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.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Construction of the City Island Horse Railroad in 1887

Today's posting to the Historic Pelham Blog continues the recent series of postings on the Horse Railroad that once ran from Bartow Station to City Island in the Town of Pelham.  Today's posting transcribes a local news column published in The Chronicle in 1887 that included a description of the progress of the extension of the tracks on City Island.  Additionally, there is a reference to an accident on the line during which the driver was "slightly injured."  I have transcribed the entire column below.  It is followed by a list of the recent postings regarding the Horse Railroad.


Mr. Geo. B. Reynold's new drug store is completed, and he will occupy it in a day or two. 

Tuesday night last, the ladies' of the M. E. Church gave a strawberry and ice cream festival. 

Fishermen are anticipating good bass fishing at Pelham Bridge.  Occasionally one is caught while fishing for blackfish.

Next Thursday evening, a strawberry and ice cream festival will be given in Gurney's Hall, Pelhamville, for the congregation and friends of the Church of the Redeemer. 

One of the cars of the Bartow and City Island Railroad jumped the track Tuesday, at the turnout in front of Abrams' store, and turned over on its side.  The driver was slightly injured.

The New Haven Railroad Company are doing a splendid piece of work in grading around Bartow Station.  When this work is completed the surroundings will be the handsomest of any station along the line of the Branch road. 

Mr. W. J. Elliott of Pelham Bridge has the finest collection of Indian arrow heads and stone axes that it has ever been our pleasure to see, and they were all picked up in the town of Pelham, mainly along the waters edge.  To see them it is well worth a visit to Pelham Bridge.

An effort is being made by some members of the Church of the Redeemer, at Pelhamville, to raise funds to enlarge the church, and they are meeting with very flattering success.  Something like $300 has already been raised.  One lady has secured subscriptions of nearly $200. 

Turner's new building adjoining his present place of business on City Island is progressing rapidly.  It is inclosed and the roof will soon be on.  The work of excavating for the Woolly block has been commenced.  This row will be 60 feet front and 40 feet deep.  There will be three stores, and dwellings.

The tracks of the Bartow and City Island horse railroad are laid nearly to Grace Church, and but for want of rails would have been completed.  The track is paved nearly its entire length, and this work is in course of completion.  This road is a model for others in the county to pattern after; it is the best built and equipped of any we know of out-side of the large cities, and what is particularly noticable, the company has not monopolized the entire road by putting its tracks in the centre; they are laid to the extreme right the whole length.  The people of Pelham have reason to feel proud of their horse railroad."

Source:  Pelham and City Island, The Chronicle [Mount Vernon, NY], Jun. 17, 1887, p. 1, col. 4.

For more on the City Island Horse Car Railroad, see

Thu., March 4, 2010:  Beginnings of Horse Railroad - News from Pelham and City Island Published in 1884.

Wed., March 3, 2010:  1879 Advertisement for Robert J. Vickery's City Island Stage Line, A Predecessor to the City Island Horse Railroad.

Tue., March 2, 2010:  1901 Report Indicated that The Flynn Syndicate Planned to Buy the Pelham Bay Park & City Island Horse Car Line.

Mon., March 1, 2010:  Flynn Syndicate Buys the City Island Horse Car Line in 1907 to Incorporate It Into Electric Trolley Line.

Fri., February 26, 2010:  1913 Decision of Public Service Commission to Allow Reorganization of City Island Horse Railroad for Electrification.

Thu., February 25, 2010:  Photograph of Patrick Byrnes and Article About His Retirement of the City Island Horse Car in 1914.

Wed., February 24, 2010:  Attempted Suicide of City Island's Long-Time Horse Car Driver

Wed., February 3, 2010:  Early Information Published in 1885 About the Organization of the "City Island Railroad", a Horse Railroad from Bartow Station to City Island

Tue., February 2, 2010:  Information About the Pelham Park Railroad at its Outset

Fri., January 22, 2010:  1884 Account of Early Origins of Horse Railroad Between Bartow Station and City Island

Tue., September 1, 2009:  Pelham News on February 29, 1884 Including Talk of Constructing a New Horse Railroad from Bartow to City Island

Wed., December 2, 2009:  Accident on Horse-Car of the Pelham Park Railroad Line in 1889

 Thu., December 31, 2009:  1887 Election of the Board of Directors of The City Island and Pelham Park Horse Railroad Company

Mon., January 4, 2010:  1888 Local News Account Describes Altercation on the Horse Railroad Running from Bartow Station to City Island

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