One square mile, with a population of over 4,000, Ardsley is located 22 miles north of midtown Manhattan in Southern Westchester County. Picturesque, with hilly terrain, narrow winding streets, lovely gardens and large old trees, it is still in many ways a small rural community.
The business center at Addyman Square extends along Saw Mill River Road, Route 9A, and includes the Village Green, a variety of small shops and two small shopping centres.
Like many villages in this region of the Hudson Valley, Ardsley has a long and varied history. Early Ardsley was inhabited by the Weckquaesgeek Indians, a branch of the great Mohican tribe of the Algonquin Indian Nation. Ashford Avenue was a major Indian trail between the Hudson River and the Long Island Sound.
Two important early roads were Saw Mill River Road and the “Road to Dobbs Ferry,” later named Ashford Avenue. During the 17th century, the Dutch and English settled here. The American Revolution brought many prominent men to the area, among them George Washington, Comte de Rochambeau, Alexander Hamilton and John André. In fact, in 1781, General Washington and Comte de Rochambeau, the commander of the French Army who assisted the colonists during the American Revolution, set up camp in Ardsley as they led their troops to Yorktown, Virginia where they besieged British troops and forced their surrender.
During the latter half of the 19th century, many Irish and Italian workers emigrated to Ardsley for the construction of the Croton Aqueduct. In the early 1880’s the Putnam Railroad was established as well. Thereafter, land was sold and developed, electricity arrived, and new roadways were created. Originally named Ashford, the village name was changed to Ardsley when, in 1883, the first post office was established. The Village was incorporated in 1896 with a population of 314.
The building of private homes accelerated after World War II and the Village became a commuter’s haven. The dramatic increase in population created the need for more houses, churches, schools, a library and various social services.
Today, Ardsley takes pride in its outstanding schools, its library, its town officials, and its residents who show the spirit of volunteerism and of community. The Ardsley Historical Society strives to preserve this spirit for all past, present and future generations.