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.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Train Station Safe at Pelham Manor Depot Was Blown Open with Dynamite Yet Again on April 24, 1902

The Pelham Manor Depot and the little Pelham Manor Post Office once stood near the eastern end of today's Esplanade, across the branch line railroad tracks from today's Manor Circle.  Poor local residents repeatedly had to suffer through massive dynamite explosions as burglars repeatedly cracked the station safe and the post office safe.  I have written about one such incident in 1894.  See Fri., March 6, 2009:  Burglars Blow the Safe at the Pelham Manor Post Office in 1894

In April, 1902, burglars used dynamite to blow open the Pelham Manor Depot safe twice in quick succession.  The crafty thieves realized that if they left the red-hot stove in the station as they blew the safe, the resulting fire likely would prevent them from collecting their loot.  Thus, they carried the red hot stove outside into the roadway so it would not be upset inside the station.

An article about the burglaries appeared in the April 26, 1902 issue of the New Rochelle Pioneer.  The text of that article appears below.

Second Visit Within a Month of Robbers at Pelham Manor.

For the second time in a month Pelham Manor was visited by safe blowers on Tuesday night.  On a former visit the gang blew open the safe in the Post Office, and in order to avoid setting fire to the building carried a redhot stove out into the middle of the road.  Tuesday night [April 22, 1902] they blew open the safe in the office of the Pelham Trading Company, but obtained only some insurance papers, as the company's money had been deposited in the afternoon in one of the banks of this city.

The cracksmen then went to the suburban station of the New Haven Railroad, where they attempted to blow open the safe with dynamite, but failed in the first attempt because the charge was not heavy enough.  A second charge was then prepared, but as the men were ready to light the fuse they were discovered by a watchman and fled.  There were four of the burglars, the watchman says, each wearing a mask and heavily armed.  They escaped by jumping on a passing freight train, and it is believed that they are now in Connecticut.

The charge of dynamite was still in the safe, and the employees were afraid to go near it.  The safe contained all the tickets and commutation books and several hundred dollars in cash.  The station agent sent word to the officers of the company at New Haven for an expert who removed the dynamite."

Source:  Burglars Use Dynamite, New Rochelle Pioneer, Vol. 44, No. 6, Apr. 26, 1902, 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: , , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home