Ossining is a town that incorporates two villages, one of the same name and part of the village of Briarcliff Manor. Ossining is bordered to the west by the Hudson River, and the north by the Croton River. In 1685, Frederick Philipse bought our town from the Sint Sinck Indians, members of the Wappinger Confederacy. It constituted a part of the Manor of Philipsburg, which extended from Spuyten Duyvil Creek to the Croton River.
Because the last Lord of the Manor, Colonel Frederick Philipse, was a Loyalist during the Revolutionary War, the Manor was confiscated by the State in 1779. Subsequently, many of the former tenants bought their old farms from the State.
In 1813, the Village of Sing Sing was incorporated. In 1845, by an action of the state legislature, a new township was created from the northern part of the Town of Mount Pleasant. On the advice of an eminent Indian authority this new town was christened Ossinsing, a different form of Sing Sing. The next year the name was shortened to Ossining which proved easier to pronounce.
In 1901, local officials changed the name of the village to Ossining to avoid confusing goods made in the village with prison-made products that were at that time allowed to be sold on the open market. The village of Briarcliff, east of the village of Ossining, was settled during the nineteenth century, and was then called Whitson's Crossing after one of the early families. In 1902 it was incorporated as the village of Briarcliff Manor, the name was given to it by Walter W. Law founder and chief landowner.
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. 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 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, and proximity to water, Nightlife, Shopping, and Downtown.
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 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.
Town of Ossining: www.townofossining.com
Village of Ossining: www.villageofossining.org
Village of Briarcliff Manor:www.briarcliffmanor.org
Ossining Union Free School District: http://www.ossiningufsd.org
Ossining Historical Society: www.ossininghistorical.org