Mahopac, New York

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Mahopac, New York, is a hamlet in the Town of Carmel in Putnam County, New York. An exurb of New York City some 47 miles (76 km) to the south, Mahopac is located on US Route 6 on the County's southern central border with Westchester County. As of the 2000 census, the population was 8,478.



Mahopac and Mahopac Falls play central roles in the history of Putnam County.

Originally inhabited by the Wappinger Native Americans, an Algonquin tribe, the hamlet's land was patented in 1697 by Adolphus Philipse, son of a wealthy Anglo-Dutch gentryman. During the French and Indian War Wappingers throughout Putnam County traveled north to Massachusetts to fight for the British.

When the Crown refused to return their land after the war, most Wappingers abandoned the area and joined with other displaced Native Americans elsewhere. Farmers and their families migrated to Mahopac from as far away as Cape Cod and rented land from the Philipse family. Wheelwrights and blacksmiths set up shops to assist the tenant farmers.

Although no battles were fought in Mahopac during the American Revolution, the area was strategically important due to its location. With troop encampments in nearby Patterson, Yorktown, West Point, and Danbury, Connecticut, it was a cross-roads between key Colonial garrisons.

Soldiers were also stationed in Mahopac Falls to guard the Red Mills, an important center for grinding grain and storing flour for the American troops.

Upon Colonial victory in the Revolution the Tory-sympathizing Philipse family lost its claim to the land, which was then resold to farmers by New York State.

After the incorporation of Putnam County in 1812 the Mahopac area grew steadily. By the middle-19th century the hamlet had become a summer resort community. The New York Central Railroad brought vacationers north from New York City to Croton Falls then transferred them via horse-drawn coach to Lake Mahopac. After the Civil War a direct rail spur was laid, creating boom times for the village.

The locale remained primarily a summer resort until after World War II, when nearby highways such as the Taconic State and Saw Mill River parkways began to make travel by automobile convenient. With the passing of the last passenger service to Mahopac in 1959 the hamlet evolved into a year-round community, many of its residents making the reverse commute to New York City.

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