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Several large harbors lie along the shore including Milton Harbor in Rye, Mamaroneck Harbor, Larchmont Harbor, and Echo Bay, and the upper and lower harbors in southern New Rochelle. Army's Fort Slocum, is currently unoccupied but is slated for use as passive parkland; Glen Island, currently a Westchester Parks Department run beach and park, was one of the first amusement parks in the country serving as a summer resort at the turn of the twentieth century; Huckleberry Island is largely undeveloped, and has one of the largest rookeries in western Long Island Sound; Echo Island is owned and used by a private yacht club; Execution Rocks is the site of a 19th-century lighthouse listed on the National Register of Historic Places; Columbia, Pea, and Goose Islands are undeveloped; Clifford, Harrison and Tank Islands are part of the "Five Islands Park" and nature preserve; while Oak and Pine Islands are used as private residences.A number of islands can be found off the Long Island Sound shore, most of which are located in New Rochelle. The widest section of the Hudson River, at 3.6 miles (6 km), is found between the Westchester and Rockland County shorelines immediately north of Croton Point.The Bronx River Parkway, completed in 1925, was the first modern, multi-lane limited-access roadway in North America.The development of Westchester's parks and parkway systems supported existing communities and encouraged the establishment of new ones, transforming the development pattern for Westchester.With the need for homes expanding after World War II, multistory apartment houses appeared in the urbanized areas of the county, while the market for single-family houses continued to expand. Major interstate highways were constructed in Westchester during the 1950s and 1960s.The establishment of these roadways, along with the construction of the Tappan Zee Bridge, led to further growth in the county.Westchester County is located in southern New York, also known as Downstate.It shares its southern boundary with New York City and its northern border with Putnam County. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 500 square miles (1,300 km), Pelham Bay Park is the largest of New York City's parks, forming a substantial buffer between suburban Westchester and the urban Bronx, while Van Cortlandt Park to the west acts as a similar buffer.
Dutch settlers began arriving in the 1620s, followed by settlers from England in the 1640s.
By 1775, Westchester was the richest and most populous county in the colony of New York.
Although the Revolutionary War devastated the county, recovery after the war was rapid.
In 1788, five years after the end of the war, the county was divided into 20 towns.
In 1798, the first federal census recorded a population of 24,000 for the county.