What’s in a name? In Neighboring Hartsdale

Hartsdale, NY shares not only a border with White Plains (WP) but its history. White Plains has a street named Hartsdale Ave located in Highlands neighborhood.

Hartsdale during Colonial Days was part of Philipsburg Manor owned by the Frederick Philipse family and his descendants. The patriarch was born Vredyck Filipsen before emigrating but changed his name in 1664 under British rule. The Dutch merchant came to America in 1653 and bought hus estate from Adriaen van der Donck. Before the Revolution, the section that is now Hartsdale was rented to six wealthy families: Appleby, Odell, Oakley, Hart and Barnes. John Hart were tenants of what now makes up part of the Harts Brook Park Preserve. The hamlet of Hartsdale gets its name from John Hart. The name was used for streets, sections of the hamlet, brooks, parks and businesses.

In 1778, Philipsburg was confiscated by the American rebels and broken up. Appleby, Odell and Oakley families were loyalists at start of Revolution. Hart started as a loyalist (Tory) but changed allegiances.

In 1776, the Battle of White Plains took place not only where Hartsdale is today but parts of Philipsburg Manor (now Greenburgh) White Plains, Scarsdale, North White Plains and Harrison. A skirmish took place along the Bronx River near where the Hartsdale train station is today. The exchange between British Forces and the installed American forces along the river took place before the battle that took place on Chatterton Hill of Philipsburg named after the Chatterton family (the only tenant on the hill) on October 28, 1776.

A farmhouse dating from 1732 on Ridge Road was used as headquarters for Comte de Rochambeau in 1781. House was locale for meetings between George Washington and for the French troops that joined with the Americans. Today the house is named for John Odell who was a guide for George Washington and bought house in 1785. The house was deeded to the Sons of the American Revolution in 1965 but has deteriorated over time but money has been allocated for its renovation to become a museum.

to be continued….

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