Larchmont is located in the southern part of Westchester County inside of the Town of Mamaroneck. The earliest known settlers to the village of Larchmont were the Siwanoy Indians, an Algonquin tribe. They harvested the rich marshlands for clams and hunted inland for bear, deer, racoon and muskrat. In 1614, a Dutch sea captain discovered Long Island Sound after passing through Hell’s Gate. He reported seeing campfires in what is now known as Larchmont Manor Park. The indigenous population was not long for the area, once the British and Dutch began buying up the land. By 1720, only a handful of Siwanoys remained in what is now Larchmont.
The next century saw a steady increase in population, as first Quaker refugees from New England and then wealthy New Yorkers established estates in the area. During the late 19th century, Larchmont was known as a summer playground for New York’s elite. Many of the large Victorian “cottages” of that era survive in Larchmont Manor.
In Larchmont during the winter, you may notice tall, bare, wispy conifers (trees with needles and cones, like pines and hemlocks) that look as though they are dead. But most likely they are healthy, living larches. This maverick genus sheds its needles every fall, unlike almost all the other conifers, which rightly also are called “evergreens”. These forlorn looking larches are worth watching, however, because their seasonal colors rival the deciduous maples, oaks, and beeches. In the Fall their needles turn a beautiful golden yellow before dropping, and the new spring needles are a soft, fresh, light green. The original larches of Larchmont are located to the side and front of the Manor House at Prospect and Elm Avenues in the Manor section of the Village. This house was built by Peter Jay Munro, the nephew of John Jay (first chief justice of the U.S.), in 1797.
Larchmont was not so-named until nearly 50 years later, however. That is when Edward Knight Collins purchased the land from Munro’s heir. He remodeled the manor house and named the parcel, which extended down to the shoreline, to reflect the hilltop position of the house and its grand trees.
The summer residents chose to incorporate as a municipality in 1891. Today, Larchmont is a one-mile-square village within the Town of Mamaroneck, served by the New Haven line of Metro-North Railroad and several major highways.
The Mamaroneck School District serves the Village of Larchmont. The district consists of four neighborhood elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. Our students come from the Village of Larchmont, Village of Mamaroneck and the Town of Mamaroneck.
Village of Larchmont: www.villageoflarchmont.org
Mamaroneck School District: www.mamkschools.org
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