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Preserve America is a national initiative in cooperation with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; the U.S. Departments of Defense, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, and Education; the National Endowment for the Humanities; the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities; and the President's Council on Environmental Quality.

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Preserve America Community:
North Castle, New York

North Castle, New York, (population 12,082) was incorporated on March 7, 1788 and is a town with many connections to early American history. During the Revolutionary War, North Castle was the location of several important events, including the Battle of White Plains, a key victory by General George Washington.

During the early 19th century, most North Castle residents were farmers, but by 1840, the shoemaking industry became an important industry. Nearly 300 households stitched shoes in the evenings for extra income. In the early 1900s, many individuals from New York City built “country estates” in North Castle, including the Wenga Farm, Red Brooke Farm, and North Castle Farm.

The annual “Winter Walk” is an event in North Castle that aims to promote heritage tourism and the economic vitality of the town’s local businesses. The “Winter Walk” takes place in North Castle’s Bedford Road Historic District, a National Register of Historic Places historic district. The event includes a festival of lights, Christmas tree and menorah lighting, hayrides, and Christmas carolers in period costumes. Many local businesses remain open for the event, to capitalize on the additional foot traffic.

Additionally, the North Castle Historical Society opens its historic buildings for tours, including the Smith Tavern, a National Register of Historic Places listed site that was a militia headquarters during the Revolutionary War.

The North Castle Historical Society, in conjunction with the Byram Hills Central School District, administers “Colonial Craft Days” as part of the curriculum for all fourth grade students. Students receive lessons in the East Middle Patent School, a restored one-room schoolhouse. During the day-long event, students participate in many hands-on activities, including blacksmithing, quilting, butter making, open hearth cooking, spinning, weaving, and quill writing.

For more information

Town of North Castle: www.northcastleny.com

New Castle Historical Society: newcastlehistoricalsociety.org

Posted June 5, 2009

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