Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Prospect Hill Village -- Yet Another Early Hamlet Within the Town of Pelham

During the early to mid-19th century, several small hamlets sprang up within the Town of Pelham in addition to the main population center on City Island. Each of the hamlets was considered somewhat distant -- and isolated from -- most of the others. They included Pelham Bridge, Bartow-on-the-Sound, Pelham Priory (the area around Bolton Priory), Prospect Hill Village, Pelham Manor and Pelhamville.

Little has been written about Prospect Hill Village. Today's posting will provide some background information on that little hamlet.

Prospect Hill Village was one of the two principal real estate developments from which today's Village of Pelham Manor evolved. The other, of course, was the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association organized on June 3, 1873 by Silas H. Witherbee, Henry C. Stephens, Robert A. Mitchill, Charles J. Stephens, Charles F. Heywood and other local landowners.

On August 11, 1852, a man named William Bryson filed a development map entitled "Map of Prospect Hill Village, Town of Pelham, Westchester County, New York." The map encompassed a prime area described by Lockwood Barr as "on the crown of the ridge near the Boston Post Road, bounded by what are now Highland, Prospect, Esplanade, New Haven Branch, Washington and Old Split Rock Road." Barr, Lockwood, A Brief, But Most Complete & True Account of the Settlement of the Ancient Town of Pelham Westchester County, State of New York Known One Time Well & Favourably as The Lordshipp & Mannour of Pelham Also the Story of the Three Modern Villages Called The Pelhams, p. 123 (Richmond, VA: The Dietz Press, Inc. 1946).

Although many questions remain, more information about the Prospect Hill Village development recently has come to light. There is a brief but information-filled advertisement and notice relating to the development that appeared in the September 15, 1854 issue of the New York Daily Times (the predecessor to today's New York Times). The text and an image of the notice appear immediately below:

"LOTS FOR SALE. - A very few desirable acre and half-acre lots, beautifully situated on Prospect Hill, in the town of Pelham, Westchester Co., N. Y. They are situated on the turnpike-road, between New-York and New-Rochelle, and conveniently to three stations on the New-Haven Railroad - Mount Vernon, Pelhamville and New-Rochelle. Apply to AMOS JUDSON, Real Estate Agent, Mount Vernon; WM DALLY, on the premises, of THOMAS SPOTTEN, No. 118 Bowery New-York.
The members of the above association are requested to attend a meeting to be held at the Westchester House, corner of Bowery and Broome at, MONDAY EVENING, Sept. 18, at 7 1/2 o'clock P M Punctual attendance is requested as business of importance will be brought before the meeting. By order of the Board of Directors.

JOHN HARBUTTS, Secretary."

This one small notice that seems to be one of the few published by the "Prospect Hill Village Association." Its content suggests that a group of New York City based real estate speculators were the principals behind efforts to develop Prospect Hill Village in Pelham. Each little tidbit of information -- like the name John Harbutts (Secretary) will allow more followup research and, perhaps, will shed even more light on this small piece of Pelham history.

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home