Brewster is a village within the town of Southeast, New York in Putnam County, United States. Its population was 2,390 at the 2010 census. The village is the most densely populated portion of the town. The village is named for two early farmer landowners, Walter and James Brewster.
The village of Brewster derives its name from the landowner, Walter Brewster, who invited New York and Harlem Railroad to build a depot on his property. Brewster's Station, New York, (sometimes just "Brewster's") appeared on maps, on postcards and in directories of Putnam County throughout the second half of the 19th century. Although referred to as a village since it formed in 1849, it officially incorporated as the Village of Brewster, New York, in 1894.
In 1886, historian William Smith Pelletreau published The History of Putnam County, New York. In his second chapter on the town of Southeast, he wrote: "The land now  embraced within the limits of the village of Brewster consists of a farm which was sold by the commissioners of forfeiture to Peleg Bailey, in 1781. A portion of it afterward passed into the possession of Bailey Howes, his grandson, who sold 98 acres to Gilbert Bailey, April 1st 1833. Two other tracts containing 39 acres were sold to Gilbert Bailey, by William P. Downs and Frederick Parks in 1838. On the 17th of February, 1848, Gilbert Bailey sold the whole tracts, estimated at 134 acres, to James and Walter F. Brewster, for the sum of $8,000."
"At the time of the purchase, the New York and Harlem Railroad was finished and trains were running as far as Croton Falls. The road was surveyed as far as Pawling, and the prospect of its being continued to that point seemed certain, and to the new purchasers of the farm it seemed just the place for a station."
"The New York and Harlem Railroad was finished to this place and the depot was built in that year, and what is now  the Main street was opened, for the purpose of allowing the stages from Danbury to come to the station. Previous to this the firm of Crosby and DeForest had run a line of four horse stages to Croton Falls, from Danbury. The first new house in the place was built by Walter F. Brewster, in 1850 and stood in front of the present  Methodist church." That house, now listed as the Walter Brewster House on the New York State and national historic registers, is owned by the Landmark Preservation Society of Southeast.
"The Harlem Railroad's extension of its mileage in 1849 proved advantageous to Mr. Brewster, who needed all sorts of materials in his building activities. Large shipments were billed simply to 'Brewster's Station' for lack of better designation. This is the apparent origin of the village's name, which many years ago was shortened to Brewster."