Lean, strong horses can be seen grazing on the
lush lawns of horse farms or behind fences close to the road, and
are as common a sight in North Salem as squirrels or deer.Its hamlets
of Purdys, Croton Falls, Salem Center, and North Salem have small
shopping areas amid open roads and horse farms, offering things
like produce and haircuts, a handful of restaurants and small stores.
For a grocery store or busy shopping area, residents have to drive
to a neighboring town, which isn't difficult, with its close proximity
to Connecticut and Putnam County.The 23.4-square-mile town has
its own school system with nearly 1,450 students, from kindergarten
through 12th grade.Its library recently underwent a large-scale
renovation and expansion, growing from about 3,400 square feet
to about 5,700 square feet, and now houses a children's room.
North Salem's history, dating back to 1731, resonates
through the small town, which has a population of about 5,200.Delancey
Hall, one of the three buildings that comprise Town Hall, is on
the National Register of Historic Places.
Driving along Route 116, also known as Titicus Road, one can
view historical sites and structures, such as The Cable Barn, circa
1869, and Balanced Rock, a 60-ton mound of granite that rests on
five smaller rocks. The rock does not match the make-up of typical
rocks found in the area, so its placement remains a mystery. It
is thought to have been left there during the glacial period.
Antique shops can be spotted along the town's
roads as well,
among the houses and sprawling
Route 116 is one of Westchester's most
historic roads, having
been marked as an
escape route for George Washington
Hardscrabble Road is so-called because
to get to the nearby Tompkins
which straddled the road, it was a "hard scrabble,"
Dick Yakman, North Salem's town historian.
The eccentric characters that have come through
the town over
the years remain alive through storytelling, such as the hermit
Sara Bishop, who supposedly lived in a cave and eventually froze
to death there. In her spirit, people generally like to keep to
themselves around town, Yakman says.
The town has become a get-away for the rich
and famous, including
New York City
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, David Letterman,
Stanley Tucci and others.
But it takes a long time to become a true North Salemite
taxes and bringing wealth to the community
isn't enough, says Yakman.
To earn their stripes, residents have to get involved
something back to the community, he said.