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People lived from at latest about 7000 BC in what would become the village. The Kitchawanc tribe, part of the Wappinger Confederacy of the
Algonquian peoples, signed a peace treaty with the newly arriving Dutch people at Croton Point in 1645, now commemorated by a plaque in the park there.
Stephanus van Cortlandt began acquiring land in the area in 1677 (the year he became mayor of New York City) to create a manor. It was granted by royal patent in 1697 as the Manor of Cortlandt, including the area known as Croton Landing where the Croton River meets the Hudson River, where the manor house was built. A 1718 census reports 91 inhabitants including Dutch settlers and English Quakers. People worked the manor primarily as farmers or millers.
In the mid to late 1800s the Croton Dam, the New Croton Dam and the Croton Aqueduct were built on the Croton River to supply New York City, along with the New York Central Railroad station on the Hudson River. Many Irish, Italian and German immigrants moved to the area to work on those projects, increasing the population dramatically. By 1898, when the Village incorporated, the population was 1,000 people, growing to 1,700 people in the early 1900s.
In 1846 work began on a Hudson River rail line from Poughkeepsie to New York City. Clifford Harmon, a realtor, purchased 550 acres of land next to the village of Croton in 1903. He gave part of the land to the New York Central Railroad to build a train station, on the condition that the station would forever be named after him. Today it is called the Croton-Harmon station of the Metro-North Railroad and of Amtrak. In 1906, the station became a major service facility for the railroad. The station expanded even further in 1913, when it became the stop at which electric trains from New York City switched to steam engines.
Harmon thrived as an artist's colony alongside the Village, while the neighboring Mount Airy community evolved from Quakers to Greenwich Village artists and writers by the early 1900s. Mount Airy was home to many early members of the American Communist Party. In 1932 Harmon and most of Mount Airy were incorporated into the Village.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 10.8 square miles (28.0 km2), of which 4.8 square miles (12.4 km2) is land and 6.1 square miles (15.8 km2), or 56.06%, is water.
There were 2,798 households out of which 38.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.5% were married couples living together, 8.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.7% were non-families. 22.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.11.
In the village, the population was spread out with 25.7% under the age of 18, 4.5% from 18 to 24, 30.1% from 25 to 44, 26.1% from 45 to 64, and 13.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.7 males.
The median income for a household in the village was $84,744, and the median income for a family was $100,182. Males had a median income of $65,938 versus $46,029 for females. The per capita income for the village was $39,441. About 1.8% of families and 3.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.2% of those under age 18 and 1.2% of those age 65 or over.
Trustees: Sherry Horowitz, Amy Attias, Ann Gallelli
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. Because of the separate development of both the Harmon and the Mt. Airy communities, there were originally two commercial districts--one centered on Grand Street, and the other in Harmon--though in recent years the two have merged into a single sprawling commercial district. There is also a North Riverside commercial district serving communities along Riverside Drive, Brook Street, Grand Street, and Bank Street.
A man and woman fishing in Croton Point Park
After the New York Central Railroad folded, Croton-on-Hudson's economy slowly stagnated. Although Croton-Harmon station still served as the main transfer point northbound between local and express trains, the laborers who had earlier fueled a bustling service economy were no longer present in Harmon. The exodus of labor during the early 1970s was compounded by the stagflation that was a result of higher oil prices and skyrocketing interest rates.
There has been an ongoing effort since the early 1990s to develop the riverfront for recreational use. Among the accomplishments are a pedestrian bridge spanning U.S. Route 9 and NY 9A between the lower village and Senasqua Park, the Crossining pedestrian footbridge across the Croton River, the bicycle trail extensions around Half Moon Bay Condominiums, rehabilitation of the "Picture Tunnel" (repaving and closing it to cars), and acquisition and clearing of the Croton Landing property. In addition, Croton Point Park is also along the riverfront.
Croton-on-Hudson has an annual event called the Summerfest. Every year the central business district (with corners at the Municipal Building, Grand Street Fire House and Croton-Harmon High School) is closed to automobile traffic for music, American food, local fund raisers, traveling, and local artists.
Since 1981 Croton-on-Hudson has been the home of the annual Harry Chapin Run Against Hunger, a 10k race and Fun Run, held on a Sunday afternoon in October.
Croton-on-Hudson is home to a number of local, independent businesses, such as 3rd Universe Comics, Croton Computer Buddy, the Blue Pig, Bagels on Hudson, and The Black Cow Coffee Company, which opened December 1995, Westchester's first micro-roastery-coffeehouse.
Dummy light at the intersection of Grand Street and Old Post Road.
Every weekend in October, people visit Van Cortlandt Manor to see the Blaze. Started in 2005, the Blaze consists of thousands of pumpkins which are hollowed out by volunteers but carved by a creative team.
From the 1910s to the 1960s, Croton was a popular location for the summer homes of American communists, socialists and other radicals and many important artists and writers. This gave the Mt. Airy area in Croton the nickname "Red Hill"
The village is home to one of a handful operating "dummy lights" in the United States, located downtown at the intersection of Old Post Road South and Grand Street. It is a traffic signal on a pedestal which sits in the middle of an intersection, dating back to the 1920s. Two others are located in New York State, in Beacon and Canajoharie.
Asbury United Methodist Church - a Methodist church.
Brinton Brook Sanctuary is Saw Mill River Audubon's largest sanctuary, covering 156 acres and offering over three miles of hiking trails through a variety of habitats.
Croton Landing Park is a 12.2 acre park containing a 2/3 mile scenic walkway along the Hudson River. The walkway ends at a 9/11 memorial built around a beam from the World Trade Center.
Senasqua Park is a 4.6 acre Hudson River waterfront park containing a sailing school and playground, with walkways to Croton Point and Croton Landing Park. 
Silver Lake Park is a 13.5 acre park with a beach along the Croton River with trails to Carrie E. Tompkins elementary school (CET) and the north tip of Cleveland Drive. 
Black Rock Park is a 10.5 acre park on the Croton River, near New York State Route 129 (NY 129), within a mile or so of the Croton Dam, used mostly for fly fishing and picnics. It is within 100 yards of a historic bridge which dates from the 1800s on Quaker Hill Road. 
Mayo's Landing is a 1.1 acre park along the Croton River. 
Paradise Island Park is a 22.2 acre undeveloped island in the Croton River. 
^Panetta, Roger (2006). "Chapter 1: Westchester, the American Suburb: A New Narrative". In Roger Panetta. Westchester: the American Suburb. New York, New York: Fordham University Press. pp. 42-43. ISBN0-8232-2593-3.CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
^Williams, Gray (2003). "Suburban Westchester". In Elizabeth G. Fuller and Katherine M. Hite. Picturing Our Past: National Register Sides in Westchester County. Elmsford, New York: Westchester County Historical Society. pp. 382-383. ISBN0-915585-14-6.CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)