Timeline of Briarcliff Manor

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Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
* 1910 to 1940[1]
* 1950 to 2000[2]
* 2010[3]

The history of Briarcliff Manor, a village in Westchester County, New York, can be traced back to the founding of a settlement between the Hudson and Pocantico Rivers in the 19th century. The area now known as Briarcliff Manor had seen human occupation since at least the Archaic period, but significant growth in the settlements that are now incorporated into the village did not occur until the Industrial Revolution. The village, which was incorporated with one square mile in 1902, has expanded primarily through annexation: of Scarborough in 1906 and from the town of Mount Pleasant in 1927 to its current area of 6.7 square miles (17 km2).[4][5] The village has also grown in population; from 331 when established to 7,867 in the 2010 census.[1][3]


17th century[edit]

  • 1680 (1680): Frederick Philipse purchases the Ossining area from Indian sachem Ghoharius with the consent of his brother Weskora. Weskora becomes the first name of Scarborough.[7](p11)
  • August 4, 1685 (1685-08-04): Philipse purchases about 156,000 acres (630 km2) from the Sint Sincks, Philipsburg Manor, extending from Spuyten Duyvil Creek along the Hudson River to the Croton River.[4][8]

18th century[edit]

  • 1778 (1778): The Wappingers unsuccessfully attempt to sue the Philipse family for control of the land; their claim dies out after around fifty tribespeople, organized into the Stockbridge Militia under Abraham Nimham and his father Daniel Nimham, are killed by British forces in the Battle of Kingsbridge during the American Revolutionary War.[9][10]
  • 1779 (1779): The New York State Commission on Forfeiture confiscates the Philipses' land; it is sold in 1784–85.[1][8]

19th century[edit]

Illustration of a farm and farmhouse buildings
Illustration of James Stillman's farm c. 1886.[nb 1]
  • 1839 (1839): Briarcliff Manor's oldest church, Saint Mary's Episcopal Church, is founded.[8]
  • 1854 (1854): All Saints' Episcopal Church is founded.[4]
  • 1864 (1864): Weskora is renamed Scarborough.[7](p11)
  • 1865 (1865): A one-room schoolhouse is built on land donated by John Whitson; it is the first schoolhouse and church in the area.[11][12]
  • 1880 (1880): The Whitson's Corners station is added to the New York City & Northern Railroad train schedule,[13] and the first train arrives on December 13.[8]
  • 1881 (1881): The Whitson's Corners post office is established.[8]
  • 1890 (1890): Walter W. Law moves with his family to the area and purchases his first 236 acres (96 ha) with the James Stillman farm for $35,000 ($976,000 in 2018[14]).[4]
  • 1891 (1891): Congregation Sons of Israel is formed by eleven men in Ossining.[7](p101)
  • 1892 (1892): Elliott Fitch Shepard ordered the construction of Scarborough's first dock at the present Scarborough Park to allow construction materials to be shipped to his property.[15]
  • October 13, 1893 (1893-10-13): The Scarborough Presbyterian Church is founded.[4]
  • 1895 (1895): Elliott Fitch Shepard's mansion Woodlea is completed.[16](p153)
  • 1896 (1896): Briarcliff Congregational Church is built to replace the congregation's use of the schoolhouse.[13]
  • 1897 (1897): The post office is renamed the Briarcliff Manor Post Office.[8]
  • August 4, 1898 (1898-08-04): The first Scarborough train station and post office is struck by lightning and burns down.[17]
  • 1900 (1900): Law owns more than 5,000 acres (7.8 sq mi) of Westchester County,[13][18] and becomes the largest individual landholder in the county.[19]
  • 1900 (1900): Law establishes the School of Practical Agriculture on Pleasantville Road on 66 acres (0.1 sq mi).[11]

20th century[edit]

A large, long two-story building
The Briarcliff Lodge, a Tudor Revival resort, c. 1904
  • c. 1901–10: Walter Law establishes Briarcliff Farms,[20] the Briarcliff Table Water Company and the Briarcliff Greenhouses.[4]
  • 1901 (1901): Briarcliff Steamer Company No. 1 is formed.[4]
  • 1902 (1902): Law has invested $2.5 million ($72.4 million in 2018[14]) in the village by this time.[11]
  • 1902 (1902): A proposition is presented to the supervisors of Mount Pleasant and Ossining on October 8 for the incorporation of the Village of Briarcliff Manor.[8] On November 21, the village is incorporated.[6][12] At the time, Law owns all but two small parcels of the square mile village, and employs 100 of its residents.[11]
  • 1902 (1902): The Briarcliff Lodge opens.[11]
  • February 10, 1903 (1903-02-10): The Briarcliff Manor Fire Department is founded by Frederick C. Messinger from Briarcliff Steamer Company No. 1.[4]
  • 1903 (1903): Briarcliff College is founded at the Briarcliff Lodge.[6]
  • 1904 (1904): The first twenty-nine street lights, all electric, are installed.[8]
  • 1906 (1906): Walter Law replaces the village railroad station; Law's building currently houses part of the Briarcliff Manor Public Library.[6]
  • 1906 (1906): Scarborough is incorporated into Briarcliff Manor.[8]
  • 1907 (1907): Law's Briarcliff Farms move to Pine Plains, New York, and Law begins developing Briarcliff Manor more as a municipal corporation.[11]
A large group of people observing a road race
The First American International Road Race, 1908
  • April 24, 1908 (1908-04-24): Briarcliff Manor sponsors The First American International Road Race; the event centered around the village,[21] and more than 300,000 people watch the race; the village has more than 100,000 visitors that day.[6](p83)
  • 1908 (1908): The village police department is organized and The Church House, the parish house of the Scarborough Presbyterian Church, is completed.[8]
  • 1909 (1909): Walter Law forms the Briarcliff Realty Company to sell Briarcliff Farms' original property in the village.[11]
  • 1910 (1910): The Briarcliff Community Center, nicknamed "The Club", is established in the 1898 Briarcliff Schools building.[8]
  • May 11, 1911 (1911-05-11): Sleepy Hollow Country Club is founded in Scarborough, Elliott Fitch Shepard's home "Woodlea" is purchased for its clubhouse.[22]
  • 1912 (1912): Walter Law's School of Practical Agriculture building burns down.[6](p38)
  • 1913 (1913): The Village Municipal Building is built at a cost of $20,000 ($507,000 in 2018[14]); it is opened on July 4, 1914.[7](p78)[23]
  • 1914 (1914): The village library, originally in the Briarcliff Community Center, is founded.[8]
  • 1914–18 (World War I): 91 Briarcliff Manor residents serve in the U.S. armed forces.[8]
  • 1917 (1917): The first village Girl Scout troop is founded by Louise Miller and Mrs. Alfred Jones.[6](p77)
  • 1925 (1925): V. Everit Macy donates 265 acres (107 ha) to the Girl Scouts of the USA, which later becomes the Edith Macy Conference Center.[8]
  • 1926 (1926): St. Theresa's Catholic Church is founded with thirty-six families; the present church is dedicated two years later.[24]
  • 1927 (1927): Briarcliff's school building is demolished to make way for the Briarcliff-Peekskill Parkway.[8]
  • 1928 (1928): The high school opens, and a section is added to the 1909 school building.[8]
Facade of a three-story brick fire station
Village Municipal Building decorated for the village semicentennial, 1952
  • 1934 (1934): A 100-mile race in the village is sponsored by the Automobile Racing Club of America.[8]
  • 1935 (1935): Briarcliff's road race is held again.[6](p84)
  • 1936 (1936) – 1954 (1954): The Briarcliff Lodge houses the Edgewood Park School.[25]
  • 1941–45 (World War II): More than 340 of the village's 1,830 residents Briarcliff Manor residents serve in the U.S. armed forces.[7](p78)
  • 1946 (1946): The People's Caucus, an organization which calls out interested residents for candidacy, is created.[7][26]
  • 1950–53 (Korean War): Approximately 30 Briarcliff Manor residents serve in the U.S. armed forces.[8]
  • October 10, 1952 (1952-10-10) – October 12, 1952 (1952-10-12): Briarcliff Manor celebrates its semicentennial celebration, publishing a book about the village and its history.[8]
  • 1952 (1952): The Crossroads neighborhood of 84 houses is completed.[8]
  • 1953 (1953): Todd Elementary School opens to free space at the Law Park grade school for middle- and high-school students.[6]
  • 1955 (1955) – 1994 (1994): The Briarcliff Lodge houses The King's College.[25]
  • 1958 (1958): The Briarcliff Manor train station, along with the Putnam Division, is shut down.[27]
  • 1959 (1959): The Briarcliff Manor Public Library reopens in the former train station.[6]
  • 1959 (1959): Faith Lutheran Brethren Church is founded in Scarsdale.[7](p75)
One-story red Tudor building
The Briarcliff Manor Public Library, 1990s
  • 1960s (1960s): The Municipal Building's cupola bell, which had tolled at the end of the World Wars,[7](p78) is moved to the front of the new firehouse.[23]
  • 1960 (1960): The village's first corporate facility (part of Philips Laboratory) opens.[6]
  • 1964 (1964): The new Village Hall opens, replacing the Municipal Building.[6]
  • 1965–72 (Vietnam War): At least five men serve in the U.S. armed forces, with four killed and another wounded.[6]
  • 1971 (1971): The present Briarcliff High School opens to ease the large enrollment at the grade-school building.[6]
  • 1974 (1974): A permanent firehouse is built in Scarborough; it is replaced with a larger station in 2009.[23]
  • 1974 (1974): The Briarcliff Manor-Scarborough Historical Society is founded from the village's 75th anniversary committee.[28]
  • April 1977 (1977-04): Pace University purchases Briarcliff College as a satellite of the school's Pleasantville campus.[6]
  • 1978 (1978): The Scarborough School closes; it reopens in 1981 as The Clear View School.[6]
  • 1980 (1980): The Chilmark Club becomes a part of the village's Parks and Recreation Department; Pace University begins leasing the middle school building, and the middle school is moved to a portion of the new high-school building.[6]
  • 1981 (1981): Rotary International founds a local chapter in the village.[6]
  • 1984 (1984): The Scarborough Historic District is added to the State and National Historic Registers.[29][30]
  • February 1990 (1990-02): Rosemont, a Scarborough Historic District property, is demolished.[6](p205)
  • 1996 (1996): The grade-school building is demolished, and senior housing is built on its site the following year.[6]
  • 1998 (1998): The high school auditorium opens.[26]
  • September 16, 1999 (1999-09-16): The Beech Hill Road bridge is destroyed by the rising Pocantico River during Hurricane Floyd.[31]
  • 2000 (2000): The pool house in Law Memorial Park is demolished; construction on a new facility begins shortly after.[1]

21st century[edit]

An outdoor pool and two-story building with a large pediment
Law Park's pool pavilion, April 2014
A large four-faced clock in front of shops
The village's clock and pocket park were dedicated in May 2009.[32]
  • November 2001 (2001-11): A $4-million rehabilitation ($5.66 million in 2018[14]) of Law Park is completed, with a new pavilion and pool house, paved walkways, lights and benches, a redesigned and filtered pond, and relocation of the Veterans Memorial. Over 300 people attend the Veterans Day rededication ceremony.[1]
  • 2002 (2002): The village celebrates its centennial, which involves numerous celebratory events.[26]
  • 2002 (2002): Ambient Corporation and Consolidated Edison install an experimental broadband over power lines (BPL) system in Briarcliff Manor;[33][34] the system is now defunct.[35]
  • 2003 (2003): The present Briarcliff Middle School building is completed at a cost of $24 million ($32.7 million in 2018[14]).[36]
  • September 20, 2003 (2003-09-20): The original 1902 Briarcliff Lodge building burns to the ground, and contemporary portions of the lodge and other campus buildings are later demolished.[11]
  • 2006 (2006): The village government installs new street signs featuring the Briarcliff Rose.[37]
  • 2007 (2007): In the summer, construction of a 6,600-square-foot (610 m2) addition to the Briarcliff Manor Public Library begins; the facility is opened for use on February 19, 2009.[38]
  • 2008 (2008) – 2012 (2012): Briarcliff Manor hosts a weekly indoor farmers' market, first at the Briarcliff Congregational Church's parish house; it moves to Pace University's Briarcliff Campus in 2012.[39]
  • March 21, 2010 (2010-03-21): The Briarcliff Manor-Scarborough Historical Society is given its first permanent location at the Eileen O'Connor Weber Historical Center, established as part of the expanded Briarcliff Manor Public Library.[28]
  • 2011 (2011): Hurricane Irene causes a sinkhole, of about 20 feet in diameter, to form on North State Road near Route 9A;[40] New York's department of transportation spends about $900,000 repairing the damage.[41]
  • 2011 (2011) – 2015 (2015): The village becomes involved in an annexation proposal with the town of Ossining for Briarcliff Manor to annex land on which 1,600 people live.[5] After debate and public hearings, the village government decides to end its pursuit of the annexation in May 2015.[42]
  • July 5, 2015 (2015-07-05): Saint Mary's Episcopal Church closes after 175 years in operation.[43]
  • December 12, 2015 (2015-12-12): The Law Park pavilion is damaged in a large fire; around 100 firefighters in multiple departments assist to put out the fire that night.[44][45]
  • May 30, 2016 (2016-05-30): Briarcliff Manor's original station building was reopened as the William J. Vescio Community Center.[46] Mayor Lori Sullivan and former mayor William J. Vescio presided[47] over the center's opening and the dedication to Vescio.[48][nb 2]
  • May 29, 2017 (2017-05-29): The reconstructed Law Park pavilion is rededicated after the village's Memorial Day ceremony.[50]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Part of the farmhouse currently survives as the rectory of St. Theresa's Catholic Church.[6](p79)
  2. ^ Vescio, a village resident since about 1973, served the village board for 29 years, including eleven as trustee and ten as mayor. Vescio oversaw construction of the library and community center, and of a new water supply system for the village.[49]


  1. ^ a b c d e Briarcliff Manor Centennial Committee (2002). The Briarcliff Manor Family Album: Celebrating a Century. Cornwall N.Y: Village of Briarcliff Manor.
  2. ^ "Comprehensive Plan – Village of Briarcliff Manor" (PDF). Village of Briarcliff Manor. November 2007. Retrieved May 10, 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010". United States Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved May 10, 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Pattison, Robert (1939). A History of Briarcliff Manor. William Rayburn. OCLC 39333547.
  5. ^ a b Stefko, Joseph (April 2012). "Municipal Services & Financial Overview: Town and Village of Ossining, NY" (PDF). Center for Governmental Research. Town and Village of Ossining, New York. p. 87. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v Cheever, Mary (1990). The Changing Landscape: A History of Briarcliff Manor-Scarborough. West Kennebunk, Maine: Phoenix Publishing. ISBN 0-914659-49-9. LCCN 90045613. OCLC 22274920. OL 1884671M.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h Bosak, Midge, ed. (1977). A Village Between Two Rivers: Briarcliff Manor. White Plains, New York: Monarch Publishing, Inc. OCLC 6163930.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Our Village: Briarcliff Manor, N.Y. 1902 to 1952. Historical Committee of the Semi–Centennial. 1952. OCLC 24569093.
  9. ^ Pelletreau, William (1886). History of Putnam County, New York: with biographical sketches of its prominent men. The Van Tassel Family History Homepage.
  10. ^ Boesch, Eugene. "Native Americans of Putnam County". Mahopac Public Library. Archived from the original on January 12, 2013. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h Yasinsac, Robert (2004). Images of America: Briarcliff Lodge. Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7385-3620-0. LCCN 2004104493. OCLC 57480785. OL 3314243M.
  12. ^ a b Gelard, Donna (2002). Explore Briarcliff Manor: A driving tour. Contributing Editor Elsie Smith; layout and typography by Lorraine Gelard; map, illustrations, and calligraphy by Allison Krasner. Briarcliff Manor Centennial Committee.
  13. ^ a b c Sharman, Karen M. (1996). Glory in Glass: A Celebration of The Briarcliff Congregational Church 1896–1996. Briarcliff Manor, New York: Caltone Color Graphics Inc. ISBN 0-912882-96-4. OCLC 429606439.
  14. ^ a b c d e Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  15. ^ "Hudson Valley Land Developers Prepare for Building Campaign" (PDF). New York Herald. 1917. p. 2. Retrieved May 28, 2015.
  16. ^ Foreman, John; Stimson, Robbe Pierce (May 1991). "7". The Vanderbilts and the Gilded Age: Architectural Aspirations, 1879–1901 (1st ed.). New York, New York: St. Martin's Press. pp. 152–169. ISBN 0-312-05984-1. LCCN 90027083. OCLC 22957281.
  17. ^ "Post Office in a Pushcart" (PDF). The New York Times. August 5, 1898. Retrieved August 11, 2014.
  18. ^ "Our Village: a family place for more than a century". Briarcliff Manor-Scarborough Historical Society. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  19. ^ "Westchester Excels Nevada" (PDF). The New York Times. December 26, 1904. Retrieved July 2, 2014.
  20. ^ Oechsner, Carl (1975). Ossining, New York: An Informal Bicentennial History. Croton-on-Hudson: North River Press. ISBN 0-88427-016-5.
  21. ^ "April / May 1999 Feature – 1908 Briarcliff-to-Yorktown Stock Car Race". The Yorktown Historical Society. Retrieved May 10, 2014.
  22. ^ "Club's $600,000 Purchase" (PDF). The New York Times. June 17, 1917. Retrieved July 17, 2014.
  23. ^ a b c A Century of Volunteer Service: Briarcliff Manor Fire Department 1901–2001. Briarcliff Manor Fire Department. 2001. LCCN 00093475.
  24. ^ The Golden Anniversary of St. Theresa's Parish. White Plains: Monarch Publishing, Inc. 1976.
  25. ^ a b Segal, David (February 20, 2008). "God and The City". The Washington Post. The Washington Post Company. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  26. ^ a b c Briarcliff Manor: The First 100 Years – The Centennial Variety Show. Village of Briarcliff Manor. 2002.
  27. ^ Folsom, Merrill (May 30, 1958). "The Wheels of 'Old Put' Click Out a Sad Accompaniment to Riders' 'Auld Lang Syne'". The New York Times. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  28. ^ a b "Our History: a look back through four decades". Briarcliff Manor-Scarborough Historical Society. Retrieved May 10, 2014.
  29. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  30. ^ "Historic Properties Listing". Westchester County Historical Society. Retrieved August 15, 2014.
  31. ^ "Photograph by Michael Raphael taken on 09/19/1999 in New York". FEMA. Michael Raphael/FEMA News Photo. September 16, 1999. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  32. ^ "Board of Trustees Minutes 5/7/2009". Village of Briarcliff Manor. May 7, 2009. Retrieved May 10, 2014.
  33. ^ "Rules and Regulations: Federal Communications Commission" (PDF). Federal Register. US Government Printing Office. August 24, 2009. p. 42633. Retrieved May 9, 2014.
  34. ^ Urbina, Ian (October 21, 2004). "Wiring Power Lines for Broadband Access". The New York Times. Retrieved May 9, 2014.
  35. ^ "Rules and Regulations: Federal Communications Commission" (PDF). Federal Register. US Government Printing Office. May 29, 2013. p. 32166. Retrieved May 9, 2014.
  36. ^ Hu, Winnie (May 12, 2007). "Middle School Manages Distractions of Adolescence". The New York Times. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
  37. ^ Marchant, Robert (June 29, 2006). "Historic Briarcliff rose adorns new street signs". The Journal News.
  38. ^ "About the Library – Library History". Briarcliff Manor Public Library. Retrieved May 10, 2014.
  39. ^ Lee, Tien-Shun (November 29, 2011). "Winter Farmers Market To Open At Pace In Briarcliff". Briarcliff Daily Voice. Retrieved July 8, 2014.
  40. ^ "President Obama Signs Irene Disaster Declaration For Upstate New York Counties: WCBS 880′s John Metaxas In Briarcliff Manor". CBS New York. August 31, 2011. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
  41. ^ Zegarelli, Philip E. (October 20, 2011). "North State Road Update/Hurricane Irene Report 7". Village of Briarcliff Manor. Archived from the original on July 27, 2014. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
  42. ^ Huerta, Cassandra (May 14, 2015). "Briarcliff, Ossining Scuttle Annexation Plans". Briarcliff Daily Voice. Retrieved May 14, 2015.
  43. ^ Taliaferro, Lanning (June 21, 2015). "St. Mary's Scarborough is Closing its Doors". Pleasantville-Briarcliff Manor Patch. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
  44. ^ "Fire destroys beloved community pavilion". News 12 Westchester. December 13, 2015. Archived from the original on December 16, 2015. Retrieved December 14, 2015.
  45. ^ Cavallier, Andrea (December 13, 2015). "Fire officials investigating massive blaze at pool pavilion in Briarcliff Manor". WPIX. Retrieved December 14, 2015.
  46. ^ Moorhead-Lins, Parry (July 27, 2013). "The New Briarcliff Manor Community Center". River Journal. Archived from the original on 2015-02-09. Retrieved February 9, 2015.
  47. ^ "Briarcliff Dedicates New Community Center". The Gazette. 33 (22). Gary J. Cahill. June 2–8, 2016. p. 3.
  48. ^ "Community Center Dedication Tops Village Manager's Report". Briarcliff Daily Voice. May 9, 2016. Archived from the original on May 12, 2016. Retrieved May 9, 2016.
  49. ^ "Briarcliff Bids Farewell to Mayor William Vescio". River Journal. February 20, 2015. Retrieved June 1, 2016.[permanent dead link]
  50. ^ Law Memorial Park and Pavilion Dedication Ceremony. Village of Briarcliff Manor. May 29, 2017.

Further reading[edit]

Published in the 20th century
  • Pattison, Robert (1939). A History of Briarcliff Manor. William Rayburn. OCLC 39333547. A 1939 publication on the history of Briarcliff Manor.
  • Our Village: Briarcliff Manor, N.Y. 1902 to 1952. Historical Committee of the Semi–Centennial. 1952. LCCN 83238400. OCLC 24569093. A 1952 publication on the history of Briarcliff Manor.
  • Bosak, Midge, ed. (1977). A Village Between Two Rivers: Briarcliff Manor. White Plains, New York: Monarch Publishing, Inc. OCLC 6163930. A 1977 publication on the history of Briarcliff Manor.
  • Cheever, Mary (1990). The Changing Landscape: A History of Briarcliff Manor-Scarborough. West Kennebunk, Maine: Phoenix Publishing. ISBN 0-914659-49-9. OCLC 22274920. A 1990 publication on the history of Briarcliff Manor.
Published in the 21st century

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°09′N 73°51′W / 41.15°N 73.85°W / 41.15; -73.85