A Walking History of Port Chester, New York

Meat, Port Chester

Port Chester is a small coastal town(1) just on the New York side of the NY-CT border. It was founded by settlers from nearby Greenwich, Connecticut in 1660.

As we walk through the town and discover its history together, I’d like to share with you some photographs I took. At the top of this post, that’s a sign advertising Fresh Meat from a grocery store on Main Street. Mmm, delicious! Here’s “Enchanted Home” (side view), on Highland Street, the car is registered in Florida:

Enchanted Home, Port Chester

The original settlers bought the land from the Mohegan Indians. A short while later, the Mohegans found themselves landless and eventually lost their tribal status.(2) In 1994, after decades of petitioning, the Mohegans gained federal recognition and now have a reservation in east-central Connecticut. In 2003, the Mohegans became the first Native American tribe to purchase a professional sports team, the WNBA team Connecticut Sun.(3)

Here’s the view through a window of a hardware store on North Main Street:

Hardware store on Main, Port Chester

In 1683, the town of Sawpit (as Port Chester was originally known) was given to the New York Colony. Connecticut was not pleased and they contested this for over a hundred years.

On June 30th, 1974, Peter J. Leonard broke into a bowling alley where he probably burglarized(4) some cigarette machines. Before he left, he set fire to the place in order to cover up his tracks. The fire spread to Gulliver’s, the nightclub next door. Twenty-four people died. One of the survivors was Eric Carr(5) who later went on to join KISS as drummer. Carr died on the same day as Freddie Mercury, November 24th, 1991.

This is Los Chuzos de Juancho, a Columbian Restaurant on South Main. The store on the second floor offers “Facial Waxing”:

Los Chuzos, Port Chester

Today, Port Chester is famous for its restaurants.

Tienda el Tresoro, Port Chester


1) Legally speaking it’s a village within the Town of Rye. The Town of Rye consists of the Villages of Rye Brook and Port Chester as well as a chunk of Mamaroneck. Rye itself is not part of the Town of Rye, instead it is an independent City. Although only a part of the Town of Rye, Port Chester has a population of 29,000 which is almost double the City of Rye’s 16,000. I’m not going to pretend to understand why this is so.
2) I’m not sure how this works exactly. Mental note to dig deeper into this.
3) Previously known as Orlando Miracle they were based down in Florida. A big change in climate, then.
4) Or burgled, if you’re from the UK. I’ll never get used to the verb “burglarize.” It has one too many vowels for a word so urgent.
5) Real name: Paul Caravello.

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About Richard

I am a writer who travels endlessly. Fascinated by how our lives are propelled forward by what's left behind, I thirst to know everything. I read, collect, gather, organise, list. Here are some of the things I read, see and experience. Please make yourself at home: drinks and pretzels will be served shortly. If you'd like to get in touch, I'd love to hear from you!


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4 Comments on “A Walking History of Port Chester, New York
  1. Too bad you didn’t mention/show the Capitol Theater on Westchester Ave., where rock & roll greats like Janice Joplin and the Rolling Stones have appeared. It’s still a popular venue; Bob Dylan will be there later this month.

    For many years, a facility in Port Chester was the sole manufacturing site for LifeSavers roll candies. (Several years ago, the building was converted to condominiums.) When I was growing up in PC, during the week, the entire downtown area would be fragrant with the flavor being produced that day. Butter rum was my favorite!

    • Thank you for commenting!

      You know, I must have driven by the Capitol Theater a hundred times when I lived there, but I knew nothing about it until after I’d moved away!

      I adore the LifeSaver building! I love how there are LiveSaver mints carved into all the detailing! Did you ever see the giant rolls of LifeSavers that used to be outside the building? I know one still exists, it was moved upstate to Gouverneur, which is where Edward Noble came from. Noble bought the recipe for LIfeSavers from Clarence Crane of Cleveland OH in 1913, then set up shop in Port Chester!

      Thanks again for stopping by my little site!

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