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, November 30, 2009

Philadelphia Lawyer Questioned Title of All Pelham Property Owners in 1877


I recently ran across an odd item that I previously knew nothing about.  It involved a reported effort by a lawyer in Philadelphia to raise questions about the validity of titles of property owners throughout Pelham in an effort to extract settlement funds from local property owners.  The whole matter smacks of a scam that periodically hits members of the Rose Family who are convinced that due to defects in title, they may be owners of large portions of lower Manhattan once owned by Trinity Church.  A cryptic reference to Trinity Church in the article below even suggests as much. 

The article appeared on the front page of the July 27, 1877 issue of The Chronicle published in Mount Vernon, New York.  The text is followed by a citation to its source.

"HEIRS TO PELHAM MANOR.

We do not think that any of the owners of property in Pelham need worry about the following, which is copied from on of our exchanges.  It contains much interesting matter apart from the claims it undertakes to establish. 

From time to time, of late years, the validity of titles to large tracts of real estate in and about the city of New York have been contested by persons believing themselves to be the lawful heirs thereto, with varying results.  Preliminary steps are now being taken to contest the titles held by certain persons owning property in Westchester County, and the singular manner in which the discovery of the presumed rightful ownership of the property was made as well as immediate local interest, make the circumstances of the case worthy of publication.  The property involved consists of over 9,000 acres of land, lying for the most part along Long Island Sound.  Several beautiful villages are built on the land, which, altogether, is worth several millions.  The discovery of the title now alleged to be correct grew out of the litigations over Trinity Church.

In the summer of 1859, Mrs. M. D. Kellogg, of Binghamton, a widow lady, paid a visit to relatives in Oswego, N.Y.  While walking along the bank of the Susquehana River, one bright afternoon, with a friend, Mrs. Kellogg was shown the residence of a woman named Bliss, whose powers as a clairvoyant, were highly esteemed by the spiratualistic residents of the village.  In a spirit of banter Mrs. Kellogg challenged her friend to visit Mrs. Bliss, and the challenge was accepted.  Mrs. Kellogg was taken into a private room by the clairvoyant, and speedily informed of certain matters connected with the affairs of her then recently deceased husband which the widow believed none knew but herself.  Then, to her greater astonishment, the clairvoyant said:

'You are heir to a large property.'

'I think not,' replied Mrs. Kellogg:  'I never heard of any such thing.  Is the property in England?'

'No,' replied Mme. Bliss; 'It is not far off and lies beside a large sheet of water.' 

Mrs. Kellogg left the woman, dismissed the whole subject from her mind and had nearly forgotten it until over two years later, when it was brought again to her mind by a cousin of hers, a Mrs. Bayliss, of Binghamton, who informed her that she had just learned that she was heir to a large property in New York, and that the family would all come in for a share.

Living in Philadelphia at the time were four female cousins, descendants of the New York Grays.  Miss Jane Dean was one of these cousins, and she had been informed by her dying mother that the family were heris to a large estate in the neighborhood of New York.  What that property was the mother of Jane Dean could not tell, and as about that time persons claiming to be interested in the Trinity property were endeavoring to establish their titles, Miss Dean jumped to the conclusion that she must be a descendant of Anneke Jans.  At that time a Philadelphia lawyer, named Wm. Linn Brown, was working in the interest of claimaints for the Trinity estate.  Some person, as a joke, inserted an advertisement in a Philadelphia newspaper, requesting all persons who believed themselves such heirs to meet on a certain day in Lawyer Brown's office.  The Dean girls read this advertisement, and in good faith went to Brown's office.  Of course their visit was a surprise to him, but he courteously glanced over the genealogical tree he had made of the owners of Trinity estate, and informed Miss Jane Dean that she was not an heir.  With some disgust and considerable disappointment, Miss Dean left the office, saying, as she closed the doors, 'One thing I do know--I am a descendant of Lord Pell.'  According to Brown's statement, the parting shot, so to speak, of the would-be heiress furnished him some food for thought.  He recalled being on Hunter's Island, in the Sound, near New York, and remembered a conversation with Mr. Hunter, its owner, who told him that he had paid $80,000 for the property; that with the improvements it was worth $200,000, and that his title was defective.  'It belongs to Pelham Manor,' said Mr. Hunter in conclusion, 'and I wish you would hunt up the heirs.'  Brown thereupon informed the Deans that they must be heirs to Pelham Manor, and he was paid to visit Albany and make searches, where he found the original grant of the land from the Duke of York to Thomas Pell, of which the following is a copy:

'Richard Nicolls, Esq., Governor under His Royal Highness the Duke of York, of all his territories in America.  To all to whom these presents shall come, Greeting, Whereas, There is a certain tract of land within this government upon the main, situated, lying and being to eastward of Westchester bounds, bounded to the westward by the river called by the Indians Aqueouncke, commonly known by the name of Hutchinson's River, which runneth into the bay lying between Throgmorton's Neck and Hook's Neck, commonly called Hutchinson's Bay, bounded on the east by a brook called Cedar Tree Brook, and on the south by the Sound which lieth between Long Island and the main land, with all the islands in the Sound not already granted or otherwise disposessed of, lying before explained, and northwards to run into the woods, about eight English miles in breadth as the bounds to the Sounc -- which said tract of land hath heretofore been purchased from the Indian proprietors and satisfaction given for the same.

'Now know ye that by virtue of the commission and authority unto me given by His Royal Highness James, Duke of York, etc., upon whom by lawful grant and patent from His Majesty, the proprietor and government of that part of the main land, as well as of Long Island as all the islands adjacent among other things as settled. 

'I have thought proper to give, grant, confirm and ratify unto Thomas Pell, of Oncknay, alias Fairfield, in His Majesty's colony of Connecticut, gentleman, his heirs and assigns, all the said tract of land, bounded as aforesaid together with all the lands, islands, seas, bays, woods, meadows, pastures, marshes, lakes, waters, creeks, fishing, hawking, huntin, and fowling, and all other profits, and that the said tract of land and islands, and appurtenances shall be forever hereafter had, deemed, reputed, taken and be an enfranchised township, manor and place itself, and shall always from time, and at all times hereafter, have, hold and enjoy like and equal privileges with any town, enfranchised place or manor within this government, and in no manner of way be subordinate or belonging unto any other township or jurisdiction, but shall in all be held as an entire enfranchised township, manor and place of itself in this Government; to have and to hold the said tract of land-grant with all and singular the appurtenances, premises and privileges, immunities, and franchises given and granted unto the said Thomas Pell, to his heirs and assigns, to the proper use and behoof of the said Thomas Pell, his heirs and assigns forever, freely and clearly in so large and ample manner with all the privileges as before expressed, as if he had held the same immediately from His Majesty the King of England etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., his successor as of the manor of East Greenwich in the county of Kent is free and common seaage [sic], and by fealty only yielding, rendering and paying yearly unto His Royal Highness the duty forever, and his heirs, or to such Governor as from time to time be constituted and appointed, as an acknowledgement [sic] one lamb upon the first day of May, if the same shall be demanded.

'Given under my hand and seal, at Fort James, in New York, on the island of Manhattan, the sixth day of October, in the eighteenth year of the reign of our sovereign lord Charles the Second, by the grace of God, of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, etc., etc., and in the year of our Lord God, 1666.

RICHARD NICOLLS.

'Entered and recorded in the office of New York, the eighth day of October, 1666.

Attest:  MATHAIS NICOLLS.

The changes in the names of the localities mentioned in the grant make it extremely difficult for one who is acquainted only with the present names of boundary marks in Westchester County, and points along the Sound to satisfactorily define the precise limits of the grant.  From Albany, Brown went to Fairfield, Conn., where he found a variety of documents on record bearing on the case.  The original grant of Pelham Manor from the Indians is dated Nov. 14th, 1654 [sic], and embraced 9,166 acres [sic], bounded as follows:

'Embracing all that territory bounded on the east by a stream called Stony Brook, or river, and so running northward as the said brook or river runs eight English miles into the woods; thence west to Bronck's River to a certain bend in said river; thence by marked trees south until it reaches the tide waters of the Sound which lieth between Long Island and the mainland, together with all the islands in the Sound, etc., etc., Signed by the Sachem and five chiefs.

When Lawyer Brown informed the Dean girls that they were probably heirs to Pelham Manor, they wrote to Arthur Gray, of Binghamton, requesting information about his family.  Arthur Gray died soon after the receipt of the letter and before he had an opportunity of answering it, and it came into the possession of his son, Christopher Gray.  He showed the letter to a lawyer named Richards, of Binghamton, who advised him that unless he wished to make a fool of himself to say nothing about it.  Mr. Gray said nothing for over a year, and then he informed Mrs. Bayliss who told Mrs. Kellogg.  Mrs. Kellogg at once answered the letter and invited the Dean girls to visit her, which they did, and information about the family was reciprocally imparted.  Both Mrs. Kellogg and the Deans began a search of the family genealogy, which is not yet fully completed, but sufficiently so, as those who so wish it claim, to prove themselves the rightful heirs of Sir Thomas Pell.  The original will of Thomas Pell is on record in Fairfield, Conn.  The following is a copy omitting a few personal legacies of no importance:

'The last will of Thomas Pell.

'In ye name of God, amen.

'It hath pleased ye all wise God many years to exercise me with much weakness of bondy, and having lately taken to Himself my beloved wife Lucy, it being ye good pleasure of God to deny me natural issue of my own body, His good hand of mercy continuing unto me to keep me in perfect memory and my understanding in in a comfortable measure according to the proportion of wisdom and knowledge which he saw meet to me, I desire in faith to give up my soul to God which gave it -- my body to a comely burial, that I may be decently buried in such a comely manner that God may not be dishonored.  It being my desire that peace may be attended in enjoyment of what God has seen pleased to give to me.  This being my last will and testament.  I do make my nephew living in Old England, the only son of my only brother, John Pell, Doctor of Divinity, which he had by his first wife, my whole and sole heir of all my lands and houses in any part of New England, in the territories of ye Duke of York.

I also give all my goods movable and whole and sole heir the plate, chattles and immovable whatsoever, and cattle of all kinds, except such parts and legacies as I give and bequath [sic] to persons my just debts being first paid.

'And if my nephew, John Pell, be decesased and hath left a son or sons surviving him, then what I have given to my nephew, John Pell, I give to such issue of his; and in default of such issue it is my will that my brother John Pell's daughter shall enjoy the above said portion; and in case they or any of them be deceased, then it my will that the children of my brother's daughter shall inherit the above said portion, to be equally divided amongst them.  It is my will that in case my nephew, John Pell, my brother's son by his first wife, be deceased, and hath left no male issue, if my brother hath a son or sons by his last wife, he or they shall enjoy ye above said portion, and in ye default of them or their male issue, then my brother's daughters or their children shall enjoy ye above portion as is above expressed.

'I make, ordain, constitute and appoint Daniel Burr and John Bankes to be my executors of trust, and order them to pay after my burial all my just debts and legacies, and to make sale of any utensils which are subject to decay -- old cattle -- and to be accountable to my heir or heirs, and to keep up housing and fencing, upon my heir's charge, that the estate may not suffer.

'In witness whereof I have herunto set my hand, this twenty and one years of the reign of our Sovereign lord King Charles, and the 21st of September, 1669.

(Signed) THOMAS PELL.

'Signed in presence of us,

'Nathan Gould,
'John Catell.'

This will was duly probated and recorded.  In 1675, John Pell, the heir sold to John Burr of Fairfield, all the meadows on Mill River, in Fairfield; and in December, 1685, sold John Smith, of the town Brunkland, Great Minneford's Island, opposite Ann Hook's Neck.  It appears that John Pell, son of John Pell, D.D., and heir of Thomas Pell, married Rachel Pinckney, and had by her two sons and several daughters.  John Pell died intestate in 1700 [sic].  The eldest son, Thomas Pell, took possession of the estate under English law.  Thomas pell second, married and had a son, Joseph Pell, to whom he willed the estate July 3d, 1739.  Joseph Pell married Zipporah Pell (a daughter of John Pell.)  The result of this marriage was seven children, David, Abner, Thomas, three daughters and Philip Pell, the latter supposed to be a posthumous son.  It was through these children that Lawyer Brown advised the descendants of the Grays to look for their heriship to Pell Manor.  The claimants of the estate have been advised, however, that when the Dutch came over and took possession of New York they brought with them new laws, and in accordance therewith, set aside the claim of Thomas Pell, son of John Pell, to the whole property, because his father died intestate, and divided the whole estate equally among each of John Pell's children, nine in number.  It has been learned that all of these nine children, with one exception, signed quit claim deeds of their share in the property.  This one exception was Mary Pell, who married Samuel Sands, a son of Samuel Sands of Sand's Point.  They had one daughter by this marriage, Mary Sands, who married Colonel John Reid at Hempstead, L. I., in 1721.  The fruit of this marriage was a daughter, named Euphsemie Reid, who married Daniel Reading, of Flemington, N.J.  A daughter, Mary Reading, was the result of this marriage, and she married Arthur Gray in Flemington.  Shortly after their marriage, they moved to Binghamton, N.Y., and reared a family of twelve children, who are now all dead.  There are in the neighborhood of one hundred children and grandchildren living in the neighborhood of Binghamton and Philadelphia at present. 

The would be heirs to Pelham Manor claim that the wills and titles of the property are so worded and reserved that the statute of limitations as to the holding of undisputed possession of property for twenty years giving absolute title does not apply to the case.  In case an absolute, unquestionable title can be established the only steps that the new heirs would attempt, would be to compromise with the owners of property on the estate, taking a per centage and giving therefore good titles."

Source:  Heirs to Pelham Manor, The Chronicle [Mount Vernon, NY], Vol. VIII, No. 410, Jul. 27, 1877, p. 1, col. 2.

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Friday, November 27, 2009

Telegraph Wires Connected Pelham to the Outside World in 1882


A very brief reference contained in the May 6, 1882 issue of The Pioneer published in New Rochelle, New York, reflects the date that City Island in Pelham was first connected to the communications grid of telegraph wires that were beginning to cross the country.  The reference is quoted below, followed by a citation to its source:

"COUNTY MATTERS . . . The Western Union Telegraph Company are putting up a wire between Williamsbridge and City Island, to connect with the line of the Atlantic and Pacific Telegraph Company."

Source:  County Matters, The Pioneer [New Rochelle, NY], May 6, 1882, p. ?, col. 3 (no page number reflected on newspaper page).

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

The First "Pelham Country Club" Established in 1898 Built a Nine-Hole Golf Course in Pelham in 1898


There once was another "Pelham Country Club" that pre-dated the club now known by that name.  The first Pelham Country Club was organized during a meeting held on May 12, 1898.  It quickly developed a small nine-hole golf course on land it leased in Pelham.  In 1904, the Pelham Country Club secured land to open a larger course in New Rochelle.  The Club subsequently evolved into The Wykagyl Country Club.

To read a little more about the Club, see:  Thursday, October 1, 2009:  Pelham Country Club Secures Land for New Golf Course in 1904.

A wonderful article about the Club's efforts to construct its initial nine-hole course in Pelham appeared in the July 11, 1898 issue of the New-York Daily Tribune.  The text of that article appears below.





"GOLF.
-----
PELHAM COUNTRY CLUB AND ITS SPORTY COURSE.
-----
NINE-HOLE LINKS TO BE READY BY FALL-ACCESSIBILITY ONE OF ITS CHIEF CHARMS--GOSSIP OF THE PLAYERS.


Of the many country clubs about New-York that owe their existence to golf none have sprung into more rapid popularity than the Pelham Country Club, organized some two months ago among the prominent summer residents of Pelham, Pelham Manor and New-Rochelle.  Already the first limit of membership has been reached, and before the season closes the club should rank as one of the most successful in Westchester County.  A delightful and picturesque situation, exceptional opportunities for the game and an enthusiastic coterie of players are the elements which have combined toward its present success.  The course is laid out upon the estate of Benjamin Corlies, who is himself an active worker in preparing it for play.  The ground comprises about fifty acres of rolling meadowland, and upon this a nine-hole course of two thousand yards is to be built.  So far only four of the holes have been completed, but the other five are already under way, and judging by the present rate of progress, should be ready for play by the first of September.  The club has had the benefit of trained professional advice in the work, and according to some of its members it will soon possess one of the sportiest links in the vicinity of this city.  Time and judicious care will, of course, be necessary to bring this about, but, as one of the members put it, 'the possibilities are there, there is no lack of money, and the thing is going through.'


The task before the club was one at which many would shrink.  Trees had to be cut down, rocks blasted, marshes drained and a large amount of labor expended in order to prepare the way for a course.  Much of this is already accomplished, and the proof of its success is that the scoffers who refused to believe a links could be made are now among the most enthusiastic members of the club.  There are both highlands and lowlands in the property selected, but the higher portions are reached by easy incline, and throughout there is no difficult approach.  The course extends from the old Boston Post Road on the north to the Boston Turnpike on the south.  At present the members are using a temporary clubhouse, but a new building is shortly to be erected.  It is to contain every requisite for golfers' needs.  The membership rolls include more than one hundred members.  The officers are:  President, Howard Scribner; vice-president, Frederick Wilson; secretary, George K. Perry; treasurer, John Butler, and captain, Harlan V. Gause.  The Board of Governors includes the above-named officers and John K. Muir, Lincoln Pierce, William H. Webster, Ralph K. Hubbard, Jablish Holmes, Jr., W. B. Randall and C. W. Colton.


To give an adequate idea of the course is difficult, owing to the unfinished state of many of the holes.  But as a charming bit of inland scenery, and aside from its golfing possibilities, it is well worth a visit.  Ample provision has been made for each hole, and at no time is it necessary to cross a previous line of play.  Artificial water hazards are to be constructed in order to lend additional interest to the game, and hedges and cop-bunkers will further provide the necessary difficulties.  The grounds are easily accessible from this city, and may be reached from Pelham, Pelham Manor, New-Rochelle or Woodside."


Source:  Golf - Pelham Country Club and Its Sporty Course, New-York Daily Tribune, Jul. 11, 1898, p. 8, col. 1.



Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Even More Early References to Baseball Played in Pelham


I continue to locate even more references to early baseball played in Pelham.  Today's posting collects a couple of references published in 1886.  One contained in the Society column of The Evening Telegram [New York City] erroneously refers to the Country Club Giants (referenced in the item as the Country Club nine) as a cricket team.  The references are transcribed below, each followed by a citation to its source.

"SOCIETY . . . . .

Yesterday the Knickerbocker Club nine were to play the Country Club nine their third annual match of baseball for the challenge cup.  The Tantivy coach to Pelham has been doing fairly well, but the rush is over and seats can be had without much trouble.  Of course on Tuesday, what with the Paulding-Freeman wedding and the Tuxedo entertainment, the coach would have gone empty had not Mr. Roosevelt filled it with a large delegation of nurses and children, Mrs. Roosevelt being on the box seat."

Source:  Society, The Evening Telegram - New York, Jun. 5, 1886, p. 4, col. 6.


"SOCIETY . . . . . .

The cricket clubs have made great strides during the last few years, although the game has never been very popular in this country, and is justly claimed by Britishers as their own national hobby.  The defeat of the Country Club nine by the Rockaway Hunt Club, about a week since, by a score of 17 to 14, has caused some wry faces at Pelham and New Rochelle, where not a doubt was entertained of their success.  The Country Club is so unused to discouragement in any of its ventures or undertakings that it has yet to learn to bear defeat with equanimity."

Source:  Society, The Evening Telegram - New York, Jul. 17, 1886, p. 4, col. 6.

"PELHAM AND CITY ISLAND.

The Essex Club, of Orange, N.J., beat the Country Club nine last Saturday [July 9, 1886], at baseball.

Quite extensive alterations, and improvements have been and are being made, around the depot at Bartow.

Messrs. A. B. Wood & Son, are very busy constructing small yachts and row boats.  The latter is their specialty. 

There is probably no one on City Island, who is reaping a richer harvest now that the yachting season has set in, than Mr. Wm. Darling.  His reputation as a sail-maker is known all over the country, and yachtsmen come from far and near, to have sails made for their craft.

They are beginning to spin fish stories at City Island.  A few weeks ago quantities of large bass were being caught at Pelham Bridge, and now word comes that blue fish are being caught in great abundance in the bay.  Those old fishermen can spin good yarns, but you must not question them too closely. 

Grand concert at Gurney's Hall, Pelhamville to-night, under the management of Mrs. and Mr. I. C. Hill, for the benefit of the band.  The performers will include besides residents of Pelhamville, Mrs. Hatfield, Miss Logan, Prof. Praeger and Mr. Lamb, of Mt. Vernon.  Misses Patterson and Metz, of New Rochelle and Prof. Hunt, of Portchester.  The concert promises to be an exceptionally good one."

Source:  Pelham and City Island, Mount Vernon Chronicle [Mount Vernon, NY], Jul. 15, 1886, p. ?, col. 2 (the newspaper page has no date or page number, but contains a reference making certain that it was published on Friday, July 15, 1886).

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Yet Another Reference to Early Baseball in Pelham


For the last several days I have been posting references to early instances of baseball being played in Pelham.  Today I transcribe an article that appeared in the August 23, 1884 issue of the New Rochelle Pioneer.  The article details news about Pelham and City Island.  It includes a reference to a baseball game scheduled later the same day, another game played on Thursday, August 21, 1884 and yet another played on Saturday, August 16, 1884.

"PELHAM AND CITY ISLAND.

--Mr. Higbee, of Pelham, is absent on a vacation.

--The Muffers will play a game of ball with the Pelhamville nine to-day.

--Rev. C. Winter Bolton supplies Mr. Higbee's pulpit in the Priory church, during the rector's absence.

  Mr. Von Leihn is constructing a large sewer from his hotel to the water.

--Business on the Island is improving somewhat, and people are getting more hopeful.

--The Beldonites went to Mamaroneck on Thursday [August 21, 1884], and played a game of ball with the club of that place.  The Mamaroneck nine was defeated by a score of 31 to 19.

--The steamer Joshua Leviness has been taken from Hawkin's ways, and is to be taken to New York city for sale.  If not sold, she is to be used as a freight boat running up the Sound. 

--The game of ball between the Muffers and the picked nine at Willetts Point was completed last Saturday and was won by the Willett's Point nine by a score of 28 to 22.

--The sociable at Flynn's Pavilion Wednesday night was a grand success.  The attendance was large and quite select, and although the evening was excessively warm those who attended seemed to enjoy themselves thoroughly.

--An infant a few days old was found on the shore near Belden's Point on Monday.  It was wrapped in a New York World of August 14, and put in a segar box.  It is generally believed that it was thrown from some passing boat and drifted upon the shore.  Coroner Hyler held an inquest on Monday, and a verdict in accordance with the above statement was rendered.

--The Hudson Hose Company from Yonkers, visited the Island on Thursday, and were the guests of Capt. Stringham.  He served a chowder in his usual handsome manner, and they got outside of it with neatness and dispatch.  They enjoyed themselves in a royal manner, each one seemed bound to have the best possible time, and to assist the others to do the same.  They went home in the evening, and will be remembered here as gentlemen whose acquaintance is courted.

--Mr. Dayton seems to be unable to agree with his tenant, Mr. Newton.  It seems that Dayton leased his house to Mr. Newton for a stated sum, and was to receive half the fruit on the place, and in the absence of Mrs. Newton, it is claimed he helped himself to both halves.  Mr. Newton did not like this, and upon his return refused to permit Mr. Dayton to take away any more of the fruit, and Mr. Dayton served a dispossess warrant upon Mr. Newton claiming that he has failed to comply with the contract under which he went into possession.  He is not expected to accomplish much in this way, and nearly all who know of the circumstances denounce him for his actions in the matter.

--A short distance above Hell Gate the steamer Pilgrim of the Fall River Line on her trip from Fall River collided with a three-masted schooner Thursday morning.  There was no panic 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 of 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 this place and after proper repairs have been made she will proceed on her voyage.  the name of the schooner is the Dick Williams.  She is loaded with coal and bound from Hoboken to New Bedford." 

Source:  Pelham and City Island, The New Rochelle Pioneer, Aug. 23, 1884, p. 2, col. 6.


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Monday, November 23, 2009

Additional Brief Accounts of Baseball Played in Pelham in the 19th Century


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

Friday, November 20, 2009: 

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 some other brief references that reflect baseball teams that played on City Island in Pelham and some of the games they played in 1884.  The full article containing the references is transcribed below:

"PELHAM AND CITY ISLAND.

--William E. Lowndes will represent this town in the Grand Jury at White Plains, Sept. 15.

--Charles Price had a dispute with Joseph Schowsboe a few days agao and he struck him with an oar.  Price was arrested.

--The game of ball between the Muffers [of City Island] and Pelhamville nine played last Saturday [August 23, 1884] resulted in a victory for the Muffers by a score of 42 to 11.

--The excursion of Grace church and Sunday School takes place today.  They will go to Alpine Grove and with bright weather all will be pleased with their day's recreation.

--Norma Leviness, daughter of Mr. Charles Leviness, died on Monday last, Agu. 25, in the eighteenth year of her age, after a lingering illness.  The funeral took place on Wednesday.

--The Beldonites went to New Rochelle and played a game of ball with the men of that place on Thursday, which resulted in a victory for New Rochelle by a score of 36 to 17.

--Work in the shipyards appears to be improving here a little.  Von Liehn continues to be busy in his hotel business and the number of summer boarders does not seem to lessen to any material extent.

--The school election in Pelhamville district passed off very quietly and resulted in the re-election of Mr. William Barry and of Mr. E. H. Gurney in place of Jacob Heisser whose term expired.

--Capt. Stringham appears to be doing his full share of the business on the Island.  The best evidence of his success is that those who visit his place once, never go elsewhere when similar services are required.

--Prof. Munroe is at Pelhamville in charge of a class of about forty students from the School of Mines in New York city.  They will spend about six weeks in studying and exercising in practical surveying.

--A large number of picnic parties have visited the Island and Flynn's pavilion this week.  All seem to enjoy themselves here thoroughly and as they all bring a little money with them, of course they are made welcome.

--Las Sunday a party visited a liquor saloon near the middle of the Island and greatly annoyed the people living in that vicinity and those passing the place.  When spoken to about it the proprietor thought the party a little lively but the neighbors think that they were decidedly noisy and offensive in their actions.

--Capt. Josh appears to have been in a pugnacious mood on Thursday and vented his spleen on an unfortunate boatman.  The boat man was seen falling, or being thrown, out of a second story windo and shortly after the Captain pursued him along the street at a break neck pace.  The boatman escaped with the loss of his hat and with clothing badly torn and extremely happy that nothing worse befell him.

--Plans for a new steam yacht, 180 feet long, 28 feet wide and 12 feet deep, are now making for Mr. P. Lorillard, it is said.  The new yacht is intended for service on Long Island Sound, Hudson river and other like inland waters, and she will lack nothing in her construction that money can procure and which may tend to produce a high rate of speed.  The model, plans, &c., are now in progress at City Island, from which locality so many fast and handsome steam crafts have been turned out lately.

--Many of the church people here are greatly indignant at the appearance of the lager beer wagon of Louis Diehl upon the streets on Sunday.  Almost every Sabbath this wagon can be seen going its rounds just as people are returning from church and an effort is to be made to put a stop to it.  They do not understand how this man can sell beer which a local grocer cannot do so, and they will doubtless have the Sunday law applied and ask for the confiscation of all the beer in the wagon.  One application will probably effect a cure.

--The Sunday school connected with the Trinity M. E. church will go on an excursion next Wednesday, September 3, in Locust Grove, L.I.  The propellor 'Capt. John,' of New Rochelle, has been engaged and will leave City Island at 9 A.M. and will leave Locust Grove at 4 P.M.  Locust Grove is close to Coney Island and doubtless many of the excursionists will visit this famous summer resort and be glad of an opportunity of reaching there so comfortably and so reasonably.  The tickets are only 50 cents.

--The Muffers will play the nine from Willet's Point, a game of ball on the Island to-day. . . . "

Source:  Pelham and City Island, New Rochelle Pioneer, Aug. 30, 1884, p. 2, col. 6.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

More Accounts of Early Baseball Played in Pelham


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

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 some other brief references that reflect baseball teams that played on City Island in Pelham and some of the games they played in 1884.  The full article containing the references is transcribed below:

"PELHAM AND CITY ISLAND.

--Mr. C.S. has our thanks.

--A game of polo was played by the Country Club at Bartow, on Thursday. 

--Mr. S.D. Horton is building a new house on the lower end of City Island.

--Jenkins & Cameron, auctioneers, sell the propellor, 'Joshua Leviness,' at City Island to-day.

--Mr. Godirey, who received a severe hurt by having a heavy log fall on his foot, is improving nicely.

--Supervisor Hyatt slipped from his wagon the other day and hurt his arm badly.

--Mr. Jas. D. Bell has commenced the erection of a house on his premises on Main street.  Mr. J. Kenney being the builder.

--The work at the shipyards is very slack.  There is a little prospect of work at Carll's yard, a three master being in contemplation, but at the other yards little other than repairing is looked forward to at present.

--The base ball club, Beldonites, send a challenge to any junior B. B. club in Westchester Co. to play a game of base ball for a Snyder dead ball and bat on their grounds at City Island.  All communications to be sent to Mr. George Boster, City Island.

--A coaching party consisting of Mr. and Mrs. William Belden, Prof. Doremus, Messrs. Clark, Bell and Woodruff, drove recently to Dover, N.J.  The stylish four-in-hand was driven by Mr. Belden.  The party started for the Delaware Water Gap, via Lake Hopatcong and Schooley's Mountain, where they spent a short time, and then proceeded to the handsome summer residence of Mr. Beldon at City Island.

--A match game of ball was played between the Rivals of City Island and the Muffers of the same place, resulting in a victory for the latter, by a score of 13 to 4.  The Muffers challenge any club to play them in a match game for a Peck & Snyder dead ball.  All correspondence to be addressed to John Brady, City Island, N.Y.

--A fight occured on the steamboat dock at City Island, on Saturday between James Brown and Oliver Ayres.  Brown gave Ayres a black eye and knocked out one of his teeth for which Ayres had him summoned before Justice Martinson on Monday at seven o'clock.  The Judge fined Brown ten dollars or ten days in the County Jail.  The fine was paid by his brother.

A race for cabin sloops came off at City Island on Saturday, for a pennant given by Eugene Reed.  They were to sail six miles to the windward and return.  There were four entries, viz:  Katie Wood, Florence, Carrie and the Wm. H. Lockwood.  The Carrie broker her mast and withdrew.  The Florence carried away her jib traveler, and thus disabled her for the race.  The race was won by the Lockwood, time, two hours, twelve minutes.  It was well contested from the beginning."

Source:  Pelham and City Island, The New Rochelle Pioneer [New Rochelle, NY], Jul. 25?, 1884, p. ?, col. 5 (date and page number cut off at top, but text references make clear the date is very shortly after July 24, 1884).

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pelham Residents Threatened to Storm the Jail and Lynch a Notorious Attempted Kidnapper in 1900


In 1900, a Village of North Pelham Constable captured a "desperate criminal" who tried to kidnap two local youngsters.  The event was widely reported after Pelham residents gathered at Town Hall and threatened to remove the prisoner and lynch him.  The Mount Vernon News of May 17, 1900 reported the matter as follows:

"KIDNAPPER CAPTURED IN PELHAM
-----
Edward Keller, who is known to the Mount Vernon and Westchester County police as a desperate criminal, is locked up in North Pelham, charged with attempting to kidnap two boys from this city.

The boys who Keller attempted to kidnap are Peter and John O'Connor, of Monroe street.  Keller was captured by Constable Marks of North Pelham, after an exciting chase through the woods.  Marks did not capture his man until after he emptied the contents of his revolver at him.  The residents of North Pelham who gathered at the Town Hall, last night, to get a look at Keller, were intensely excited and there was some talk of taking the prisoner out and lynching him.

Peter and John O'Connor, who are well known in East Mount Vernon are aged ten and twelve respectively.  They live with their parents on Monroe street.  Yesterday afternoon the lads were at play near their home.  Keller walked up to the boys and started to talk to them, and, finally, enticed the boys to take a walk with him.  He gave the lads candy and other delicacies.  The boys followed Keller through East Mount Vernon to the woods.  While in a secluded place it is alleged Keller attempted to choke Peter because he refused to follow him.

The kidnapper also left the imprints of his fingers on young John's throat.  The boys' cries for help attracted the attention of Constable Marks who happened to be near at hand.  A moment later Marks saw Keller attempt to lead the boys across the Hutchinson River.

When Keller saw the Constable he fled in the direction of the woods.  Marks followed his man emptying the contents of his revolver at him.  When Keller saw that escape was impossible he threw both hands above his head and surrendered.  He was taken to the Town Hall in Pelham, and locked up.

Keller is one of the three convicts who escaped from the Westchester County Jail at White Plains in 1892 by sawing away the bars.

At the time Keller was awaiting trial for horse stealing.  He had not been heard from until his capture.  Keller is the same individual who was arrested in this city in 1897 for stealing a cow belonging to Alderman Reynolds, of the Seventh Ward, of Yonkers.  While waiting at the police station for examination Keller attempted to cut his way out of jail by sawing the bars.

His scheme was detected in the nick of time.  A woman by the name of Wiseman had furnished Keller with the file.  Keller was sentenced to the Elmira Reformatory for this offense.

The prisoner attributes his capture to being drunk and unable to run.  After his escape from the county jail Keller went to work in the coal mines in Penn.  He returned to this section of the country yesterday.

The prisoner was arraigned before Judge Lyon in North Pelham last night and held to await the action of the Grand Jury."

Source:  Kidnapper Captured in Pelham, Mount Vernon News, May 17, 1900, p. 2, col. 1.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

More on the Work of the Pelham Manor Protective Club in 1884


For the last several days I have been posting information about the work of the Pelham Manor Protective Club first established in 1881 as a "Vigilance Committee" to oversee the health and welfare of Pelham Manor residents a decade before the incorporation of the Village of Pelham Manor.

Today's posting transcribes a brief reference to the work of the Club in preventing hunters from bagging game out of season in Pelham Manor.  The article is transcribed in its entirety because it contains other interesting information about Pelham and City Island.

"PELHAM AND CITY ISLAND.

--Pelham Manor and Larchmont are the two tony summer resorts between New York and New Haven. 

--Now that the Park Bill is law, and a large portion of the little town of Pelham is included within the limit, what is to become of the balance is the question.

--It would be well for some of the sportsmen of Pelham and Westchester to discontinue the shooting of woodcock until after the 1st of August.

--The very valuable horse belonging to Mr. David Carll died very unexpectedly Wednesday.  The animal appeared to be in perfect health and had been driven by the owner shortly before it died.

--Why should not the County of Westchester help to maintain and support the City Island Bridge, as well as some of the bridges in the upper towns of the County.  It is a heavy burden for the little town of Pelham, and flavors of a little unfairness somewhere.

--The Pelham Manor Protective Club is doing good work in the way of preventing the killing of woodcock and other game out of season, protecting from the heartless sportsmen the killing of song and other harmless birds, also preventing the pasturing of cattle, etc., upon the highway.

--Messrs. Jenkins and Cameron will sell on Monday, July 7, a number of valuable pieces of real estate, situated at City Island, the property of Capt. Joshua Leviness.  Doubtless an opportunity will present itself upon this sale for those desirous to invest in real estate property.  See advertisement in another column.

--Choice building lots upon City Island will command a good price within a few years.  The new park and a number of other schemes now on foot, including the proposed rail road across to Yonkers, would make the place central and add greatly to its many natural attractions.

--What is wanted is a ferry from City Island across to some point on Long Island.  At present it is a very inconvenient matter to cross to and from Long Island to Westchester County.  If a ferry was established at this point how soon would City Island bridge be a great thoroughfare.

--The body of Mrs. Heany, the lady who committed suicide by jumping from the steamer, C. H. Northam on the 23 inst, was found floating off City Island on Wednesday by Joshua Banta.  Coroner Tice held an inquest which resulted in verdict in accorance with the facts above stated.  The mother, brother and husband of the unfortunate lady and the companion who was with her when she threw herself overboard attended the inquest and took charge of the remains."

Source:  Pelham and City Island, New Rochelle Pioneer, Jul. ?, 1884, p. ?, col. 7 (date and page number were not included at the time on the newspaper page; believed to be July 1884 based on reference on the page that event will take place on Monday, July 7 which would place the date in 1884, likely shortly before July 7).

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

1883 Advertisement by Pelham Manor Protective Club Offering Reward for Information About Pelham Manor Depot Burglary


Yesterday I posted an item to the Historic Pelham Blog regarding the Pelham Manor Protective Club first established in 1881 as a "Vigilance Committee" to oversee the health and welfare of Pelham Manor residents a decade before the incorporation of the Village of Pelham Manor.  See:

Monday, November 16, 2009:  1879 Article About the Pelham Manor Protective Club.

Today's posting contains a copy (and transcribes the text) of an advertisement that appeared in the February 17, 1883 issue of the New Rochelle Pioneer offering a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the burglary of the Pelham Manor Depot on February 1, 1883.  The image appears immediately below followed by transcriptions of its text and a brief news reference to the same matter that appeared on the same page of the newspaper.





"$100 REWARD!
-----
THE PELHAM MANOR PROTECTIVE CLUB will pay the above Reward for information that will secure the Arrest and Conviction of the parties who broke into the DEPOT and POST-OFFICE at PELHAM MANOR, on the night of February 1st, 1883.

By order of the Executive Committee.

W. P. STEVENSON,
Treasurer.
Pelham Manor, N.Y., 1883."

Source:  $100 Reward!, New Rochelle Pioneer, Feb. 17, 1883, p. 1, col. 6.

"Liberal Reward.

Attention is called to the liberal reward, offered by the Pelham Manor Protective Club in another column, for the arrest and conviction of the parties, who robbed the depot and post office at Pelham Manor, on the night of February 1, 1883."

Source:  $100 Reward!, New Rochelle Pioneer, Feb. 17, 1883, p. 1, col.4.






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Monday, November 16, 2009

1879 Article About the Pelham Manor Protective Club


Regular readers recognize that I periodically post information about the work of the Pelham Manor Protective Club first established in 1881 as a "Vigilance Committee" to oversee the health and welfare of Pelham Manor residents a decade before the incorporation of the Village of Pelham Manor.  For a few examples, see:

Thursday, September 24, 2009:  Brief Newspaper Account of the January 1, 1883 Annual Meeting of the Pelham Manor Protective Club.

Friday, April 3, 2009:  Biography and Photograph of Henry Beidleman Bascom Stapler, an Active Member of the Pelham Manor Protective Club in its Latter Years.

Friday, November 16, 2007:  Photograph and Biography of William E. Barnett, a Founding Member of the Pelham Manor Protective Club.

Thursday, February 15, 2007:  Text of January 1, 1885 Annual Report of the Pelham Manor Protective Club.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006:  The Pelham Manor Protective Club Flexed its Muscles in the 1886 Town Elections.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006: 1890 Circular of The Pelham Manor Protective Club on Lamp Lighting

Wednesday, February 23, 2005: The Westchester County Historical Society Acquires Records of The Pelham Manor Protective Club from Dealer in Tarrytown, NY

Monday, January 23, 2006: The Beginnings of Organized Fire Fighting in Pelham Manor?

Today's posting transcribes the text of an article published in the Mount Vernon Chronicle in January, 1882 about the Pelham Manor Protective Club.

"PELHAM MANOR PROTECTIVE CLUB.

A year or more ago, the residents of Pelham Manor, being impressed with their comparative immunity from annoyance by tramps and burglars, formed a 'Protective Club,' which has proved very successful, and have recently organized a permanent association, in which nearly all of the residents have joined.

In conspicuous places on all roads leading to the place will be posted notices, offering a reward of $10 for the arrest and conviction of each tramp or vagrant.  This system having been found in the past year to almost wholly expel there troublesome persons within the district covered by the club. 

Should a crime be committed within the prescribed limits, the Executive Committee, of five members, are empowered to use such efforts as they shall deem proper to enforce the law violated, and have sufficient financial resources to attend to it in the most thorough manner.

It is hoped that some of their neighbors may realize the value of similar organizations, and should others be formed, they will find hearty co-operation from this club, as a little effort in this direction will tend to materially elevate the safety of the vicinity."

Source:  Pelham Manor Protective Club, Mount Vernon [New York] Chronicle, Jan. ?, 1882, p. ?, col. 5 (the date of the issue and, possibly, the page number, have been obscured by tape applied to the paper near the upper left corner before the image of the page was created; copy in the possession of this author).

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Friday, November 13, 2009

1894 Account of Developments In Pelham Including a Reference to a Baseball Game Played that Year


In yesterday's Blog posting, I collected numerous accounts of baseball played in Pelham during the 19th century.  Today's posting transcribes an article published in the May 10, 1894 issue of The Chronicle [Mount Vernon].  At the very end of the article, there is a brief reference to a baseball game played the previous week between the "Cuckoo Nine" of Pelham and the West New Rochelle baseball team.  The entire article appears below.

"OUR NEARBY NEIGHBORS.

-----

Pelhamville.

At a meeting of the Town Board of Health held last Wednesday evening complaints were entered about the condition of the brook running through the village, and the condition of Second avenue between Second and Third streets; action was taken by the Board to abate the nuisance.

A meeting of the Excise Board was held at City Island on Monday night.  Several applications for licenses were presented which were laid over until the next meeting. 

Chief B. F. Crewell ordered the Relief Hook and Ladder Company out for drill on Wednesday night.  A movement is on foot by the 'fire laddies' for a house warming to be held on or about the 15th inst.

The entertainment by the Young Peoples Society of the First Methodist Church of Mount Vernon, given in the aid of the Church of the Redeemer, was an unqualified success.  A full account will be given in our next issue.

Messrs. Bowden and Seemen are beautifying many of Pelhamville homes in painting, decorating, etc.   No cry of hard times with them.

One of the Pelhamville ladies has offered her house and grounds for a lawn party for the benefit of the Guild.

Arbor day was observed with appropriate exercises on Friday last.  Following is the programme:

Saluting the Flag..........................School
Robin Red Breast........................Elmer Anderson
Morning Call...............................Chorus
Ginger Tree................................Harry Stone
What to Plant.............................Fritz Ernst
Song of Liberty..........................Chorus
Historical Trees..........................By several
Briar Rose.................................Evelyn Waugh
Arbor Day March......................Chorus
Surprise.....................................Susie Owens
Sir Robin...................................Leonard Glover
Violets.......................................Mary Whalen
Brave Old Oak..........................Chorus
Little Nut People........................Agnes Ernst
Secret........................................Alice Miller
Supposing..................................Bertie Glover
Naughty Pussy...........................Gracie I. Wright
America....................................Chorus
Tree planting.............................John Campbell
The Brave Rabbit......................John Marvel
Star Spangled Banner................Chorus

A Chorister's Concert will be given at the Pelham Manor Club house this evening, the proceeds of whcih will go to the Rectory Fund of Christ Church.  An elegant program has been arranged, the leading feature of which will be a chorus of boys' voices.

The patience of the long suffering public is nearly exhausted:  the condition of the approach to the depot should be called to the attention of the authorities.  No action will probably be taken until some fatality has occurred. 

Mrs. Borden of New York has been entertained by friends on Pelhamdale avenue. 

William B. Lyon will learn the plumbing trade under George Howard of Mount Vernon. 

A reception and dance was given by the young ladies of Mrs. Hazen's School on Monday evening last in the new Assembly Hall.

Mrs. Fletcher Allen, a former resident of this place was a welcome visitor last week.  She is now living at Peekskill, N.Y.

The addition recently made to the church choir is receiving very favorable comment throughout the parish. 

Mr. and Mrs. Black of Pelham Manor have returned to their home for the summer. 

The base ball game last week between the 'Cuckoo' nine of this place and the West New Rochelle team resulted in victory for the home club with a score of twenty-four to twelve."

Source:  Our Nearby Neighbors - Pelhamville, The Chronicle [Mount Vernon, NY], May 10, 1894, p. 4, col. 1.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

More Early References to Baseball Played in Pelham


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, 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 some other brief references that reflect a baseball game scheduled to played on City Island in Pelham on September 18, 1884.  The entire article containing the reference is transcribed below.

"PELHAM AND CITY ISLAND.

--The Pelhamville Club and the Beldonites will play a game of ball on the Island next Thursday.

--The Beldonites and the Mamaroneck Club played a game of ball on Thursday which was won by the former by a score of 27 to 14.

--The Muffers or Vails have disbanded and the best players have joined the Beldonites, making the nine of that club a great deal stronger.

-- A clam bake was held at Hawkins shipyard on Wednesday.  A number of men calling themselves the bum carpenters of New York were the participants.  A good time was had by all present.

--There were three picnic parties at Von Liehn's pavilion on Sunday from Harlem.  They had a glorious time and kept things lively until they left.  They have promised another visit.

--An evening entertainment will be given by the Bartow Association at Seacord's Hotel on the 16th inst.  It is under the management of Messrs. Hogan, Vicery and Monroe, and will doubtless be a fine affair.

--John Elliot caught a drum fish near Pelham Bridge on Monday weighing 58 1-2 pounds.  He landed him with an ordinary bass rod and line, but he was more than two hours in doing it.  This is the largest fish caught with a line about here for many years.

--There was a large chowder party at Captain Stringham's last Saturday.  They came in a large stage drawn by six horses and judging from the manner in which they hid away the chowder, the captain had his usual success in making it.

--A concert will be given in the Union Chapel, Pelhamville, on Tuesday evening next, for the benefit of the Church of the Redeemer, at which it is expected Mrs. Wynant and the Meiggs' Sisters will take part.  We predict success to the concert as the talent engaged are well known in this vicinity.

Browning has a pretty little bat in a cage at his saloon.  The cage is neatly covered with netting and hid by papers so that the contents cannot be seen.  Those desiring to see the little bat draws aside the covering in a moment proceeds to the bar and asks his friends to take a smile which they do.  All seem amused excepting the new investigator.  No one will tell the kind of a bat the cage contains, but it is surmised that it is quite a regular bat no at all lively."

Source:  Pelham and City Island, New Rochelle Pioneer, Sep. ?, 1884, p. ?, col. 5 (the newspaper did not include the date or page numbers on each page at the time; the page includes a weekly almanac for the week ending Saturday, September 21, 1884).

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

1874 Evening Telegram Advertisement for Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Development


I have written extensively regarding the history of the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association. Regular readers may recall that I have published quite a number of blog postings on the topic, including:

Monday, March 2, 2009:  1884 Advertisement Placed by Charles J. Stephens of the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association Offering Home for Rent.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006:  Mystery:  A Lawsuit Filed Against the Dissolved Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association in 1915.

Monday, June 12, 2006:  Early Deed of Land to the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006: Prospectus Issued by the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association in 1874

Thursday, December 22, 2005: Area Planned for Development by The Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association in 1873

Monday, March 20, 2006: Charles J. Stephens and Henry C. Stephens of the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association

Monday, March 27, 2006: 1057 Esplanade: One of the Original Homes Built by the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association

Monday, May 8, 2006: Edmund Gybbon Spilsbury Who Served as Engineer for the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association

Wednesday, May 10, 2006: Horace Crosby, the Civil Engineer Who Laid Out the Chestnut Grove Division for the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association in the 1870s

Friday, May 26, 2006: The 27th Conference on New York State History Will Include Presentation of Paper on Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association

Today's Historic Pelham blog posting includes an image of an advertisement for the development that appeared in the August 27, 1874 issue of the Evening Telegraph published in New York City.  The text of the advertisement is transcribed below the image, followed by a citation to its source.



"PELHAM MANOR AND HUGUENOT HEIGHTS,
Midway Between Mount Vernon and New Rochelle.
Eight miles only from the Territorial Centre of New York city.  A new and delightful suburb, unsurpassed in neighborhood and healthfulness.  Noted for its natural beauty, picturesque water and inland views, and offering unusual advantages in accessibility from the Business Centres of the Great Metropolis.  RAPID TRANSIT now secured by two railroads and thirty-six trains daily to both Central and Lower New York.  Thirty-five minutes from Grand Central Depot, via New Haven Railroad.  One hour only from Wall street, via Express Boats on the East River and the Harlem River Branch Railroad.  One Commutation Ticket, good on both routes.  The property of
THE PELHAM MANOR AND HUGUENOT HEIGHTS ASSOCIATION
comprises 500 acres (nearly one mile square), extending from the main line of the New Haven Railroad to Long Island Sound, of which three divisions, viz.:  'Pleasant Ridge,' 'Glen Mitchill' and 'Chestnut Grove' (in the order named, commencing on the north), aggregating about 170 acres, have been topographically plotted, and the grading of the avenues thereon is rapidly going forward.  The attention of all invited to the many Choice Plots, varying in size from three city lots to as many or more acres, now for sale by us at Low Prices and on Liberal Terms.  EXCURSIONS from New York Office to Manor and Heights every pleasant afternoon.  Apply for new Map of city and lower Westchester, prospectus of the association, diagrams of property, &c., to
Stephens Brothers & Co., Managers, 187 Broadway, N.Y."

Source:  Pelham Manor and Huguenot Heights [Advertisement], Evening Telegram [New York, NY], Aug. 27, 1874, p. 3, col. 3.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Stage Coach Line Established to Run Through Pelham Bridge in 1874


I have written before about the stage coaches that once rumbled through Pelham.  See:

Monday, October 26, 2009:  Pelham Was a Principal Station on the Stage Coach Route of Dorance, Recide & Co. Which Carried Mail Between New York and Boston.

At least one other stage coach line once ran through the southeastern reaches of Pelham through Pelham Bridge and City Island.  During the 1870s, a stage coach line was established as part of a chain of such lines to permit people to travel eastward and westward between the Long Island Sound and the Hudson River.  The article excerpt below provides sketchy details about the line.

"WESTCHESTER COUNTY. . . . .

A stage line was recently established between Mount Vernon and Yonkers, connecting with trains on the New-Haven, Harlem and Hudson River Railroads.  The success of the line has induced the proprietor to establish another line between Mount Vernon, East Chester, Pelham Bridge and City Island, so that persons can now cross between Long Island Sound and the Hudson River, passing through the villages named."

Source:  Westchester County, N.Y. Times, Aug. 7, 1874, p. 8.

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Monday, November 09, 2009

The Laying Out Of Pelham Avenue in 1869


During the late 1860s, efforts were underway to shorten the distance to travel between Fordham and City Island.  One of those efforts involved the development of the roadway we know now as Pelham Avenue.  Commissioners were appointed to lay out the roadway.  Additional Commissioners of Estimate and Assessment were appointed to arrange rights of way, surveys and working the road.  Additionally, arrangements were made a short time later to open and grade the Eastern Boulevard from Pelham Bridge to the junction of Southern Boulevard and Leggett's Lane.  Slowly, roadways to shorten the distance to Pelham were being built.  Brief articles concerning these matter appeared in The New York Times.  The text of a few such articles appears below, each followed by a citation to its source.

"Westchester County.

Pelham-avenue, now being laid out, and opened from Pelham bridge to the railroad depot at Fordham, will be 100 feet wide, and the Commissioners have decided to lay out a sidewalk on each side twenty feet wide; and also contemplate obtaining authority to plant shade trees along the centre of each sidewalk, and form a sloping lawn on the sidewalk between the shade trees and the gutter or edge of the carriage road.  The distance between Fordham and Pelham bridge by the present circuitous route is about seven miles, while by the new avenue, it will be less than three miles, and will also open a new, and much shorter route to City Island."

Source:  Westchester County, N.Y. Times, Jun. 23, 1869, p. 2.

"More Westchester Avenues.

The Commissioners appointed to lay out, open and grade a new boulevard between Fordham and Pelham Bridge, also the Commissioners of Estimate and Assessment in the matter, met on Tuesday last, inspected the proposed route and approved of the same.  Although the length of the new avenue will be only about five miles, it will render accessible 5,000 acres of land which is at present completely isolated.  The new boulevard is expected to add much to the wealth of the towns through which it will pass.  The Commissioners are authorized to expend $20,000 per mile for right of way, surveys and working the road, but as it will cross a long marsh, it is thought that $40,000 per mile will be required for the construction of a substantial and smooth road."

Source:  More Westchester Avenues, N.Y. Times, Sep. 2, 1869, p. 8.

"WESTCHESTER COUNTY.

The contract for opening and grading the Eastern Boulevard from Pelham Bridge to the junction of the Southern Boulevard and Leggett's-lane, a distance of about five miles, has been awarded to Messrs. M. & T. DUNN, who are to complete the work by the 1st day of May, 1871.  It is estimated that it will cost $20,000, which will make the cost of the entire improvement $100,000."

Source:  Westchester County, N.Y. Times, May 8, 1870, p. 8.


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Friday, November 06, 2009

Funeral of Pietro Viani Held on City Island in the Town of Pelham in 1875


Yesterday I posted to the Historic Pelham Blog a sad account of the gunshot suicide of a promising young man during his recitation of a scene from Phaedra in front of a large crowd on City Island in 1875.  See:

Thursday, November 5, 2009:  A Shocking Suicide During a Performance on City Island in 1875.

Today's posting provides an account of the funeral of the young man who was buried on City Island.  The account is followed by a citation to its source.

"FUNERAL OF THE ITALIAN SUICIDE.

SERVICES AT CITY ISLAND YESTERDAY - SERMON BY REV. MR. MONSELLI - BURIAL ON THE ISLAND.

The funeral of Pietro Viani, the young Italian artist who committed suicide at the Congressional picnic on Tuesday last, took place at City Island yesterday afternoon at 1 o'clock.  Among those present were the Italian Consul, Ferdinand De Lucca, Dr. R. Ogden Doremus and family, and other friends of the deceased.  The remains were inclosed in a plain rosewood coffin, with the inscription:

PIETRO VIANI.
Died August 31st, 1875.

Upon the casket was a rich and varied display of floral offerings contributed by friends of the deceased and residents of the island.  It had been the wish of those having the funeral in charge that the services should be performed by a Roman Catholic priest, the Viani family belonging to that Church, but although repeated applications were made to several of the Catholic clergy in this City, the latter in every case either refused or evaded the request.  The duty thereupon devolved upon Rev. Mr. Monselli, a Protestant Episcopal clergy resident on the island, who read the prayers appointed by the Episcopal liturgy, and in conclusion offered a few remarks upon the nature of the act by which the deceased had terminated his life.  The reverend gentleman though that there could be no reasonable foundation for the assumption that the dead man had knowingly and, with a full sense of its sinfulness, committed the rash deed which hurried him into eternity.  Everything went to show that he was at the time suffering from a sufficient amount of monomania to place his death out of the category of ordinary suicides.  The case was, in many of its aspects, a remarkable parallel to that of Hugh Miller, the great Scottish geologist.  In both instances the so-called suicides, while preserving an outward show of reason, were laboring under the delusion that enemies were seeking their lives and were thus led, for purposes of self-defense, to provide themselves with the weapons which were afterward so fatally used against themselves.  The speaker alluded in a feeling manner to the high talents and bright prospects of the deceased, and added his own eulogium upon the good qualities of the departed which had come under his personal observation during the period preceding the fatal event.  The body was interred in the cemetery on the island, where it awaits the disposition of the family, who have already been notified by telegraph."

Source:  Funeral of the Italian Suicide, N.Y. Times, Sep. 4, 1875, p. 5.

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Thursday, November 05, 2009

A Shocking Suicide During a Performance on City Island in 1875


A tragic and shocking event saddened attendees at a large picnic gathering on City Island in 1875.  During a festive "Congressional Picnic", a young man who was invited to perform a dramatic recitation in front of the crowd pulled a pistol and committed suicide before the crowd.  Attendees first assumed it was part of the performance, but soon were shocked to learn it was not.  An extensive article appeared in the September 2, 1875 issue of The New York Times.  It is quoted below.

"A DRAMATIC SUICIDE.
-----
AN ITALIAN SHOOTS HIMSELF WHILE RECITING A SCENE FROM 'PHAEDRA' - ABRUPT ENDING OF A CONGRESSIONAL PICNIC.

The Congressional picnic held on Tuesday last at City Island terminated in a startling and shocking tragedy.  A young Italian artist named Pietro Viani, who was present as a guest, put a sudden stop to the festivities by committing suicide under circumstances of an unusual and dramatic nature.  Hon. U. H. Odell, member of Congress from the Westchester District, acted as host of the party, and the company included Hon. Smith Ely, Jr., Edwin R. Meade, member of Congress from the Fifth District; Congressman Bagley, of the Catskill District; Judge Abraham B. Tappen, of the Supreme Court; Rev. Dr. Monselle, Prof. R. Ogden Doremus, and a number of others.  Signor Viani, who was introduced to the company of Prof. Doremus, entered heartily into the spirit of the occasion, and rapidly won his way to the respect and esteem of his companions.  The party, numbering twenty or more, were conveyed from New-Rochelle to City Island in two yachts belonging to their host.  On landing they were received by Capt. Horton, the proprietor of the island, and a second party, composed of his guests and friends, among whom were several of the Pilot Commissioners and representatives of the Long Island Sound pilots.  The united excursions then adjourned to the beach, where a clam-bake was in preparation.  After an hour spent in discussing the repast, the after-dinner programme of toasts and speeches was begun.  Later in the afternoon, when the proceedings had assumed an informal character, Dr. Doremus remarked that his friend Signor Viani was an elocutionist of no mean order, and suggested that he should entertain the gathering with a dramatic recitation.  With this request the Italian gracefully complied, reciting a scene from Phaedra, as interpreted by Mme. Rachel, with much feeling and effect.  His effort was frequently interrupted by applause, and all present joined in commending it as an amateur performance of undisguised merit.  Signor Viani was in the act of uttering the closing words of the selection, when he suddenly paused, and turning to a gentleman named Perrazoni, who was standing near, exclaimed in Italian, 'God, who judges all things, will judge this!'  Mr. Perrazoni, surprised at this interpolation, looked up just in time to see the unfortunate young man in the act of putting a pistol to his temple.  In an instant more he had fired, and fallen on his face.  The spectators, imagining the tragic act to be merely the denoument [sic] of the scene they had been witnessing, were loud in their applause, when they were undeceived by Dr. Doremus, who, breaking through the crowd, rushed to the dying man, and, raising his head, disclosed the wound and the blood welling from the temple.  The terrible truth then burst upon the assemblage, and for several minutes the consternation at such a frightful event, coming close upon their merriment, absorbed everything.  Medical attendance was summoned at once, but without avail.  The case was a hopeless one, and, though for a full hour and a half the unconscious man breathed, death was inevitable from the start.  Shortly after 6 o'clock the suicide expired, without having once regained sufficient consciousness to utter a word.  The Italian Vice Consul and the friends of the deceased were telegraphed for at once, and early yesterday morning were in attendance at the island.  Preparations for the funeral have been already completed, and the ceremony is announced to take place at City Island to-day.

Mr. A. P. Bajnotti, the Italian Vice Consul at this port, who was the most intimate friend of the deceased in this country, stated to a TIMES reporter, yesterday, that the cause of Viani's self-murder was undoubtedly monomania.  The deceased, who was thirty years of age, and was of an exceedingly nervous and delicate temperament, arrived in New-York from Rome, or which city he was a native, some two months ago.  Although in perfectly comfortable circumstances, and aware that his professional labors were sure to yield him a handsome compensation, the temporary dullness of the past month sensibly affected his health and spirits.  His indisposition was still further augmented by the hot weather of the past week or two, and by a variety of incidents, which, in the diseased condition of his mind, were magnified and dwelt upon until monomania was developed.  Among the occurences which contributed to bring about the result was the appearance of a couple of tramps at his studio, No. 212 Fifth avenue, and their rude and threatening demands for money.  This and the loneliness of his position in a strange land, thousands of miles from home, and his solitary life, united to producing hallucinations, the most marked phase of which was that enemies were constantly following him and threatening his life.  Mr. Bajnotti said that for a week or more before the fatal act Viani called at his house daily at an early hour, with the information that he was pursued and must find shelter from his enemies.  As his delusion appeared harmless, and he was moreover able to to detect its absurdity when pointed out to him by his friends, it was hoped that the trouble would be only temporary, and would pass away with the return of cool weather.  On Saturday, by the advice of his friends, Viani made a visit to City Island, where he passed several days at the residence of Dr. Doremus.  On Monday the Vice Consul was apprised that the invalid's health was worse, and on his arriving at the island found his charge again suffering from his old delusion, but again, as on former occasions, amenable to reason.  After soothing the patient's excitement, and restoring in a measure of self-confidence, Mr. Banjotti returned to the City only to hear of his friend's death by his own hand in the manner already described.  The case was undoubtedly one of monomania produced by ill health, an unfavorable condition of the climate, and too much brooding over his loneliness and unsettled future.  The deceased's endowments, intellectual and personal, were of a high order, and had he lived he would, in the opinion of his friends, have achieved distinction."

Source:  A Dramatic Suicide, N.Y. Times, Sep. 2, 1875, p. 5.

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