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The History Of Yonkers, NY

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This post is brought to you by the Yonkers personal injury attorneys at Banville Law and goes over the history of Yonkers.

Yonkers: Once Called Nappeckamack

The earliest settlers of the area that we now call Yonkers were Native Americans of the Algonquin tribe. The major village, which was called Nappeckamack, was established at the intersection of two waterways. The waterways were called Muhheakantuck and Neperah, however, we now call them the Hudson and Saw Mill River.

The location was a good one because it provided villagers with fresh water, an easily defendable territory, rich food sources, and a waterway for transportation by canoe.

These features were also highly desired by European settlers when they arrived in the 1600s

The Establishment of "De Jonkheers"

In 1646, Adriaen van der Donck, a young attorney working for the Dutch West India Company, negotiated with the tribe for a large section of the land. He was nicknamed " De Jonkeer" which meant "young gentleman" and his estate was called "De Jonkeer's". When the English arrived and took over Dutch settlements, they shortened the name to "Yonkers".

It was Van de Donck that built a sawmill at the junction of the Hudson and the Nepperhan Rivers, which is why the name was changed to Saw Mill River. The waterways not only provided easy transportation, but they also provided power for the mills.

The waterways allowed Yonkers to grow rapidly and the area has been the home to many industries over the centuries, including:

Today, Yonkers is also home to the Yonkers Raceway and Empire City Casino.

Notable Residents Of Yonkers

Our Yonkers personal injury lawyers have shared this list of notable Yonkers residents:

We hope you've enjoyed learning more about Yonkers! If you would like to continue reading, check out this post on local resources for accident victims in Yonkers. 


Laurence P. Banville
Date Published: March 17, 2020
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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