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.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Biography of Archibald Robertson, Another Resident of City Island When it Was Part of the Town of Pelham

Today's Historic Pelham Blog posting transcribes a brief biography of Archibald Robertson, a ship, yacht and launch builder on City Island in the 19th century. At the time, City Island was part of the Town of Pelham.


Archibald Robertson, a progressive and enterprising citizen of City Island, where he is engaged in the ship, yacht and launch building trade, is a grandson of Nicholas F. Robertson, who was a native of Scotland, came to America in 1812 and settled in one of the Canadian provinces. His son, Henry R., father of Archibald Robertson, was born at Prince Edward Island, 1815, and he married Martha Munn, who was born at Pictou, Canada, 1817.

Archibald Robertson was born at Charlottetown, province of Nova Scotia. Canada, May 24, 1842. and was there educated in the schools of his native town and at Calais, Maine. Upon attaining to manhood years he learned the ship carpenter's trade at Calais, where he followed the trade for a number of vears and later removed to Hartford, Connecticut, where he [Page 243 / Page 244]
again took up his profession, continuing there until 1877, when he came to City Island and here purchased lands, formerly a part of the Fordham estate, and shorerights, upon which he established his ship building plant, and by his industry and enterprise built up a successful trade in building yachts and pleasure craft. Among his patrons were some of New York's leading representative men. In addition to his commercial interests, Mr. Robertson takes an active interest in all enterprises that have for their objects the material good and welfare of the community in which he resides. He is an active member of Pelham Lodge, No. 712, F. and A. M., and also Huguenot Council, and New Rochelle Lodge, Royal Arcanum. Mr. Robertson is a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal church at City Island and has served as a member of the board of trustees of the same for over fifteen years. He retired from active business pursuits in 1906, and resides in a pleasant cottage on King avenue, overlooking Long Island sound.

Archibald Robertson married, at Calais, Maine, October 4, 1870, Mary Agnes Martin, born May 4, 1851, daughter of Alexander and Jane (Wilson) Martin, both natives of Calais, Maine. Of this marriage Mr. Robertson had born to him the following children: 1. Jessie May, born July 19, 1872, married John Spencer, and has one son, Archibald Spencer. 2. Florence, died in infancy. 3. Lawrence. 4. Annie Grace, born at Hartford, Connecticut, July 20, 1875. 5. Jennie Bell, died aged nine years. 6. Archibald, Jr., died in his second year. 7. Edith Louise, born August 24, 1882. 8. Alice Martin, born March 4, 1884. 9. Martha, born February 6, 1888, died September 26, 1904. 10. Alexander, born February 5, 1891, died in his second year. The faithful wife and mother of the aforementioned children passed away March 8. 1905. She was a consistent Christian [Page 244 / Page 245] lady, possessed of many excellencies of character and contributed much of her time in assisting those in want, in time of sickness, and in many other ways."

Source: Pelletreau, William S., Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Family History of New York, Vol. IV, pp. 243-45 (NY and Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company 1907).

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