Peekskill, New York (population 22,441) was founded in the late 1600s, when Jan Peeck established a trading post on Annsville Creek. Its proximity to the Hudson River has been a key part of the city’s history.
Peekskill was a significant Revolutionary War military base. George Washington established headquarters at the Birdsall House, where he signed Benedict Arnold's command of West Point. Peekskill was razed twice by the British during the Revolutionary War, and some of the notable sites from that period can still be identified today.
In the 19th century, Peekskill was a thriving manufacturing center, producing everything from stoves and hats to underwear. Several locations in the area are thought to be associated with the Underground Railroad.
Today Peekskill’s emphasis has shifted to the arts and high tech, but the city has retained and reclaimed much of the architecture and open space that defined its elegant past. For example, the restored Lincoln Train Depot, circa 1850, was the site of President Lincoln’s only “whistle stop” in Westchester County on his way to his 1861 inauguration.
A number of Peekskill properties are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including private homes, a church, post office, and school. The Herrick House, built in 1875, today houses the Peekskill Museum.
Designated a Preserve America Community in January 2006.