New Rochelle, NY is one of the largest cities in New York, and it’s located just outside of the Big Apple. This unique area blends many cultures into one beautiful community that attracts tons of new residents each year. New Rochelle history starts way back in the 1600’s when it was founded by French Huguenots who were fleeing anti-Protestant pogroms in Catholic France.
Because many of the original settlers in this area were from La Rochelle, France, the community was named New Rochelle. Many of these settlers were artisans and craftsmen who were of the middle classes of that time in history. From that point forward, New Rochelle has really been a middle class area with many working individuals setting near the edge of the Long Island Sound here.
In the early 1800’s New Rochelle started to get some of the cultural diversity that it is still known for. Many settlers from the New York City area moved out of the city to New Rochelle. The area, though, was still controlled largely by ancestors of the original French Huguenot founders because these founders owned much of the agricultural land as well as many of the area’s businesses.
In the 1900’s, New Rochelle history started turning toward tourism, which is still a main staple of the harbor town today. Glen Island, one of the first public theme parks, was opened in the town in 1879 and started drawing many visitors there throughout the 1900’s.
Now, New Rochelle is a culturally diverse place that hangs on to much of its history even while moving forward into the future. It is now a settling place for many families who hold jobs in New York City, although it is also a big enough town to support a vibrant economy and plenty of work.