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By 1860, the total county population was 99,000, with the largest city being Yonkers.
The period following the American Civil War enabled entrepreneurs in the New York area to create fortunes, and many built large estates, such as Lyndhurst, in Westchester.
Two developments in the first half of the 19th century – the construction of the first Croton Dam and Aqueduct, and the coming of the railroad – had enormous impacts on the growth of Westchester.
The Croton Dam and Aqueduct was begun in 1837 and completed in 1842; now a National Historic Landmark, the Croton Aqueduct is considered one of the great engineering achievements of the 19th century.
These would later split from Manhattan to form their own county.
During the 20th century, the rural character of Westchester would transform into the suburban county known today.
The county is positioned with New York City, Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island, and Long Island Sound to its south; Putnam County to its north; Fairfield County, Connecticut to its east; and Rockland County and Bergen County, New Jersey across the Hudson River to the west.
Westchester was the first suburban area of its scale in the world to develop, due mostly to the upper-middle-class development of entire communities in the late 19th century and the subsequent rapid population growth.
Westchester County was one of the original twelve counties of the Province of New York, created by an act of the New York General Assembly in 1683.