Soon after the first train barreled through town on December 25, 1848, New Rochelle was transformed from a quiet agricultural community into one of America s premier suburban communities. At the beginning of the 20th century, New Rochelle became a sought-after residential community, just 45 minutes from Broadway. Sweeping waterfront views and recreation, a rapidly growing retail center, and a deep history led to tremendous growth and prosperity. Because of its two commuter rails, and later the advent of the automobile, the city s population more than quadrupled in four decades, reaching 54,000 by 1930. New Rochelle attracted and inspired an extraordinary number of prominent individuals in the arts, theater, finances, sports, and social activism. Among these national trendsetters are such tables as artist Norman Rockwell, sports legend Lou Gehrig, and suffragist Carrie Chapman Catt.