This post, which provides a brief history of one of New Yorks oldest communities, is brought to you by the New Rochelle workers’ compensation lawyers at The Disability Guys.
The Historic Beginnings Of New Rochelle
For nearly 12,000 years before the official founding of New Rochelle, the Siwanoy tribe lived, hunted, fished, and grew crops on the land. The tribe, which was divided into clans, would build temporary villages, moving when they felt the surrounding area had been exhausted. When European settlers arrived on American shores, the Lenape traded with and occasionally attacked settlements.
In Europe, in 1685, the French King, Louis XIV, revoked the Edict of Nantes which prevented the persecution of Protestants. Fearing another religious war, many countries welcomed fleeing French Protestants, known as the Huguenots. John Pell, an English political agent, worked with the King of England to provide land to the Huguenots, including the land that is now called New Rochelle.
A total of 33 Huguenot families moved to New Rochelle and created a settlement. It didn’t take long for the settlement to grow and for farms to be established.
Historic Moments In New Rochelle
The following are a few interesting historical moments that occurred in New Rochelle, NY:
- During the American Revolution, George Washington used New Rochelle as a “neutral ground” on which to regroup his troops after the Battle of White Plains.
- Thomas Paine, a Patriot, was given a farm after the American Revolution. Today, visitors can go to the Thomas Paine Cottage and see the small museum. War reenactments are also regularly held on the historic farm!
- In 1801, the Mott family built the country’s largest flour mill (at the time). The flour mill was four stories high and produced so much flour that it exported to Europe.
- In 1849, the ice industry established itself just outside of New Rochelle.
- During the Civil War, the local New Rochelle mills manufactured gun carriages for the Union.
Today, nearly 78,000 residents live in New Rochelle. According to police records, New Rochelle is the safest New York city of its size. Residents boast about their quality of life.