Monsey Memories: Spring Valley Marks 180 Years
By Yitzy Fried
As the secular year of 2022 comes to a close, we can still mark the 180th anniversary of the incorporation of this village in the towns of Ramapo and Clarkstown in Rockland County—located north of Chestnut Ridge, east of Airmont and Monsey, south of Hillcrest, and west of Nanuet.
It was the year 1842 when local farmers "won their independence" and created their own village. At that time, the New York & Erie Railroad called this area "Pascack" after a stream by the same name. The residents of the area decided to call the place Spring Valley after a large spring in the Valley Pond. Prior to this, it was called Scotland, named after their homeland by Scotsmen who had settled in the area.
The New York Times in 1942 marked the 100th anniversary of the village's incorporation in this way: "Several thousand took part today in the 100th-anniversary celebration of the founding of this village. A parade, block dance, baseball game, and ceremonies featuring the unfurling of the community's service flag featured the program with Major Donald B. Thurman of West Point the
"Spring Valley got its start through a successful petition in 1842 by local farmers to have a New Jersey and New York Railroad milk train make a local stop. Outside trade resulted after the railroad built a station and a post office was opened in 1848."
For whatever reason, the desire to incorporate was not unanimous, as we read further in the Times. "Residents of Spring Valley, some want the place incorporated, and others do not.
"The inhabitants of Spring Valley, about nine miles west from Nyack, are in considerable of a squabble over the proposed incorporation of that village. A strong effort is being made by some of the residents to have the measure adopted, while other residents are making a strong fight in opposition. Many bitter words have been spoken by the opposing parties, and much hard feeling has grown out of the strife. It is believed, however, that the residents who are in favor of incorporation will finally win, and the place will be greatly improved in many ways.
The leader in the movement to incorporate is Theodore F. Reed. a gentleman in the employ of the Government, and Matthew Person.
Among the various reasons given for wanting Spring Valley incorporated is that the people will then be able to discover how money raised for highway purposes is spent. It is openly declared that some of the roadmasters in the town in which Spring Valley is looted pocket a large share of the road tax."
In 1960, the Times reported on the growth of the village: "Spring Valley Displaces Nyack as Rockland's Biggest Village. "Spring Valley, where the population Increased from 4,492 in 1950 to 6,427 in 1960, has become the largest village in Rockland County, according to preliminary census figures announced today… the report for the eleven Rockland villages showed Nyack, which was first in 1950, is second with 6,031, compared with 5,867 ten years ago."
The village has only continued to grow, with a population of 33,066 in the 202 Census.