Early Pocantico History
The American Revolution
Pocantico Hills played a small but important part in the Revolutionary War. Pocantico was caught in between raiders loyal to the British and those loyal to the colonists.
According to legend, Buttermilk Hill, one of the highest hills in Westchester, got its name during the Revolutionary War as a result of the conflict. Farmers trying to hide their cattle from cattle thieves herded them to the far side of Buttermilk Hill. Because local residents still needed butter and buttermilk, they had to walk up the hill where the cows where hidden. Some people believe that is why the hill is named "Buttermilk Hill."
Another event that took place during the American Revolution in Pocantico Hills was the capture of Major Andre on September 23, 1780. Major Andre was a British officer who was working with the American General, Benedict Arnold, to try to surrender the fort at West Point to the British. Andre was captured near Buttermilk Hill by three members of the Westchester Militia who found papers in his stockings describing the plan to surrender West Point. Major Andre was arrested and taken to jail. According to legend, he spent the night before his arrest at the house known as The Rookery. Major Andre was later hanged by the colonials, and some say his ghost still haunts the tree where he was captured.
The Revolution changed forever the fortunes of the Philipse family. The third grandson of Frederick Philipse, Colonel Frederick Philipse, was the Lord of Philipse Manor during the American Revolution. Colonel Philipse opposed the Revolution and supported the British. In August of 1776, he was arrested on the orders of George Washington and sent to jail in Connecticut. At the end of the Revolutionary War Colonel Philipse returned to England with the British soldiers. His property in Pocantico was confiscated by the State of New York and sold to colonists in 1785.
Rookery Constructed by:
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