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, January 04, 2010

1888 Local News Account Describes Altercation on the Horse Railroad Running from Bartow Station to City Island

An account of local news published in the May 1, 1888 issue of the Mount Vernon Chronicle included a number of interesting tidbits regarding developments in Pelham including an altercation that occurred on the horse-drawn trolley line that ran from Bartow Station to City Island.  The entire news article is transcribed below.


Governeur Morris has been confined to his house for the last two months with a severe rheumatic attack.  He is making a hard fight, notwithstanding he has stayed beyond his allotted time.

The New York Yacht Club are trying to secure the William Belden property.  If they succeed, they will move from Staten Island and make this place their headquarters.

It is about time that the question of incorporation was thoroughly agitated.  The feeling in the matter is pretty much all one way, but some one must move.  It will be a step in advance, and ought to be taken at once.

About 1,500 fishermen visited this rural summer resort, on Sunday last.  The Harlem branch is being unusually well patronized.  They may have to add still more trains, in order to accommodate the increasing demand.

Last Friday was lovely enough to be a blizzard precursor, and City Island and Pelham Bay bore evidence of Nature's good humor.  The lovely waters were thickly dotted with little craft, which were not 'floundering' aimlessly.

The school at Pelham Manor, of which Mr. DuMond is principal and Miss Edith Babcock associate, celebrated Arbor Day last Friday afternoon.  Appropriate songs and recitations were nicely rendered.  Short addresses were given by Reverends Higbee, Freeland and Patterson.  A fine maple tree was planted in the yard, the children conducting the ceremonies.  The children were much affected as this was the last day that their respected and beloved teacher, Miss Edith Babcock was to be with them, she having resigned her position there to take a place among the corps of teachers of the 5th avenue school Mount Vernon.

The great social event announced to come off on July 8, will be the recurring excursion of the Social Club.  The particulars will be fully made known in the near future.  A treat is in store for our Island neighbors, and their many friends in the surrounding towns.

Within the last week two weddings have been celebrated at City Island, viz., Wm Daton to Maria Ulmer, ceremony at the brides [sic] house, and Rochelle Horton to Ollie Sturges, Episcopal Rectory.

We are sorry to have to record the sad announcement of the death of Agnes Pell, daughter of Samuel Pell.  The deceased was a sister of Pelham's poplular Supervisor, and will be mourned by a large circle of friends.

There was considerable excitement stirred up at Bartow and City Island on Wednesday last, that has not altogether died out yet.  A party of about thirty car drivers came up from Harlem, to fish at City Island.  They boarded the horse car at Bartow.  In enforcing the rule lately adopted on the surface road, to collect fares before starting.  Baxter, the driver, claimed that several had not paid their fares and he refused to go on until they should do so.  Schneider, a Christopher street car driver, became impatient, threw Baxter off the car and took the reins himself.  Baxter was thrown off a second time.  He finally caught on behind, rode over to the Island and had Schneider arrested, the charge being for want of a better or worse, the detention of the U.S. mails.  He was permitted to go on the understanding that he would appear and stand trial.  He skipped in the meantime, but was afterward arrsested in New York city and brought back to the Island for trial."

Source:  Pelham and City Island, Mount Vernon Chronicle, May 1, 1888, p. ?, col. 3 (page number not printed on the newspaper page).

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