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Elmsford, New York
Elmsford is a village in Westchester County, New York, United States. Roughly one mile square, the village is fully contained within the borders of the Town of Greenburgh, NY.
Elmsford's road system connects to numerous major highways and thoroughfares, including I-287, the Saw Mill River Parkway, and Route 9A; the North County Trailway and South County Trailway terminate there. Convenient to White Plains, Yonkers, New York City, and Connecticut, the village is a significant center of commercial traffic and distribution. It is home to the large Local 456 of the Teamsters Union.
The village's public schools are run by the Elmsford Board of Education and include Dixon Primary, Alice E. Grady Elementary and Alexander Hamilton Junior/Senior High School. The village is also home to the private Roman Catholic elementary school Our Lady of Mount Carmel, established in 1929.
Elmsford was largely farmland throughout its early history. The construction of railroads in the late 19th century brought new prominence to the area, and in 1910 it became an officially incorporated village of the State of New York.
The area was known from colonial times as "Storm's Bridge" and later, "Hall's Corners," names derived from the principal landowners of the times. In 1870, the growing village was officially renamed "Elmsford" in honor of a local landmark, a giant elm tree (since deceased). The names Elmsford and Storm's Bridge are reminders of the nearby Saw Mill River, which once had significant tributaries flowing through the village.
A longstanding legend holds that Elmsford is the birthplace of the term "cocktail". According to the legend, a local tavern (sometimes said to be established by town father Isaac Storm) ran out of wooden stirrers and started using roosters' tails to stir their drinks; a more embellished version holds that the roosters were plundered from nearby Tory farmers.
The colonial-era cemetery of the Dutch Reformed Church (Rte. 9A) is the burial place of Revolutionary War hero Isaac Van Wart. In 1780, Van Wart and fellow revolutionaries John Paulding and David Williams (soldier) captured the British spy Major John Andre, a crucial informant to Benedict Arnold. The village still has streets named for each of the three patriots.