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.

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).

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