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, December 31, 2009

Obituary of David Carll, Master Shipbuilder on City Island in the Town of Pelham

David Carll was a prominent 19th century shipbuilder on City Island in the Town of Pelham.  In 1863, Carll obtained from the New York State Commissioners of the Land Office a grant for 442 feet on the water front on the east side of City Island for the purpose of building a shipyard.  His successor to the business was Henry Piepgras who owned the shipyard when it became the subject of a major land dispute and long lawsuit.  I have written about that dispute extensively.  See:

Mon., November 27, 2006:  The 19th Century Ejectment of Henry Piepgras from Land Beneath the Waters Surrounding City Island

Mon., September 7, 2009:  More on the Ejectment of Henry Piepgras from Land Beneath the Waters Surrounding City Island

Below is an obituary that appeared following the death of David Carll, followed by a citation to its source.

Advices from Florida bring intelligence of the death of David Carll, the once noted ship builder of City Island.  Mr. Carll had not been in good health for a number of years and some seven or eight years ago retired actively from the business of ship building and purchased a large orange grove near Crescent City, Florida, where he was, with his usual vigor making improvements, when he was stricken with apoplexy.  The Long-Islander in a sketch of the deceased says:  'Though the name of David Carll has been closely associated with many famous yachts, he was better known as a shipbuilder, particularly of three-masted schooners for Theband & Co., in the Mexican trade.  The company was known as the Vera Cruz Packet Line and one of Mr. Carll's schooners the Potosi, made the quickest passage on record between New York and Vera Cruz.  When the old United States line of battle ship North Carolina was sold at public auction in 1860, Mr. Carll purchased her, and from the live oak timbers in the old bulk he laid the foundation of the large fortune which he afterward amassed.  From these timbers he built the schooner yacht Resolute for Mr. A. S. Hatch and the Atlanta for Mr. William Astor.  In addition to these vessels he also found timber enough to build the bridge from City Island to Pelham on the main land.  When the alterations of the famous schooner Sappho was recommended to Mr. William P. Douglass by Mr. Robert Fish, the entire work was done at the yard of Mr. Carll on City Island.  The yacht, when hipped, or padded, on her outside timbers, and lengthened in the stern and bow, was vastly improved in speed and weatherly qualities, becoming one of the fastest vessels in the world.  The alterations have generally been credited to Mr. Fish, but Mr. Carll has always claimed them as his own.'"

Source:  Recent Deaths, The New Town Register [New Town, NY], Jan. 3, 1889, p.?, col. 4 (page number not printed on newspaper page).

Please Visit the Historic Pelham Web Site
Located at http://www.historicpelham.com/.
Please Click Here for Index to All Blog Postings

Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Opening of the Extension of the Pelham Manor Trolley Line in 1910 -- The Toonerville Trolley Line

The Pelham Manor trolley line inspired Fontaine Fox to create the Toonerville Trolley portrayed in his long-running Toonverville Folks comic strip.  Until Labor Day, 1910, that trolley line ended on Pelhamdale Avenue near today's Grant Avenue, only a few hundred feet from where the Pelham Manor Depot then stood on the Branch Line.  On Labor Day that year (September 5, 1910), the extension of the line to the end of Pelhamdale Avenue at the intersection with Shore Road near the New York Athletic Club's Travers Island facility opened.  The article transcribed below describes plans for the opening.


According to an announcement made Thursday morning by Superintendent Wheeler of the Westchester Electric Railway, the extension of the Pelham Manor trolley line from the old terminus at the foot of the hill on Pelhamdale avenue to the Shore Road, will be in operation on Labor Day.  Superintendent Wheeler expects to start the cars running on that day.

It is not known how many cars will be operated, but Superintendent Wheeler said that it all depended upon the amount of traffic.

The construction is now practically completed.  There is about 100 feet of rock on the Shore Road that will have to be blasted out, and as soon as this work is done, 200 feet more of rails will be laid, and then the extension will be ready for operation.  The poles are all up and the wires have been strung.

It is believed that this extension will be a money maker, as many people will use the trolleys from Westchester County and various parts of New York in order to reach the Sound and the grounds of the New York Athletic Club."

Source:  Trolleys to Shore Monday, New Rochelle Pioneer, Sep. 3, 1910, p. ?, col. 3 (Newspaper page is undated and contains no page number, but references in text strongly indicate the date is Saturday, Sep. 3, 1910).

Please Visit the Historic Pelham Web Site
Located at http://www.historicpelham.com/.
Please Click Here for Index to All Blog Postings.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Murder on Fowler Avenue in 1908

A brief account of a murder that occurred at the home of Paul A. Heubner of Fowler Avenue in the Village of Pelham Manor in 1908 appeared in the January 2, 1909 issue of the New Rochelle Pioneer.  The account is transcribed below.


White Plains, Dec. 24. -- Following the inquest which was held into the death of Dennis Lee, gardener for Paul A. Heubner, of Fowler avenue, Pelham Manor, who was found murdered in the furnace room of the stable in the rear of Mr. Heubner's residence at noon on December 7, John Kirk, the coachman for Mr. Heubner, who was locked up in the county jail at White Plains since the murder, was formally charged with homicide by Coroner Weisendanger yesterday, when the inquest was concluded, and was held to await the action of the grand jury.

When the Coroner announced his verdict, Kirk, who was sitting in the grand jury room where the inquest was held, broke down and wept.  At the other sessions of the inquest Kirk did not seem to realize the seriousness of his predicament.  At the session held last week, he seemed to be confident that the finding of the coroner would be in his favor, and on one occasion laughed heartily at some of the statements made by one of the witnesses.  Yesterday when he took his seat in the grand jury room, Kirk looked pale and haggard, his air of confidence was completely gone and he seemed to realize the seriousness of the situation.  He has lost considerable weight since he was incarcerated. 

It is now believed that the crime was premeditated.

During the various sessions of the inquest Kirk has made no statements.  Attorney Sydney A. Syme represents him.  Coroner-elect Boedecker was present at yesterday's session, noting the procedure of the inquiry."

Source:  Kirk Held for Grand Jury, New Rochelle Pioneer, Jan. 2, 1909, p. ?, col. 1 (page number not printed on newspaper page).

Please Visit the Historic Pelham Web Site
Located at http://www.historicpelham.com/.
Please Click Here for Index to All Blog Postings.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Monday, December 28, 2009

Village Elections in the Town of Pelham in 1912

The following article, transcribed from the Saturday, March 23, 1912 issue of the New Rochelle Pioneer, describes the results of the Village elections in the Town of Pelham that year.

Ceder Has a Walk Over at North Pelham -- Pelham Heights and the Manor Are Quiet.

Peter Ceder was re-elected president of North Pelham village at the annual election Tuesday morning, defeating his Republican opponent C. W. Foster by a vote of 184 to 108, a majority of 76.  The rest of the Democratic ticket was elected with good sized majorities as follows:  For trustee, E. C. Logan, Dem. 182; C. T. Cottrell, Rep., 109.  Treasurer, A. P. Delcambre, Dem., 169; Vincent Barker, Rep., 121.  Tax collector, C. A. Dickenson, Dem., 211; Bert Penfield, Rep., 103.  The proposition to raise $30,000 by bond issue for paving and street improvement purposes was carried by a vote of 108 to 44.

There was not as much excitement in the present village election as there has been in previous years.  There were 153 straight Democratic and 69 straight Republican votes.

At Pelham Heights.

Little interest was manifested in the election at Pelham Heights on Tuesday, as only 40 votes were cast, and there was no opposition to the ticket in the field.  E. E. Huber was elected president to succeed A. C. Winch.  Mr. Huber had been village trustee.  The rest of the ticket was as follows:  Trustee, I.B. Ferguson; treasurer, A. L. Bukchout, and tax collector, E. H. Kingsland.  The two last named succeed themselves.  Mr. Ferguson is a new trustee.

At Pelham Manor.

The principal interest in the election in Pelham Manor was in the contest for tax collector.  H. E. Dey, the candidate on the Republican ticket was opposed by E. Kendall Gillett, the nominee on the Prohibition ticket.  Dey won by a vote of 71 to 31.  One hundred and two votes were cast there being no opposition to any of the other candidates and their names appeared on both the Republican and Prohibition tickets.  The officers follows [sic]:  President, Willard P. Brown:  trustee, Walter Scott: treasurer, A. L. Hammett:  tax collector, H. E. Dey.  The only change is that of H. E. Dey, who succeeds Langdon H. Roper.  The two propositions carried.  No. 1 which provides for a bond issue of $16,000 for the purpose of putting the Shore Road and the Boston Post Road in condition was carried by a vote of 32 to 18.  No. 2 which provides for the collection of the garbage, was carried by a vote of 42 to 9."

Source:  Elections Held in Villages, New Rochelle Pioneer, March 23, 1912, p. 7, col. 6.

Please Visit the Historic Pelham Web Site
Located at http://www.historicpelham.com/.
Please Click Here for Index to All Blog Postings.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Friday, December 25, 2009

1906 Christmas Day Celebration at Christ Church in Pelham

As Christians celebrate Christmas 2009 the world over this day, it seemed appropriate to provide some Christmas-related history on the Historic Pelham Blog.  I have written of Christmas in Pelham on the Blog before.  See:

Monday, September 21, 2009:  January 1882 Account of the 1881 Christmas Festival Held at the Union Sabbath School in Pelhamville.

Today's posting transcribes a brief schedule of the Christmas Day festivities at Christ Church in Pelham Manor on Tuesday, December 25, 1906 and in the days that followed.

"Christ Church, Pelham.

The services for Christmas Day will include Holy Communion at 8.30 a.m.  Service with special music, sermon and Holy Communion at 11 o'clock. 

The Christmas tree for the Sunday School will be held in the church on Thursday, December 27th, at 3.30 p.m.

At the annual vestry election of Christ Church, T. H. Bridgeman of Pelham Heights, and G. F. Pelham of New Rochelle, were elected."

Source:  Yuletide Services in the Churches . . . Christ Church, Pelham, New Rochelle Pioneer, Dec. 22, 1906, p. ?, col. 1-2 (the page number is not printed on the newspaper page).

Please Visit the Historic Pelham Web Site
Located at http://www.historicpelham.com/.
Please Click Here for Index to All Blog Postings.

Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve Trolley Accident Near Chester Park in North Pelham in 1908

Christmas Eve in 1908 was not particularly joyous for a number of people hurt in a trolley car accident late that evening near Chester Park in North Pelham.  Luckily, however, only a single passenger was on board at the time so a major disaster was averted. 

A story about the accident appeared a few days later in the New Rochelle Pioneer.  The text of that story is transcribed below.


North Pelham, Dec. 24. -- Due to the fact that all the passengers had previously left the car, with the exception of one man, an accident which might have been attended by a loss of life, was averted in this village Tuesday night, about 11 o'clock, when a Webster avenue trolley car dashed down the hill on Mayflower avenue, and after jumping the curve at the base of the hill opposite Chester Park, crashed into a stone pillar near the entrance to the park.  The occupants of the car were injured.  The car was badly damaged, the front vestibule being demolished, many of the window panes smashed, while a part of the floor was ripped from its fastenings.  Those sustaining injuries were as follows:

Motorman Dennis Barrett, 232 Huguenot street, New Rochelle, shoulder cut.

Conductor Harry Chenoweth, New Rochelle, left knee injured.

Richard L. Vaughan, of North Pelham, badly shaken up and right foot sprained.

There are two reports as to how the accident occurred.  One is that the motorman lost control of his car while it was descending Mayflower avenue, and on account of the icy condition of the rails during the storm which was in progress at the time, could not make the brakes work.

The other report, which is the one given by Richard Vaughan, is that the motorman did not turn off the power while the car was descending the hill. -- Mt. Vernon Argus."

Source:  Trolley Accident Hurts 3, New Rochelle Pioneer, Jan. 2, 1909, p. ?, col. 2 (the page number is not printed on the newspaper page).

Please Visit the Historic Pelham Web Site
Located at http://www.historicpelham.com/.
Please Click Here for Index to All Blog Postings.

Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Attack on the Toonerville Trolley Line by Strikers in 1916

Pelham and nearby localities suffered through a violent, months-long strike of trolley line workers in 1916.  In October of that year, the Westchester Electric Railroad Company decided to try to reopen the strike-closed line between New Rochelle and Mount Vernon that ran through Pelham.  That line included a portion of the tracks along which ran the Pelham Manor trolley that inspired Fontaine Fox to create the Toonerville Trolley portrayed in his long-running Toonerville Folks comic strip.

Pelham Manor detailed members of its police force to ride along the line to protect the cars and their crew members as the cars bounced along the tracks through the Village of Pelham Manor.  When the trolley cars passed from Pelhamdale Avenue onto Colonial Avenue toward Wolf's Lane, however, they entered the tiny little Village of Pelham (today's neighborhood known as Pelham Heights).  Pelham Manor police considered the area out of their jurisdiction.  They hopped off the trolley cars as strkers approached the cars for a coordinated attack. 

Charges were leveled against members of the police forces of the Villages of North Pelham and Pelham Manor for allegedly standing by during the subsequent violence.  One report even accused a member of the Pelham Manor police force of skulking away through vacant lots as strikers approached to attack.

An extensive article about some of the violence appeared in the October 28, 1916 issue of the New Rochelle Pioneer.  A large excerpt from that article is quoted below.


Temporarily stopping trolley cars on main line between this city and Mount Vernon, and a collision between cars in this city, were the chief incidents that marked the seventh week of the strike.

Fifty striking trolleymen from this city made good their threat to stop the traffic between New Rochelle and Mount Vernon last Saturday afternoon after the main line had been opened by the Westchester Electric Railroad Company that morning, by resuming the service with three cars on a twenty-minute headway.  While the police of Pelham Manor, headed by Chief Marks, who claimed the trouble was taking place in Pelham Heights and therefore he had no authority to interfere, witnessed their tactics, the crowd savagely attacked the cars and their crews, hurling stones through the windows.

Because it is alleged that the Pelham Manor police who up to that time had been riding on the cars got off and gave no protection, the trolley company accuses the police of neglect of duty and insinuates cowardice.  One policeman is alleged by the company to have jumped off the car he was detailed to guard and to have left the scene via vacant lots when he saw the crowd of strikers approaching.

Not only were two New Rochelle-Mount Vernon cars stoned, but the Pelham Manor car was damaged.  All three cars were discontinued in service temporarily, and with the motormen behind the screened vestibules, the cars were finally run through the gauntlet of stones and sticks into Mount Vernon, a sanctuary.  No arrests were made, although the trolley company officials claim that Chief Marks and four or five men as well as Chief Holden of Pelham Heights with one other policeman, were witnesses of the happenings.  The service on the main line was resumed yesterday morning.

After leaving Pelham Manor the crowd of strikers returned to this city, where on Mayflower Avenue the men bombarded a Webster Avenue car, breaking six windows and denting the car.  The crowd evidently was after William Smith, a motorman who had remained faithful to the company but Smith came through unhurt.  Three New Rochelle policemen drew their guns and started after the crowd, but the strikers ran away.  As the police were pursuing them, they saw another crowd approaching the car from the opposite direction and had to give up the chase to protect the company's property.  There were a number of women and children in the car, and several of them were hit and cut by glass.

Strikers were again active in this city on Sunday in stoning cars and two arrests were made.  A crowd gathered on Drake Avenue and threw stones at a Glen Island car, breaking several windows, so William Hubbard, Saul Levy and Walter Pickwick, striking motormen, were arrested, in connection with the disturbance.

Wednesday witnessed the first accident since the cars were resumed here.  A rear-end collision between two cars occurred on North Avenue near Elk Avenue, about 8 o'clock in the morning, and as a result, four persons were injured.  Three were taken to the New Rochelle Hospital -- Mrs. Elizabeth Dunn of 8 Morgan Street, for a sprained ankle; Motorman John Peters for wounds received when glass cut his face, and Special Officer Michael Buckley, whose arm was bruised.  Officer John E. Godding was bruised on one leg, but he remained on duty.

Leaves on the rail is given as the probable cause of the accident.  Two cars were sent up North Avenue together.  According to witnesses the first car was stopped to let Mrs. Dunn get off.  The second car, some distance behind, was following at a fair rate of speed, and it is believed that the motorman could not stop it when it slid on its brakes over the rails.  The second car crashed into the first just as Mrs. Dunn alighted, the front vestibule of the former being smashed and a piece of its door hurled forward, striking Mrs. Dunn on the ankle.

Other than these incidents, nothing violent or of a serious consequence has occurred.  Ten cars are being operated on almost schedule time in this city and an increasing number of passengers ride every day.

On Monday, a number of strikers and their sympathizers, concealed in the grass near East Main Street, in the Dillon Park section, waited for the approach of the Larchmont car.  They were seen by Motorcycle Officer Sutton and the special policemen on the car.  The car was stopped and the three policemen charged into the lot with drawn clubs.  The crowd did not wait, but ran for the weeds, where they disappeared.  Then the car proceeded unmolested.

Mayor Griffing sent an invitation to ten of the strikers to appear at a conference on Wednesday with Edward A. Maher, General Manager and Superintendent William E. Wheeler of the trolley company, in order that a solution of the strike might be reached, but Messrs. Griffing, Maher and Wheeler were greeted by a letter which stated that the men declined to attend the conference on the ground that the officials of the trolleymen's union had been ignored, and that it was discoureous to these officials.

Failing to get the assistance they had expected from the two federal mediators, John A. Moffit and James A. Smyth, Secretary of Labor Wilson's staff, the strikers on Tuesday night called on Governor Whitman to use his good offices in procuring a settlement with the companies by sending the following telegram, which was signed by presidents of the eight local unions:

'The undersigned officers, representing 11,000 striking street car men of New York City and vicinity who have been on strike for the last seven weeks to establish the right of organization and permit the execution of collective bargaining recognized by the law of the supreme court of the United States, have been instructed by the unanimous vote of the membership of the several different divisions to request of you, as governor of the state of New York, to use the power of your great office and your personal influence to adjust the present difficulty between the street railway companies and this great army of men now on strike, which will relieve the demoralization existing on the traffic lines of New York City and vicinity.'

So far as the Westchester Electric Railroad Company is concerned, the strike is practically broken, according to what the officials say now.  Practically every line of the company is in operation, the service is gradually being extended to include the running of cars at night and more strikers continue to return to work.  It has been stated by the trolley company's representatives that twenty of the regular motormen and conductors including John Gotti, the motorman who is well known in this city, who had remained faithful and refused to go out on strike, were now working regularly.  Moreover the men are receiving double pay.

Estimates are made that a majority of the striking carmen have found employment elsewhere.  Attendance at the daily meetings of the men has dwindled until now only a handful of strikers gather in the various meeting places.  These are mostly the old men who have not secured work anywhere else and who have found it possible to subsist on whatever earnings they might have laid by, supplemented by the strike benefits which come through occasionally from Detroit.

One of the men said to newspaper men yesterday:  'This is the forty-eighth day since the strike began and all I have received from the union has been $10.  That doesn't go far toward supporting myself, my wife and three children, does it?  Last week I worked as a driver in a meat market, twelve hours a day except on Saturday when it was fifteen, and I almost killed myself with the hard work, but I needed twelve dollars.  Before going on strike I had a clean job.  The hours were not long.  The pay was good and I could live well.  Now all is changed, and I am standing here on the corner trying to make up my mind whether I ought to go back to the trolley company again. . . . ."

Source:  Another Riot and an Accident Mark Seventh Week of Strike, New Rochelle Pioneer, Vol. 58, No. 29, Oct. 28, 1916, p. 1, col. 1.

Please Visit the Historic Pelham Web Site
Located at http://www.historicpelham.com/.
Please Click Here for Index to All Blog Postings.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Biographical Data for Famed Illustrator and Artist Edward Penfield of Pelham Manor

Edward Penfield is considered one of the masters of graphic design.  He was a poster artist and illustrator in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  He lived in Pelham Manor.  There is a beautiful Web site devoted to his life and work located at http://edwardpenfield.com/

Below is brief biographical data for Edward Penfield published in 1913 followed by a citation to its source.

"PENFIELD, Edward, artist; b. New York, June 2, 1866; ed. Art Students' League, New York.  Art editor Harper's Magazine, Harper's Weekly and Harper's Bazar, 1891-1901; now devotes time exclusively to illustrating, designing and painting.  Was orignator of the poster in America, and used numerous 'textures' in reproducing his drawings that were not attempted before in relief printing from zinc or other plates.  Designed all of the posters for Harper's Magazine, 1893-9; poster calendars, etc. for R. H. Russell, and posters and designs for various purposes; illustrated a number of mag. articles in color.  Executed decorations for breakfast room of Randolph Hall, Cambridge, Mass.; also decorations for the Rochester Country Club.  Author:  Holland Sketches, 1907; Spanish Sketches, 1911.  Home:  Pelham Manor, N.Y. Studio:  163 W. 23d St., New York."

Source:  Marquis, Albert Nelson, ed., Who's Who in America - A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Men and Women of the United States, Vol. VII 1912-1913, p. 1634 (Chicago, IL:  A.N. Marquis & Co. 1913).

Please Visit the Historic Pelham Web Site
Located at http://www.historicpelham.com/.
Please Click Here for Index to All Blog Postings.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, December 21, 2009

More on What May Have Been the First Telephone Installed in Pelham

I have written before about what is believed to be the earliest telephone installed in Pelham.  See Tuesday, March 29, 2005:  The Earliest Telephone in Pelham Manor?

I recently have uncovered additional information about what may have been the first telephone installed in Pelham.  As reported in the above-referenced posting, that telephone was installed by about July 9, 1884.  Now I have found a page from the Mount Vernon newspaper The Chronicle published some time between July 2 and July 9, 1884 reporting that the telephone had been installed.  The complete article is transcribed below.


The yacht Eclipse has just been launched from Hawkins shipyard, ready for racing.

The third annual summer night's hop of the Bartow Association was held at Secord's pavillion, last night.

The Protective Association of Pelham [i.e., the Pelham Manor Protective Club], have connected themselves with the outside world by telephone.

The closing exercises of the public school of City Island were held Wednesday last, and were very interesting.  The school will be closed until September 1st.

The parsonage of Trinity M.E. Church, City Island, is completed, and Pastor Pray and family are occupying it.  The congregation feel very proud of their new parsonage and well they may; it is the finest one in the conference. 

The work of replanking City Island Bridge is progressing slowly.  There is so much travel across this bridge, that the work is necessarily slow.  Much work has been done around the cribs, in bracing up the timbers.  It is thought that after these repairs are completed, the bridge will last two or three years.

The body of Mrs. Annie Heany, of New Haven, who jumped overboard from the steamer Northam, a week ago last Monday, was picked up on Wednesday morning last, between City Island and Hart's Island, by Joshua Banta.  Coroner Tice held an inquest.

The New Rochelle Pioneer says:  'City Island is fast becoming in earnest a city by the sea.  It is a wonder that steps ere this have not been taken to have the island incorporated under the general village act.  Many improvements could then be made that would greatly improve its general appearance.'  This suggestion is undoubtedly a good one, and now that it has been made, it is more than probable that some of the public spirited citizens, of the island, will agitate the subject until something comes of it.'

On Thursday next, July 10th, a grand excursion, under the auspices of the Ladies' Social Aid of the M.E. Church, will be given.  It is proposed to go to Coney Island, by steamer Florence.  The price for adults is $1.00, and for children, under 15 years of age, 50 cents.  As many desire to avoid sea sickness, it has been decided to land at Bay Ridge instead of one of the piers on the ocean side.  A special train will be secured for the excursionists.  The excursion of last year was such an unqualified success that many who did not avail themselves of the pleasurable trip, at that time, will undoubtedly take advantage of the opportunity to be offered next Thursday.

A petition is in circulation, and has already been largely signed, asking that Pelhamdale avenue, where it crosses the New Haven Railroad track at Pelhamville, be cut through under the track.  It is understood that the town of Pelham and the railroad company are to bear an equal share of the expense.  About two years ago, an interview was had with President Watrous, on the subject, and he then promised to use his influence towards accomplishing the object.  The crossing in question is probably one of the most dangerous on the road, as the approach from either side is up a steep grade, and incoming trains cannot be seen until one is upon the track.  This matter of cutting down the hill, so as to run underneath the track, is a subject that should have been considered years ago, and it is a marvel that accidents have not been of frequent occurrence."

Source:  Pelham and City Island, The Chronicle [Mount Vernon, NY], July ?, 1884, p. ?, col. 5 (no page number or date appears on the newspaper page, but references in the text indicate that the page is from an issue published between July 2, 1884 and July 9, 1884; probably July 4, 1884).

Please Visit the Historic Pelham Web Site
Located at http://www.historicpelham.com/.
Please Click Here for Index to All Blog Postings.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Inaugural Run of the New York, Westchester and Boston Railroad Through Pelham for Local Officials in 1912

A railroad known as the New York, Westchester and Boston Railroad was built in the early 20th century and once ran through Pelham.  Remnants of the railroad remain, including the railroad bridge that still stands over Highbrook Avenue. 

The inaugural run of cars on the new line carrying local officials occurred on May 16, 1912.  A brief article about the event appeared in the New Rochelle Pioneer two days later.  The text of that article appears below.


That the opening of the New York, Westchester and Boston Railroad for public traffic is but a matter of a few days, was shown on Thursday, when an official inspection of part of the system was made. 

The invited guests to the number of twenty-five, included Chairman Wilcox, of the Public Service Commission, First Department, Commissioners Heustis, Maltbie and Williams, President Miller, of the road; Senator Wainwright, Mayor Fiske, of Mount Vernon; Mayor Waldorf, of New Rochelle; President Ceder, of North Pelham; Chief Engineer Crider and other railroad officials and attaches of the Public Service Commission. 

The start was made by the two-car train at 11:30 from Adams street station, the Bronx.  Stops were made at all stations from this point to Mount Vernon, where the Third street station was made the stopping point.  From there at a slow gait, so as to give the passengers plenty of chance for observation, the train rolled up to the North avenue station in New Rochelle.  After an inspection there the train returned and made a stop at the Fifth avenue station, North Pelham, and then proceeded up the White Plains branch to Wykagyl station. 

Having arrived there, President Miller escorted the party to the Wykagyl Golf Club House, where the club's president, Mr. W. B. Randall [of Pelham Manor], received and a luncheion was served.  During the course of the same Commissioner Eustis offered a toast to the prosperity of the new road and health and happiness to its efficient President, Mr. Miller.

The luncheon at an end, the party returned to the train and sped for home.  Stops being made at stations convenient to the homes of detraining guests.  The opinion expressed by all was that the road construction is of the highest class, the equipment, rolling and stationary, of the most up-to-date and modern type, and the stations commodious, comfortable and of pleasing architecture and lavish interior finish.

The engineers of the Public Service Commission expressed their delight over the splendid signal system installed on the road, over the perfect appointment of the steel cars and of the almost noiseless running of the train.

Although the day was rainy and cloudy, the approbation expressed by the inspecting party produced sunny smiles upon the faces of President Miller, of Chief Engineer Crider and upon other railroad officials who have had a hand in producing this model of electric railroads.

On Monday President Miller will take a number of newspaper men over the route and entertain them at the Wykagyl Club House.

It will take several days yet before the road can be opened for public traffic."

Source:  When the New R.R. Will Start, New Rochelle Pioneer, Vol. 54, No. 8, May 18, 1912, p. 1, col. 4.

Please Visit the Historic Pelham Web Site
Located at http://www.historicpelham.com/.
Please Click Here for Index to All Blog Postings.

Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Abstract of 1884 Town Accounts of Town of Pelham Published in 1885

The following abstract of the 1884 Town Accounts of the Town of Pelham appeared in the March 27, 1885 issue of The Chronicle, published in Mount Vernon, New York.


I hereby certify that the following are true and correct copies of the abstracts of the audited town bills of the several towns in the Second Assembly District of the County of Westchester, presented by the Supervisors of said towns, to the Board of Supervisors of said County, at its annual session for the year 1884.

Dated White Plains, January 23, 1885.


ABSTRACT OF ACCOUNTS audited by the Board of Town Auditors of the town of Pelham at their annual session, November 6, 10, 17, 20, 1884.

Claimant and Services Rendered.    Claimed.   Allowed.
Thomas McCrosson, salary as Health Officer....$150.00....$150.00
Thos. McCrosson, for medical attendance, by order of Poormaster...10.00....10.00
Wm. N. Baxter, Overseer of Poor....80.00....----
Valentine B. Hall, constable....24.65....22.05
Alberto Ulmer, poll clerk....6.50....6.50
R. Vickery, carriage hire....5.00....5.00
R. Vickery, " "....14.50....14.50
W. S. Bertine, Com'r of Excise....30.00....30.00
Charles Merrett, '' ''....35.00....34.00
Fred. Vickery, carriage hire....3.00....3.00
Fred. Vickery, com'r of high's....47.00....47.00
Wm. Munson, insp'r of election....6.00....6.00
John G. Spies, interpreter....5.00....5.00
Daniel S. Pell, poll clerk....6.25....6.25
James Anderson, constable....63.50....61.00
Burton S. Watson, for lumber for pound....30.89....30.89
E.A. Patterson, justice of the peace....42.75....42.75
Josheph B. Horton, member of health board....12.00....12.00
Wm. Barry, com'r of highways....50.59....50.59
Judgment in favor of Edward L. Studwell, assigned to Church E. Gates & Co.....415.07....415.07
John Case, assessor....66.00....66.00
James Hyatt, supervisor....199.50....199.50
James D. Bell, ex-town clerk....159.29....153.09
Samuel T. Graham, town clerk....314.65....187.56
John N. Munson, constable....13.75....10.75
Bowne and Co., stationers....50.85....50.85
Chronicle, printing, Jos. S. Wood, proprietor....13.50....13.50
Dudley R. Horton, as counsel....471.50....471.50
Grenzebach & Carpenter, for lumber....579.09....579.09
Mrs. Josephine Leviness, by order of poor master....6.75....6.75
James B. Prout, com'r of excise....9.00....5.00
Chas. Baxter, work and material....101.70....101.70
Chas. Baxter, assessor....76.00....70.00
Chas. Baxter, work and material....524.83....501.83
Chas. Bell, inspector of election....6.00....6.00
James F. Horton, assessor....76.00....76.00
Wm. Cockran, com'r of highways....109.74....109.74
Edward Kelly, constable....13.75....12.85
W.R. Lamberton, town counsel....75.00....75.00
W.H. Carll, clerk of the court....2.00....2.00
David Carll, material for bridge....33.15....33.15
Thos. Martin, justice of the peace....106.25....106.25
Wm. P. Cook, insp'r of election....12.12....12.12
Wm. Baxter, overseer of the poor....20.00....20.00
James H. Smith, town [illegible]....59.50....59.50
W.W. Waterhouse, town [illegible]....36.00
I.S. Kinsey, work on town dock....39.00....39.00
Mt. Vernon Argus, for printing....41.00....41.00
Thos. McCrosson, medical attendance on poor....6.00....6.00
C.F. Heywood, medical attendance on poor....60.00....60.00
M. Hogan, Justice of the peace....35.80....35.80
Jerome Bell, " "....57.40....57.40
M.J. Keogh, for legal services....219.07....219.07
M.J. Keogh, " "....78.00....78.00
M.J. Keogh, " "....100.50....100.50
M.J. Keogh, " "....250.00....250.00
M.J. Keogh, " "....50.00....50.00
M.J. Keogh, " "....38.00....38.00
M.J. Keogh, " "....50.00....50.00
M.J. Keogh, " "....66.00....66.00
Edgar Studwell, judgment assigned to D.W. Pollock....488.71....488.71


We, the undersigned Board of Town Auditors of the town of Pelham, do hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and correct statement of bills against the town of Pelham, audited and allowed by us for the year 1884,
Justices of the Peace.

I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true copy of the abstract of town accounts audited by the Board of Town Officers, of the town of Pelham, on file in my office. 

State tax....$2,404.53
School tax....1,574.40
County tax....4,961.55
School Commissioner....15.68


To pay audited town bills....$3,862.25
To pay principal of City Island bridge bonds....2,000.00
To pay interest on town bonds....1,156.92
To repair culvert on Pelhamville avenue....25.00
To repair culvert on Washington avenue....25.00
To repair and grade Pelham Lane....50.00
To repair and grade Pelham Road....50.00
To repair and grade Boston Turnpike....100.00
To balance due for repairing Pelhamdale avenue....58.00
To balance due for repairing Wolff Lane....83.00
To balance due for repairing Old Boston Road....73.00
To balance due for repairing Fifth avenue, Pelhamville....67.00
To balance due for repairing Fourth street Pelhamville....65.00
To balance due for repairing City Island Road....135.00
To balance due for repairing culvert on City Island....15.00
To balance due for repairing Shore Road....90.00
To balance due for repairing Pelham Lane.....120.00
To balance due for repairing culvert, Pelham Lane....10.00
To balance due for repairing Boston Turnpike....190.00
To balance due for repairing Main street....265.00
To balance due for repairing culvert, Fordham avenue....50.00
To balance due for planking City Island Bridge....65.00
For repairing and grading Main st.....280.00
For grading Fordham ave., west of Main street....100.00
For repairing and grading City Island road....360.00
For repairing and grading Wolff's Lane....100.00
For repairing and grading Old Boston road....50.00
For repairing and grading First avenue Pelhamville....30.00


Source:  Abstract of Town Accounts. . . . Pelham, The Chronicle [Mount Vernon, NY], Vol. XVI, No. 810, Mar. 27, 1885, p. 1, col. 4-5.

Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Development of Manor Circle Area of Pelham Manor in September, 1886

The Manor Circle area of Pelham Manor just to the east of the branch line railroad tracks was first developed in the late 1880s.  I recently stumbled across a news item published in late September, 1886 noting that streets were being laid out east of the Pelham Manor Depot -- the Manor Circle area.  The entire article is transcribed below, followed by a citation to its source.


Mr. David Carll was quite ill the early part of this week.

The Pelham tax sales will take place on Tuesday next, at the Town House, Bartow.

Mr. M. Hogan has resigned the Bartow post-mastership, and Mr. Fred. Vickery has been appointed in his stead.  The office will probably be moved to the railroad depot.

Mrs. Jennings, wife of T. J. Jennings, of City Island, died last Monday morning of consumption.  The funeral services were held Wednesday afternoon in the M. E. Church.

Robinson & Co., and Hawkins manage to keep busy on repair work.  On Tuesday last, each set of ways at both yards was occupied with a vessel, and the same condition of affairs has existed for months past.

The work of cutting down the hill near the railroad bridge at Pelham Manor will make a great improvement.  Now, if something could be done to make the Prospect Hill road passable, it would be another move in the right direction.  

Delay in the arrival of a boat load of small stone has caused delay in finishing the macadamized portions of the road from Bartow to the lower end of City Island.  The stone having arrived, the contractors hope to finish the work in a few days.  

Extensive improvements at Pelham Manor, east of the railroad track, are in progress.  Streets are being laid out and graded, and much of the low land is being filled in.  The improvement will be very decided.  The work is being done by the association. 

There seems to have been a sudden falling off of work at Piepgras's shipyard.  His own improvements are still in progress, and it will be some time before they are completed, but of outside work there is very little at the yard at present.  A few days ago, the working force at the yard was greatly reduced.

Last Monday night somebody entered the garden of Mr. Stephen Leviness and stripped the peach trees of all their fruit.  They also took nearly all the grapes from Mr. Stephenhoefer, and picked all of Mr. W. H. Scofield's quinces.  There are strong suspicions of certain parties, and they may yet get into trouble."

Source:   Pelham and City Island, The Chronicle [Mount Vernon, NY], Sep. 28?, 1886, p. ?, col. 2 (the date and page number are not printed on the newspaper page, but a text reference lists unclaimed mail as of Sep. 27, 1886; this was published shortly thereafter).

 Please Visit the Historic Pelham Web Site
Located at http://www.historicpelham.com/.
Please Click Here for Index to All Blog Postings.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Baseball Games Played by the City Island Beldenites and the City Island Rivals in 1884

No, the Historic Pelham Blog has not evolved into a baseball blog.  It just so happens that I continue to run across early references to baseball played in Pelham.  Today's posting transcribes an article published in August, 1884 that references two baseball clubs on City Island in 1884:  the Beldenites and the Rivals.  The article also references preparations for the Pelham Steeplechase at the Country Club the same year.  The text appears below, followed by a citation to its source.


The court house has quite a bright appearance since it received a thorough painting.

Grace Church and Sunday school will go on an excursion up the Hudson, to Alpine Grove, to-morrow (Saturday).

Last Thursday [August 28, 1884], the Beldenites went to Mamaroneck and played a game with the club of that place.  50 runs were scored, 31 by City Island, and 19 by Marmaroneck [sic].

The Rivals of City Island played a game with the Pelhamville nine on Saturday last, which resulted in favor of the former, by a score of 42 to 11.

Tomorrow (Saturday) [August 30, 1884] the Rivals of City Island will play the Nationals of Willet's Point, a game of baseball, on the grounds [of] the former.

There was a big time at Capt. Stringham's on Thursday of last week.  Hudson Hose Company of Yonkers were his guests, and the way they got outside of his chowder was astonishing, even to the natives.

The School election in district No. 1, was held at the school house in Pelhamville, and passed off very quietly and without anything of special note.  Mr. William Barry was re-elected, and Mr. E. H. Gurney was elected in place of Jacob Heiser whose term expired.  Mr. Gurney polled three votes more than Mr. Delcombie.

Norma, daughter of Mr. Charles Leviness, an estimable young lady about eighteen years of age, died on Monday last, of consumption, after a lingering illness.  The funeral services were held on Wednesday, in Trinity M. E. Church, Rev. Mr. Pray officiating, and the remains were interred in the cemetery on the Island.  During the funeral service stores were closed and business generally suspended.

On Wednesday, September 3rd, the Sunday school of Trinity M.E. Church will have an excursion to Locust Grove, L.I., by propeller Capt. John.  The boat will leave City Island at 9 A.M., Returning will leave Locust Grove at 4 P.M.  Stopping at Pike street, pier 41 E. R. each way.  Tickets are fifty cents.  Locust Grove is pleasantly situated near Bath, L.I., from which the following places of interest may be reached in a few minutes by rail:  Coney Island, Prospect Park, Greenwood and Fort Hamilton.

A woman in Pelham, whose family cat committed the unmotherly act of running away, leaving two young kittens without any means of support, fitted up bottles filled with milk in such a way that the young felines could draw it in quite a natural way.  They thrived and grew by the aid of these stepmothers until, after some weeks, the mother returned home.  But her kittens reared their backs as they turned from their bottles to look upon her, each hair of their tails bristled up and they spit at her in a contemptuous manner and would have nothing to do with their unmotherly mother.--New Haven Register.

On Thursday, the 21s inst., a short distance above Hell Gate the steamer Pilgrim of the Fall River Line on her trip from Fall River collided with the three-masted schooner, Dick Williams, loaded with coal and bound for New Bedford.  Fortunately no panic was caused on either vessel.  The schooner was in tow of a tug, which sheered off as she approached the steamer, but the tide catching the schooner on her bow made her swing in and strike the Pilgrim about forty or fifty feet from the bow on the port side, and as she scraped along the steamer's guard, which is of iron, she cut her main rigging, causing the mainmast and maintopmast to tumble over the side.  She was towed to City Island for repairs.

Mr. John B. Colford is making good progress with the race course on the grounds of the Country Club, at Pelham, and the first days races have been fixed for Wednesday, October 1st.  They will take place in the following order:

The first race will be a 1/4 mile dash, for farmer's horses for a purse of $100, $25 to the second horse, entrance free.  Any horse owned by a farmer and used by him for farm work, during this season can enter, horses to be ridden by the owner or his son.  Catch weights.

The second race will be a cup race for polo ponies, 1/2 mile flat race.  All ponies to carry 160 pounds.

The third race will be a light weight steeplechase, for purse, over full course.  All horses to carry 140 pounds.

Fourth race will be a pony steeple chase, 1 1/2 miles for purse.  All ponies to carry 150 pounds.

Fifth race will be a steeple chase for Country Club Cup, over full course of 3 miles, all to carry 170 pounds.

Sixth race will be the great Pelham Handicap steeple chase, for $2,000 added to entrance money.  Professional riders allowed and open to all comers.  This will be over full course of 3 miles.

Arrangements are being made to have a special train run from the Grand Central Depot and land passengers at the course.  A grand stand will be erected from which a view of the entire course will be had.  The club is determined to make the races a success and no expense will be spared to make every provision for the comfort of their guests."

Source:  Pelham and City Island, The Chronicle [Mount Vernon, NY], Aug. 29, 1884, p. ?, col. 3 (date and page number not printed on the newspaper page, but references in the text strongly indicate the date of publication is Aug. 29, 1884).

Please Visit the Historic Pelham Web Site
Located at http://www.historicpelham.com/.
Please Click Here for Index to All Blog Postings

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Monday, December 14, 2009

Baseball Games Played by the City Island Shamrocks in 1889

Today's Historic Pelham Blog posting continues with more references to baseball played in 19th century Pelham.  I have located additional information about baseball games played by the Shamrocks baseball club on City Island.  Excerpts from an article published in The Chronicle [Mount Vernon, NY] on June 18, 1889 appear below.

"Baseball Notes . . . . .

It is with great pride we can justly say that there is another strong baseball team in the field this year, and who are playing great ball.  The club we refer to, is the 'Shamrock's' of City Island, composed of yacht men, under the management of John F. Ahmuty, whose experience in that capacity is allready [sic] too well known to need comment, (he having guided the old monitors of Jersey City to what they are to-day), these young men have crossed bats with several out of town clubs, and without losing a game as yet.  Mr. Ahmuty is so confident of his boy's that he will be compelled to cancel a good many dates made early in the season, in order to accommodate several league games for which he is offered large guarantee, as the famous 'Shamrock's' are the only club representing water now in existence.

On July 4th the 'Shamrock's' will play the Confidence of New Rochelle, 2 games, morning and afternoon.  Due notice will be given. . . . .

(The following items were received too late for Friday's issue). . . . . .

Last Saturday [June 8, 1889] the 'Shamrocks' went to Willet's Point to score another victory -- 'a complete whitewash,' as one of the boys expressed it.  Score 15 to 0.  To-morrow (Saturday) they go to Brooklyn to play the return-game of the Y.M.A. of Bushwick avenue."

Source:  Baseball Notes, The Chronicle [Mount Vernon, NY], June 18, 1889, p. ?, col. 2 (page number not printed on the page).

Please Visit the Historic Pelham Web Site
Located at http://www.historicpelham.com/.
Please Click Here for Index to All Blog Postings.

Labels: , , , , ,

Friday, December 11, 2009

Earliest Reference Yet to Baseball Played in Pelham

I have located what seems to be the earliest reference yet to baseball played in Pelham.  An account published in 1877 makes reference to recreational baseball played on City Island.  The reference is contained in a brief article that I have transcribed in its entirety below.

"City Island.

The Wm Cook Association from the Eleventh Ward, New York City, about 100 strong, visited McClennon's Minneford Shore House, last Wednesday [Sep. 26, 1877], and had a jolly good time.  Among the diversions employed to while away the time were baseball, football matches, boat races, foot races, etc.

Messrs. Liming & Co. of the City Island Hotel, have just fitted up a very neat and tasty ladies' and gents' oyster and dinning [sic] rooms adjoining the barroom of the hotel.

The yacht Ambassadress, which was so successively [sic] launched on Saturday last, was towed from Carll's ship yard to New York on Wednesday last.

Get your rods and reels ready, bass are beginning to bite and Flynn can furnish you with bait."

Source:  City Island, The Chronicle [Mount Vernon, NY], Vol. IX, No. 419, Sep. 28, 1877, p. 1, col. 6.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, December 10, 2009

More 19th Century Baseball and Firefighting References

Regular readers of the Historic Pelham Blog know that I routinely post items concerning 19th century baseball and 19th century firefighting in Pelham.  Today's posting combines both.  Baseball and firefighting references appeared in a news article published on July 14, 1894 in the New Rochelle Pioneer.  The entire article is quoted below.

--Ex-Assembly Moebus of the Annexed District, paid this place a visit last week.

--Dr. Thomas McCrossen, who has been on a two weeks cruise to New London, returned home this week.  The Dr. is looking as brown, and is as chipper as ever.

--Bay View Hotel is filled with boarders and so great is the demand at this popular house that the genial proprietor has been compelled to refuse a good many applicants.

--Happy Ward, of the Ward Vokes Combination Co., Charles E. Huntley, Edward Burke, Ned Heffernan and Olie Grant, well known actors of the Casino, New York, are at the North End, spending their vacations.

--Charles E. Huntley, is busily engaged in preparing a new spectacular extravaganza, which will be produced in the early part of September at one of the theatres on Broadway.  Mr. Burke is engaged in composing the lyrics and music for the same.

--Pierre Lorrillard, the well known owner of race horses, has secured the barn situated at Von Liehn's Hotel, and has now six fine specimens of horse flesh, which he will keep there all the summer.  Mr. Lorrillard also has at anchor in the harbor his yacht Carmlen off Von Liehn's.

--A new base ball club has been organized here.  The name of it is the Pelham B.B.C.  It is under the management of Mr. T. J. Jordan of the Pelham Park House.  Its batteries are Joseph Smith and William Barton.  They have secured the grounds on Locust Point, and will play all uniformed clubs.  Good guarantees will be given competitors.

--A grand reception was tendered to the newly organized Hook and Ladder Company to be known under the title of the Island City Hook & Ladder Co., No. 1, by the Minneford Engine Company on Tuesday evening.  The attendance was exceedingly large and a most auspicious evening was spent.  This company we understand is organized as an independent one, and the Town Board is now considering the question as to whether the new Company shall be recognized by the Town in preference to the 'Indians' a company organized three years ago, which is under the foremanship of William Baylis, whose brother George is the head of the Island City Company.  There is reason to believe that as the Island City is necessarily equipped to aid the engine Company that the Board will recognize them as the official company.

--A familiar face to be seen about the Island is that of John F. Ahmuty the Herald's representative.  Jack reminds us a good deal of the Irishman's flea.  He is here, there and all over when any news is about, and nothing of importance occuring on the Island, or in fact in the neighboring towns of Bartow, Pelham and New Rochelle escapes him.  Our citizens ought to be proud of such a man.  As one of them said this week, 'I honestly believe that if anyone threw Ahmuty overboard to drown him that in a short period of time you would see him about again, and then you would see a column article in the next day's Herald written by him under the caption of 'My Experience of Drowning.'  It is impossible to get rid of him.  As the gentleman made this remark, several greeted it with 'Rats, Jack, Rats!'


--Lulu Mabel Hogan, aged 13 years who died at the residence of her parents on July 5th, was one of the brightest little scholars in Grammar School 57, New York City.  Out of a class of fifty scholars she was awarded a solid silver medal for proficiency in studies.  She never missed a day from her school during its term.  The whole anticipation of her life was to have become a teacher.  Her funeral took place on Saturday last and was largely attended, many of her schoolmates being present.  The interment was in the family plot in Greenwood Cemetery."

Source:  Along the Sound, New Rochelle Pioneer, Jul. 14, 1894, p. 2, col. 3.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

City Island Shamrocks Base Ball Club Changed its Name to the Minnefords in 1888

I continue to document every reference I find about baseball played in Pelham during the 19th century.  For some of the prior postings, see:

Wednesday, November 25, 2009:  Even More Early References to Baseball Played in Pelham.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009:  Yet Another Reference to Early Baseball in Pelham.

Monday, November 23, 2009:  Additional Brief Accounts of Baseball Played in Pelham in the 19th Century.

Friday, November 20, 2009:  More Accounts of Early Baseball Played in Pelham.

Thursday, November 12, 2009:  More Early References to Baseball Played in Pelham.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009:  Score of June 1, 1887 Baseball Game Between the Country Club and The Knickerbocker Club.

Friday, March 20, 2009:  Another Reference to 19th Century Baseball in Pelham.

Monday, November 26, 2007: Box Score of a Baseball Game Played on Travers Island in Pelham Manor in July 1896.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007: Baseball on Travers Island During the Summer of 1897.

Friday, July 20, 2007: Account of Early Baseball in Pelham: Pelham vs. the New York Athletic Club on Travers Island in 1897

Friday, November 10, 2006: The Location of Another Early Baseball Field in Pelham

Monday, October 9, 2006: Reminiscences of Val Miller Shed Light on Late 19th Century Baseball in Pelham and the Early Development of the Village of North Pelham

Thursday, March 23, 2006: Baseball Fields Opened on the Grounds of the Westchester Country Club in Pelham on April 4, 1884

Tuesday, January 31, 2006: Another Account of Baseball Played in Pelham in the 1880s Is Uncovered

Thursday, October 6, 2005: Does This Photograph Show Members of the "Pelham Manor Junior Base Ball Team"?

Thursday, September 15, 2005: Newspaper Item Published in 1942 Sheds Light on Baseball in 19th Century Pelham

Thursday, February 10, 2005: New Discoveries Regarding Baseball in 19th Century Pelham

Bell, Blake A., Baseball in Late 19th Century Pelham, The Pelham Weekly, Vol. XIII, No. 17, Apr. 23, 2004, p. 8, col. 2.

I have located an interesting newspaper reference indicating that a base ball club on City Island known as the Shamrocks voted to change its name in 1888 to the Minnefords.  The reference appears within an article that detailed the news of Bartow and City Island in the December 7, 1888 issue of the Chronicle, published in Mount Vernon.  The entire article is quoted below.

"Bartow and City Island.

Mr. Wilkie Collins having obtained a grant of land under water, opposite the King estate on City Island, has built a bulk head and is having it filled in with the mud dredged from the bottom of Eastchester Creek.  It is understood that Mr. Collins proposes to erect a building on the made lot.  Mr. Burknapp is also docking out.

'What is it?' is the frequent query propounded in relation to the old canal boat lying in the cove, with a sort of French roof second story, roughly built above decks.  The knowing ones say it is Jacob Gruse's hotel, constructed for the accommodation of fishermen and oystermen.  Old Jacob has got quite a dike built up for a foot path to his novel hostelry.

Mr. Willy has added another to his block of frame buildings on Main street by utilizing the old carpenter shop of George Hawes and building between it and the former row.  The block now presents quite an imposing appearance.  They say Joe DeVaugh is getting rich.  'Wealthy' would be the more refined term.  At any rate Mr. DeVaugh is putting a large addition to the building now occupied by him.  When completed he will have a hall 51 x 20 feet -- sufficiently large for ordinary entertainments.  The lower floor will be changed in arrangement and will be furnished with a shuffle board, pool tables and other games.  When completed, the Minneford Baseball Club will formally open the hall and christen it the Minneford House.

The Shamrock Baseball Club held a meeting last Friday night and voted unanimously to change the name of the organization to Minneford Baseball Club, the name by which City Island was originally known.  They decided to have a ball as soon as DeVaugh's new building is ready for occupancy.

The following corps of officers of the City Island Republican Club were elected Monday evening last:  President, Mortimer Bell; Vice Presidents, D. O. Booth, Geo. W. Horton; Secretary, Geo. B. Glazier; Treasurer, Robt. J. Vickers; Chairman Ex. Com., R. F. Wood.  The club is in good trim for the spring campaign, and will make matters lively for their Democratic opponents."

Source:  Bartow and City Island, Chronicle [Mount Vernon, NY], Dec. 7, 1888, p. ?, col. 2 (the newspaper page does not include a page number or a date, but text references on the page make clear that it is from the Dec. 7, 1888 issue of the paper).

Please Visit the Historic Pelham Web Site
Located at http://www.historicpelham.com/.
Please Click Here for Index to All Blog Postings.

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

The Darling Triplets: Three Brothers Among Pelham's Earliest Firefighters

In the early 1890s, firefighting units sprang up on City Island, in Pelham Manor and in Pelhamville within the Town of Pelham.  Shortly after New York City annexed City Island and nearby areas in 1896, an interesting article appeared in The Evening Telegram about triplets who had served as volunteer firefighters in the Minneford Engine Company on City Island for seven years.  The men were William, Thomas and James Darling.  The text of the article appears below.

Three of a Kind and Name Don the City's Uniform and Will Run with the Engines.
Brothers Served Seven Years on the City Island Volunteer Force.

City Island, in the Annexed District, has made an unique addition to the City Fire Department.  The recruits are the Darling brothers, triplets, sons of William Darling.  They are named respectively William G., Thomas G. and James G. Darling.  Their common age is thirty-four years.  All are straight-backed handsome fellows, with crockery blue eyes and big blond mustaches. 

The brothers are just completing their terms as probationary men in the school of instruction in Sixty-seventh street:  James donned his uniform for the first time to-day.  The two others will complete their training and be assigned to stations in a day or two.  None of them is without experience in climbing roofs and ladders and handling hose and lines, which the training school teaches.

All three served for seven years in the Minneford Engine Company, the volunteer force in Island City, before its annexation in 1896.  Under J. O. Fordham, chief of the Minnefords, they earned reputations as men almost recklessly brave.  James saved the life of Mrs. George Bell on July 4, 1897.  She had upset a kerosene stove upon herself.  James wrapped her in carpet he tore from the floor.  Then he put out the fire in the house without troubling to call for aid.

I saw James this afternoon at the house of hook and ladder company No. 4, at Forty-eighth street and Eighth avenue, where he has been assigned for duty.  He was engaged in the unheroic duty of mopping the engine house floor, and he wouldn't let anybody past the floor till they wiped their feet carefully on the cocoa mat. 

James said that he and his brothers were all sailmakers, like their father.  He is of athletic build, 5 feet 7 1/2 inches high and strips at 133 pounds.  Brother William is a half inch taller and Thomas a quarter inch shorter, but it requires minute inspection to note any difference in their appearance.

William Darling is with truck No. 6, in Canal street and Thomas with truck No. 11 at Fifth street.  Both will probably get permanent assignments to these stations.  All are married, and William and James have three children each."

Source:  Darling Triplets Will Fight Fire, The Evening Telegram, Jan. 28, 1898, p. 8, col. 1.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Monday, December 07, 2009

Report of Fight with Trolley Construction Crew in Pelhamville in 1898

In the late 19th century, rival trolley companies raced to construct lines throughout the New York region.  Rivalries among competing trolley lines led to at least one instance of violence in Pelhamville in 1898.  A fascinating account of the incident appeared in the October 8, 1898 issue of New Rochelle Pioneer.  The account appears below.



The little village of Pelhamville has a very lively railroad row on its hands the outcome of which will be watched with the keenest interest by the friends of the Union Trolley Company and the New York and Connecticut Traction Company. 

The rivalry between the Union and the Connecticut company precipitated a fight in Pelhamville Saturday afternoon. 

The trouble between the two companies dates back several years, when the Traction company received a franchise from the Trustees of North Pelham to construct a line connecting Mt. Vernon and New Rochelle.  The trustees granted the franchise on the condition that the line should be in operation inside of a year.  Last month the trustees granted a franchise to the Union Company, known as the Huckleberry road, over the same route, on the ground that the Traction Company had violated its franchise.

The Union Company was to have commenced work on this new franchise as soon as their lines to New Rochelle had been completed.

The Traction Company on Saturday decided to steal a march on its rival, and early in the afternoon a gang of Italians appeared on the ground and started to tear up the road at Fourth street and Fifth avenue, North Pelham.  The men under foreman Mack had succeeded in laying several feet of track when Councilmen Vincent Barker and George McGalliard drove up and ordered the men to stop. 

They refused to do so and Constable Marks, who appeared on the scene, arrested the foreman of the gang and some of the laborers.

Later the Councilmen were joined by Village President M. J. Lynch, Dr. Charles Barker, James Seaman, James Riley and John Case, who tried to block the street in order to prevent the transportation of rails.  Dr. Barker drove his buggy into th excavated tracks, but the Italians picked it up and removed it. 

At this juncture some members of the fire department appeared.  They turned the fire hose onto the gang of Italians who scattered into the woods. 

Word was telephoned to the Mt. Vernon police for assistance, but Chief Foley could not send men where he had no jurisdiction over them, and he was obliged to refuse the request. 

Contractor Smith's men were called on to fill in the excavated trenches and restore the street to its proper condition. 

Foreman Hannon, of the Union Company, who has a gang of men at work in New Rochelle, heard of the trouble, and hurried his force into Pelhamville, and started to lay a line of tracks for the Union Company. 

The Connecticut Company, anticipating some more trouble of this character, had procured an injunction from Justice Dickey, of the Supreme Court, Brooklyn, which was served on the Union Company, and for the time being work ceased.

The Union Company being in possession of the field, kept an army of Italians on the streets all Saturday night and all day Sunday."

Source:  Trolley Row at Pelhamville, New Rochelle Pioneer, Oct. 8, 1898, p. 1, col. 1.

Please Visit the Historic Pelham Web Site
Located at http://www.historicpelham.com/.
Please Click Here for Index to All Blog Postings.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, December 04, 2009

Saint Paul's Church National Historic Site on the Old Eastchester Village Green Turns On the Lights

The Federal government recently provided funds for lighting the beautiful Saint Paul's Church National Historic Site located on the old Eastchester Village Green.  Last night I photographed the newly-lit site.  Posted below are four of the many, many photographs that I took of the lovely site.

The site includes an 18th century stone church that was used as a hospital during the Revolutionary War.  It also includes remnants of the Eastchester Village Green that was the scene of the famous Election of 1733 which raised issues of Freedom of Religion and the Press.  The cemetery that surrounds much of the church has grave stones dating back to 1704.  It contains more than 6,000 burials including slaves, Revolutionary War soldiers, members of the Pell family and many 18th and early 19th century Pelham residents. 

The photograph immediately above shows the church on the right with the full moon in the sky.  On the left is the 19th century stone carriage house that now serves as the museum and administrative offices at the site.

The photograph above shows the church, with the full moon above, from a slightly different angle.  Although it may be difficult to make out in the small version of the photo, immediately to the right of the steeple tower in the night sky is the Constellation Orion.  In the full-sized, high resolution photograph, the Constellation is quite striking.

This photograph was taken from the cemetery grounds.  Some of the grave stones are visible in the foreground.  In the distance near the lower right corner next to the tree, a boom from the industrial area along the Hutchinson River is lit and visible. 

This photograph shows the main entrance facade of the church building.

St. Paul's Church National Historic Site is located at 897 South Columbus Avenue, Mount Vernon, NY 10550.  It is only 100 yards or so from the newly-opened Pelham Manor Shopping Plaza and is easy to visit and has wonderful programs.

The site provides guided tours, Monday to Friday at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.  Some of the upcoming special programs, as indicated on the site's Web site, include:

Sat., Dec. 12, open from Noon to 4 PM
Opera in the historic church
A 2 p.m. performance by the Bronx Opera Company, featuring favorite excerpts from classic operas as well as performances, and sing-alongs, of some traditional seasonal carols and Holiday favorites.

Tues, Dec. 15, 10 AM - Noon
Bill of Rights Program
An educational program marking the 217th anniversary of the adoption of the Bill of Rights.

Sun., Dec. 20, 2 PM
Holiday Organ Concert
A recital by Jan Piet Knijff featuring classical music on the historic 1833 pipe organ, including some traditional carols and Holiday favorites. Refreshments served.

Thus., Dec. 22-23, 26, 29-31, 10 AM to 4 PM
Family Holiday Program
Historic games, activities, music and demonstrations, designed for children on vacation from school, as well as parents, adults, and others.

Sat., Jan. 9, open from Noon to 4 PM
Shakespeare in the Church
At 1:30 p.m., enjoy a performance by the Red Monkey Theatre Group of the climatic "trial" scene of William Shakespeare's classic, The Merchant of Venice, performed in the historic church, which was used as a courthouse in the 18th century. Also view the site’s feature exhibition, "Chief Executives on the Village Green: St. Paul’s and the Presidents."

Sat., Feb. 13, open from Noon to 4 PM
Presidents & African American History
Talks and re-enactments commemorating President’s Day and February as African American History Month, including appearances by Presidents Washington, Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt, as well as talks about Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln -- special activities for children.

Sat., March 13, open from Noon to 4 PM
Women’s History Month Event -- Colonial Gravestones and Eleanor Roosevelt
In recognition of March as Women's History Month, at 1 p.m. art historian John Zielinski explores the lives of women in 18th_Century America based on symbolism and inscriptions on gravestones, including several in the historic burial yard at St. Paul’s. At 2 p.m., a historian with the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library explores the life and times of Eleanor Roosevelt, who visited St. Paul’s Church. At 3 p.m., tour the historic cemetery and learn about the lives of American women over three centuries.

Sat., March 20, 2 PM
David Hackett Fischer and the American Revolution
Acclaimed historian and author David Hackett Fischer, a distinguished Professor at Brandies University, talks about the American Revolution, delivering the annual Aronson Memorial Lecture. Among Dr. Fischer’s outstanding books are Paul Revere’s Ride and Washington’s Crossing, which received the Pulitzer Prize. The site is open from 1 to 4 p.m.

Sat., April 10, open from Noon to 4 PM
Native Americans: The Area’s Earlier Residents
At 2 p.m., staff historian Pat Ernest explores the story of the Native Americans who lived in the area before the European settlers. There will also be tours of the historic Church Bell Tower and of the cemetery, one of the nation’s oldest burial yards.

Fri., April 16, 3 PM
Church Tower Walk
Join us for a hike up the wooden staircase in the Church tower, leading to the historic, 250-year-old metal bell, one of the oldest in the country. (Note: This program is repeated, every other Friday, weather permitting -- April 30, May 14, May 28, June 11, June 25.)

Sat., May 8, 5-9 PM
St. Paul's Historic Dinner
With only one American World War I veteran still alive, this year’s special benefit event recognizes the soldiers and civilians who lived at the time of the War to End all Wars. The event features a World War I era (1914-1918) style dinner, as well as music and talk recalling The Great War. Contact the site at 914-667-4116 for ticket reservations and details.

Mon., May 31, Memorial Day
Soldier’s Stories & Songs
The site will be open, regular hours, 9 AM to 5 PM, with special tours throughout the day, recalling the lives and stories of soldiers interred in the historic cemetery. There will also be music and talks recognizing soldiers from throughout American history.

Sat., June 12, open from Noon to 4 PM
Colonial Day
Join us for Colonial era style music, dancing, crafts, games and arms. There's also special tours of the Church Bell Tower and of the colonial section of the historic cemetery, and a recital on the historic pipe organ.

Please Visit the Historic Pelham Web Site
Located at http://www.historicpelham.com/.
Please Click Here for Index to All Blog Postings.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Pelham News on May 30, 1884 Including Allegations of Oyster Larceny and Meeting of the Pelhamville Improvement Association

The Chronicle, published each Friday in Mount Vernon during the 1880s, typically included a section reporting news in Pelham and City Island.  The May 30, 1884 issue contained an interesting report that detailed allegations of oyster theft against Captain Joshua Leviness of City Island.  The same report described a meeting of the "Pelhamville Improvement Association".  I previously have noted the existence of this organization and transcribed a brief news reference to it.  See:  Thursday, September 24, 2009:  Brief Newspaper Account of the January 1, 1883 Annual Meeting of the Pelham Manor Protective Club.   

The complete May 30, 1884 report appears below.


Mr. Floyd Leviness and Miss Rose McMahon are to be married on Sunday next.

A strawberry and ice cream festival is to be held in the M.E. Church, on Thursday evening next.

Last evening, the Merry Ten, an old organization of City Island, gave a complimentary ball, at Von Liehn's Hotel.

Mr. Joseph English, of Pelham Manor, has sold a plot of ground on Prospect Hill, 1 1/2 acres, to Mr. Edward Bertine.

Invitations are out for the marriage of Mr. Rich, of Stamford, to Miss Susie, oldest daughter of Mr. David Carll, on June 15th. 

The semi-monthly meeting of the Ladies' Social Aid Society of the M. E. Church, was held at the residence of Mr. A. Stearns, last Tuesday night. 

At Carll's ship yard, the Schooner yacht, Resolute, also a small sloop yacht, are out for overhauling.  The barge just completed for Ferris of Portchester, will be launched on Saturday. 

On Tuesday evening last, a special election for member of the Democratic County Committee for the town of Pelham was held.  Forty-four votes were polled.  Mr. George W. Sembler being the unanimous choice. 

The first evening hop and camp fire of the H. B. Hidden Post No. 320 G. A. R., of City Island, was held at Secord's Pavillion, Bartow, last Wednesday evening.  Representatives from other posts were present, and a very enjoyable time was had.

A regular meeting of the Pelhamville Improvement Association was held on Monday evening, May 26th, at the residence of Mr. C. H. Meritt.  After the transaction of some routine business and the adoption of a constitution and by-laws, the following officers were unanimously elected for the ensuing year.  Messrs E. H. Gurney, Pres; John Bos, Vice-pres.; C. H. Meritt, Treas., Lieut. Delcombie, Sec.  All further elections and appointments were left over till next meeting.  The next regular meeting of the association will be held on the last Wednesday of June.

About the first of November, 1883, City Island was, one morning, thrown into a flutter of excitement, by the announcement that during the night previous, Capt. Joshua Leviness had been caught taking up oysters from grounds beloning to the Billar estate.  He was confronted by the executors of the estate and flatly denied the ownership.  The executors thereupon threatened legal proceedings, when Leviness made overtures and in order to save litigation and expense it was mutually agreed to have the matter settled before a referee.  Justice Thomas Martin was chosen as the referee and after a full an impartial hearing of both sides decided against Leviness.  Accordingly, a warrant was issued for larceny, he was arrested and an examination was held on the 27th of November when the justice decided to hold him in the sum of $1,000 to await the action of the grand jury.  That body, at the December term, found an indictment for larceny in the second degree against Leviness, and his trial took place on Wednesday of last week, when he was acquitted, the Jury finding him not guilty.


Nora Walsh, 13 years old, the daughter of Patrick Walsh, of Pelham Manor, was brutally assaulted while on her way to school in New Rochelle on Friday morning last.  As she did not return home in the evening a search was made for her continuing through the night and until the following morning.  She was found in an insensible condition in the edge of woods, about a mile south of New Rochelle, near the Boston turnpike.  Her hands were tied behind her, and a gag made of leaves was in her mouth.  Two young tramps were committed to jail, in White Plains, on suspicion of being the perpetrators of the outrage.  They have been fully identified, and the case will be presented to the Grand Jury."

Source:  Pelham And City Island, Chronicle [Mount Vernon], May 30, 1884, p. unknown, col. 4 (the page number was not printed at the top of the page at the time).

Please Visit the Historic Pelham Web Site
Located at http://www.historicpelham.com/.
Please Click Here for Index to All Blog Postings.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,