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.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Pelham News on February 29, 1884 Including Talk of Constructing a New Horse Railroad from Bartow to City Island

The Mount Vernon newspaper, Chronicle, published weekly on Fridays in the 1880s.  Each week it included a news section on Pelham and City Island.  The weekly report published on February 29, 1884 made reference to local talk about establishing a "horse railroad" to run between Bartow Station on the Branch line and City Island.  The horse railroad eventually was established.  The entire report is quoted below.


Mr. George O. Hawes is erecting a neat cottage at Bartow, for a gentleman of New York City.

A pound party was held at Grace Church parsonage on Monday evening last.  It was a very social and pleasant affair.

Mr. Dudley R. Horton will occupy the handsome dwelling adjoining the M. E. Church, owned by Mr. Horton Sr., this spring.

The pigeon match at Secord's Bartow, on Washingtons Birthday, between Will. Pell and Ben. May, for $25 a side, was won by Pell killing eight straight birds.

Mr. Hawes the carpenter and builder, is at work rebuilding the summer residence of Mr. Wm. Belden.  We understand the alterations are to be very extensive.

Through the persistancy [sic] of the Board of Town Officers, City Island bridge has been temporarily repaired, so that it is at least safe.  Cannot something be done to put the road between City Island and Bartow in a passable condition?

The talk about that scheme to build a horse railroad from City Island to Bartow is all gas.  Such an enterprise would doubtless be a grand thing for City Island but a good macadamized road between the two points would be quite as advantageous as a horse railroad.

Mr. J. F. Horton, representing the Hell Gate pilots, before the Committee on Commerce and Navigation of the Assembly, on Tuesday of last week, made such forcible arguments against the bill to further reduce the fees of pilots, that the committee reported unanimously adverse to the bill.

About fifteen years ago, the first three masted schooner ever built on City Island, the John K. Shaw, was built at Carll's shipyard.  During these fifteen years, the vessel never met with any serious mishaps until Friday last, when she was wrecked off Woodlands on the New Jersey Coast.

On Wednesday morning last, about seven o'clock, Andrew Anderson, a sailor on board the schooner J. H. Leeds, fell from the masthead to the deck when the vessel was nearing [illegible] and was instantly killed.  The schooner put in at City Island and Coroner Tice held an inquest, when a verdict of accidental death was rendered.  Anderson was a Swede, about 32 years old, and was unmarried.

On Saturday last, John Cochran and Hugh Ryan went out in the bay to get some drift wood.  After they had gotten their wood and towed it where they wanted it, they rowed around the Island to the cove, and just before landing, their skiff was capsized.  Cochran swam ashore, but before Ryan could be rescued he came very near drowning.  He was carried to his home in an insensible condition and it was nearly an hour before he was recusitated [sic].

The last will of Samuel P. Billar, an oysterman of this place, was a short time ago, admitted to probate by the Surrogate without opposition.  It provided that his estate, about $30,000, should be enjoyed by his two children and widow as long as she remained single.  In case of her re-marriage, the estate should be divided into thirds and each given their share.  Application was recently made to the Surrogat to decide whether she was entitled to the personal estate, the executor having some doubts on the legal construction of the will.  The Surrogate has decided that she is so entitled."

Source:  Pelham And City Island, Chronicle [Mount Vernon], Feb. 29, 1884, p. unknown, col. 4 (the page number was not printed on the page at the time).

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