Yorktown Looks to Preserve Its Historical Legacy

Yorktown Town Hall Credits: File Photo

EDIT: This story has been updated.

YORKTOWN, N.Y. – To make out the faded engravings on old gravestones, experts will reflect sunlight onto the face of the stone with a mirror. Under new light, centuries-old inscriptions will be experienced once again.

As one of Westchester County’s oldest towns, some artifacts in Yorktown need more than a mirror. Luckily, the community has a number of residents who are passionate about preserving the historic sites around town.

Sign Up for E-News

“We are very lucky that we have people who are dedicated to this,” said Supervisor Michael Grace. “They’re making great strides with their new program recognizing Homes of Historic Distinction.”

The town board recently met with members of the Landmarks Preservation Commission to discuss three new projects: the search and rescue of private burial grounds, the restoration of the old railroad station, and the deconstruction and restoration of Zino’s barn. Once completed, the town’s newest occupants will have three new ways to catch a glimpse into the lives of its earliest.

Zino’s Barn

Of the three structures that sit on the site of the future Lowe’s at 3220 Crompond Road, one dates back to the 18th century. With the impending project, its destruction is unavoidable—almost.

The town is working with the Landmarks Preservation Commission to deconstruct and then re-assemble the building elsewhere.

Grace said someone who specializes in this type of historical preservation will lead the project. Town officials said a new location has not yet been decided on, so the schedule for the project remains unclear. Grace said Lowe’s developers, Breslin Realty, and Lowe’s itself, might each contribute to the cost.

Hyatt Cemetery

Across the street from the Adams-Bernstein House, at 3147 Old Yorktown Road (Route 132), is a small, private graveyard nestled into the corner of the property. Private cemeteries are commonly seen on colonial properties and farmsteads, but are not always maintained to the same standards of publicly owned burial grounds.

Dr. Ed Pell, a member of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, approached the board with a proposal to purchase the land and repair the plot. Pell is also on the Yorktown Historical Society’s board of trustees.

“The Col. John Hyatt Burying Ground is the quintessential item representing the early history of present-day Yorktown,” Pell said.

Descendants of Yorktown’s first settler, John Hyatt, are buried on the plot along with members of the Strang, Ferris, Hughson and Travis families. There are 10 graves on the lot, the earliest dating back to 1759.

Parks and Recreation Department staff have documented the state of the tombstones, but that’s as far as the project has gotten. Grace said the town and commission are exploring grant options to fund the project, and eventually similar ones in the future.

Railroad Station

In 1981, the railroad station that sits along the North County Trailway was listed on the National Register of Historic Places to commemorate the years it served as a cultural hub for the town.

According to the town’s website, in the 1800s, the station was once surrounded by five stores, a school, a hotel, two locksmiths, a wheelwright and two churches.

Although the station is just 400 square feet, the cost of restoring it to historical standards is anticipated to be about $300,000, town officials said.

The cost is worth it, according to Grace, who said that as far as he’s concerned, “it should have been done yesterday.”

The project is partially funded by grants through the Department of Transportation and town officials said they hope to complete it in time for the fall.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


The Hatch Act and Immigration Updates

This is for information purposes only. So, when you see headlines like the recent “Kellyanne Conway cited for two violations of the Hatch Act,” you will have a working knowledge of what it means. First off, what is the Hatch Act? This has nothing to do with Orrin Hatch, senator from Utah. Simply put, it states one cannot advocate for or against candidates while serving in an official ...

Are We All Connected?

A question that has long plagued me is whether we, as a species, have evolved in our consciousness of our interconnectedness to one another.

Influential philosophers, writers, economists and politicians have debated whether that should be our focus in the first place. Writers such as Ayn Rand (“The Fountainhead”) and her followers have suggested that our center of attention should ...

To Harrison, L'Chaim!

At long last, the smile of spring approaches, as an angry winter recedes into good riddance. Our spirit is ready to be re-charged. Damn the power outages, full speed ahead!

For my wife, Elyse, daughter, Elissa, and me, this otherwise exuberant time of year brings a confusion of mixed emotions. In 2003, on the opening day of spring, March 20, which happens to be my birthday, our 15-year-old son ...

Whose Hypocrisy?

March 7, 2018

Councilman Ed Lachterman has an unbridled First Amendment right to critique actions of the new Town Board majority and administration (Feb. 22, “An ‘air of hypocrisy’ at town hall”). But in the court of public opinion, his comments will fare poorly before those who respect objective truth.

The councilman’s political self-interest in the manufacture of non-issues ...

When It's Not OK to Ask If Everything's OK

There is this thing that I do that annoys the heck out of my family. Well, to be honest, there are a lot of things I do that annoy the heck out of my family, but I am thinking of one thing in particular.

Whenever someone is in the bathroom for what I determine to be an abnormally long period of time, I stand outside the bathroom door and yell,


I ...

Reading Across America With Dr. Seuss

Dear Dr. Linda,

I’m a school librarian and I wanted to remind your readers that March 2 was “Read Across America Day.”  Teachers, librarians and others who read with children encourage schools, libraries and parents to celebrate this day with their children. This special date was chosen because it is the birthday of Dr. Seuss, the adored children’s author. That ...

Hold Con Edison Accountable

March 14, 2018

To the editor,

I am writing to suggest that my fellow residents assist in holding Con Edison responsible for its disastrous handling of these storms and, further, to support steps that would ensure these now common shortcomings are not repeated.

Like too many here, I, my wife and three children ages 5, 3, and 8 months have been without power for more than a week. That we could live within ...

Upcoming Events

Fri, March 23, 8:00 PM

OAC Steamer Co. Firehouse, Ossining

2018 Living Art Event

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, March 24, 10:00 AM

Jefferson Valley Mall , Yorktown Heights

Yorktown Indoor Farmers Market

Food & Drink Health & Wellness

Sat, March 24, 12:00 PM

Club Fit, Jefferson Valley

Yoga for Women with Cancer

Health & Wellness

Seton Holds First Social Fundraiser

March 14, 2018

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton school, 1375 East Main St., Shrub Oak will be hosting it's first ever Social Fundraiser on Friday, May 4th, 2018 in the Seton school gym.  Seton extends it's invitation to all to join in a night of food, fun, and dozens of raffles and silent auctions.  Entry tickets must be purchased in advance. Tickets purchased by April 6th will be $35 per person; ...