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, April 24, 2006

1901 Article From the Pelham Manor Review Concerning The Village Improvement Association of Pelham Manor

Nearly fifty years ago, Pelham Town Historian Edgar H. Browne transcribed, verbatim, an article that appeared in the the "Pelham Manor Review" in October 1901. A typewritten manuscript containing that transcription is contained in the collections of The Office of The Historian of The Town of Pelham.

The transcribed article sheds interesting light on a host of issues regarding the history of the Village of Pelham Manor. It seems to reflect the birth of efforts to replace the original branch line station structure with what later became a lovely station designed by nationally renowned architect Cass Gilbert. It indicates that a group of local citizens "approved" a proposal to extend the "Toonerville Trolley" line from Pelhamdale Avenue near the branch line station to the intersection of Pelhamdale Avenue and today's Shore Road near Travers Island. Today's Historic Pelham Blog posting provides the text of that transcription.


For a long time it has been in the minds of several members of this community that much might be done to beautify and to develop this unique and attractive suburb by combined efforts.

This thought took form in a meeting called for this purpose on June 20, 1901, from the minutes of which meeting we quote the following:

'A meeting of residents of Pelham Manor was held in Mrs. Hazen's parlor, Thursday June 20, 1901.

The following resolution, after discussion was passed: It is the sense of this meeting that an organization for matters of Village Improvement be formed. It shall be called the Village Improvement Association [Editor's Note: later changed to Society] of Pelham Manor, N.Y. It shall have a President, Vice President, treasurer and secretary and executive board.

Some features of the progressive work undertaken are indicated by the duties assigned to the various committees.

The Committee on Transportation is charged with the work of securing a new railroad station. The present structure, considering the amount and character of traffic which it represents, is as discreditable to the village as it is unworthy of the wealthy corporation which inflicts it upon our daily sight. The New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad, with its enormous resources, can easily give Pelham Manor a commodious and artistic station with sightly surroundings such as it has given to other places of no greater importance.

This Committee approved the extension of the trolley line on Pelhamdale Ave. from the railroad station to the Sound, in order to give the residents of Pelham Manor, the benefit of ready access to their beautiful waterfront. This extension will also afford access to Christ Church, facilitate the intercommunication between the railroad station and the New York Athletic Club grounds at Travers Island, increase the value of properties of all kinds throughout Pelham and Pelham Manor, and be of immense advantage to all who live within walking distance of the trolley line. . . .

There are about 500 inhabitants in the village- and 100 male voters. The Board of Trustees and Street Commissioner are police officers, and the village now employs three night and two day policemen."

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