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, December 12, 2005

19th Century Subdivision Map of Planned Bartow Village

During the mid to late 19th century, there was an area in the Town of Pelham known as Bartow. The hamlet of Bartow was a quaint and small collection of residences located on the mainland near City Island. The entire area -- as well as City Island -- was annexed by New York City, effective in 1896. Before then, however, the little area known variously as Bartow, Bartow-on-the-Sound, Bartow Station and Bartow Village became an important part of Pelham and its history.

Detail of 1895 Map by Julius Bien & Co.
Showing Bartow, Northwest of City Island.

All that remains today of the little hamlet of Bartow are the remnants of a once beautiful stone train station designed by famed architect Cass Gilbert and built in 1908 to replace the little wooden station built on the branch line in the 1870s. The station was known as Bartow station. Today the stone station is a collapsed and decrepit shell covered with vandals' graffiti.

Recent Photograph of Remnants of Bartow Station
in Pelham Bay Park

I have published to the Historic Pelham Blog a number of postings about the hamlet of Bartow and the remnants of its train station. See:

Thu. March 24, 2005: The Bartow Area of Pelham in the 19th Century: Where Was It?

Thu. July 21, 2005: Today's Remnants of the Bartow Station on the Branch Line Near City Island?
This weekend while working at the Office of The Historian of The Town of Pelham, I pulled out a copy of a map showing a subdivision that once was planned for construction around the Bartow Station on the branch line. An image of the map appears immediately below.

This "Map of Bartow Village" shows a planned subdivision thwarted by New York City's acquisition and annexation of the lands as part of its development of Pelham Bay Park during the late 19th century. The map offers an interesting insight into the area. The railroad tracks cross the map from left to right in its very center. The small black rectangle at the center of the map represents the Bartow Station. A photograph of the remnants of that station appears above.

Today's pathway leading to the remnants of the station appears to lie approximately where "Third Street" was planned in the little Village. On the Long Island Sound side of the railroad tracks, there were a number of streets planned to lead from today's Shore Road toward the railroad tracks: First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Streets. Third Street was the only such street planned to cross the railroad tracks. Bishop Avenue was planned for construction parallel to the railroad tracks on the Sound side immediately in front of the Railroad Depot.

On the side of the railroad tracks away from the Long Island Sound (opposite the Railroad Depot) two streets were planned for construction parallel to the railroad tracks: Oak Avenue and Chestnut Avenue.

Interestingly, the map seems to reflect that a number of the properties near the Railroad Depot were reserved by the Bartow Estate involved in the development of the subdivision -- presumably because the properties likely were among the most commercially valuable. A few others appear to have been reserved for -- or owned by -- others including J.H. Byron.

Today the area sits near the Pelham Bit Stables in Pelham Bay Park. Rarely do those who pass even realize that a residential village once was planned where today there is little more than trees, brambles and a lovely bridle trail.

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At 7:47 PM, Anonymous KLambdin said...

What a shame that the residential village never came to be, as the area seems overgrown and neglected.


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