Katonah is one of the three unincorporated hamlets within the town of Bedford, New York. Katonah is named for Chief Katonah, an American Indian from who the land of Bedford was purchased by a group of English colonists. Founded with the name Whitlockville, the town changed its name, and later was moved to its present site in 1897, when its former site was flooded by construction of the Cross River Reservoir.
Residents of Katonah decided that instead of the inhabitants dispersing, they would pick up their houses and began to move over the Cross River beyond reach of the reservoir to come. Carefully planned streets had been laid out. More than 50 buildings were moved from the old site to New Katonah, were the rolled on logs pulled by horses. Here they started modern Katonah, planted trees, built churches and stores and more dwellings. The move was originally ordered to start in 1894, but litigation delayed the process by almost three years. They decided now, however, to become more of a residential community. Deeds to the new lots carried restrictive covenants ruling out every "dangerous noxious noisy or offensive trade employment or establishment whatsoever." In 1897 the first train stopped at the transplanted station in New Katonah and from then on, the village's character took on a new look. Katonah was not the only villages affected by New York City’s growing demand for water. The villages of Kirbyville and New Castle Corners were also condemned by the city but were never moved.
Katonah saw its Historic District, in 1983, listed on the State and National registers of Historic Places. This district encompasses the Bedford Road area, a section of the hamlet designed by landscape architects, G.S. and B.S. Olmstead. Noted for its Victorian architecture, Katonah now stands somewhat south of where the original hamlet was located and before it was obliged to move.
Katonah is widely known as home to Caramoor, Katonah Museum of Art and the John Jay Homestead, retirement home of John Jay, the first chief justice of the United States Supreme Court.
The Katonah Metro-North Railroad station serves the residents of the Katonah, via the Harlem Line. It is 41.2 miles from Grand Central Terminal and the average travel time to Grand Central is one hour and six minutes. Similar to both Brewster and Croton Falls, the train station is located right in the middle of the village’s downtown business district. As in the case with Brewster, Katonah is not far from the Connecticut border and sees a sizeable amount of commuters from Ridgefield using Katonah for commuting as opposed to the Danbury Branch of the New Haven Line, given that Katonah gives a faster and more direct trip to Grand Central. Similarly, Housatonic Area Regional Transit has a shuttle connecting Ridgefield to Katonah station during peak hours which also connects to Bee-Line Route 19 to Ossining.
The Katonah-Lewisboro School District serves the northern third of Bedford, including the hamlet of Katonah, the town of Lewisboro, and portions of the towns of Pound Ridge and North Salem. It has four elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. These are: Katonah Elementary School, Increase Miller Elementary School, Lewisboro Elementary School, Meadow Pond Elementary School, John Jay Middle School and John Jay High School.
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