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, March 20, 2006

Charles J. Stephens and Henry C. Stephens of the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association

Portions of the Village of Pelham Manor in the Town of Pelham, New York were developed by a group of men who established an association named the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association in 1873. Two of those men were brothers: Charles J. and Henry C. Stephens. Today's Historic Pelham Blog posting will provide background information on these two brothers. For those who wish to learn a little more about the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Associatin, see Thu. December 22, 2005: Area Planned for Development by The Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association in 1873.

Charles and Henry Stephens were nephews of the principal financial backer of the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association: Silas H. Witherbee. The Stephens Brothers lived in Pelham and, by 1872, were working as real estate agents in New York City. Their firm, Stephens Brothers & Company, described itself as "conveyancers and commission dealers in real property" with "especial attention given to Westchester County, N. Y." The firm served as "Managing Agents" for the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association.

Their work in Pelham may have been one of the brothers' earliest real estate ventures. The earliest reference yet located to the Stephens Brothers and their real estate venture is a classified advertisement that appeared in the May 11, 1873 issue of the New York Times. It reads, in full, as follows:

“OUR ENLARGED CITY. – (SEE WORLD article of Thursday last.) – For sale at New-Rochelle, highly desirable country-seat, located on the Sound, conveniently near station, on New-Haven Railroad, by which it is forty-seven minutes only to Forty-second street (on completion of Fourth-avenue improvements this time will probably be reduced one third;) commutation $75; this estate, of about ten acres, in its completeness is unsurpassed; the grounds are high and healthful, and command charming water and inland views; the improvements consist of spacious mansion house, with city conveniences, stable, coach-house, &c, all in the most thorough repair and ready for an appreciative occupant. Full particulars, photographs, &c., with STEPHENS BROTHERS, No. 187 Broadway.”

See Our Enlarged City, N.Y. Times, May 5, 1911, p. 7.

Below is an image of an advertisement for Stephens Brothers & Company from the early 1870s.

The Financial Panic of 1873 and the depression that followed sealed the fate of the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association. It entered receivership and failed to complete all its development plans. Charles J. Stephens, who served as the Association's Secretary, remained in the area and was a founding member of the Pelham Manor Protective Club. He was active in the affairs of that Club for nearly seven years. According to records of that Club, he resigned and moved away from Pelham Manor in 1888.

Please Visit the Historic Pelham Web Site
Located at
Please Click Here for Index to All Blog Postings.


Post a Comment

<< Home