A Short History of Briarcliff...
A Short History of Briarcliff Manor
About Briarcliff: History
During the Revolutionary War, the last Lord Philipse was accused of siding with the British. In 1779 his property was confiscated by the New York State Commission of Forfeiture and sold to those who had been loyal to the colonies. Descendants of some of these families still live in Briarcliff and some of the houses built in the 1700s and early 1800s continue to be used as residences today.
Early settlement was on the banks of the Pocantico River, which divided the towns of Ossining and Mount Pleasant.
In 1890 Walter W. Law began purchasing farm land in the area. He owned 5,000 acres and operated dairy farms called Briarcliff Farms.He later added other enterprises, among them the Briarcliff Greenhouses, which marketed as many as 8,000 roses and carnations daily, the Briarcliff Lodge, a fashionable resort built in 1902, and the Briarcliff Table Water company.
It was Law who named the village Briarcliff Manor and the name's origin dates back to some property in Ireland called Brier Cliff.
Merry Christmas to Me!
"Christmas Eve 2007"
My first visit to Briarcliff Manor was Christmasn Eve 2007. Liz's cousin was hosting the tradtional Italian Christmas Eve festivities. We had a large Italian meal featuring the traditional fish and seafood items. My favorite part of the meal was dessert; Marie made an awesome Tiramisu(my favorite).
This was a nice initiation to the holiday traditions of Liz's (and soon to be my) family.
"A pretty town"
Briarcliff is a cute little town. It's easy to get through and the main street is nice to wander down - lots of little shops. This really isn't a tourist destination, but if you're in the area and need a meal or something, check it out.
I have family in the area, so I don't really do any "touristy" things, but I do go out to eat once in awhile -- so my tips will probably be restaurant recommendations.
Briarcliff Manor, New York
My family moved to Briarcliff from Brooklyn over 50 years ago. It was quite a transition from the City to this small country village that probably had no more than 1500 people at the time. It was a fantastic little place with endless opportunities for tramping in the woods,stalking bucks with big antlers, eating wild berries, and fishing in a stream called "Buckout" every day.
Of course Briarcliff changed over the years with new construction, a burgeoning population, and the clearing of much of the wooded area. But it is still a beautiful little village in the Hudson Valley.
"The way I remember it ~"
Yep... that's me with "Doc" Cunningham who used to take care of the Village Park and swimming pool.
"Doc" was originally from Scotland
and I may have been the only one in the Village who understood what he was saying :-)
One winter, for a week or so, a bear was spotted by various home owners in the Village. I distinctly remember seeing his paw prints in the snow by our garbage cans.Remember... this is Westchester County, 30 miles from New York City! The theory was that he had floated down the Hudson River on an ice floe from much further north.I never learned what happened to that adventurous bear!
Briarcliff was famous throughout the County and State for it's white firetrucks. Chief Johnson once captured an escapee from Sing Sing at gunpoint!
One of my fondest memories as a child was when the Village would hold a "Summer Fair" and the volunteer firemen would give rides at night in these beautiful white trucks.The memory of speeding down a dark country lane with the bell clanging, the lights flashing, and the siren wailing as we sat in the back of an open "pumper" still comes to me now.
The old Firehouse.
Saint Theresa's Roman Catholic Church
What is life in the country without a dog? This was a ferocious little guy named "Wimpy".