Mt. Holly Road, Westchester County, NY
47 acres -- additional 31 acres are leased

Part of the Indian Brook Assemblage comprised of 3 separate preserves in close proximity to one another.  


Take Route 35 (1.8 miles east of exit 6 of Interstate 684) to N. Salem Road.  Turn left, take first right onto Mt. Holly Road.  Go 1.5 miles at which point you travel on to Mt. Holly Road East for approximately .5 mile to the main entrance on the left.  The Marian Yarrow Preserve may be reached by continuing on Mt. Holly Road past the intersection of  Holly Hill Lane.  Preserve sign and entrance is on the right.


This land was part of Cortlandt Manor from 1697 to 1788.  Much of the land had been bought by Van Cortlandt from native Indians.  There is evidence of  Indian life on the preserves dating back, possibly to as early as 3000 B.C.  Farming activity took place near the assemblage during the Revolutionary Period.  One story is told of a Tory who took refuge in the Indian Brook swamp and who was subsequently captured and sent to prison in Yorktown.  Tory brigoons known as "cowboys" terrorized the countryside.

The era of greater farm prosperity in this whole area began with the coming of the railroad in 1847.  General farms turned into dairy farms providing milk for NYC.  In the 1930's this farming activity declined due to the poor economy and new sanitary laws which included barn and milk house inspection and herd testing with condemnation of cattle for TB and Bangs disease.  Competition from upstate farms and the use of tank trucks to ship milk made it uneconomical for dairy farming to continue in this area.  Land values were too high to justify the use of the land for farming.  Cow country became horse country.

The land which is part of the Indian Brook Assemblage was donated to the Nature Conservancy through the generosity of several families.


The Marian Yarrow Nature Preserve consists of a maturing deciduous forest, one small meadow, and a stream which flows into Hidden Lake and continues to Indian Brook.  East of the lake one finds a picturesque 20 foot waterfall.  The lake is frequented by migratory birds.


Dr. Patrick L. Cooney

Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Cornus florida (*flowering dogwood)
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Fraxinus pensylvanica (red ash)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)

Berberis thunbergii (*Japanese barberry)
Chimaphila maculata (spotted wintergreen)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera sp. (honeysuckle)
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
Rhododendron sp. (azalea )
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)
Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw viburnum) -- soon to bloom

Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Vitis sp. (grape)

Achillea millefolium (yarrow)
Alliaria petiolata (*garlic mustard)
Anemonella thalictroides (* rue anemone)
Arisaema triphyllum (jack-in-the-pulpit)
Caltha palustris (* marsh marigold)
Claytonia virginica (*spring beauty)
Erythronium americanum (trout lily)
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)
Narcissus sp. (* daffodils)
Panax trifolius (* dwarf ginseng)
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage) (* dwarf ginseng)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)
Viola pubescens (*yellow forest violet)
Viola sororia (* common blue violet)

Cares laxiflora type (sedge)
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)
Carex stricta (* tussock sedge)

Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda claytoniana (interrupted ferns) -- with fronds
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)