Haverstraw is rich in its history, culture, and people. Featuring one of the most diverse populations in Rockland, the town has become known for its forward-thinkingness, revitalized downtown and booming waterfront.
The area is steeped in history. Henry Hudson docked his ship, Half Moon, in what is now Haverstraw Bay during his 1609 trip up and down the river that eventually took his name.
The Town of Haverstraw was formed in 1788 and is bordered by the Hudson River on the east and Orange County on the west. Within the town are two villages – the village of Haverstraw and the village of West Haverstraw – and part of a third, the village of Pomona.
The village of Haverstraw was incorporated in 1854 under the name Warren, which was changed to Haverstraw in 1874. The village of West Haverstraw was incorporated in 1883. The village of Pomona, formed from unincorporated portions of the town of Ramapo and Haverstraw, was incorporated in 1967.
The village of Haverstraw was once known as “the brick-making capital of the world” and is largely responsible for making bricks that made their way by schooners and barges down the Hudson River to New York City in the 1700s and 1800s. The village and the nearby shore had extraordinary amounts of yellow and blue clay. By the 1880s, there were more than 40 brickyards sending more than 300 million bricks to Manhattan per year. In 1906, the excavation of clay finally caused a landslide and the destruction of homes and the death of 19 people. The Great Depression and the advent of new building materials, such as steel and concrete, dried up the brick-making industry for the village. The Haverstraw Brick Museum, on 12 Main Street in the village, is open most Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday afternoons.
Haverstraw also has an abundance of culture, as numerous festivals take place throughout the year that celebrate the heritage of its people.
Haverstraw offers the finest commuting options in the county. The Haverstraw Ferry has been a tremendous success on the Hudson River. Buses ride into New York City, and the town is immediately accessible to the Palisades Interstate Parkway, the George Washington Bridge and Tappan Zee Bridge. A commuter ferry runs between the village of Haverstraw and Ossining, where commuters take a train to Grand Central Terminal.
The Haverstraw Parks and Recreation Department is among the county’s finest, as there are many ways to spend an afternoon. Bowline Point Park features an Olympic-sized swimming pool. The Philip J. Rotella Golf Course is one of the finest 18-hole courses in the county. And Cheesecote Mountain Park and Rosman Park feature endless vistas.
West Haverstraw is northwest of the village of Haverstraw. For history buffs, Treason House on Route 9W/Stony Point Road is where Benedict Arnold met British Major John André on September 21, 1780, to alert him of troop forces at West Point in an effort to help the British capture the fort. In 1828, John Glass founded the textile industry in Haverstraw when he bought 45 acres along Minisceongo Creek. Some factory buildings in the town still remain and are among the few examples of 19th-century factory architecture still in use in the U.S.