Get to know Yonkers, NY

The city of Yonkers is located just north of the Bronx and is sometimes referred to as “the Sixth Borough”.  Originally the city was on the Colen Donck land grant that was purchased in 1645 by the first lawyer in North America, Adriaen van der Conck.  The name “Yonkers” was derived from Van der Donck’s knickname of “Jonkeer” or “Jonker”, which meant “young gentleman” in Dutch.  Before being killed in the Peach War, Van de Donck built a saw mill on what is now known as Saw Mill River.  Near the mill was home of Frederick Philipse.  The Philipse Manor Hall rested on Philipse enormous estate, which encompassed the entirety of the modern day city.  His great grandson, Frederick Philipse III, was a staunch loyalist, and as a result was forced to flee following the Revolutionary War.  The Philipse land was confiscated and sold following the war.  Yonkers was a small farming town with industry on the waterfront into the 19th century.  In 1853, Elisha Otis invented the first safety elavator and opened the Otis Elevator Company in Yonkers.  Around this time the Alexander Smith and Sons Carpet Company, one of the world’s premier carpet producers, expanded in the city.  In 1872 Yonkers was incorporated as a city.  It vehemently opposed being incorporated into New York City, so Yonkers, along with nearby Mount Vernon, remained independent.  In 1888, the first golf course in the United States, St. Andrew’s Golf Club, was founded in Yonkers.  Manufacturing remained strong until the end of World War II when increased competition from inexpensive imports pushed activity out of the city.  In the second half of the 20th century Yonkers lost a number of jobs when the Alexander Smith Carpet Company and Otis Elevator Factory ceased operations.  The city became mainly residential, attracting wealthy New York City residents who wanted out of Manhattan without losing urban conveniences.  The city is home to Sarah Lawrence College.  Yonkers has been the backdrop for a number of films and television episodes, including Catch Me if You Can and A Beautiful Mind, and was the setting for the Broadway musical Hello Dolly! Famous residents have included Mary J. Blige, Jon Voight, and Steven Tyler.

Quick Facts

Population: 199,435

Median Household Income: $59,049

Median Property Value: $382,300

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