Chappaqua is a hamlet in the Town of New Castle with a rich history started in the 1730s when a group of Quakers came from Purchase to settle there. In 1753, they built a meeting house that still stands today in the Old Chappaqua Historic District. They met regularly in what became known as the Shapequa Meeting, named after the Algonquin word shah-pah-ka, which meant “the rustling land.” The Quakers changed the name’s spelling a few times through the years but it finally became Chappaqua.
Roaring Brook and the Saw Mill River powered watermills in the 1800s. And businesses started to spring up around the new train station in 1846.
New York Tribune Editor Horace Greeley was one of Chappaqua’s most noteworthy historical figures, having bought 78 acres of land east of the railroad in 1853. The New Castle Historical Society headquarters is in the Greeley House at 100 King St. where one can learn about the history of Chappaqua, figures like Horace Greeley and religious groups like the Quakers. Walking tours of Chappaqua are also an option.
If going to the Historical Society in the late morning, consider a breakfast, lunch or dinner at the French bistro Le Jardin du Roi, 95 King St. Westchester Magazine’s in 2005 named it as a place with the “Best Breakfast.”
In 1939, DeWitt and Lila Wallace moved Reader’s Digest to Bedford Road in Chappaqua, where it stayed until 2010 when it was moved to Manhattan. The Digest was responsible for providing thousands of jobs to area residents through the years. The couple is well known for their philanthropic endeavors in the area, including building the Wallace Foundation, which is nationally recognized for its involvement in educational and cultural programs.
The Chappaqua Central School District is considered an elite school system – having three elementary schools, two middle schools and Horace Greeley High School.
Skateboarders and roller-bladders can head to Skate Park in the commuter lot next to the train station for some action on its three quarter pipes and large box with rails.
Seeking relaxation? Think of going to the Nordic Therapy spa at 65 S. Bedford Road for a massage or mud wrap.