Congers, NY: Congers is a small village located in Rockland County, New York that provides its residents with a serene and picturesque lifestyle. About 19 miles north of New York City, Congers features four lakes: Congers Lake, Rockland Lake, Swartwout Lake and Lake DeForest – offering recreational opportunities, natural beauty and history to the hamlet.
A Brief History of Congers
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Congers was originally settled by Dutch farmers during the 17th century and named for their hometown in Coenraets, Netherlands. Additionally known as Cedar Grove, Clarksville and Waldberg before adopting its current name in 1891.
Congers played an instrumental role in the American Revolution as it served as the site of a skirmish between British forces and local militia in 1777. Furthermore, in the 1840s it witnessed the construction of Erie Railroad that connected Congers to New York City as well as towns along Hudson River; this railroad brought economic development and population growth as well as visitors enjoying lakeside resorts and hotels.
Congers was home to several notable figures during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, such as Thomas Edison who maintained both a laboratory and summer house there; actress Helen Hayes who lived here for over sixty years; and author John Cheever who wrote some of his stories set there.
Congers is a suburban hamlet with a long and varied history and an estimated population of 8,500 residents. Part of Clarkstown town, Congers has its own fire department, post office, library and schools as well as several festivals and events such as Lake Memorial Day Parade, Valley Cottage Rotary Club Carnival and Congers Fire Department Christmas Tree Lighting that bring people from near and far together each year.
The Four Lakes of Congers
One of the defining characteristics of Congers is its location near four lakes that cover about 18% of the area of its hamlet, providing water and wildlife sources while serving as recreational and tourism spots.
- Congers Lake: Congers Lake is the largest and central lake in Congers, covering about 170 acres. It boasts a park, beach, playground, fishing pier and walking trail around it; in addition, this location hosts the Congers Lake Memorial Day Parade featuring floats, bands and veterans every year.
- Rockland Lake State Park: Covering approximately 1,133 acres with a 256-acre lake, Rockland Lake is a state park offering facilities for swimming, boating, fishing, golfing, hiking, biking and picnicking as well as hosting a history museum, nature center, historic cemetery and historical cemetery. At one time Rockland Lake served as one of the main sources for New York City residents when harvesters would cut and ship out blocks of ice from it during winter months.
- Swartwout Lake: This small and secluded 25-acre lake was named in honor of Abraham Swartwout, a Revolutionary War hero whose farm sat near its edge. Popular activities there include fishing, kayaking and birdwatching.
- Lake DeForest: Lake DeForest, created in 1955 by damming the Hackensack River and named for former president DeWitt Clinton DeForest of the Hackensack Water company, covers approximately 800 acres. It serves as an important source of drinking water for Rockland County and parts of Bergen County New Jersey while providing scenic boating, fishing, and photography opportunities.
Congers is an attractive suburban hamlet with a long and rich history and four lakes, making it an inviting place to live and visit. Congers provides residents and visitors with various activities, amenities and events while still maintaining its sense of community and heritage – truly making this an idyllic location by the lake.