Peekskill, NY

Peekskill, NY: A Glimpse Into Its Rich Past

Join us on a historical adventure as we rewind to the early days of Peekskill, a place ripe with stories, pivotal moments, and industrious beginnings. Here’s a snapshot of how this vibrant community evolved over the centuries:

Early Encounters and Accords

  • In what might have been the early 1640s, January Peeck from New Amsterdam created the initial bond with the local tribal group, known then as the “Sachoes.”
  • The establishment of rapport and trade led to the formal Ryck’s Patent Deed of 1684, and Peeck’s Kil—the Dutch word for “stream”—became this locale’s calling card.

The Dawning of a Settlement

  • Peekskill’s transformation from untamed beauty to European settlement was a gradual march into the 18th century.
  • When the winds of the American Revolution blew, Peekskill had matured into an esteemed hub, bustling with vital mills humming along its waterways.

A Strategic Revolutionary Haven

  • The Continental Army saw the worth in Peekskill, pegging it as headquarters in 1776 thanks to its handy terrain and mills.
  • Despite the town’s strategic advantage, British forces delivered heavy blows in 1777, ultimately prompting the army to relocate its stronghold to West Point.

Civil Rights Pioneers

  • Fast forward to the Civil War era, and we meet Peekskill’s own Hawley Green—a barber, voter, and property owner alongside his wife Harriet.
  • Their dedication, along with the spirited efforts of the AME Zion Church, Reverend Beecher, and local Quakers, vaulted Peekskill into a beacon of freedom via the celebrated underground railroad.

The Journey to Incorporation

  • Peekskill officially became a Village entity in 1816, re-invigorated in 1826, and later enveloped into the Town of Cortlandt in 1849.
  • The turning point came in 1940, when Peekskill rose in stature, separating from Cortlandt to stand proud as a city.

Join the conversation and share your experiences or stories about Peekskill. Hashtag your Peekskill tales with #HistoricPeekskill and help us keep the legacy alive. If you’re curious to learn more or want to experience the echoes of the past firsthand, why not make a visit? After all, history isn’t just about dates and documents—it’s about feeling the pulse of places that have seen the birth of ideals and the growth of a nation.

Visit Peekskill, NY and step into history!