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.

Monday, June 27, 2005

The Precursor To Pelham's Town Hall on Fifth Avenue

For many years the Town of Pelham's Town Hall was located on today's Shore Road roughly near the location of today's Pelham Bit Stables in Pelham Bay Park. The Town Hall was located near the geographic center of the Town which was much larger then before the City of New York annexed City Island and much of the land that became Pelham Bay Park. During the 1880s and early 1890s, the City of New York was assembling parcels of land to create Pelham Bay Park. Although annexation of City Island and the southern portions of the Town of Pelham was not yet a settled question, Pelhamville and Pelham Manor supported the concept of annexation. Upon annexation, the location of the Town Hall on Shore Road would be within the new Pelham Bay Park -- not in the Town of Pelham.

It seems that one move that served as a precursor to the move of the Town Hall to Fifth Avenue was the decision in 1890 by the citizens of Pelhamville to build a meeting hall and court house to be located on Fifth Avenue. A little item in the January 15, 1890 issue of The New York Times related the decision of the citizens. It said:

"The Town Hall of Pelham has hertofore been at Bartow, which makes it a long distance for some of the people at that town to travel. The taxpayers of Pelhamville held a meeting on Monday night and decided to build a public hall to be used both as a Court House and as a place for transacting the public business of District No. 1. The lot upon which they propose to place it is on Fifth-avenue and the estimated cost of the building is $6,000."

Source: City and Suburban News . . . Westchester County, N.Y. Times, Jan. 15, 1890, p. 3.

The image below is a detail from Plate 20 of John Fairchild's Atlas of Mount Vernon and Pelham published in 1899. The arrow points to the "Court House" on Fifth Avenue. The Train Station may be seen in the lower right of the detail.

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