Somers, New York

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Somers is a town located in northeastern Westchester County, New York, United States. As of the 2000 census, the town had a total population of 18,346. The nearby Metro-North Commuter Railroad provides service to Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan with an average commute time of slightly over an hour from stations at Purdys, Goldens Bridge, and Katonah.

Contents

History

Somers was originally inhabited by Kitchawanks, part of the Mohegan tribe, who called the land Amapaugh, meaning “fresh water fish.” This land was located in the eastern segment of an 83,000-acre (340 km2) tract that King William III of England granted to Stephanus Van Cortlandt of New York City in 1697. The part of Van Cortlandt Manor that ultimately became Somers and Yorktown was known as the Middle District, or Hanover.

Settlement in the Somers area began after Van Cortlandt’s death in 1700 and the final partition of his estate in 1734. Early European settlers included tenants and freeholders from neighboring areas, among them English, Dutch, French Huguenots and Quakers. It wasn’t until March 7, 1788, when the first town meeting was held at an inn, owned by Benjamin Green, that the town named Stephentown was established. However, there already existed a Stephentown in Rensselaer County. The resulting confusion, particularly in mail delivery, lead to a change in the name to Somerstown. In 1808, the name was changed to Somers to honor Richard Somers, a naval captain from New Jersey who died in combat during the Tripolitan War. A memorial in West Somers Park was erected in his honor at Memorial Day ceremonies in 1958.

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