According to historians, the wife of the local postmaster was an ardent fan of German composer, theater director and essayist, Richard Wagner. Like Wagner, she was interested in the Myth of the Norse, so she coined the name Valhalla, which in the mythology referred to the heavenly hall of slain warriors. Valhalla’s connection with death continues through the presence of the world famous cemetery area, the Kensico Cemetery, which was founded in 1889 when most cemeteries in New York City were filled.
Valhalla is probably best known as the location of the Kensico Dam Plaza. The park around the dam is host to numerous ethnic festivals, concerts, picnics, outdoor summer movies, and attracts year-round walkers, runners and roller-bladers.
Lyndhurst, the Neuberger Museum of Art and the Philipsburg Manor are some of the local museums. Nearby historic sites include the Abyssinian Baptist Church, the Apollo Theater and Marshall Field III. Local parks include Bear Mountain State Park, Palisades Interstate Park and Blauvelt State Park. The Bartlett Arboretum and the Bergen County Zoological Park are all accessible from Valhalla as well.
With a population of some 46,000 in an area embracing some 28 square miles, the town is served by 2 hospitals, 3 college campuses, 4 Metro North stations, as well as numerous golf courses, country clubs, senior & youth centers, and other desired amenities and services.