New Rochelle, New York

New Rochelle is a city located in Westchester County in the US state of New York. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 72,182. A July 1, 2002 Census estimate put the city's population at 72,472. The city is named after the city of La Rochelle in France that was a stronghold of the Huguenots.



17th Century

New Rochelle's history begins with the purchase by Thomas Pell of the Pelham Manor tract, of which the city would become part, from the Siwanoy Indians in 1654.

In 1687 a purchase agreement is made between John Pell, nephew of Thomas Pell, and Jacob Leisler, a wealthy merchant and acting Governor of New York who acts as agent for the Huguenots, for 6,000 acres of land and a donation of 100 acres for a French church.

In 1689, thousands of Huguenots - French Protestants who left France following the revocation by Louis XIV of the Edict of Nantes, which had protected them from religious persecution - began settling the area. Their new home was named after La Rochelle, the port from which they had departed France. There is a monument in Hudson Park which commemorates all the names of these Huguenot settlers.

Also in 1689 John and Rachell Pell officially deed the 6,100 acres of New Rochelle to Jacob Leisler. The Deed requires "as an Acknowledgment to the Lord of the said Manor one Fatt Calfe on every fouer and twentieth day of June yearly and every Year Forever (if demanded)."

18th Century

In 1775 General George Washington stops in New Rochelle on his way to assume comand of the Army of the United Colonies in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

In October of 1776, the British Army occupies New Rochelle and Larchmont. General Sir William Howe establishes headquarters on the heights above North Avenue opposite Eastchester Road. The British support troops, 4,000 Hessians and Waldeckers under Lieutenant-General Baron von Knyphausen, landed at Davenport Neck. The British left New Rochelle on October 25th, clogging available roads and leaving destruction behind. Two days later, the Battle of White Plains was fought, bringing victory to the British but allowing Washington to regroup his troops. New Rochelle became part of the "Neutral Ground."

Through the 18th century, New Rochelle, with a 1790 population of 692 residents, remained a modest village. It retained an abundance of agricultural land, 300 acres (1.2 km²) of which was awarded in 1784 to the patriot Thomas Paine by New York State for his service to the cause of independence. He wrote his pamphlet Common Sense while residing there.

19th Century

In 1879, Hohn H. Starin, former U.S. Congressman and New York transportation king, buys five islands, names them Glen Island and creates perhaps the first theme park open to the public. His 12 steamboats transported millions of New York residents and others to the attractions which included a zoo, a natural history museum, a railway, a German beer garden (around the castle-like structure which still stands today), a bathing beach, and a Chinese pagoda. A chain ferry transported visitors from a mainland dock.

In 1892, the New Rochelle Public Library is established and located in the Trinity School, on Trinity Place. Rose Hill Gardens, located on what is now Rose Hill Avenue, is one of the largest botanical gardens in the country during the 1800's. The first orchid in the United States is cultivated here.

In 1896, David's Island is re-named "Fort Slocum" after General Henry Warner Slocum, a Civil War officer. Fort Slocum becomes the largest recruiting depot east of the Mississippi, with greatest use during World War I and II.

20th Century

In the early part of the twentieth century, the County's famous Glen Island Casino on Long Island Sound continued to draw such celebrities as Glenn Miller, the Dorsey Brothers and Ozzie Nelson.

In 1930, New Rochelle population hits 54,000, up from 36,213, in 1920. In the early 30's, it is the wealthiest city per capita in New York State, the third wealthiest in the country.


The City of New Rochelle is on the Long Island Sound. It is the second largest city in Westchester County, after Yonkers.

New Rochelle is located at 40°55'43" North, 73°47'3" West (40.928584, -73.784230)Template:GR.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 34.3 km² (13.2 mi²). 26.8 km² (10.4 mi²) of it is land and 7.5 km² (2.9 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 21.77% water. The city has a rough triangle shape, approximately 10 miles from north to south and 1.5 miles from east to west at its widest point.


As of the censusTemplate:GR of 2000, there are 72,182 people, 26,189 households, and 17,546 families residing in the city. The population density is 2,692.7/km² (6,973.5/mi²). There are 26,995 housing units at an average density of 1,007.0/km² (2,608.0/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 67.89% White, 19.18% African American, 0.20% Native American, 3.23% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 6.28% from other races, and 3.17% from two or more races. 20.08% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 26,189 households out of which 32.7% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.5% are married couples living together, 12.5% have a female householder with no husband present, and 33.0% are non-families. 28.0% of all households are made up of individuals and 11.8% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.68 and the average family size is 3.29.

In the city the population is spread out with 24.0% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 29.5% from 25 to 44, 22.2% from 45 to 64, and 15.5% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 37 years. For every 100 females there are 90.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 85.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $55,513, and the median income for a family is $72,723. Males have a median income of $50,187 versus $38,527 for females. The per capita income for the city is $31,956. 10.5% of the population and 7.9% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 12.1% of those under the age of 18 and 10.0% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Additional facts about New Rochelle

New Rochelle as a Birthplace

New Rochelle as a Home

New Rochelle in Fiction, Film, Television and Theater


By railroad: the city has a railroad station served by Metro North and Amtrak.


  • 1940- Iona College is founded by Irish Christian Brothers. It was originally an elementary and preparatory school founded by Brother Doorley in 1916.

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State of New York




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