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, May 14, 2007

Plans to Widen Shore Road in the Town of Pelham in 1869

The post-Civil War boom brought development pressures to the sleepy Town of Pelham. Shortly before the railroad branch line was opened through the area that became the Village of Pelham Manor, there was an effort to improve the roads that led through the area. One such road was today's Shore Road, also known as Pelham Road. An article appeared in the May 8, 1869 issue of the New York Herald describing plans to improve and widen that road. The text of the article appears immediately below.



The people on the Sound and shore from Pelham ot [sic] Morrisania are perfectly jubilant over the idea of having their long neglected district opened by means of one of the most magnificent boulevards in Westchester county. The line of the road is to commence at Pelham bridge, following and widening the old Pelham road as far as the residence of John Hunter; thence in a southerly direction through the lands of John Farnham and John Van Antwerp to the Arnow homestead on Willow lane; by and along Willow lane, following the same and widening it to 100 feet, its entire length to Schuylerville, at McGroey's Hotel, on the Fort Schuyler road, then crossing the same and running in a direct line to the southerly side of the Oakland (Ferris') Nursery, on Westchester creek. A drawbridge one hundred feet wide is to be built here to cross into Unionport, following Sixth street and widening the same; thence through Unionport and the lands of Francis Larken, Bradish Johnson and R. H. Ludlow, to the southern boulevard at Morrisania, thus making a splendid drive, on a road one hundred feet wide, direct from the new Harlem bridge. The act passed the Legislature on Thursday, and by the terms of the bill the work is to commence immediately. The commissioners, Abraham Hatfield, Thos. Jay Byrne, Wm. Watson, George Cooper and Hugh Lunny, have called a meeting to be held at the office of Judge Byrnes, in Westchester, on Thrusday next, the 13th inst., to organize and appoint officers and take action at once in furthering the work to completion. The road is to cost $20,000 per mile; and the commissioners are authorized to raise the amount by issuing bonds of the town, payable in equal portions yearly for twenty years. The work will be finished by the 1st of September next, when a perfect 'belt boulevard' of Westchester county will be completed - i.e., this boulevard through Unionport connects with the Southern Boulevard at Morrisania, the Southern Boulevard with the Great Central Boulevard at Fordham, it, in turn, running to Yonkers and White Plains.

The rise in value of property already is fabulous on the entire line of the road both at Throg's Neck and Unionport, the demand for lots at the latter place being almoust incredulous. Two hundred per cent would be a low estimate of the advance in real estate since the news first came of the passage of the bill. Taken in connection with this that the Portchester and Second Avenue Railroad bill, passed a day or two since, received the Governor's signature and became a law, it is not difficult to estimate the sudden importance of landowners or the elation of the masses. In order to display action in the latter matter the directors have called a meeting for Wednesday next, with a view to not only break ground but to put six squads of laborers to work at once, for they declare it to be their determination to have the cars running through Unionport to New York six months from th first day of June.

And now that facilities for travel to and from the city have at last been opened the people may speedily expect to see Westchester, long noted for its beauty picturesqueness and salubriousness of climate, become one of the most famous and fashionable summer resorts in the State. Persons doing business 'in the city' have long felt the need of and desired just such a romantic spot as this, where they can remove their families during the hot summer months and enjoy with them the soft balmy air, good bathing, &c., without the fear of fever and ague, or incurring the mosquito plague."

Source: The Eastern Boulevard, N.Y. Herald, May 8, 1869, p. 10, col. 2.

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