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, April 13, 2005

"The Dogwoods" - The Estate of Robert Clifford Black of Pelham Manor

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Much has been written of the lovely estate of Robert Clifford Black that once stood on the Esplanade where the homes between 958 and 1000 Esplanade now stand. Most recent accounts refer to the estate as "Dogwood". It appears, however, that the proper name of the estate was "The Dogwoods, Pelham Manor". I have inferred this principally from reviewing formal references to the estate contained in such published items as wedding announcements. See, e.g., Ruth Montgomery To Wed E. W. Black, N.Y. Times, Apr. 18, 1928, p. 29 ("Mr. Black is a grandson of Mrs. Robert C. Black of the Dogwoods, Pelham Manor, N. Y."); Beatrice Black Is Engaged To Marry, N.Y. Times, Apr. 27, 1927, p. 18 ("She is a grand-daughter of Mrs. Robert C. Black of The Dogwoods, Pelham Manor").

Robert C. Black and his wife, Mary, were likely the most influential couple in the development of Pelham Manor. Mr. Black was a principal in the internationally-renowned jewelry firm of Black, Starr & Frost. He and his wife owned and developed many parcels of land in Pelham Manor between Boston Post Road and Shore Road.

The couple moved to Pelham in the 1870s and first lived at 1057 Esplanade, an example of the "Esplanade Villa" style of home offered in the early days of the development efforts of the Huguenot Heights and Pelham Manor Association. The couple occupied several homes in Pelham Manor until they built their home on The Dogwoods estate in the early 1890s.

1907 Post Card View of The Dogwoods, Pelham Manor

One of the most notable features of The Dogwoods was a carriage drive that extended from Pelhamdale Avenue beneath a covered carriage-way attached to the home to the Esplanade. The family and its visitors could embark and disembark from their carriages protected from inclement weather.

Photograph of The Dogwoods, Pelham Manor
Taken by Town Historian William R. Montgomery on May 19, 1923
Photograph Courtesy of The Office of The Historian of The Town of Pelham.
The home on The Dogwoods estate no longer stands. In fact, all that remains of The Dogwoods today is the original stable. It was converted into a beautiful home and is located at 1 Country Club Lane. A recent photograph of the structure appears below.

Photograph of 1 Country Club Lane, Pelham Manor, NY
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At 10:30 PM, Blogger Knickerbocker said...

Bob Black, the son of Robert Black, Sr. from Pelham, was a professor (English or History, I forget which) at Trinity College in Hartford through the 50s and 60s. He was known as a gentleman and a scholar.

At 5:04 PM, Blogger Clifford Black said...

My late father, Robert C. Black, III, (1914-2001)taught history at Trinity College in Hartford between 1950 and 1967, when he moved to Denver and taught at Colorado Womens College, now part of the Univ. of Denver. His father was R. Clifford Black, Jr., who did not use the suffix "Jr." after his own father's death in 1907. His father was Robert C. Black Sr., although he, too, eschewed the suffix. Dad was, indeed, a gentleman and a scholar. R. Clifford Black, IV


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