History of Ossining New York

Ossining New York, Northeast corner of Spring Street and Broad Avenue
Ossining New York, Northeast corner of Spring Street and Broad Avenue

The Village of Ossining, New York, the oldest incorporated village in Westchester County (established in 1813), is located on the eastern slope of the Hudson River, approximately thirty miles north of New York City. Historically, it was situated along the Albany Post Road, also known as the Turnpike, and today it is accessible via Route 9.

In the early seventeenth century, the area was inhabited by a tribe of the Mohegan Indians known as the Sint Sincks. They owned land extending as far north as the Croton River, then called the ‘Kitchewan,’ while the Kitchawongs tribe inhabited the area beyond this stream. An Indian village, bearing the name Sink Sink, occupied the present site of Sing Sing. As late as 1685, Frederick Philipse referred to this village as “that tract or parcel of land commonly called Sinck Sinck” in his Deed of Conveyance. The village was also mentioned in the 1656 Dutch map of Adriaen van der Donck, ‘the Yonker,’ Patroon of Colen-Donck, as Sin Sing.

In 1685, the Sint Sincks sold their land to Frederick Philipse, who incorporated it into his extensive land holdings known as the Manor of Philipsburg. This Manor spanned approximately 165,000 acres, extending from Spuyten Duyvil Creek at the southern tip of Manhattan to the Croton River just north of the Village of Ossining. The land was leased to tenant farmers of Dutch, French, and English descent.

The Philipse family retained control of the Manor until the end of the American Revolution. The last Lord of the Manor, Colonel Frederick Philipse, was imprisoned for being a British loyalist. Consequently, his land was confiscated by the Commissioners of Forfeiture of the newly established State of New York and sold at auction. Many farms were purchased by the tenant farmers who had worked them, particularly those who supported the American cause. During this period, the area became known as Sing Sing.

By the late eighteenth century, the hamlet of Sing Sing had become a thriving port. Local farm produce was shipped to New York City from docks at the mouths of today’s Kill Brook and Sparta Brook. On April 2, 1813, Sing Sing became the first state-chartered, incorporated village in Westchester County.

In 1825, construction began on Sing Sing Prison using native granite to build the first cellblock. Throughout the 1800s, commerce and industry flourished, including a shoe factory and a stove foundry, both of which relied on convict labor. As the prison gained notoriety for its harsh conditions, the village sought to distance itself from this negative reputation. On March 25, 1901, the village officially changed its name to Ossining.

50 years after the name change, from September 23-29, 1951, the town of Ossining celebrated its golden jubilee. This book is a by-product of that celebration and was published by the Ossining Chamber of Commerce in 1951.

Table of Contents

Historic Ossining, p. 5

Organization of Ossining, p. 25
This section of the Golden Jubilee book is dedicated to thumbnail sketches of the institutions and organizations of Ossining which, on a not-for-profit basis served the people of the community in many capacities. They contributed a stupendous number of man and woman hours of service with hand, heart and head each year to make the community a better, more wholesome and safer place in which to live. Without them, the spirit of American community life would wither, for “where there is no vision, the people perish.” Many of these institutions and organizations carry on the tradition of self-reliance and service that is the heritage of our forefathers.

  • Golden Age Club No. 1 of Ossining, p. 25
  • Congregation Sons of Israel, p. 25
  • Parent-Teacher Association, p. 26
  • Ossining Lodge, 1486, B. P. O. Elks, p. 26
  • The Sing Sing Officers Unit, 1123, American Legion Auxiliary, p. 27
  • Hudson Court, 136, Order of Amaranth, p. 27
  • Ossining Recreation Commission, p. 28
  • Victoria Home for British Aged Men and Women, p. 28
  • Washington Hook and Ladder Company II, p. 29
  • Ossining Police Athletic League, Drum and Bugle Corps, p. 30
  • Ossining Children’s Center, p. 31
  • The Women’s Auxiliary of the Ossining Hospital, p. 31
  • Morgan Chapter Daughters of The American Revolution, p. 34
  • Shattemuc Yacht Club, p. 35
  • Kiwanis Club of Ossining Inc., p. 36
  • Companions of The Forest of America, p. 37
  • Ossining Ladies Auxiliary, 1545, Fraternal Order of Eagles, p. 37
  • Ossining Post. No. 596, Inc. American Legion, p. 38
  • The Ossining Woman’s Club, Inc., p. 39
  • The Loyal Order of Moose, Ossining Lodge 1460, p. 39
  • Ossining Branch, American Red Cross, p. 39
  • Highland Avenue Methodist Church, p. 40
  • Buckingham Chapter, No. 174, Royal Arch Masons, p. 40
  • Goddess of Liberty Council, No. 40, Daughters of America, p. 41
  • Brotherhood Council of Ossining Area, p. 41
  • Ossining Council of Social Agencies, p. 42
  • Ossining Fire Police & Emergency Squad No. 1, p. 42
  • Holla Hose Company No. 5, p. 42
  • Independent Hose Company No. 6, p. 42
  • Ladies Auxiliary, Independent Hose Company No. 6, p. 43
  • Christopher Columbus Lodge 692, Sons of Italy, p. 43
  • Ossining Council, Knights of Columbus, p. 44
  • Ossining Religious Council, p. 44
  • Ossining Historical Society, p. 44
  • Medical Staff of Ossining Hospital, p. 44
  • Central Committee of Organized War Veterans, p. 45
  • American Legion Auxiliary, p. 45
  • Ossining Branch, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, p. 46
  • Radium Lodge No. 844, F. and A. M., p. 46
  • Non Pareil Club, p. 46
  • Ossining Music Guild, p. 46
  • Ossining High School Parents Group, p. 47
  • Sparta Camera Club, p. 47
  • Sing Sing Officers Post No. 1123, American Legion, p. 48
  • Ossining Girl Scout Council Organized 1919, p. 48
  • Trinity Church (Episcopal), p. 49
  • Ossining Chapter of Hadassah, p. 49
  • Ossining Chapter, 424 Order of the Eastern Star, p. 50
  • Ossining Aerie, Fraternal Order of Eagles, p. 50
  • Centennial Rebekah Lodge, 511, p. 50
  • District Nursing Association, p. 50
  • Boy Scouts of America, p. 51
  • Allcock Manufacturing Company, p. 52
  • Maryknoll, p. 52
  • Ossining Hospital Association, p. 52
  • St. Paul’s Church (Episcopal), p. 53
  • Ossining Community Nursery School, p. 54
  • Fraternite Order, 942, F. & A. M., p. 54
  • Hudson Valley Players, p. 54
  • First Church of Christ Scientist, p. 54
  • American Gold Star Mothers Chapter II, p. 54
  • Ladies Auxiliary Edmond C. Genet Post, 1041, Veterans Foreign Wars, p. 55
  • Junior Section Ossining Woman’s Club, p. 55
  • Ossining Hose Company No. 1, Ladies Auxiliary, p. 55
  • Zionist Organization of America, Ossining Zionist District, p. 56
  • Roosevelt School P.T.A., p. 56
  • Ossining Past Matrons Club, p. 56
  • Leatherneck Detachment Marine Corp League, p. 56
  • Westchester County S.P.C.A., p. 56
  • Point Senasqua Rod and Reel Club, p. 57
  • Cigarette Draftee Committee, p. 57
  • Cub Scouts, Pack 127, p. 58
  • Twentieth Century Club, p. 58
  • Newcomers Club, p. 58
  • St. Matthews Church, p. 59
  • Parker-Bale Post, 1597 American Legion, p. 59
  • Lions Club, p. 60
  • Ossining Steamer Company No. 1, p. 61
  • Independent Order of St. Luke Bethlehem Council No. 1610, p. 62
  • Edmond G. Genet Post, 1041, VFW, p. 62
  • Senate Hook & Ladder Company No. 1, p. 62
  • State of New York Department of Correction, Sing Sing Prison Department Heads, 1951, p. 62
  • Ossining Golden Jubilee Subscribers, p. 63


Ossining Chamber of Commerce, Golden Jubilee, 1901-1951, September 23-29, 1951, Ossining, New York : Ossining Chamber of Commerce, 1951.



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