On Sunday, September 9th, I had the pleasure of attending one of the last guided Walking Tours of 2018 of the Ossining Historic Neighborhood, Sparta, led by Dr. Alan Stahl, who teaches in the History Department at Princeton University, is a neighborhood resident, and is the chair of the Village of Ossining Historic Preservation Commission.

Sparta is located right behind the Arcadia shopping plaza, extending east towards the Hudson River. More than 200 years ago, Sparta was transformed from a piece of farmland into a residential community with one of the nation’s first subdivision plans. The neighborhood of Sparta, mapped out in November 1795 at the southern end of the Village of Ossining, celebrated its bicentennial on September 23, 1995.

Sparta is the oldest surviving settlement in the Town of Ossining, which includes the Village of Ossining (formerly Sing Sing) and part of the Village of Briarcliff Manor, along the east bank of the Hudson River in Westchester County, New York. Sparta’s independent existence ended in 1906 when the Village of Ossining extended its borders southward to encompass Sparta.

The last tour of the season will take place Sunday, October 7th. The tour starts at the Jug Tavern (Rockledge Avenue and Revolutionary Road, behind the CVS) at 1 p.m. with the showing of the video “The Battle for Sparta” and then participants are led on a six block walk through the neighborhood learning about the historic homes in the landmarked district; the tour ends at around 3 p.m.

The talk and tour are free, but reservations are encouraged as participation is limited to 20 people. Visit the Jug Tavern website for updates on the tours and to make your reservation. If you cannot make this season’s last walk, join in for the 2019 season, beginning on April.

If you would like to become a Member of Jug Tavern of Sparta, Inc. to support free events like these, consider their basic membership for a donation of just $25 per person per year, or $50 per family. Memberships donations are used for the preservation and restoration of this historic landmark and are tax deductible.

When River Knoll is completed and our apartments occupied by new and returning “locals”, we look forward to letting them know about these wonderful tours that provide so much valuable insight about the history, landmarks, and evolution of this rich and special community.

Below are a few images of some of the structures that will be discussed during the tour.