Ossining (village), New York

Ossining (village), New York
Ossining, New York
—  Village  —
Ossining, New York is located in New York
Ossining, New York
Location within the state of New York
Coordinates: 41°9′55″N 73°51′24″W / 41.16528°N 73.85667°W / 41.16528; -73.85667Coordinates: 41°9′55″N 73°51′24″W / 41.16528°N 73.85667°W / 41.16528; -73.85667
Country United States
State New York
County Westchester
 – Total 6.3 sq mi (16.4 km2)
 – Land 3.2 sq mi (8.3 km2)
 – Water 3.1 sq mi (8.1 km2)
Elevation 161 ft (49 m)
Population (2010)
 – Total 25,060
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 – Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 10562
Area code(s) 914
FIPS code 36-55530
GNIS feature ID 0959520

Ossining is a village in Westchester County, New York, United States. The population was 25,060 at the 2010 census. As a village, it is located in the Town of Ossining.



Ossining borders the eastern shores of the widest part of the Hudson River.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 6.3 square miles (16.4 km2), of which, 3.2 square miles (8.3 km2) of it is land and 3.1 square miles (8.1 km2) of it (49.37%) is water.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 24,010 people, 8,227 households, and 5,339 families residing in the village. The population density was 7,464.8 people per square mile (2,879.0/km2). There were 8,515 housing units at an average density of 2,647.4 per square mile (1,021.0/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 51.26% White, 17.87% Black or African American, 0.12% Native American, 3.28% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.44% from other races, and 5.04% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 22.08% of the population.

There were 8,227 households out of which 30.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.0% were married couples living together, 12.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.1% were non-families. 28.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.17.

In the village the population was spread out with 20.7% under the age of 18, 8.3% from 18 to 24, 39.1% from 25 to 44, 20.9% from 45 to 64, and 11.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 117.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 119.4 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $52,185, and the median income for a family was $60,179. Males had a median income of $40,412 versus $36,975 for females. The per capita income for the village was $25,036. About 7.6% of families and 10.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.9% of those under age 18 and 8.3% of those age 65 or over.


In 1838 Benjamin Brandreth built a manufacturing facility for his Vegetable Universal Pills which became one of the most successful patent medicines in the United States. Brandreth's business became very successful and his firm was at one point the nation's leading proprietary advertiser.[2] Brandreth became President of the village for many years.[3]

Due to the history of the village, a number of Ossining structures are on the National Register of Historic Places, and the downtown shopping area is listed as the Downtown Ossining Historic District.[4] In addition, the Sparta neighborhood has been designated a local historic district. Ossining’s role in New York’s heritage has been recognized by its inclusion, as one of only 14 areas, in an Urban Cultural Park System designed to attract visitors to the State.

Present day Ossining is a vital community with a vast range in types of housing, from the very modest to the luxurious estates, and a diversified population enjoying a healthy racial and religious mix. The Village of Ossining is situated within 3 square miles (8 km2) and according to the U.S. Bureau of Census, 2000 census 24,010 reside in this historic village on the Hudson River.

Ossining is ranked the No.2 best community to live in Westchester by Westchester Magazine, based on criteria such as Diversity, Housing Costs, Parks & Recreation, Property Tax, Proximity to NYC, Safety, Schools, Proximity to Water, Nightlife, Shopping, and Downtown.


The Village boasts shopping centers;individual stores, and a historic crescent shaped downtown shopping area, which includes a variety of restaurants. The Arcadian Shopping Center contains banks, restaurants, a pharmacy, a supermarket, which caters to a variety of food needs, and stores for home decorating, gifts, toys and many other items. Additionally, the shopping center recently became home to a satellite campus of the Westchester Community College. Though the Village boasts these shopping centers, there is in fact only one actual shopping area. Other stores of spread throughout the village, but with the exception of grocery shopping most residents leave the Village to shop. The local trade has been a topic of hot debate in local government meetings, but little has changed and there is not much to attract shoppers from outside communities.


Ossining has an extensive recreational program for all age groups, including a summer day camp for local children. Students and adults enjoy classes, trips, sports and other activities throughout the year. There are programs especially designed for senior citizens such as swimming, art and dance. There is a publicly owned boat and canoe club and boat launching ramp, and two private marinas.


The Ossining train station provides commuter rail service to Grand Central Terminal in New York City or Croton-Harmon and Poughkeepsie via the Metro-North Railroad's Hudson Line. The Bee-Line Bus System provides bus service to Ossining on routes 11, 13, 13B, 14, and 19. NY Waterway also operates a ferry between Ossining and Haverstraw in Rockland County during the rush hours.

Community services

The fire department and the ambulance corps, which includes an Advance Life Support Program, are made up of volunteers. There are services for seniors ranging from a nutritional program to club activities and trips. Open Door Family Medical Centers has a sliding fee structure based on patient income. The Community Action Program (CAP) actively supports the interests of minorities and the poor, and the Interfaith Council for Action (IFCA) is involved in the rehabilitation of housing. The Ossining Historical Society Museum contains a wealth of information about the community and is staffed with knowledgeable and helpful volunteers. A unique edition of the history of the Jewish community of Ossining is available at the Ossining Historical Society Museum and the Ossining Public Library. In addition, there are many other numerous volunteer organizations that serve the community.


In addition to Ossining’s public schools, there are three parochial schools in the area that include kindergarten through eighth grade. The Ossining High School, which was in the list of the country’s top 250 best schools in the year 2000, offers students a variety of enrichment opportunities, including two high school programs which offer college level courses. One of these is a free program of advanced placement courses, the other offers college credit courses under the supervision of Syracuse University.

Ossining High School's former mascot and team name was the Indian however it is represented by the letter O, and does not have a mascot after the Riverhawk was disliked by many after it was discovered by students that the Riverhawk is actually a flower (see Iris (genus)) and not a bird. This is still the subject of controversy today, and many students still wear old Indians jerseys and wear the headdress to games and pep rallies.

There is a satellite campus of the Westchester Community College, and in nearby Briarcliff Manor and Pleasantville there is Pace University.

Ossining Public Library

The Ossining Public Library, originally chartered in 1893 as the Sing Sing Public Library, serves the residents of the Village and Town of Ossining, and parts of Briarcliff Manor, Yorktown, and New Castle. The current collections of the library include over 110,000 books, 25,000 non-print items, and 300 newspaper and magazine titles. As a charter member of the 38-member Westchester Library System, the Ossining Public Library can also offer its patrons access to the 1 million+ holdings of the other county libraries. An ambitious ($15.8 million) building program was started in 2005 to replace its 1960s-era facility with a new 48,000-square-foot (4,500 m2) building. The new Ossining Public Library opened in March, 2007 and added many new or enhanced services, including over 50 public Internet terminals, a 250-seat theater, an art gallery, a cafe, and the county's first radio frequency (RFID) circulation system.

The main reading room of Ossining's library is named in honor of longtime Ossining resident, Pulitzer Prize-winning author John Cheever.[5] When Cheever died, the flags on Ossining's public buildings were lowered for 10 days.[5]

Notable buildings

Ossining is known as the home of the Sing Sing Correctional Facility, one of the most famous prisons in New York State.[5]

Ossining is also the home of the worldwide Maryknoll Catholic missions, as well as the site of the Crotonville Institute, the famous General Electric leadership training facility, founded in 1956.

In fiction

In seasons 1–3 of AMC's TV series Mad Men, Ossining is home to lead character Don Draper and his family, and remains the home of his ex wife, Betty, and their children through much of season 4, they later move to Rye. [6]


  1. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ Atwater, Edward (2004). An Annotated Catalogue of the Edward C. Atwater Collection of American. New York: Boydell & Brewer. pp. 118. ISBN 1580460984. 
  3. ^ Young, James (1961). The Toadstool Millionaires: A Social History of Patent Medicines in America before Federal Regulation. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0691045682. 
  4. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. http://nrhp.focus.nps.gov/natreg/docs/All_Data.html. 
  5. ^ a b c Minzesheimer, Bob. The John Cheever Reading Room. Ossining Public Library. http://www.ossininglibrary.org/pages/aboutTheLibrary/cheever.html 
  6. ^ Mad Men ep. 1x09 "Shoot"

External links

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