We had the occasion this summer to visit Larchmont NY, possibly the namesake of our own lovely Larchmont Village (no one knows for sure what inspired the name of our little village). Larchmont, New York was established in 1891 and is located in Westchester County, New York, approximately 18 miles northeast of Midtown Manhattan. The population of the village was 5,864 at the 2010 census. It’s kind of a fancy place – Bloomberg recently ranked it as the 24th wealthiest place in the United States , and it’s the fourth wealthiest in New York, according to Wikipedia.
The name Larchmont seems to come from the town’s “larch” trees, a type of conifer that loses its needles every fall. The trees were planted more than 200 years ago by an early landowner who wanted to screen his manor house from the road. According to the Village of Larchmont’s website, the resident’s gardener sent to Scotland for seeds of the larch, which he knew to be a fast-growing and hardy species. About 50 years later, the parcel of land which extends to the shoreline was renamed Larchmont. How that name got to Los Angeles is anyone’s guess. But historians have noted that LA’s early developers liked to name things after established communities on the east coast, so new transplants might feel more at home. In any case, it’s kind of cool to know that Larchmont was inspired by a tree that has also recently been discovered to be particularly efficient at processing carbon dioxide!
Larchmont, NY is a lovely green village, at least in the summertime, with a small commercial street like our own. Judging from the village bulletin board, the residents of Larchmon, NY worry about all the same kinds of civic issues as the residents of Larchmont, Los Angeles. Residents are urged to attend public meetings, recycle and remember that gas-powered leaf blowers are illegal! (Yes, they are illegal here too.) There’s a lovely synagogue, which contributed a holiday kugel recipe to the New York Times, and which we cited recently in honor of the Jewish Holidays. Here’s a photo tour of our short visit to Larchmont.