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, August 21, 2009

Pelhamville's Independence Day Celebration in 1894

The Chronicle of Mount Vernon, NY, published a lovely account of Independence Day celebrations in Pelhamville in 1894.  The account is transcribed below, followed by a citation to its source.


The Chronicle may be obtained in Pelhamville and vicinity from Master Fred L. Anderson who will deliver it at residence.

The success which accompanies every enterprise in Pelhamville was again made manifest by the celebration held there Wednesday--Independence Cay.  This was due to the cheerfulness and promptness with which the citizens contributed their money and labor, and to the indefatigable energy of the Major-domo of the occasion, Mr. John H. Young, and his assistants.  The firing of guns and the joyous peal of bells from engine house, school and churches announced that the sun was making its appearance over the horizon and that our Nation's natal day was fully ushered in.  At 10.30 A.M. the people met at the school-house, and were called to order by Mr. I. C. Hill.  All united in singing our National anthems.  The Declaration of Independence was read, and an eloquent and patriotic address made by Mr. Benjamin F. Fairchild.  Mr. E. C. Rosevelt [sic] was also expected to address the meeting, but a telegram was received from him announcing his inability to be present.

At 2.30 P.M. a series of athletic games took place under the supervision of Messrs. Charles S. and Harry Roberts, with the following results:

One hundred yards run, won by Robert Castor; shoe race for boys, won by Fred L. Anderson; bicycle race, won by Charles Boss; running broad jump, won by Thomas O'Brien; potato race, won by 11. Roberts; 200 yard run (boys), won by Harry Raymond; wheelbarrow race, won by Charles Prior; three-legged race, won by C. Meager and J. Hughes; obstacle race, won by J. Hughes; special 200 yards run, won by R. Castor.

At 7.30 P.M. a concert was rendered by the New Rochelle Cornet Band, and as soon as it was sufficiently dark a magnificent display of fireworks was seen on the school grounds under charge of Judge G. I. Karbach.

At 10 o'clock Prof. E. Mager's orchestra provided the incentive for the devotees of Terpsichore.  These exercises were under the ministration of Mr. Frank M. Lyon, and took place on the green, where platforms had been erected for that purpose by Builder S. E. Lyon and his corpos of assistants, who did this work free gratis.

The platforms and grounds were beautifully illuminated by hundreds of Japanese lanterns.  Fully eight hundred ladies, gentlemen and children participated in the festivities, and Pelhamville is to be congratulated, for the occasion was marked by universal harmony and good feeling, no angry or loud words being heard throughout the proceedings.

On many of the houses could be seen the proudly waving stars and stripes, or other decoration in bunting, and many at night were illuminated with countless lanterns.  Among the most noticeable was the residence of Chief of the Fire Department B. F. Crewell.

At the meeting of the Board of Excise last week two licenses were granted, one to James Murdock and the other to Robert Brown of City Island. 

A set of resolutions were passed providing for the prosecuting of all saloon keepers who made no applications for licenses.  In conversing with a Chronicle representative, one of the members of the Board stated that the Board of Excise had fooled with rum shop proprietors long enough, and had now resolved to discontinue it.

Mr. G. K. Perry has recently moved into his new residence on Loring avenue, Pelham Heights.

Among the numerous and distinguished festivities held on our Nation's birthday in Pelhamville was a grand dinner party given by Mr. and Mrs. John H. Young at their pretty residence on Second avenue.  The front of the house was covered with flags and bunting en masse, which were illuminated at night by the light from Chinese lanterns.  It is needless to say that the collation was very fine; the exquisiteness and grandeur of the dressing of the table being especially noticeable.  Among the guests present were Mr. and Mrs. Finkennau and Mr. Finkennau, Jr., Mr. Dodge, Mr. and Mrs. Schwartz and Miss A. Downing, all of New York City, and Mr. and Mrs. I.C. Hill and Miss Hill of Pelhamville, and Mrs. P. Mellon of Newark, N.J.

On July 6th, at the residence of the bride's mother, Miss Charlotte M. Taylor was married to Mr. Francis X. Govers of New Rochelle.  Mrs. Govers was formerly teacher of the primary department of the Pelhamville school.

Mr. W. A. McGalliard is at Peekskill with the 71st Regiment, Company H.

At an auction held here last Saturday Mr. George W. Bard sold one of his houses on Second avenue to Frank N. Glover, Esq. of Mount Vernon, and one on Sixth street to Mrs. M. Patterson of Lincoln avenue, New York City.  Mr. and Mrs. Patterson are already ensconced in their new home.

Mrs. William A. McGalliard is visiting relatives at Darien, Conn.


Pelham Manor.

Hook and Ladder Co., No. 1, held a reception at the club house last Tuesday evening.  The affair was eminently successful.  Among those present were:  Mr. and Mrs. Rich, Mr. R. C. Black, Messrs. J. and A. Gunneri, Albert Beecroft, Edgar Beecroft, Dr. Parker, T. and C. Turner and James Burnett."

Source:  Our Nearby Neighbors, The Chronicle [Mount Vernon, NY], Jul. 12, 1894, p. 6, col. 4.

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