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, August 22, 2005

1935: Pelham Manor Blocks Proposed Motorcycle Raceway

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Some in the Village of Pelham Manor may recall efforts during the 1930s to create a motorcycle raceway in the Village in an area near today's Secor Lane. The development efforts were quickly squashed following a howl of public protest. Perhaps most interestingly, the Village Board of Trustees reacted to the proposal by banning all paying amusements which, some said, would make it impossible for the Village ever to have a movie theater, ball park or any other type of public entertainment.

The story, as told in an account published on September 24, 1935, appears below:

"Pelham Manor Puts Ban On Paying Amusements

PELHAM MANOR, N. Y., Sept. 23. - The village board of Pelham Manor voted an amendment to the zoning laws tonight aimed to prohibit the construction of a proposed motor cycle racing stadium, but at the same time, according to real estate owners, apparently made it impossible for the community ever to have a motion picture house, theatre, ball park or any other type of public entertainment.

More than 100 persons attended the regular meeting of the board to express their disapproval of the stadium and the board immediately passed the amendment. It prohibits any public entertainment in the village for which admission is charged. The land for the proposed stadium is owned by members of the Secor family, descendants of Zenas Secor, builder of the Civil War Monitor, who first purchased it."

Source: Pelham Manor Puts Ban On Paying Amusements, N.Y. Times, Sep. 24, 1935, p. 4.

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