Chappaqua, New York

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Chappaqua is a hamlet and census-designated place in northern Westchester County, New York. As of the 2000 census, the population was 11,009. Chappaqua is located in the Town of New Castle.



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.[1] Horace Greeley's home still stands in Chappaqua, he built it himself.

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.[2]

Creation of the Town of New Castle

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.

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