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.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Report That Pelham Favored Annexation of Much of Westchester County by New York City in 1870

According to a report in the August 12, 1870 issue of the New York Herald, some Pelham residents favored annexation of much of the County of Westchester, including Pelham, at that time. The text of the report appears below, followed by a citation to its source.



Project to Enlarge the City of New York - Portions of Westchester County to be Annexed - A Grand Canal Contemplated - Additional Suburban Improvements.

For some time past it has been well understood among certain influential political leaders in New York and Westchester county that a great annexation project, with other gigantic suburban improvements, are to be brought forward and pushed through at the next session of the Legislature. The most important scheme affecting the interests of the taxpayers of Westchester county is the projected incorporation of the towns of Morrisania, West Farms, Westchester and the lower section of Yonkers with the city of New York. It is understood that numerous residents of the towns named not only favor the annexation of the sections indicated, but also the towns of East Chester, Pelham, New Rochelle, Mamaroneck, Scarsdale, White Plains and Greenburg, also the southern portions of Harrison and Rye, running


from the Hudson river at Tarrytown, along the northern line of Greenburg and White Plains, thence in a direct line through the towns of Harrison and Rye to the Connecticut line at Portchester. Inducements are held out to the citizens of the towns named, by the projectors of the scheme, which will doubtless have the desired effect. The convenience of a plentiful supply of Croton water (by the construction of an additional reservoir if necessary), and the protection of the Metropolitan Police and Fire departments, are promised, and a large proportion of the population would doubtless hail such an event with satisfaction.


determined upon is that of converting the Bronx river from its outlet in the East river, near West Farms and opposite Ricker's Island to White Plains, into a grand canal, one hundred feet wide and eight feet deep, with locks at such points as may be determined upon, so as to render it available at all times for the transportation in barges of lumber, coal and other heavy articles of merchandise. It is also suggested that a canal be cut from the Bronx river at a point immediately south of Williamsbridge to Millbrook at Fordham, and thence widen and deepen that stream, and construct what locks may be necessary also along the same, so as to adapt it to the purposes of a canal, to its outlet in the Harlem river. A portion of the Bronx river may by this arrangement be diverted from its present course to Millbrook, and thus greatly remedy the impurity of the latter stream."

Source: Another Big Job, N. Y. Herald, Aug. 12, 1870, p. 4, col. 6.

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