Port Chester is a village in Westchester County, New York, United States. The village is part of the town of Rye. As of the 2010 census, Port Chester had a population of 28,967.The village name is pronounced with the same syllable stress pattern as that of the county which contains it, i.e. PORT ches-ter, not Port CHES-ter.
In 1660, three settlers from Greenwidge (now Greenwich, Connecticut), Thomas Studwell, John Coe, and Peter Disbrow, arranged to buy Manursing Island and the land near the Byram River from the Mohegan Indians. The land that they bought is now Port Chester. The village was originally known as Saw Pit for the saw pits which were in use during the time. Logs were cut in holes in the ground for wood to be used for shipbuilding. The name of Sawpit was used for the first time in 1732. The village eventually outgrew this name and became Port Chester by incorporating as a village in 1868. When Port Chester was first incorporated, it was considered a major seaport.In 1665, Sawpit was claimed by both New York and Connecticut. However, the land was given back to the New York Colony by Connecticut in 1683. This struggle over the ownership of Sawpit continued for almost 105 years. In 1788, the Legislature of New York ruled that Sawpit was a part of the town of Rye in New York.Travel was considered dangerous in the early years of Sawpit as good roads were hard to find. The Boston Post Road,King Street, and Grace Church streets are some of the early migration paths in the Sawpit/Rye settlement. Other roads were usually dirt, which made transportation via water important.The local waterways, the Byram River and Long Island Sound, were a key part of the growth and development of Sawpit/Port Chester. Early residents took part in boat building, farming, and shell fishing.