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The railroads often determined the growth of a town, and the population shifted from Northern to Southern Westchester.By 1860, the total county population was 99,000, with the largest city being Yonkers.

The Croton Dam and Aqueduct was begun in 1837 and completed in 1842; now a National Historic Landmark, the Croton Aqueduct is considered one of the great engineering achievements of the 19th century.

In the 1840s, the first railroads were built in Westchester, and included the New York and Harlem Railroad, the Hudson River Railroad, and the New York and New Haven Railroad.

Westchester was the first suburban area of its scale in the world to develop, due mostly to the upper-middle-class development of entire communities in the late 19th century and the subsequent rapid population growth.

Because of Westchester's numerous road and mass transit connections to New York City, as well as its shared border with the Bronx, the 20th and 21st centuries have seen much of the county, particularly the southern portion, become nearly as densely developed as New York City itself.

At the time of European contact in the 16th and 17th centuries, the Native American inhabitants of present Westchester County were part of the Algonquian peoples, whose name for themselves was Lenape, meaning the people.

They called the region Lenapehoking, which consisted of the area around and between the Delaware and Hudson Rivers.

Dutch settlers began arriving in the 1620s, followed by settlers from England in the 1640s.

Westchester County was one of the original twelve counties of the Province of New York, created by an act of the New York General Assembly in 1683.

Westchester County ranks second in the state after New York County for median income per person, with a higher concentration of incomes in smaller households.

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