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.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Battle Royal in Pelham Manor to Stop the Westchester Lighting Trust from Erecting Electric Light Poles in 1902

Wealthy residents of Pelham Manor nearly came to physical blows with workers from the Westchester Lighting Trust on April 3, 1902. The Trust had permits from New York City to erect electric light poles along today's Shore Road. When it tried to erect such poles along the roadway between the Pelham Bay Park boundary line and New Rochelle through a portion of Pelham Manor, however, local residents created a "lively scene". The article below, from the April 4, 1902 issue of the New-York Tribune, provides an interest account of the incident.



Wealthy residents of Pelham Manor yesterday prevented by strenuous measures the New-York and Westchester Lighting Trust from erecting electric light poles in front of their homes. Despite the fact that the company had failed to get permits from the property owners, it tried to erect poles along Pelham Road from the Pelham Bay Park boundary line to New-Rochelle. When its men reached the property of Mrs. Annie J. Roosevelt there was a lively scene. Her coachman was ordered to jump into the post hole and prevent the pole from being erected. The linemen said they had a permit from the New-York authorities to erect the poles wherever they wished. 'This is not New-York,' replied Mrs. Roosevelt, 'and you shall not erect the poles, except where I tell you. If you do I shall stop you.'

Mrs. Roosevelt, who is prominent in Pelham Manor society, called her coachman, and when the employes dug a hole he jumped in it. Finally they started to dig directly in front of Mrs. Roosevelt's house. She telephoned to the Pelham Manor Railroad Commissioner and had the work stopped and the holes refilled.

A large gang of linemen then proceeded to work in front of the place of Frederick H. Allen and the Pelham priory. Mrs. Allen sent her employees to fill up the holes as fast as they were dug and telephoned to her husband, who was in New-York. He asked Village President [William B.] Randall to have the desecration of the church property stopped. Constables were sent to the scene, and the trust employes, after a skirmish, surrendered. Mr. Allen said the vice-president of the company called to see him last night and agreed to erect the poles where the property holders desired."

Source: Win Fight Against Trust, New-York Tribune, Apr. 4, 1902, p. 5, col. 4.

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

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home