County Data for Rockland County, New York
Rockland County is a county located in the U. S. state of New York, north-northwest of New York City. It is part of the New York Metropolitan Area. As of the 2000 census, the population was 286,753. The county seat is New City. The name comes from "rocky land", an early description of the area given by settlers. Rockland is New York's southernmost county west of the Hudson River. It is suburban in nature, with a considerable amount of scenic designated parkland. Popular recreational activities include gold panning in Nanuet along the Naurashaun Brook south of Townline Road, exploring the Paleolithic ruins west of the Hackensack River, and fossil and Indian arrowhead collecting west of Sickletown Road. Rockland County does not border any of the New York City boroughs, but is only north of Manhattan at the counties' (New York and Rockland) two respective closest points (Palisades, New York, in Rockland and Inwood Park in Manhattan)
Rockland County ranks 9th on the list of highest-income counties by median household income in the United States with $75,306 according to the 2000 census. It is served by area code 845.
Rockland County is one of 24 areas in New York State designated a Preserve America Community.
A time capsule is a historic cache of goods and/or information, usually intended as a method of communication with future people and to help future archaeologists, anthropologists, and/or historians.
On Wednesday, April 28th 2010, Rockland Community College buried a time capsule in front of the Technology Building celebrating the 50th Anniversary of RCC's establishment. This entry was posted prior to placing the Rockland County Wikipedia page in the capsule.
The area that would become Rockland County was originally inhabited by Algonquian-speaking Indians, including Munsees, or Lenni Lenape.
In 1609, Hendrick Hudson, thinking he had found the legendary "Northwest Passage", sailed up the river that would one day bear his name and anchored near the area that is now Haverstraw before continuing to disillusionment at Albany.
The Dutch were the first Europeans to settle in the area. A number of unique Dutch-style red sandstone houses still stand, and many placenames in the county reveal their Dutch origin.
When the Duke of York (who became King James II of England) established the first twelve counties of New York in 1683, present-day Rockland County was part of Orange County. Orangetown was created at the same time, originally encompassing all of modern Rockland County. Haverstraw was separated from Orangetown in 1719 and became a town in 1788; it included the present-day Clarkstown, Ramapo and Stony Point. Clarkstown and Ramapo became towns in 1791, followed by Stony Point in 1865. Rockland County was split from Orange County in 1798.
During the American Revolution, when control of the Hudson River was viewed by the British as strategic to dominating the American territories, Rockland saw skirmishes at Haverstraw, Nyack and Piermont, and significant military engagements at the Battle of Stony Point, where General "Mad" Anthony Wayne earned his nickname. George Washington had headquarters for a time at John Suffern's tavern, the later site of the village of Suffern.
British Major John André met with American traitor Benedict Arnold near Stony Point to buy the plans for the fortifications at West Point. André was captured with the plans in Tarrytown on his way back to the British lines; he was brought to Tappan for trial in the Tappan church, found guilty, hanged and buried nearby.
The American Industrial Revolution was supplied, in part, from forests and iron mines in Rockland County. Resource utilization extracted a heavy toll on the region, especially from lumbering and agriculture, since the poor, thin soils on hillsides were easily depleted. By the early 1900s development along the lower Hudson River had begun to destroy much of the area's natural beauty.
Many unsuccessful efforts were made to turn much of the Hudson Highlands into a forest preserve. However, when the State of New York tried to relocate Sing Sing Prison to Bear Mountain in 1909, some of the wealthy businessmen who had homes in the area, led by Union Pacific Railroad president E. H. Harriman, donated land as well as large sums of money for the purchase of properties in the area of Bear Mountain. Bear Mountain/Harriman State Park became a reality in 1910, and by 1914 it was estimated that more than a million people a year were coming to the park.
Thomas F. X. Casey, the county historian, said in a 2007 magazine article that many Hasids began to settle into Rockland County after World War II. Casey added that, prior to the opening of the Tappan Zee Bridge, the county was "underpopulated" and that the settlement of the Hasids did not result in major conflict.
Hangings in Rockland County
The Clarksville Witch 1816
Jane Kannif, the widow of a Scotch physician, lived in a small house on Germonds road in West Nyack. She devoted herself to the care of her only child, a son by a previous marriage, named Tobias Lowrie. She treated, with great results, neighbors that came to her with herbs and methods she learned from her late husband. But “Naut Kannif”, as she was called, seemed to have been exceedingly eccentric. According to the people at that time she dressed oddly, strange hairdos and unsociable. She was regarded as insane - worst yet - a witch in an era of superstition. It was decided to take “Naut” to Auert Polhemus’s grist mill and using his great flour scales weigh her against the old Holland Dutch family Bible, iron bound, with wooden covers and iron chain to carry it by. If outweighed by the Bible, she must be a witch beyond any doubt, and must suffer accordingly. She was taken to the mill against her most earnest protest, put on the scales, and weighed. Weighing more than the Bible, the committee released her. This was the last witch trial in the state of New York.
Historical figures who have visited Rockland County
Aaron Burr - 3rd Vice President of the United States.
Alexander Hamilton - 1st United States Secretary of the Treasury.
Benjamin Harrison - 23th President of the United States.
Millard Fillmore - 13th President of the United States.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt - then Governor of the State of New York and afterwards the 32nd President of the United States.
George Clinton - First (and longest-serving) elected Governor of New York, and then 4th Vice President of the United States.
George Washington - 1st President of the United States (1776 - 1783) Approximately 20 times.
Gerald Ford - 38th President of the United States.
Grover Cleveland - 24rd President of the United States.
Harry S. Truman - 33rd President of the United States.
Jimmy Carter - 39th President of the United States.
Martha Washington - The 1st First Lady of the United States.
Martin Van Buren - 8th President of the United States.
Richard Nixon - 37th President of the United States.
Robert F. Kennedy - United States Senators from New York & 64th United States Attorney General.
Theodore Roosevelt - 26th President of the United States.
Other Historical figures who have visited Rockland County
Other Historical figures in Rockland County
Other Notable figures from Rockland County
Edward Hopper Artist
Dan Beard Scout Literature
See Hudson River School for artists who have added to Rockland County's fame.
Historical Places of Rockland County
See National Register of Historic Places listings in Rockland County, New York.
Historical Events in Rockland County
2009 Celebrate New York's 400th.
Replica of Henry Hudson's ship Halve Maen - (Half Moon), joined by several ships including Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, The 19th century schooner replica Mystic Whaler and the 1614 replica Onrust made stops in Rockland County.
News Events in Rockland County
Did you know. .
Law/Government and Politics
United States House of Representatives
U. S. Rockland County Congressional Districts Map
New York State Senate
Thomas Morahan (R,C,I,WF) represents the entire county of Rockland in the New York State Senate and parts of Orange County, New York.
New York State Assembly
New York State Assembly Rockland County Districts Map
The county executive is C. Scott Vanderhoef (R), who was re-elected in 2009 to his fifth four-year term. He is the second county executive in Rockland history, having defeated the incumbent, John Grant (D), in 1993. Vanderhoef ran for Lieutenant Governor in 2006. Prior to 1985, Rockland County did not have a county executive. On January 7th 2010, the day after being sworn to his fifth four-year term, Vanderhoef stated he was keeping his options open when it comes to running for statewide office again.
John T. Grant
John T. Grant (March 11th 1932 - May 8th 2010) In 1985 Grant became Rockland's first county executive serving two terms. He held his first elected office, a seat on the Thiells Roseville Fire District Board, at age 26. He worked on behalf of John F. Kennedy's presidential run in 1960, as a member of the Young Democrats. He served on the Haverstraw Town Board in the 1960s, as well as being the first Rockland County Legislature. Prior to serving as county executive, He served as a marine in the Korean War and worked as a banker for 30 years starting with Haverstrsw Bank and Trust in 1954 and retiring as Assistant Vice President from Chemical Bank in 1985. Afterwards, he volunteered for a number of organizations, including United Hospice of Rockland and United Way.
Rockland is divided into 17 single-member legislative districts. The Chairwoman of the Legislature is Harriet Cornell. The other legislators are:
Legislative Districts Map
The five Towns of Rockland County are led by Town Supervisors and Town Boards. The villages encompassed in the Towns are led by Mayors and Village Trustees.
The five Town Supervisors are: (General Election - 2009)
In 2009 Ramapo Supervisor Christopher P. St. Lawrence, is making a bid for lieutenant governor in the upcoming 2010 election.
There are three types of general trial courts in Rockland County: the New York Supreme Court, the County Court and the Justice Courts. The Supreme Court is the trial level court of the New York State Unified Court System, which presents some confusion as the Supreme Court is the highest court of appeals in the federal system as well as in most states (the Court of Appeals is the highest court in New York State). The Supreme Court has broad authority over all categories of cases, both civil and criminal. Generally the Supreme Court in Rockland County hears civil cases involving claims in excess of $25,000. While the Supreme Court has jurisdiction over criminal cases in most counties this is handled by the County Courts. In Rockland however, the Supreme Court does exercise jurisdiction over some criminal cases.
The County Court is inferior to the Supreme Court and is authorized to hear all criminal cases that have occurred in the county as well as limited jurisdiction over civil cases. The County Court handles felony cases exclusively and shares jurisdiction with the town and village justice courts on misdemeanor cases and other minor offenses and violations. The County Court's jurisdiction on civil cases is limited to those involving less than $25,000.
Each of the towns and fifteen of the villages have Justice Courts. These courts mostly hear routine traffic ticket cases, especially from the New York State Thruway and the Palisades Interstate Parkway. They also handle drunk driving charges, lower-level criminal misdemeanor matters, and they will occasionally perform arraignment on felonies (most felony proceedings are heard in County Court). These courts generally handle the highest volume of cases, which, considering the population density and highways in the county, is not surprising.
Rockland County is home to more than 10,000 businesses, both large and small. Including Novartis sole U. S. production facility. There are also thousands of restaurants in Rockland County serving all kinds of cuisines. There are business districts and main streets in Rockland County with collections of businesses. Such districts and main streets are located all over Rockland County, including New City, Suffern, Nyack, and Pearl River. Main streets are becoming more and more uncommon in the United States, but Rockland County has several. The leading way to search through the thousands of businesses in Rockland County is by using the business search on ZipRockland. com.
Rockland County lies just north of the New Jersey-New York border, west of the Hudson River, and south of Orange County.
According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 199 square miles (516 km²), of which, 174 square miles (451 km²) of it is land and 25 square miles (65 km²) of it (12. 60%) is water. Approximately 30% of Rockland County is parkland.
The highest elevation in the county is Rockhouse Mountain, at 391 m (1,283 ft). However, nearby Jackie Jones Mountain also has a summit above 390 m (1,280 ft) whose exact elevation is not known and may well be higher.
The lowest elevation is sea level along the Hudson River.
Rockland is the smallest county in New York outside of New York City.
Hudson River Fish Advisory
The Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Rockland County recommends that one should consume no more than one half pound of fish caught in the Hudson River per week with the exception of those listed below.
They further recommend that women of childbearing age and children under 15 should not consume any fish from the Hudson River.
Lakes in Rockland County
Parks in Rockland County
More than one-third of Rockland County is parkland. Beside town, memorial, and play parks of all shapes and sizes, there are battlefields, nature parks, preserves, and trails. These are some of the most visited parks in Rockland County as well as the state of New York.
Dog Parks in Rockland County
Golf Courses in Rockland County
Rocks of Rockland
The Dunderberg Spiral Railway
A pleasure railroad partially constructed in 1890-1891 and never finished. The first part of the ride would have taken the cars up two inclined planes to the summit 900 feet above the Hudson River, where visitors could disembark to enjoy the scenery. Then the cars would have coasted by gravity down a nine-mile scenic railway, making two spirals and three switchbacks. It would have been to this day the biggest roller coaster ever constructed.
Piermont hand-cranked drawbridge
The Piermont hand-cranked drawbridge was originally built in 1880 by The King Iron Bridge Company, a Cleveland company in the state of Ohio that constructed more than 10,000 bridges over six decades. The hand-cranked drawbridge is used as a pedestrian walkway providing a link to Tallman Mountain State Park. This bridge is the only hand-cranked drawbridge in Rockland County and perhaps in the United States. Back in the day, fishermen on sloops heading up and down the creek got out of their vessel, cranked up the drawbridge, sailed across, got out of their vessel and cranked down the drawbridge for vehicular traffic. The whole bridge was dismantled piece by piece, sent off-site for restoration and restored to its original state after a complete forensic analysis. Allan King Sloan, the great-great-grandson of the company's founder, provided some of the information that is on the historical marker nearby and attended the dedication ceremony on August 7, 2009.
Rockland's borders with Putnam and Passaic counties are short, totaling less than one mile (1. 6 km).
As of the census of 2000, there were 286,753 people, 92,675 households, and 70,989 families residing in the county. The population density was 1,646 people per square mile (636/km²). There were 94,973 housing units at an average density of 545 per square mile (210/km²). However, residents live closer together than the census numbers indicate, as 30% of the county is reserved as parkland. The racial makeup of the county was 76. 91% White, 10. 98% Black or African American, 0. 24% Native American, 5. 52% Asian, 0. 07% Pacific Islander, 3. 78% from other races, and 2. 51% from two or more races. 10. 18% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 16. 6% were of Italian, 14. 5% Irish, 5. 8% West Indian, 5. 7% American and 5. 3% German ancestry according to Census 2000. 9. 17% reported speaking Spanish at home, 4. 96% Yiddish, 3. 16% French-based creole, 1. 45% Italian, 1. 30% Tagalog, 1. 25% Hebrew, 1. 17% French, and 1. 01% Russian. Other languages spoken at home by at least 1000 people include Malayalam, Korean, Chinese, German, and Polish. http://www. mla. org/map_data_results&state_id=36&county_id=87&mode=geographic&zip=&place_id=&cty_id=&ll=&a=&ea=&order=r
According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the racial composition of Rockland County in 2008 was as follows:
In 2000 there were 92,675 households out of which 37. 60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62. 80% were married couples living together, 10. 30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23. 40% were non-families. 19. 30% of all households were made up of individuals and 7. 80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3. 01 and the average family size was 3. 47.
In the county the population was spread out with 28. 00% under the age of 18, 7. 90% from 18 to 24, 28. 00% from 25 to 44, 24. 30% from 45 to 64, and 11. 80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 95. 30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91. 30 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $75,306, and the median income for a family was $86,624. Males had a median income of $58,214 versus $43,955 for females. The per capita income for the county was $31,680. The mean, or average, income for a family in Rockland County is $102,542 according to the 2004 census. About 6. 30% of families and 9. 50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14. 30% of those under age 18 and 7. 60% of those age 65 or over.
Communities in Rockland
Paul W. Adler, the chairperson of the Rockland County's Jewish Community Relations Council said in a 1997 The New York Times article that "There are two reasons villages get formed in Rockland. One is to keep the Hasidim out and the other is to keep the Hasidim in. "
There are five towns in Rockland County. The most populous is Ramapo with 108,900 people, while the least populous is Stony Point with 14,200 people. Clarkstown, Haverstraw and Orangetown all come in between with a range of 33,800—82,000 people.
There are nineteen incorporated villages in Rockland County, twelve of which are located at least partially in the town of Ramapo:
There are no villages in the town of Stony Point.
Rockland County has a number of unincorporated hamlets, including:
During the 19th century, the following settlements existed in these towns.
Communities of significant population
According to the 2000 census, these nine Rockland communities have a population exceeding 10,000 people:
According to the 2000 census, these three Rockland communities have a median household income of $100,000 a year or more:
Primary and secondary schools
There are eight school districts in Rockland
Hospitals in Rockland County
Transportation in Rockland County
The Transport of Rockland is the bus system providing service along major routes in Rockland County as well as connections to other community bus operations - (Minitrans) and connections to Rockland Coaches and Short Line routes providing service to Northern New Jersey and New York City.
Monsey Trails is a privately operated, publicly subsidized bus service connecting Monsey, in Rockland County, to Manhattan and Brooklyn. It is an unusual service in that its service is focused on geographic areas occupied large numbers of Chasidic Jews and its schedules vary significantly based on the Jewish calendar.
Brega Transport Corp provide free shuttle service between the main campus of Rockland Community College in Viola and the Haverstraw and Spring Valley extensions to evening students during the Fall and Spring semesters.
New Jersey Transit/Metro-North Railroad - Port Jervis Line which stop at the Suffern Railroad Station and Pascack Valley Line which stops include Pearl River, Nanuet and Spring Valley in their respective hamlets and village of the same name.
Back in the 1800s railroads, freight and passenger lines, were instrumental for the development, growth and prosperity of Rockland County. Many of the hamlets and villages were built near the Depots. Most of the Post Offices were built near the stations. Passengers traveling to New York City would board steamers at Piermont.
(A) The New Jersey & New York Railroad - 1875
(B) New City Branch NJ&NY Railroad
(C) Erie Railroad Piermont Branch
(D) Northern Railroad of NJ
(E) New York, West Shore & Buffalo Railroad
(F) Main Line
NY Waterway operates a ferry service between Haverstraw and Ossining in Westchester County for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
International Airports near Rockland
Roads in Rockland County
Roads in New York Counties
Rockland County has been paired with San Marcos and Huehuete, Nicaragua as its Sister City. The Rockland County Sister City Project with San Marcos and Huehuete, Nicaragua, is coordinated by Cleta Ciulla of Nyack, New York. Since 1990, the organization has collected donated clothes, bicycles and other useful things for our Nicaraguan partners in community development. Fundraising consists of donations and yardsales. Participants travel regularly to Nicaragua to review project details and community needs.
Additionally, the town of Ramapo is twinned with a number of cities.
Rockland County Libraries
Library Association of Rockland County
The following painting are by Jasper Francis Cropsey who studied at the Hudson River School
Books and publications
This county information was provided courtesy of Wikipedia