Looking back on the year 2000 is like looking back on our infancy. After all, it was the start of a new century (or was it?). How many resolutions did you make? How many did you break? How has the world changed in one year? How has history repeated itself? Certainly, our nation’s election process will undergo changes. However, even that controversy was not entirely new to the American public.

On our website over the past year we have reprinted, in installments, an article from the December 1900 issue of The Ladies Home Journal. The article was a list of predictions for the nation and the world, based on the opinions of experts in each field, for the coming century. In the succeeding 100 years, many of those predictions were fulfilled, while some remain just a dream. Most are humorous to us now!

It would be interesting to know what the citizens of Yorktown in 1901 dreamed their hometown would be like in the year 2001. I’m sure they would not recognize the town in general; however, if they were to look for the homes in which they lived, or the streets on which they traveled, many would find them intact after 100 and even 200 years. Different looking, but proudly still existing.

How do you see this community 100 years from now? Will your neighborhood still exist? It’s wonderful to dream and improve the quality of our lives and that of our children and grandchildren; but we must reflect on our past and preserve that heritage which has survived thus far.

Progress with Preservation - the Town of Yorktown’s official motto - should be foremost in our minds and that of our elected officials whenever we are faced with change that affects Yorktown’s landscape. Organizations such as the Yorktown Land Trust, the Yorktown Historical Society, the Landmarks Preservation Committee and the Yorktown Museum are all dedicated to “Progress with Preservation”. As this next century unfolds, you will witness more energy and commitment from these groups. We hope each of you will support their efforts as well.

Yorktown will be participating in the marking of General Rochambeau’s route from Newport, Rhode Island to Yorktown, Virginia during the Revolutionary War, which next year will celebrate its 225th anniversary. The French encampments, both to and from Virginia, and the sections of road traveled by the General through our town, have been identified and will be marked as part of this historic trail. Yorktown is proud to be a part of this historic endeavor. There are still a number of homes along this trail, and in other sections of town, that are existent from that time and currently occupied by families in this 21st century!

Also coming soon will be the establishment of the Westchester African-American Trail, in which Yorktown plans to participate. Watch the news for these and other events, as our community continues to move forward as it reflects on its past. 

The Yorktown Historical Society will be publishing the inaugural issue of its book, “Reflections” in the next few months. The book will be for sale to the general public and will comprise the past 12 feature articles published on the Society’s website since November 1998. (Check back here for information on how to obtain a copy of the book.) 

We continue to research local history and expand our website, providing interesting information about our town’s place in history. We hope you enjoy it!

Written by Linda L. Kiederer

The Yorktown Historical Society updates the home page with seasonally appropriate articles and information. Click here to read our past issues.