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Chappaqua, New York

Hamlet & CDP
Downtown Chappaqua from the NY 120 overpass
Downtown Chappaqua from the NY 120 overpass
Etymology: Algonquian for "the rustling land"
Location of Chappaqua, New York
Location of Chappaqua, New York
Country United States
State New York
Region Hudson Valley
County Westchester
Town New Castle
Seat New Castle Town Hall
 • Town Supervisor

Robert Greenstein

Town Board Members: Adam Brodsky, Elise Mottel, Lisa Katz, Jason Chapin
 • Total 0.45 sq mi (1.2 km2)
 • Land 0.45 sq mi (1.2 km2)
Elevation 330 ft (100 m)
Population (2010) 1,436
 • Density 3,191.1/sq mi (1,232.1/km2)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP Code 10514
Area code(s) 914
GNIS feature ID 946393
FIPS code 36-13805
Website .org.mynewcastlewww

[1][2][3] [4]


Chappaqua is a hamlet and census-designated place in the town of New Castle, in northern Westchester County, New York, United States. As of the 2010 census, following a major revision to the delineation of its boundaries by the Census Bureau, the population was 1,436.[6] At the 2000 census, with very different census-defined boundaries, Chappaqua had a population of 9,468.[7]


  • History 1
  • Schools 2
  • Geography 3
    • Climate 3.1
  • Demographics 4
  • Public safety 5
    • Fire Department vehicle gallery 5.1
  • Notable residents 6
  • Notable structures 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


In the early 1730s a group of Quakers moved north from Purchase, New York, to settle in present-day Chappaqua. They built their homes on Quaker Street and held their meetings at the home of Abel Weeks. Their meeting house was built in 1753 and still holds weekly meetings each Sunday. The area around the meeting house, known as Old Chappaqua Historic District, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.[8] Horace Greeley's home, known as Rehoboth and built by himself, still stands in Chappaqua. It is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places along with Chappaqua Railroad Depot and Depot Plaza, Church of Saint Mary the Virgin and Greeley Grove, and the Greeley House.[8]

Various spellings were used for the name they heard Native Americans use for their valley and hillside. It was an Algonquian word, shah-pah-ka, and it meant "the rustling land" or "the rattling land," or a place where nothing is heard but the rustling of the wind in the leaves. The Quakers spelled it Shapiqua, Shapaqua, Shapequa, Shappaqua, and, finally, Chappaqua. Their meeting was often referred to as the Shapequa Meeting as early as 1745.[9]

On March 18, 1791, the government of New York decided to split the overly large town of North Castle (jokingly called "the two saddlebags") into two smaller towns, one of which was named New Castle. The border was drawn from the southwest corner of Bedford to the northeast edge of Mount Pleasant. New Castle's borders have remained the same since 1791, except for a small piece of land received from Somers in 1846 and the secession of Mount Kisco in 1978.

Chappaqua had great streams such as the Saw Mill River and Roaring Brook. These bodies of water powered mills to crush corn and press oil from beans. The eastern half of Chappaqua was very suitable for farming. The majority of the Quaker settlers of Chappaqua were farmers. The popular farming industry also helped give way to Chappaqua's high milk production. Other popular industries from Chappaqua included shoes, hardware, vinegar, pickles, eyeglasses, and furniture. Many early homes and businesses were demolished in the 1904 Chappaqua tornado.

In 1846 when the New York and Harlem Railroad extended through Chappaqua, business became centered on the new train station. These businesses included a hotel, livery stables, a public library, and various stores and small factories. The railroad begat the commuter, the tireless person who traveled to New York City and back everyday.


Parent expectations in the school district are high, and the educational environment has been described as highly competitive and somewhat stressful.[10] In addition, Horace Greeley High School has Chappaqua Summer Scholarship Program, which brings motivated and aspiring students from The Bronx to Chappaqua for four weeks over three summers to take classes while living with host families in Chappaqua.[11] Around 1981, the magazine Money rated the school among the top twelve in the United States.[12]

However, the schools were not always as good. Small one-room schoolhouses devoid of windows were prevalent in the 1800s. In the Chappaqua region there were eight such schoolhouses. These small schools prevailed until around 1870, when the Quakers built a large school called the Chappaqua Mountain Institute on Quaker Street. In the year 1885 the school caught fire,[13] and much refurbishing was done, with the addition of two new wings. It was sold in 1908 and now belongs to the Children's Aid Society.

Around 1928, Robert E. Bell Middle School,[14] known at the time as Horace Greeley School, was built. The present day Horace Greeley High School was built in 1957. Robert E. Bell Middle School has the bulldog as its mascot while Horace Greeley High School has the quaker as its mascot. The three elementary schools in Chappaqua were completed over a twenty-year period: Roaring Brook School[15] in 1951, Douglas G. Grafflin[16] in 1962, and Westorchard[17] in 1971.

The district's modern commitment to education was exemplified in the 1950s when Horace Greeley High School principal, Donald Miles, began hiring teachers based primarily on their subject knowledge, eschewing the "professional teacher". One of the most notable hires was Edwin Barlow, a math teacher whose controversial classroom methods and enigmatic life are chronicled in the 2009 memoir, Teacher of the Year: The Mystery and Legacy of Edwin Barlow.[18] One of the current (2011) Chemistry and AP Chemistry teachers, Richard Goodman, won the "Chemistry Teacher of the Year" award in 2009.

In 2003, after the opening of the new middle school, Seven Bridges, and the moving of the fifth grade from Chappaqua's elementary schools to the middle schools, the district added a full day kindergarten.[19][20]


Chappaqua is located at (1.1595399, -73.7648550) and its elevation is 492 feet (150 m).[1]

According to the 2010 United States Census, the CDP has a total area of 0.45 square miles (1.2 km2), all of it land.[21] As delineated for the 2000 census, the CDP of Chappaqua covered a much greater area: 9.44 square miles (24.4 km2), of which 9.38 square miles (24.3 km2) was land and 0.06 square miles (0.16 km2), or 0.64%, was water.

Parts of the Chappaqua ZIP code area are located in the towns of Mount Kisco, New Castle, Mount Pleasant, Yorktown, and Bedford, as well as the hamlet of Millwood. Parts of the Chappaqua Central School District include homes in other zip codes, such as 10570, the Pleasantville zip code.


Climate data for Chappaqua, New York
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 67
Average high °F (°C) 34
Average low °F (°C) 18
Record low °F (°C) −15
Average precipitation inches (mm) 4.06
Source: [22]


As of the census[23] of 2000, there were 9,468 people, 3,118 households, and 2,687 families residing in the census-designated place. The population density was 389.7/km² (1,009.8/mi²). There were 3,181 housing units at an average density of 130.9/km² (339.3/mi²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 91.80% White, 0.94% African American, 0.03% Native American, 5.62% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.52% from other races, and 1.07% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.55% of the population. 14.3% were of Italian, 11.4% Russian, 10.6% Irish, 7.1% United States or American, 6.0% English and 5.7% German ancestry according to Census 2000. 92.4% spoke English, 3.6% Spanish and 1.0% Italian as their first language.

There were 3,118 households out of which 52.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 79.1% were married couples living together, 5.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 13.8% were non-families. 11.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.03 and the average family size was 3.27.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 32.8% under the age of 18, 3.2% from 18 to 24, 25.9% from 25 to 44, 29.4% from 45 to 64, and 8.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 97.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.8 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $163,201, and the median income for a family was $180,451. Males had a median income of $100,000 versus $71,875 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $77,835. About 2.3% of families and 3.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.8% of those under age 18 and 4.8% of those age 65 or over.

Nationwide, Chappaqua ranks 42nd among the 100 highest-income places in the United States (with at least 1,000 households). In 2008, CNNMoney listed Chappaqua fifth in their list of "25 top-earning towns."[24] Chappaqua 2007 estimated median household income was $198,000.[25]

Public safety

Emergency Medical Service and fire protection are provided by volunteer agencies. The Chappaqua Volunteer Ambulance Corps (CVAC) provides Basic Life Support services to most of New Castle, including Chappaqua. The hamlet is protected by the New Castle Police Department, which also provides first-response services for medical emergencies. The volunteer-based Chappaqua Fire Department, established in May, 1910, provides firefighting services to the hamlet of Chappaqua.[26][27] The fire department currently maintains two firehouses in town.[28]

Although Chappaqua's crime rate is far below the national average,[29] the area has had several high-profile murders. In 1996, a battle between a lottery winner and his former lover over custody of their 5-year-old child resulted in a gun battle; the winner was acquitted of the murder of his former lover on the basis of self-defense, and convicted of the shooting of the woman's father.[30] In November 2006 a disbarred attorney drove the body of his severely injured wife to Northern Westchester Hospital, claiming that the couple had been ambushed and shot in nearby Millwood. She died soon after. For over a year, police expressed skepticism about the husband's account and did not rule him out as a suspect. In December 2007 the man was charged with his wife's murder after trying to collect on life insurance policies.[31][32] Carlos Perez-Olivo was convicted October 4, 2008 for the murder of his wife, Peggy Perez-Olivo, who had been working as a teaching assistant at Douglas Grafflin Elementary School in Chappaqua.[33]

Fire Department vehicle gallery

Notable residents

Chappaqua Farm, West Chester County, N.Y., The Residence of Hon. Horace Greeley, Currier & Ives, c. 1870

Some notable Chappaqua residents, past and present, include:

Notable structures

Reader's Digest headquarters at Chappaqua
  • The Chappaqua Friends Meeting House, circa 1753, is the oldest Quaker meeting house standing in Westchester County. It is a contributing property to the Old Chappaqua Historic District, north of downtown along King Street (New York State Route 120).
  • America's first concrete barn. It was completed by Horace Greeley on his Chappaqua farm in 1856. It was also one of the first concrete buildings ever built in the U.S. Greeley's daughter and son-in-law later remodeled it into their house and named it Rehoboth.
  • The world headquarters of Reader's Digest was in Chappaqua, although its mailing address is in neighboring Pleasantville, New York. The building has statues of Pegasus on it. It is no longer owned by Reader's Digest, and a local contractor has plans to construct a condominium community on site.
  • One of Horace Greeley's homes. Part of the original structure still stands, and is part of the present-day New Castle Historical Society.[49] It is on King Street, just east of the train station and South Greeley Avenue and is home to the historical society.
  • The Shamberg House designed by Richard Meier was built in Chappaqua in 1974.[50]


  1. ^ a b "Chappaqua".  
  2. ^ "2010 Demographic Profile Data: Chappaqua CDP, New York". Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010.  
  3. ^ "FIPS55 Data: New York". FIPS55 Data.  
  4. ^ "Post Offices By County: Westchester County, New York".  
  5. ^ "Places: New York". 2010 Census Gazetteer Files.  
  6. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Chappaqua CDP, New York". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. 2010. Retrieved November 18, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2000 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Chappaqua CDP, New York". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. 2000. Retrieved November 18, 2011. 
  8. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places.  
  9. ^ Warde, Robert (1982). Chappaqua: Our Connections to Its Past. Chappaqua Central School District (CCSD). 
  10. ^ Richardson, Lydia. "A New Uncertainty About Life After High School; Students at Horace Greeley Wonder if the Best Years of Their Lives Are Ahead or Behind", The New York Times, June 17, 1992.
  11. ^
  12. ^ Williams, Lena. "Greeley High Called One Of Best In U.S.", The New York Times, September 27, 1981.
  13. ^ "Driven Out By The Fire; The Quaker Schoolhouse At Chappaqua Burned. The Teachers And Children In The Bitter Cold In Their Night Clothes--Cool Young Farragut", The New York Times, February 22, 1885.
  14. ^ Robert E. Bell Middle School
  15. ^ Roaring Brook School
  16. ^ Douglas G. Grafflin
  17. ^ Westorchard
  18. ^ Meyers, Lawrence. Teacher of the Year: The Mystery and Legacy of Edwin Barlow, H.H. & Sons, 2009
  19. ^ Rosenberg, Merri. "IN THE SCHOOLS; The Half-Day Stress Of Kindergarten", The New York Times, February 23, 2003.
  20. ^ Minutes, Chappaqua Central School District Board of Education, May 25, 2004.
  21. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Chappaqua CDP, New York". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved November 18, 2011. 
  22. ^ "Average Weather for Chappaqua, NY - Temperature and Precipitation".  
  23. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  24. ^ Cox, Jeff. "25 top-earning towns: Wondering where the wealth is? Residents of these 25 places have the highest median household incomes in the country",, 2007.
  25. ^ Berger, Joseph. "Feeling the Wall Street Pinch at Home", The New York Times, November 1, 2008.
  26. ^ Chappaqua Fire Department
  27. ^ The Chappaqua Fire Department will celebrate our 100th Anniversary., Chappaqua Fire Department.
  28. ^
  29. ^ Crime stats from a real estate relocation site.
  30. ^ "Lotto Winner Guilty in a Killing, Cleared in 2d", The New York Times, March 21, 1998.
  31. ^ Fitzgerald, Jim. "Husband Not Ruled Out in Murder Probe", Associated Press, November 22, 2006.
  32. ^ McFadden, Robert D. and Santos, Fernanda. "Westchester Lawyer Charged in Wife’s 2006 Shooting Death", The New York Times, December 21, 2007.
  33. ^ "Lawyer Convicted in Wife’s Death", Associated Press, October 5, 2008.
  34. ^ William Ackman: Targeting Target
  35. ^ a b c Hershenson, Roberta. "Footlights", The New York Times, March 27, 2005.
  36. ^ Lague, Louise. "Stardom Was a Catch-22 for Alan Arkin, but His Wife and a Guru Helped Beat the System", People Magazine, March 26, 1979.
  37. ^ Van Gelder, Lawrence. "Bibi Besch, 54, Dies; TV and Film Actress And a Force in Guild", The New York Times, September 14, 1996.
  38. ^ Serico, Chris. "Survivor’s lead singer is a Real Man of Genius who teaches tunes to Chappaqua kids", Journal News, November 29, 2007.
  39. ^
  40. ^ a b Montgomery, David. "The Clintons Are Coming and Chappaqua Braces", The Washington Post, September 4, 1999.
  41. ^ Mann, Ted. "Ace Frehley Goin’ Solo (Again)", Journal News, February 19, 2008.
  42. ^ Staudter, Thomas. "Plucking New Songs From Guthrie Archives", The New York Times, January 4, 2004.
  43. ^ AJC Executive Director David A. Harris writes a monthly letter offering his insights and analysis of current concerns facing American and world Jewry: Letter from Chappaqua, February 29, 2004
  44. ^
  45. ^ Chamoff, Lisa (September 22, 2011). "William May, former chairman and CEO of Greenwich's American Can Co., dies at 95".  
  46. ^ A Festivus for the rest of us by Mindie Paget, December 18, 2005.
  47. ^ Sherwell, Philip (October 11, 2008). "Martin Sullivan: Briton blamed by Congress as a villain of the global financial crisis. It has been a rough few months for Martin Sullivan, the jovial Essex boy who was until recently feted as the most influential British businessman in America.". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved April 28, 2010. 
  48. ^ Kevin Wade Filmography, Fandango
  49. ^
  50. ^ Cassara, Silvio. (1995)Richard Meier: Works and Projects. Editorial Gustavo Gili, Barcelona.

External links

  • Town of New Castle official website
  • Chappaqua Central School District
  • VIEW; A Friend From Chappaqua Writes . . . by Timothy Jack Ward, : an open letter to the Clintons about Chappaqua, published shortly after the Clintons bought their Chappaqua house, The New York Times, September 5, 1999
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