever before, including Rochelle Park, one of the first planned communities in the country.

The area began to develop further, and by 1930, New Rochelle recorded a population of 54,000. The area's population was rapidly growing along with further real-estate development and expansion. During the 1930s, New Rochelle was the wealthiest city per capita in New York state and the third wealthiest in the country.

By the end of the 1900s, New Rochelle had greatly changed from its founding. The Metro-North railroad station was rebuilt along with a $190 million entertainment complex nicknamed New Roc City. The complex was built on the former New Rochelle Mall site, which had opened in 1968.

New Rochelle has transformed greatly from its founding and remains wealthy per capita. As recent as 2014, New Rochelle's planning board approved $149 million in developments to three major city sections. The developments, expected to be completed by 2024, include restaurants, stores, hotels, theaters, and a mixed-use waterfront area.

Historic Locations

New Rochelle has a rich history; just passing through the area, you will find many historic buildings, structures, and monuments. Each site has its own unique story, and the New Rochelle Historic site is a great place to bring the family for an easy, fun, and educational time. Some highlighted locations in New Rochelle are as follows:

  • Execution Rocks Lighthouse – centered in the middle of Long Island Sound, the structure was built in 1849 and includes a 55-foot (17 m) tall tower and the 'keeper's house.'
  • Davenport House – an 1859 residence in New Rochelle, New York, designed by architect Alexander Jackson Davis in the Gothic Revival style.
  • Thomas Paine Cottage – home to Thomas Paine, author of Common Sense and Revolutionary War hero, from 1802 to 1806.
  • Columbia Island – a small island situated between Davids' Island and Pea Island. Up until 1940, it was known as Little Pea Island.
  • Leland Castle – a 19th-century Gothic Revival castle built as the summer residence of Simeon Leland, a wealthy New York City hotel entrepreneur. It has since been acquired by the College of New Rochelle and is used as an art gallery available to the public.

Looking to learn more? Check out: A Look into Dunwoodie, NY

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Laurence P. Banville
Date Published: May 25, 2021
Laurence P. Banville is the managing partner of Banville Law. As an experienced personal injury attorney, Mr. Banville helps clients recover compensation from those responsible for his clients' injuries. Our firm is located in New York City, serving clients from the five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island.
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