Family History Hunt Reveals Westchester’s Treasures

The narrowest house in Westchester, the birthplace of the American Circus, a cemetery dating to the Revolutionary War, two different balancing rocks, and a tavern visited by General George Washington…these are just a few of the hundred or so places families can discover this summer using the Westchester County Historical Society’s (WCHS) 150th Anniversary History Hunt mobile app on their phones or tablets.

Beginning July 1st, families can register to participate in the free program that allows them to sample over 300 years of Westchester by visiting 1 to 3 sites in over 30 communities. The link will be available on the WCHS website, The WCHS History Hunt mobile app, designed by Ossining-based Otocast, provides GPS-guided directions to the places. It then gives a description, images, and an audio recording with brief background. As proof of visiting the site, participants are given a simple task, often asking for an easily-uploaded photograph to be taken. The History Hunt will conclude on September 8th. Prizes will be presented in the fall to families or groups who complete the entire hunt and/or have highly creative entries. Gifts will include complimentary “tickets” to family-friendly Westchester museums, restaurants and amusements. 

“Our county’s dedicated historians and historical societies have helped us assemble a fabulous array of places to see and history to be experienced,” said Barbara Davis, WCHS Co-Director and History Hunt coordinator. “We are so fortunate to have such a remarkable, diverse heritage. This is a delicious way to sample it.”

Additional 150th Anniversary events showcasing the work of the society and Westchester’s extraordinary heritage include a digital exhibit featuring treasures from the WCHS collection that is traveling throughout the county to various public venues, and a Keynote Event featuring author and historian Kermit Roosevelt III on October 6, 2024.  

The eleventh oldest county historical society in America, WCHS is primarily a library and research center. The non-profit organization is located in the Westchester County Records Center in Elmsford, where the county’s public records and archives are also housed. The work of the professionally-run WCHS library falls into three categories: acquisition of new materials, processing, and preserving the library’s collections, and providing public access to those WCHS collections. Documents, maps, photographs, manuscripts, books and other materials have been collected since the inception of WCHS, the only history organization that is steward of materials representing all of Westchester. The collection of over a half million materials are preserved in 10,000 square feet of state-of-the-art, temperature controlled vaults, on shelves equivalent to the length of 215 football fields. WCHS continues to add new materials to the library by gift, purchase, and long-term loan. 

For more information, contact Barbara Davis, WCHS Co-director, at (914) 231-1437 or