The Dutch in New Amsterdam regarded this as an outpost on their northeastern border, and named it Ostdoorp (East Town). But to the English from western Connecticut who settled the village, and took possession in 1664, it was West Chester. Set amid farms on a broad creek leading to the East River, it became a significant port and, until 1756, the governmental center of the area which included today's Bronx and Westchester Counties. The old village center (where St. Peter's Church, organized in 1693, can still be found) is now the busy intersection of East Tremont and Westchester Avenues. The neighborhood, with Westchester Heights to the north, is home to many medical facilities, including Einstein, Jacobi, Calvary, and Bronx State Hospitals.

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