Yonkers, New York
The images and pictures on this page illustrate facts about Yonkers, New York. Yonkers is the fourth most populous city in the U.S. state of New York (behind New York City, Buffalo, and Rochester), and the most populous city in Westchester County, with a population of 195,976 (according to the 2010 Census). Yonkers borders the New York City borough of the Bronx and is located two miles (3 km) north of Manhattan at the cities' closest points.
The city is home to several attractions: the Hudson River Museum, the Sherwood House, the Science Barge, Cross County Shopping Center, Ridge Hill Shopping Center, and Yonkers Raceway, a harness racing track that has renovated its grounds and clubhouse and added legalized video slot machine gambling in 2006 in a "racino" called Empire City. There are also many large shopping areas along Central Park Avenue (NY 100), informally called "Central Ave" by area residents, a name it takes officially a few miles north in White Plains.
The land on which the city is built was once part of a 24,000 acre (97 km²) land grant called Colen Donck that ran from the current Manhattan/Bronx border at Marble Hill northwards for, and from the Hudson River eastwards to the Bronx River. This grant was purchased in July 1645 by Adriaen van der Donck, a lawyer, scholar, and author who had emerged as a leader of the New Netherland colony. Van der Donck was known locally as the Jonkheer or Jonker (etymologically, "young gentleman," derivation of old Dutch jong (young) and heer ("lord"); in effect, "Esquire"), a word from which the name "Yonkers" is directly derived. Van der Donck built a saw mill near where the Nepperhan Creek met the Hudson; the Nepperhan is now also known as the Saw Mill River. Van der Donck and his family were killed in the Peach Tree War.
Near the site of van der Donck's mill is Philipse Manor Hall, a Colonial-era manor house which today serves as a museum and archive, offering many glimpses into life before the American Revolution. The original structure (later enlarged) was built around 1682 by Frederick Philipse and his wife Margaret Hardenbroeck. Frederick was a wealthy Dutchman who by the time of his death had amassed an enormous estate, which encompassed the entire modern City of Yonkers, as well as several other Hudson River towns. Philipse's great-grandson, Frederick Philipse III, was a prominent Loyalist during the American Revolution, who, because of his political leanings, was forced to flee to England. All the lands that belonged to the Philipse family were confiscated and sold.