Bedford Academy, Bedford
Photograph by Gray Williams
Do You Know?What Westchester prison is the origin of the phrase "sent up the river"?
Stories about the people and events that have shaped the history of Westchester County come alive at the Westchester County Historical Society. Our library, Westchester's largest collection of local history and genealogy, covers the county's development from the first Dutch settlers in Yonkers to corporate settlers on the White Plains corridor. The collections are housed in a state-of-the-art temperature- and humidity-controlled facility.
WCHS was founded in 1874 as a member-based, not-for-profit agency incorporated by the State of New York to serve the citizens of Westchester County. Named as the official County Historian in 2006, the Society's mission is to collect and preserve books, pamphlets, maps, manuscripts, photographs, newspapers, periodicals, film, video and digital materials pertaining to the history of Westchester County, to promote the knowledge and understanding of that history, and to advocate for the preservation of the county's architectural heritage.
The Society is located in the Westchester County Archives and Records Center in Elmsford, NY. It shares a reading room with the Westchester County Archives, which holds the historically significant public records of the County, perfectly complementing the private records held by WCHS. It is open to the public on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9 am to 4 pm with professional staff and trained volunteers ready to assist you.
The photographs used in this website are by Gray Williams, from the book Picturing Our Past: National Register Sites in Westchester County, which was published by WCHS in 2003. View more images in our Photo Gallery.
All text, design elements and logos contained on this site are the intellectual property of the Westchester County Historical Society. They may not be reproduced without written permission from WCHS