Pound Ridge, New York
|Pound Ridge, New York|
Location of Pound Ridge, New York
|• Town Supervisor||Richard Lyman (R)|
|• Total||23.5 sq mi (60.8 km2)|
|• Land||22.8 sq mi (59.1 km2)|
|• Water||0.7 sq mi (1.7 km2)|
|Elevation||614 ft (187 m)|
|• Density||220/sq mi (84/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0979394|
The town is located in the eastern corner of the county, bordered by New Canaan, Connecticut, to the east, Stamford, Connecticut, to the south, Bedford, New York, to the west and Lewisboro, New York, to the north.
In the early seventeenth century Pound Ridge was inhabited by Native Americans who spoke the Munsee language and were members of the Wappinger Confederacy. The geographical boundaries of the tribes within the Confederacy are unclear. Pound Ridge has been variously listed as within the territory of the Kitchawong, Siwanoy and Tankiteke tribes. These claims are not necessarily exclusive as tribal boundaries were not fixed and the land used by different tribes was often interlaced or shared. Interaction with Europeans caused Indians to change their settlement locations over time. Furthermore, the territories listed in sales to Europeans by particular tribal chiefs are not strict guides to the boundaries of tribal control or occupancy. The Siwanoy are generally agreed to have lived along the north Long Island Sound Coast with a maximum range extending from Hell Gate to Norwalk, Connecticut. The Tankiteke appear to have occupied eastern Westchester County and Fairfield County. The territory of the Kitchawong is thought to have extended from the Croton River to Anthony's Nose along the Hudson and some distance east from the river.
The Wappinger Confederacy participated in Kieft's War which began in 1640 as a result of escalating tensions over land use, livestock control, trade and taxation between the Dutch West India Company colony of New Netherland and neighboring native peoples. In March 1644 a Wappinger Confederacy village in present-day Pound Ridge was attacked by a mixed force of 130 Dutch and English soldiers under the command of Captain John Underhill. This event is now known as the Pound Ridge Massacre. The attackers surrounded and burnt the village in a night attack killing between 500 to 700 Indians. The dead included 25 members of the Wappinger tribe, with the remainder being either Tankiteke or Siwanoy or both. The New Netherland force lost one man killed and fifteen wounded. More casualties were suffered in this attack than in any other single incident in the war. Shortly after the battle four Wappinger Confederacy sachems arrived in the English settlement of Stamford to sue for peace.
The territory of modern Pound Ridge was first permanently settled by Europeans in 1718 in the present-day Long Ridge Road area.:17 Long Ridge Road was originally an Indian path and had been used by the first settlers of Bedford, New York as they traveled to that destination from Stamford. Although the very first settlers were from Huntington on Long Island, most of the original settlers of Pound Ridge were from Stamford. A large portion of Pound Ridge was included in the town of North Castle when it was incorporated in 1721.
Three thousand acres in the northern part of present-day Pound Ridge were included within the more than 86,000 acre Cortlandt Manor grant which extended from the Hudson River in the west twenty miles east to the Connecticut border. A member of the historically prominent Lockwood family first purchased land in Pound Ridge in 1737 and several members of the family settled in the town within the next six years. The Scofield family first settled in the area in 1745 and the first Fancher settled in the area in 1758. Roads in the modern town bear the name of each of these families. The first record of the term “Old Pound Ridge” to refer to the present-day town’s territory is found in the North Castle records from 1737. “Old Pound Ridge” begins to appear in Stamford records in 1750. The name “Old Pound Ridge” is thought to have originated from the presence of an Indian game pound on a hill within the territory when the settlers first arrived.
During the 1700s, the Boutonville area of Pound Ridge found itself at the center of a 50-year land dispute concerning overlapping grants to the Stephanus Van Cortlandt Manor grant and to the Stamford patentees. After a lengthy legal battle, clear title to the 3,000 acres was finally given to Van Cortlandt heirs in 1788. Most of this land is now part of the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. Sometime after that, Pierre Van Cortlandt built a home there. In 1815, Samuel Piatt (Peatt) (1773-1850) purchased seven acres and an existing house from Gen. Philip Van Cortlandt. This home, since demolished, was on what now is Honey Hollow Road. The farmland in the Pound Ridge and Lewisboro sections (Ward Pound Ridge Reservation) were part of the Van Cortlandt Manor lands that were divided into “great lots” of about 3,000 acres each. These lots were further divided into 300-acre farms. 
Pound Ridge was the site of a battle during the American Revolutionary War. On July 2, 1779, a force of 300 American rebels was attacked by 200 British soldiers under the command of Banastre Tarleton.:37 The raid was the first independent command for the 24-year-old Tarelton. The attack was planned as one of a series of raids on rebel forces in the region the purpose of which were to draw Washington’s army away from the Hudson River. The rebels had been warned of an impending raid on the night of June 30 by the rebel spy Luther Kinnicutt. However, the spy was not able to discover the date of the attack. The American force consisted of 100 continental foot soldiers of the 6th Connecticut Regiment under Major Eli Leavenworth, 90 of Colonel Sheldon’s 2nd Regiment of Light Horse, and about 100 militia under Major Lockwood. The light horse detachment had been under the temporary command of Major Benjamin Tallmadge until the day before the attack when Colonel Sheldon arrived. Benjamin Tallmadge had organized the Culper Spy Ring which operated in British-occupied New York. The British force consisted of 200 mounted light dragoons and infantry and included some Hessian Jagers. Tarleton left his base on the Bronx River near Yonkers on the night of July 1 in a heavy rain storm and rode until he reached North Castle early on July 2. He then decided to attack Pound Ridge by an indirect northern route. In this way he managed to avoid the force of continentals located on the southern road. A lookout spotted the British as they approached the town and warned Colonel Sheldon. The commander dispatched Major Tallmadge with a small group to find out if the arriving force were British or expected reinforcements under the command of Colonel Moylan. The force under Tallmadge withdrew upon contact with the British. The force of light horse and militia under Sheldon and Lockwood were scattered and withdrew to the south. Tarleton’s force pursued them for a time before returning to the town. They were then fired upon by some militia from behind cover. The British burned the Presbyterian Church and the home of Major Lockwood before withdrawing with prisoners, cattle, arms, equipment and the battle standard of Sheldon's 2nd Regiment back along the northern road to Bedford. Tarleton had the Presbyterian Church in Bedford burned as well as the house of a patriot. The British abandoned the cattle in Bedford before returning to the Bronx River camp under pursuit by the Americans as far as North Castle. In the course of the raid the British had managed to capture some of Benjamin Tallmadge’s papers including a letter from George Washington. These papers revealed information on the operations of the Culper Spy Ring. Reports on battle casualties are contradictory. One secondary source provides a figure of ten Americans wounded and eight captured along with two British killed and four captured.:40 The nearby towns of Bedford and Norwalk were burned by the British on July 11. Throughout the Revolutionary War the region was witness to raids by both Patriots and Tories against opposing residents. A Tory raid in Pound Ridge in 1779 led to the death of a resident. Pound Ridge held a number of Tories as prisoners or under house arrest throughout the war. Later in the war Tories were denied freedom of speech, lost the use of the courts, were prevented from practicing their trades and had their property confiscated.
Pound Ridge was officially incorporated in 1788. In 1782 the population was 707 which increased to 1062 by 1790 and 1256 by 1800. One slave is listed as a resident in the 1800 and 1820 federal censuses. In 1830 the population was 1437. The population remained between 1400 and 1500 through the census of 1860 after which the census indicates population decline. During this period Pound Ridge was an agricultural community in which families raised a variety of crops for their own consumption. Commercial beef and dairy farming were also practiced. The town was a center for shoemaking with almost 150 families listed as shoemakers. Shoe parts were acquired from factories in Long Ridge and New Canaan. Residents would then stitch, fit and attach the parts and return the completed shoes to the factories. This activity was greatest in the winter during which farmers had the time to pursue secondary occupations. This cottage industry declined as the shoemaking industry began to employ full-time workers around mid-century. As a result, a number of local shoemakers moved out of town to become factory workers. Pound Ridge became a center of basketmaking with 80 families employed in the trade at its peak. Basketmaking was concentrated in the present-day hamlet of Scotts Corners which was known as Basket Town. Baskets were used for a variety of purposes but were particularly important for the oyster industry along the Long Island Sound. This local industry reached its height in the 1860s, with basket prices falling thereafter. The decline of basketmaking in Pound Ridge was caused by a combination of competition from foreign and machine-made products as well as the collapse of the oyster industry in the Sound due to environmental pollution.
Pound Ridge furnished 109 men to fight in the American Civil War. Of the 94 new recruits, 53 served in Connecticut regiments and 41 in New York Regiments. Seven men were killed in action, thirteen died of disease, three died in prison, seven were wounded and thirteen disabled.:66 When conscription was enacted the town began to raise money to give to conscripts for their personal use or so that they could purchase substitutes. The money was raised through taxes, bonds and loans from the county. By the end of the war the town had 35,000 dollars in debts. A significant portion of the money was entrusted to Alsop Hunt Lockwood who served as the town supervisor from 1844 to 1853 and then county sheriff for three years before becoming supervisor again from 1856 to 1868. In the spring of 1868 the town attempted to audit the supervisor to determine how the war funds were disbursed. The supervisor resigned in the summer of 1868 and the town went to court against him to recover 9155.77 dollars in damages and costs. The case was apparently settled out of court. The former supervisor sold his Pound Ridge house in 1871 and moved to White Plains where he died three years later. Alsop was the sixth and last member of the Lockwood family to serve as town supervisor.
In 1869 the Stamford Water Company purchased land for the construction of a dam and the creation of a reservoir for the use of the city of Stamford. Three ponds were joined together to create Trinity Lake which reached a capacity of 450 million gallons when the dam height was increased in 1895. In 1891 the Stamford Water Company purchased additional land and created Siscowit Reservoir with a capacity of 88 million gallons. Annual farmers’ picnics were held on the eastern shore of Trinity Lake for about twenty years from 1886 onwards. Up to 2000 people from the region would attend.
The population of Pound Ridge declined from 1417 in 1860 to a low of 515 in 1920. During this period general farming was replaced by dairy farming. Forest grew back over land cleared during the previous two centuries. The town had lost all three of its post offices by 1903. In May 1911 a series of fires broke out that burned hundreds of acres. George Irving Ruscoe served as town supervisor from 1894 to 1927. He also served as a justice of the peace for 62 years until his retirement in 1945. In 1916 the Northern Westchester District Nursing Association requested permission to open a Polio hospital in Pound Ridge. Sentiment in the town was strongly against the proposal and the hospital was not approved. The town board passed a resolution requiring all outside children under the age of 17 to be examined by health officials before they would be allowed to visit the town. In 1917 Pound Ridge was caught up in a Polio epidemic.
In 1925 Westchester County purchased over 4000 acres of land in northern Pound Ridge and adjacent Lewisboro to create the Pound Ridge Reservation. The park was renamed the Ward-Pound Ridge Reservation in 1938 after the park planner and longtime Republican county leader William L. Ward. From 1933 to 1940 the Reservation was host to a Civilian Conservation Corp camp known variously as Camp SP-9, Camp No. 24 and Camp Merkel after the parks superintendent for Westchester County. The camp had about 200 enrollees at any one time. Workers improved roads and built bridges, planted trees and constructed shelters, picnic areas, walls, latrines and a museum.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 23.5 square miles (61 km2). 22.8 square miles (59 km2) of the town is land, and 0.7 square miles (1.8 km2) of it (2.90%) is water. The east and south town lines are along the border with Connecticut.
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,726 people, 1,699 households, and 1,406 families residing in the town. The population density was 207.3 people per square mile (80.0/km²). There were 1,868 housing units at an average density of 81.9 per square mile (31.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 95.54% White, 1.21% African American, 0.06% Native American, 1.65% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.32% from other races, and 1.21% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.45% of the population.
There were 1,699 households out of which 38.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 76.4% were married couples living together, 4.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 17.2% were non-families. 13.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.77 and the average family size was 3.03.
In the town the population was spread out with 26.1% under the age of 18, 3.4% from 18 to 24, 25.6% from 25 to 44, 32.6% from 45 to 64, and 12.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 96.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.9 males.
The median income for a household in the town is $183,208, and the median income for a family is $191,439 (since 2008). Males had a median income of $100,000 versus $50,553 for females. The per capita income for the town was $74,914. About 0.9% of families and 1.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 0.6% of those under age 18 and 2.8% of those age 65 or over.
The local school is the Pound Ridge Elementary School, one of five K-5 schools in the Bedford Central School District. Older children take the bus to the Fox Lane Campus in Bedford, where the middle and high schools are located.
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The Town of Pound Ridge has a staffed police department of 16 sworn officers and a civilian staff member. The police chief is Chief Ryan. The police station is located by the Pound Ridge Town House on Westchester Avenue. The police department receives aid from the New York State Police in its patrols.
Emergency Medical Services to the town are provided by the Pound Ridge Lions Club Volunteer Ambulance Corps. The PRLVAC has two ambulances and transports patients to neighboring New York and Connecticut hospitals. The ambulance corps has around 20 members. The ambulance corps provides Basic Life Support (BLS) to the town of Pound Ridge. Advance Life Support can be brought in via an intercepting unit or via the expedient transport to a providing hospital. Additional medical support is received from Westchester Emergency Medical Services (WEMS), which provides fly cars to assist the Ambulance Corps. The fly car driver is a New York State licensed paramedic.
Fire protection is covered by the Pound Ridge Volunteer Fire Department. The department was established in 1933 and has around 50 active members. The firehouse is located in Scott's Corners; the house has its own weight room and recreational room. All the members are completely volunteer and live or work in town. It is a single station fire district that covers an area of 25 square miles (65 km2). The firehouse has six pieces of apparatus inside its doors. This includes two primary attack engines, one supply engine, a 3500 gallon tanker, one rescue/engine, and a brush truck. In addition to these pieces of apparatus, the department has three chief vehicles and a brush fire trailer that carries one of the two gators the department owns. The department runs about 300 calls annually. In addition to serving its own fire district, the department also provides mutual aid to numerous surrounding towns in New York and Connecticut.
Communities and locations in Pound Ridge
- Pound Ridge – the historic hamlet of Pound Ridge in the center of the town. You will find the Pound Ridge Community Church, the Hiram Halle Memorial Library, Pound Ridge Museum, as well as many privately owned Hiram Halle restorations here in the Pound Ridge Historic District. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.
- Sarles Corners – a hamlet west of Scotts Corners
- Scotts Corners – a hamlet in the south part of the town which serves as the business district. This is where the post office and firehouse are located.
The Record-Review, a weekly newspaper, reports on local issues in Pound Ridge and Bedford. The newspaper began publishing in 1995. The Record-Review web site is http://www.record-review.com.
Pound Ridge as film location
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Pound Ridge and the Pound Ridge reservation were the settings for several films, including:
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- Max Abramovitz, architect and long term resident who died here in 2004
- Eva Amurri, lifelong resident and actress
- Tallulah Bankhead, actress
- Ellen Barkin, actress who lived in town in the 1990s
- David Bloom, journalist
- Jerry Bock, composer and long-term resident
- Tom Brokaw, journalist and author
- Blackleach Burritt, a noted Congregational clergyman in the American Revolution
- Gabriel Byrne, actor who resided here in the 1990s
- Zoe Caldwell, long-term resident and stage actress
- Howard Cosell, sportscaster
- Hume Cronyn, long-term resident and actor, husband of Jessica Tandy
- Melissa Claire Egan, actress
- Ari Fleischer, press secretary for U.S. President George W. Bush (2001 to 2003) who grew up in the town and later returned to raise his family
- Richard Gere, actor
- Benny Goodman, musician
- Fred Gwynne, actor
- Hiram Halle, philanthropist, inventor and businessman who died here in 1944
- Elizabeth Hand, author who grew up here
- Evan Hunter, aka Ed McBain, author and screenwriter
- Anne Jackson, actress
- Stephen Jenks, composer and singing master
- Eartha Kitt, long term resident and actress
- Stanley Lomas, television and advertising pioneer, produced first televised college football game
- Carey Lowell, actress, wife of Richard Gere
- Ali MacGraw, actress, spouse of Steve McQueen
- Mike Myers, actor
- Stuart Ostrow, Broadway producer, resident 1966-1995
- Jane Pauley, journalist and author
- Christopher Reeve, long-time resident and actor who died here in 2004
- Dana Reeve, long-time resident and actress who died here in 2006
- Steve Reich, composer
- Tim Robbins, long-time resident, Little League sponsor, and actor
- Steven C. Rockefeller, professor, philanthropist
- Robert Rubin, 70th United States Treasury Secretary
- Susan Sarandon, long-time resident and actress
- Lisl Steiner, long-time resident and noted photographer, photojournalist, and filmmaker
- Martin Stone, producer of Howdy Doody and owner of WVIP radio
- Jessica Tandy, long-time resident and actor, wife of Hume Cronyn
- John Waite, prolific lyricist / balladier, of The Babys and Bad English fame, who wrote many tunes while living here
- Eli Wallach, actor
- Jessica Walter, actor
- Vera Wang, lifelong resident and fashion designer
- Robert Whitehead, producer
- Sloan Wilson, author
- Maggie Q, actress
- Barron, Sam (6 November 2013). "Lyman Prevails In Heated Pound Ridge Supervisor Race". The Daily Voice. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
Lyman, a Republican
- "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Pound Ridge town, Westchester County, New York". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved November 15, 2011.
- Otto, Paul. The Dutch-Munsee Encounter in America: The Struggle for Sovereignty in the Hudson Valley, Berghahn Books (2006). pg 5
- Cook, S.F. The Indian Population of New England in the Seventeenth Century. University of California Press (1976). pg 68-71
- Journal of New Netherland. pg 17
- Trelease, Allen. Indian Affairs in Colonial New York; The Seventeenth Century. University of Nebraska Press (1997). pg 80
- Bailyn, Bernard. The Barbarous Years: The Peopling of British North America: The Conflict of Civilizations, 1600-1675. Alfred A. Knopf (2012). pg 221
- Major, Richard and Manna, Vincent. Images of America: Pound Ridge. Arcadia Publishing (2009). pg 7
- Harris, Jay. God's Country; a History of Pound Ridge, New York. Pequot Press (1971).
- Major, Richard and Manna (2009). Pount Ridge, New York (Images of America Series). Chicago: Arcadia Publishing. pp. 7–8, 73, 90–91. ISBN 073856592X.
- Brian Goodman (15 June 2006). "Revolutionary War Flags Go For $17.4M". CBS News.
- Public utilities Commission. Tenth Annual Report of the Public Utilities Commission. Hartford. Published by the State of Connecticut (1922). pg 771
- Herr, Beth and Koehl, Maureen. Images of America: Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. Arcadia Publishing (2013). pg 41
- "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Supervisor's Office Home". Town of Pound Ridge. Retrieved October 23, 2013.
- Staff (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- Happy Birthday To Pound Ridge’s Eva Amurri Martino | The Pound Ridge Daily Voice Retrieved 2014-09-30.
- Happy Birthday To Pound Ridge’s Zoe Caldwell | The Pound Ridge Daily Voice Retrieved 2014-09-30.
- Costaregni, Susie, "'Law & Order' actress spotted in Greenwich", from "The Dish" column in The Advocate of Stamford, Connecticut and the Greenwich Time daily newspapers, November 12, 2006, page 2 of The Advocate: "Actor and Pound Ridge, N.Y., resident Richard Gere's new project ..."
- 2006 News Reports (Christopher Reeve Homepage) Retrieved 2014-10-01.
- Happy Birthday to Pound Ridge’s Tim Robbins | The Pound Ridge Daily Voice Retrieved 2014-10-01.
- Chen, David W. (June 18, 1998). "Martin Stone, 83, Radio Pioneer And Producer of 'Howdy Doody'". The New York Times.
- Town of Pound Ridge official website
- Pound Ridge Town Announcements
- Pound Ridge Historical Society
- Pound Ridge Library
- The Bedford-Pound Ridge Record Review newspaper
- The Pound Ridge Land Conservancy
- "Pound Ridge Past: Remembrances of Our Townsfolk" by Bonni Brodnick
- Pound Ridge Democratic Committee
- Pound Ridge Fire Department
- Pound Ridge Ambulance Corps
- Pound Ridge Cheerleading