Northern Westchester County is blessed with visually stunning geography that has given rise to bucolic hamlets and villages nestled among swaths of green. Parks and farms sit alongside artist communities, iconic visions of small-town America, and historic sites from early American life as one drives Route 35 east from the Hudson River to the Connecticut border.
The largest city in Northern Westchester, which also serves as the cultural hub of the area, is Peekskill, which was first incorporated in 1816. But the history of Peekskill predates its incorporation by centuries. The Ryck’s Patent Deed of 1684 between the local Native Americans who lived in the area and some of the first Dutch settlers in the region actually gave Peekskill its unique name, as the area in question was referred to as Peeck’s Kil (kil means “stream” in Dutch), referring to Jan Peeck, the New Amsterdam resident who made the first recorded contact with the Native Americans in the early 1600s.
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