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, January 09, 2006

The First Prospect Hill School in Pelham Manor

Today's beautiful Prospect Hill Elementary School building located between Washington and Clay Avenues near Hudson Street was dedicated in October 1930. The building is the third school building to serve children of Prospect Hill and surrounding neighborhoods. Today's Historic Pelham Blog Posting will provide a little information about the second such building -- the immediate predecessor building that today's school building replaced.

The Jackson Avenue School, frequently referenced as the "First Prospect Hill School," was a two story building of stone and red brick that stood near the intersection of Jackson Avenue and Plymouth Street.  The building stood approximately where the homes at 212-220 Jackson Avenue stand today, not far from today's Prospect Hill School.

Pelham voters authorized a $4,000 bond issue to fund construction of the new school building on October 14, 1879. The building had been erected by the time G. W. Bromley and Co. published a map of the area in 1881. A detail from that map showing the school appears immediately below.

Detail from 1881 Map with Arrow Pointing to Jackson Avenue School.

This school served Pelham schoolchildren for nearly forty years. After construction of the Siwanoy facility, the Jackson Avenue School was closed and stood abandoned although occasionally used for storage.  In 1917, the school building burned in a fire thought to be arson.  Only the exterior brick walls remained standing after the fire.  

By the 1920s, the population of the Village of Pelham Manor had grown so substantially that a larger school building was necessary.  This time, however, $4,000 would not do the job. Pelham voters approved a $398,000 bond issue to fund construction of the lovely school building known today as Prospect Hill School.

Detail from 1899 Map by John Fairchild Showing Jackson Avenue School.


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