In the early 1730s a group of Quakers moved north from Purchase, New York, to settle in present-day Chappaqua. They built their homes on Quaker Street and held their meetings at the home of Abel Weeks. Their meeting house was built in 1753 and still holds weekly meetings each Sunday. The area around the meeting house, known as Old Chappaqua Historic District, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. Horace Greeley's home still stands in Chappaqua, he built it himself.
Various spellings were used for the name they heard Native Americans use for their valley and hillside. It was an Algonquian word, "shah-pah-ka," and it meant "the rustling land" or "the rattling land," or a place where nothing is heard but the rustling of the wind in the leaves. The quakers spelled it Shapiqua, Shapaqua, Shapequa, Shappaqua, and, finally, Chappaqua. Their meeting was often referred to as the Shapequa Meeting as early as 1745.