In 1682 the Connecticut Colony legislature established the name of Bedford for the new settlement. As there is no evidence of a linkage of the settlers to Bedford, England, it is thought that the name was chosen by the legislators in accordance with its principle of keeping alive the memory of England.
For the next 18 years, as both the colonies of Connecticut and New York grew, a dispute developed as to which colony Bedford belonged. In 1700, by Royal Decree, King William III established that Bedford was “henceforth and forever” part of the royal colony of New York.
By 1723, through additional purchases from Chief Katonah and other Mohegan chiefs the Town had grown to over thirty-six square miles. Bedford’s population also grew rapidly. In 1710, but only 156 residents were listed. By 1790, the population was 2,470 persons.
Bedford was part of Connecticut in 1697 when a patent fixed the boundaries as a six-mile square and it wasn't until England’s King William issued a royal degree in 1700, to settle a boundary dispute that Bedford became part of New York.
The Town’s importance grew during the Colonial period and it was a model for town meetings and self government. Bedford served as the wartime Westchester County seat during the Revolutionary War after the Battle of White Plains and until Bedford was burned by the British on July 11, 1779.
Katonah: named after Chief Katonah, this hamlet was once located several miles to the north. It was moved to accommodate the expansion of the watershed for New York City. As a result of the move in the late 1890s, and the rebuilding of a new town, the largely preserved architecture provides an attractive glimpse of the Victorian era. The Katonah Village Improvement Society, which still exists today, provided direction for the move, and landscaping for the “new Katonah” was largely the work of the renowned firm of G.S. and B.S. Olmstead. In 1983, the Historic District of Katonah was listed on the New York State and National registers of Historic Places.
Katonah is a vibrant hamlet with a lively and most attractive commercial area. Additionally, it is widely known as home to the Caramoor Music Festival, the Katonah Museum of Art (formerly The Katonah Gallery), and the John Jay Homestead.
Bedford Hills: originally known as Bedford Station, this hamlet grew up in the mid nineteenth century, primarily to serve Bedford Village. Following the Civil War it grew to be a transportation and commercial hub for the area. By the early twentieth century residents of farms and estates in the broader area of the hamlet, petitioned the Town to change the name to Bedford Hills. A Centennial celebration of this event occurred in May of 2010. Bedford Hills extends from its bustling business center at the railroad station to farms and estates as it spreads eastward along Harris, Babbitt and Bedford Center Roads, and south along the Route 117 business corridor toward Mount Kisco. The Community House (originally built to serve the needs of returning World War I veterans) is located in Bedford Hills, as is the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, the largest women’s prison in New York State.
Bedford Hills is the seat of Town government and home to the Town House, built in 1927.
Houses of Worship
There is access for most denominations within the immediate vicinity.
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