Village of Ardsley, a brief history
The area that includes the Village of Ardsley was originally inhabited by the Weckqueskecks, a branch of the Mohican tribe of the Algonquin nation. Ashford Avenue, the main road, was once a trail used by the Indians to travel from the Hudson River to Long Island Sound.
By the late 1600's, after the Indians had been run out of the area by the English and the Dutch, the land became part of the vast Frederick Philipse Manor. During the Revolution Philipse remained loyal to the King, and was forced to flee. The land, confiscated by the State, was sold mostly to former tenants who had supported the patriot cause.
The Village, then called Ashford, grew slowly. There was a sawmill and grist mill on the Sawmill River, a blacksmith shop, and by the time of the Civil War, three pickle factories. In the early 1880's the Putnam Railroad was built, and the New Croton Aqueduct was constructed. A "boom" followed. Many lots were sold and developed, electric lights were installed, roads were improved. In 1883, since there already was an Ashford Post Office in the state, the Village name was changed to Ardsley and on March 2, 1883 the first Postmaster was appointed. The Village was incorporated in 1896. By 1898 the population had grown to 372.
On December 6, 1914 fire devastated the center of the Village. As a result the original school house on Ashford Avenue was taken over for Village offices and the fire department -- now the Municipal Building.
After World War I, and until the depression, there was another "boom" including Ardsley Acres and Beacon Hill. After World War II there was another surge in growth, resulting in the building of the Concord Road Elementary School in 1952, the High School in 1958, and the Middle School in 1967.
From an Indian hunting ground, to a community of scattered farms, to "Ashford" and a country village, Ardsley has become a thriving suburban community.
Extracted from "A Short, Informal HISTORY OF ARDSLEY" by A.W. Silliman
By Daniel Kaufman
August 15, 1994
For more information on the history of Ardsley, visit the Ardsley Historical Society.