File Size: 39185 KB
Print Length: 128 pages
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing (February 6, 2008)
Publication Date: February 6, 2008
Sold by: Digital Services LLC
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Yorktown (NY) (Images of America) September 12, 2003This book is a collection historical sketches about the Town of Yorktown, NY, stretching from the early settlements of the 1700s through the present day. For Yorktown residents it is a worthwhile acquisition, if only for the photographs of bygone eras. Horse-drawn vehicles were pervasive in the first quarter of the twentieth century. Automobiles were few and far between. Photographs of Commerce Street in the 1920s are charming. The book serves as a reminder as to what we have lost, but also to what we still have to preserve.The book tells the story of Yorktown during the American Revolution and the Civil War, the creation of the Croton water supply system, the railroad which ran through town until 1962, famous Yorktown residents, and the communities that make up today's Yorktown.Yorktown is a rectangular political entity which was carved out of a map over 200 years ago. It has no natural borders, just the straight lines superimposed on a less regular landscape. It comprises many individual communities: Shrub Oak, Mohegan Lake, Jefferson Valley, Yorktown Heights, Croton Heights, Huntersville, and Teatown to name some of them. Over the years, these communities have grown together to form one entity. It is a tribute to the people of Yorktown and also to its dedicated public servants that the town has grown a sense of greater community.If the authors err, it is on being overly focused on the division of the town into neighborhoods and business hamlets. In fact, the individual communities are not so well defined as they may once have been.
Yorktown is not a glamorous place. It does not have great natural wonders, popular amusements, or sites of great historical importance. Relatively it is not even a very old town having sprung up as a commuter community from the railroads that pushed northward from New York City. One might easily wonder why anyone would even bother to produce a book on this place. But Yorktown, like the thousands of other such towns across America is the place where we buy our groceries, fill up the tank of our car, watch our children grow, live our lives. There are many things close to home that can bring us as much joy as those we find on exotic vacations, that is if we open our eyes to them. This book is a reminder of life's small pleasures, the things that we should keep ourselves more closely attuned to for they are apt to disappear before we know it.While Acadia Publishing has produced many books on small towns it must be noted that this volume is part of their Postcard History Series, and indeed nearly every illustration in this book comes from a postcard. This is significant because for the most part postcards represent images that were important to a community as a whole, not just one person as a photograph can be. They may be biased representations but ones that give us insight into what people once thought important rather than just being an impersonal slice of life. The cards found in this book seem to range widely in significance from an image of a farmer's Holstein Bull to the large public bridges built over the Croton Reservoir, yet they were all deemed equally important at that time to be placed on a postcard.The book begins at a logical point highlighting the railroad that turned this once rural farming community into a town.