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- Katonah is a village within the town of Bedford. The village is well known as a close-knot community. Its towns folk work for its welfare through all manner of civic organizations. They support fine schools and the best public library in a wide area. The hamlet’s cultural attractions, including the Katonah Museum of Art, Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, and John Jay Homestead continue to bring visitors from far and near, making Katonah a satisfying place to live and conduct business. They represent a remarkable cross-section of the arts, the professions, business and industry, and a vast array of home-owners. They have found Katonah a satisfying place to live.
Katonah, in Bedford Township, began in pre-Revolutionary days as a row of pioneer homes along Cherry Street, and the old Muscota Path of the Indians. They settled Bedford Village in 1680. By 1812 some of the families were moving down to the Cross River, just above its entrance into the Croton, where Wood & Whitlock had set up a mill, and Whitlockville came into being. This was a thriving village in 1847 when the railroad pushed its tracks north and attracted business a scant mile to the east of the village, where in 1852 the new hamlet’s name was changed to Katonah in honor of the Indian chief from whom the town’s land had been bought.
Here the community began to boom. Before this, its people had been almost entirely farmers,with some engaging in domestic manufacturing. Now they could send perishable produce to New York. Dairying grew enormously: in the 1880’s two car loads of milk were being shipped daily. Livestock for the city slaughter-houses mooed in pens at the railroad station. The grist mill in Whitlockville had become an iron foundry and was now transformed into an optical factory. A silk mill in Katonah was weaving ribbons. Commercial shirt making in the home moved every woman to demand a sewing-machine. A more enjoyable employment for the house-wife was the entertaining of summer boarders. Even the well-to-do took them, and season after season the countryside came alive with cycling parties, croquet games, hay rides, fishing, hunting, horse-racing, and boating.
COFFEE & COMMERCE
Little Joe’s Coffee and Books is a great place to check out while in Katonah. They carry thousands of titles for ALL ages, along with games, toys and gifts. They host regular in-store story times and love talking to customers of all ages about books.
They serve fair trade, organic coffees and teas, including delicious cappuccinos and lattes. They offer amazing baked goods — rolls, muffins, scones, cookies, and croissants. Joe’s has healthy snacks for commuters, ice cream treats all summer, and take-out items from The Reading Room daily. The cases and counters are over-flowing with cookies, brownies, fruit, yogurt choices, hummus, dried fruits and nuts, pretzels, biscotti, an abundance of cold beverage options, and more.
Sports and recreational activities for all ages are sponsored throughout the year at various locations. Program information is mailed to all residents four times a year and is also available at the Recreation Department. Katonah Memorial Park on North Street has facilities for swimming, baseball, soccer, basketball and tennis.
Also, explore the John Jay Homestead State Historic Site, an original American Experience. Enjoy important furniture and decorative arts, John Jay’s Bedford farm, and the great outdoors, including the agricultural past.
- Hourly docent-led house tours are available on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 1pm, 2pm and 3pm. The house is closed on holidays.
- The grounds of John Jay Homestead are open year-round from sunrise to sunset.
- Areas available for hiking, nature study, and picnicking.
The Katonah-Lewisboro School District is made up of three elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. For more department, board of education and news/media information, visit the website.
Katonah is also served by a private school, The Harvey School. It is a boarding school and a day school, and provides sixth through twelfth grades.
For additional clubs & community information, historical and cultural centers and general town information, visit their website.