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- The Village of Croton-on-Hudson is located in the southern end of the Town of Cortlandt. The village has a lot to offer-beautiful country homes, nostalgic shops and one of the busiest railroad stations (Croton-Harmon) north of New York City. Once home to some of the nation’s most famous artists and performers, Croton-on-Hudson today remains a thriving, creative community.
In the late 1600s, years after Henry Hudson anchored his ship off Croton Point, the land, including what is today Croton-on-Hudson, was purchased by Dutch settlers from the Kitchawanc Indians. A popular legend holds that Croton was named after a Kitchawanc Chief named Kloten or Knoten.
In 1677, Stephanus Van Cortlandt, who acquired a huge expanse of land in the area, became a Croton resident. During the Revolution, mills on his land produced flour to feed hungry patriots. Now a popular tourist attraction, Van Cortlandt Manor has been designated as a National Historic Landmark and is the site of many family-oriented events.
From 1892-1907, more than 1,000 immigrants stonemasons built the colossal Croton Dam and Aqueduct-a marvel of engineering-to provide New York City with a much needed supply of water. The dam and aqueduct remained in use as part of New York’s water system until 1950s. The dam and aqueduct have since been updated, and today it is formally known as the New Croton Dam and Aqueduct, although most folks refer to it simply as the “Croton Dam.”
In 1898, Croton-on Hudson was incorporated, and in 1930 the Harmon and Oscawana areas, and part of Mount Airy, were annexed.
Although, the Croton-Harmon train station is a major stop on MTA Metro-North Railroad’s Hudson Line, the village has remained small and charming, keeping alive the community spirit of generations past.
COFFEE & COMMERCE
The Black Cow Coffee house is a popular spot in Croton. Founded in 1995 by Michael and Peggy Grant, The Black Cow’s main purpose is to give people the best possible coffee experience they can. In store roasting, baked items delivered daily, and caring staff makes it work.Umami Cafe is an exotic, must-try restaurant. Their goal was to popularize “ümami”, the fifth taste. They combine ingredients and cultural styles freely and recklessly, without claiming authenticity. Family-friendly local hangout with a hip vibe serving seasonal eclectic international comfort food.Since 1991, Zeytinia Gourmet Market, a, full service deli, butcher shop, and market has been supplying gourmet products to area foodies. Artisan breads, cookies, muffins, and coffee (more than 30 coffee beans) are offered, plus 400 imported and domestic cheeses. Other specialty items include sushi, gelato, and pizza. Catering services are available.RECREATIONThe Croton Recreation and Parks Department has something for everyone, from preschoolers to seniors.
Teen Program listings are available online, from the Recreation Department and at Pierre VanCortlandt Middle School.
Services for seniors include holiday parties; trips to museums, dinner theaters and Atlantic City information sessions; driving courses and a shopping bus.
The Community Room, located in the Municipal Building, is the site for teen and senior citizens activities.
Village parks and facilities include: Black Rock Park; Duck Pond Park; Harrison Street Park and Firefighters Memorial Field; Senasqua Park and Boat Basin; Silver Lake; Sunset Park Playground; Vassallo Park; and a walking bike path alongside the Hudson River.
Other parks and facilities not owned/maintained by the village include: Croton Gorge Park; Croton Landing; Croton Point Park; Croton Sailing School; and Manes and Spencer fields.
The personalized approach to teaching found in Croton schools makes the district one of the most successful in a county known for the high quality of its public schools. Small class size and an exemplary faculty contribute to Croton’s superb reputation. The district has been recognized by the state and the nation for its outstanding programs and services. Both the Carrie E. Tompkins Elementary School and the Pierre Van Cortlandt Middle School have been named “Schools of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education, and are “project” schools in the Columbia University, Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. Croton-Harmon High School has served as a model and pilot school as new state standards and assessments were developed for higher expectations in student performance. The high school has been named one of Westchester’s top high schools and was included in the Newsweek listing of the top high schools in the nation. In addition, the high school has been recognized for its positive reforms in nationally published books on education.
The school district encompasses parts of the towns of Cortlandt, Yorktown, and Ossining and includes the village of Croton-on-Hudson. The district population is approximately 15,000 with some 1,700 students attending Croton schools this year.
Because of the wide variety of learning approaches and programs, Croton students can reach their full potential, develop the habits of mind and social skills necessary to become lifelong learners, and be able to contribute positively to society.
For more information about departments, boards & committees and train station parking, please visit the town website.