In 1886, the grandson of Peter Lorillard established Tuxedo Park on the family's land. Using land planner Ernest Bowditch of Boston and architect Bruce Price of New York, and with the help of 1,800 Italian and Slovakian laborers, in about eighteen months twenty miles of roads, a gate, a clubhouse, and three dams, were created launching a resort which attracted a number of the financial, industrial and social leaders of the day.
Over the first thirty years, the residents built more than 250 houses and stables in Tuxedo Park and over 100 homes, retail stores, and service establishments in the so-called Hamlet. Three churches, all still standing (one is the Tuxedo Historical Society today), also built a train station, a library, and a post office.
The Town of Tuxedo was officially formed on March 4, 1890, from the southern land area of the Town of Monroe. By 1915, 3,636 people lived in Tuxedo, about 20% more than were reported in the 2000 Census.
During the 1920s, a few Tuxedo Park residents built a new hospital and a high school. But the Stock Market Crash of 1929 had a disproportionately negative effect on Tuxedo Park's affluence and a slow but severe decline in the community's fortunes set in, resulting in a population decline and the loss of such amenities as the hospital, the Masonic Temple (now the Town Hall), and many retail stores.
A major shift in landholding in Tuxedo came about after 1910 when Mrs. W. A. Harriman gave $1 million and 10,000 acres of her family's land to the Palisades Interstate Park Commission. State purchase of farm and forest land from scores of owners, often by eminent domain, has resulted in the present Bear Mountain Harriman State Park, which occupies about 12,500 of Tuxedo's 30,700 acres. In 1956, the Harrimans sold their Sterling Mine and Railroad Company tract to City Investing Company (now Sterling Forest LLC), which, on its 8,000 acres in the Town of Tuxedo, began the developments of Maple Brook, Laurel Ridge, Clinton Woods, and various offices and research centers.
In 1952, the area known as Tuxedo Park became an incorporated village. Today it comprises 2,050 acres, of which 355 acres are three lakes, and about 340 housing units in 320 structures. Other newer housing developments include the Southfields Apartments built in 1971 on a former bed factory site, the Mountain View Apartments near the Sloatsburg line, and the Woodlands in Eagle Valley. Non-residential facilities include International Paper's Research Center and the Tuxedo Ridge, formerly Sterling Forest Ski Area.
We want to thank the late Christian Sonne, Town Historian, for providing this summary.