The village of Croton-on-Hudson is 33 miles north of New York City. It's convenient to parkways, bus service, the county airport, and the Croton-Harmon Railroad Station. The Croton River and Hudson River meet and form the Village's boundaries to the South, East and West. The Village's topography includes low lying areas along the Hudson River and Route 9; the Croton River Gorge; and a plateau at the Village's northern boundary that reaches elevations up to 600 feet within a mile of the Hudson.
A rich history provides the backdrop for the community of Croton Harmon. Henry Hudson anchored the Half Moon off Croton Point. Dutch settlers purchased the land from the Kitchawan Indians in the late 1600s, reportedly for a barrel of rum and 12 blankets. And during the Revolutionary war, mills located at Van Cortlandt Manor were used to grind wheat into flour to feed hungry American patriots. The same spirit of care and concern for others continues: The Croton Caring Committee provides food, clothing, and personal outreach to community members in need of support. Historic buildings, including the 300-year-old Van Cortlandt Manor, dot the Croton Landscape. Housing ranges from apartments and modest village homes to modern or turn-of-the-century country homes on large parcels of land.
The Croton–Harmon Metro-North Railroad station serves the residents of Croton-on-Hudson, New York via the Hudson Line. It is the main transfer point between the Hudson Line's local and express service, and it is also served by almost all Amtrak trains on the line. Metro-North trains leave for New York City. Travel times to Grand Central range from 42 minutes (super-express runs) to 71 minutes (trains making all local stops). Croton-on-Hudson's economy has historically thrived on the Metro North train station that up until 1968 served as the point at which northbound trains would exchange their electric engines for other modes of conveyance. During those days, the train station and its super-adjacent area was known as Harmon. Because maintenance of diesel and steam engines was then very labor-intensive, there were many workers whose needs were served by abundant service businesses, such as restaurants and bars.
Since it's located on the Hudson and Croton rivers, boating and fishing are important to the residents; a sailing school, public boat basins, private marinas, and beaches provide easy access. The community continues to develop its waterfront, which includes parks, picnic areas, and a pedestrian bridge. The hilly landscape contains more than 600 acres of parkland, including the county Croton Point Park, with its boat-launch area, beach, camping facilities, playground, and hiking trails. Smaller parks feature outdoor concerts, movies and plays, tennis courts, playgrounds, and ball fields. There are also 186 acres of nature preserves in the village. Croton has combined with 11 other Hudson River towns to form a consortium known as Historic River Towns of Westchester, which promotes tourism and hosts special events.
The Croton-Harmon School District encompasses parts of the towns of Cortlandt, Yorktown, and Ossining and includes the village of Croton-on-Hudson. The district population is approximately 15,000 with some 1,700 students attending Croton schools this year. The personalized approach to teaching found in the schools makes the District one of the most successful in a county known for the high quality of its public schools. Small class size and an exemplary faculty contribute to Croton's superb reputation. The district has been recognized by the state and the nation for its outstanding programs and services. Both the Carrie E. Tompkins Elementary School and the Pierre Van Cortlandt Middle School have been named "Schools of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education, and are "project" schools in the Columbia University, Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. Croton-Harmon High School has served as a model and pilot school as new state standards and assessments were developed for higher expectations in student performance. The high school has been named one of Westchester's top high schools and was included in the Newsweek listing of the top high schools in the nation. In addition, the high school has been recognized for its positive reforms in nationally published books on education.