New Rochelle - Encyclopedia

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NEW ROCHELLE, a city of Westchester county, in southern New York, U.S.A., on Long'Island Sound, 162 m. from the Grand Central Station, New York City. Pop. (1890) 9057, (1900) 14,720, of whom 4425 were foreign-born and negroes; (1910 census) 28,867. It is served by the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad, and by electric railways to New York City and neighbouring places. The city is primarily a residential suburb of New York City, and has some fine colonial residences, and several beautiful residential parks, notably Rochelle, Neptune, and Beechmont Parks. Its large foreign-born population is comparatively recent and comparatively isolated. Among the prominent buildings of the city are a public library, the high school, a theatre (owned by the Knights of Columbus), a Masonic Temple, the City Bank and several churches, of which the most notable, perhaps, are the Baptist, Methodist, and St Gabriel's (Roman Catholic), which is the gift of members of the Iselin family, to whose interest in yachting is due in part the prominence of the New Rochelle and Larchmont Yacht Clubs. The Ursuline College of St Angela (1904) and the Merrill School (1906), both for girls, are in New Rochelle. The principal building of the first is Leland Castle, built in1858-1860by Simon Leland and finely decorated with frescoes and coloured marbles. A People's Forum, growing out of the work of the People's Institute of New York City, was established here in 1903-1904. In the road between New Rochelle and White Plains is the monument to Thomas Paine, provided for in his will, on the farm which was confiscated from a Tory by the state and was given to him at the end of the American War of Independence. On the Sound, in Hudson Park, is a monument commemorating the landingplace of the first Huguenot settlers. Immediately S. of New Rochelle, in the Sound, is Glen Island, an amusement resort; belonging to the Glen Island group, E. of Pelham Manor, is Travers Island, with the out-of-town clubhouse and grounds of the New York Athletic Club. On David's Island, m. S.W. of New Rochelle, is Fort Slocum, a United States Army post. The suburban villages of Larchmont and Pelham (and Pelham Manor) lie respectively N.E. and W. of New Rochelle. The important industries are the manufacture of scales and of other instruments of precision, and printing and publishing - the Knickerbocker Press of G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York, is here. The site of New Rochelle is part of a purchase by Thomas Pell in 1654 and of a grant to him by Richard Nicolls in 1666; it was sold in 1689 to Jacob Leisler. The first settlement of importance was made in 1688 by Huguenots, some of whom were natives of La Rochelle. New Rochelle was incorporated as a village in 1847, and as a city in 1899.

See R. and C. W. Bolton, History of the Several Towns, Manors and Patents of Westchester County (New York, 1881), and J. Thomas Scharf's History of Westchester County (2 vols., Philadelphia, 1886).

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