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Yonkers, New York: History See also: Timeline of Yonkers, New York and List of people from Yonkers, New York. The area that is now the city of Yonkers was settled by Dutch colonists around 1650 as part of the colony of New Netherland. In 1687 it became part a single political entity with Manhattan known collectively as "New York County". The settlement served as a trading post for fur trappers and other merchants in search for beaver pelts carried across the Hudson River from nearby areas along streams which emptied into it such as Spuyten Duyvil Creek (now called simply "The Spuyten Duyvil"), Saw Mill River or Hutchinson's Kill (now called just "Hutchinson's"). During this era its strategic location on topographical high ground overlooking major travel routes made it an important military objective; during both British colonial wars many fortifications were erected to defend against attack by enemy forces.