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.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

More on the Early History of the Pelham and City Island Horse Railroad

For quite some time I have been working on the history of the "horse railroad" that once ran in the Town of Pelham from Bartow Station to the end of City Island.  Today's post adds additional research to the collection I have assembled so far.  At the end of this post is a list of links to earlier postings on the topic. 

Today's posting transcribes a newspaper article about the horse railroad that appeared in The Supplement to The Chronicle (of Mount Vernon, New York) on December 19, 1884.  A portion of the article deals with early efforts to organize the horse railroad.


Mr. W. B. Astor's new yacht, Nourmahal is in winter quarters, at City Island.

Last week, the Board of Supervisors appointed David Blizzard keeper of Pelham Bridge.

The newly organized Democratic Club of Pelham have engaged Mr. J. C. Deveaugh's hall, in which to hold their weekly meetings. 

Look out for announcement by poster, of pigeon shooting and other sports, at Secord's, Bartow, on Christmas Day.  Also on New Year's day.

There is to be some sport for marksmen with the fowling piece, on Christmas Day at Robert Brown's City Island.  It will include clay pigeon and glass ball shooting.

Last night, Mr. Von Leihn, of the Bell View Hotel, gave an invitation ball.  There was gatherered together one of the most brilliant assemblages ever seen on City Island.

'City Island Reader of the Chronicle' informed that we consign anonymous communications to the waste basket.  He should have signed his name; not for publication, but as a guarantee of good faith.

Can any of the City Island oystermen explain why it is that there is no market for East River oysters.  They continually complain that there is no market for their oysters, but do not tell us why.  Surely there must be a cause.  There are just as many oysters used now as there ever was.

Mr. William Duryee is making extensive improvements to the property recently purchased by him on the west side of the Island.  Among other things, he is having two walls or breakwaters built out in the bay, extending about 100 feet from shore, one at the northern, the other at the southern boundary of his property.

H.B. Hiddon Post, 320, G.A.R. held an election for officers on Friday night with the following result:  Jerome Bell, C.; Geo. Banta, S.V.C.; Oswald Bergen, J.V.C.; Geo. E. Pinckney, O. of D.; John Secord, O.M.; Michael Egan, O. of G.; Wm. Miller, Sergt.; John H. Glasier, Chap.  The installation of the above elected officers will take place Friday evening, January 2nd.  The organization are making an earnest effort to secure a proper meeting room.  The matter is in the hands of a committee, we hope to be able to report favorably at an early date.

Last spring, the Pelham Park R. R. Co. and the City Island R. R. Co. were incorporated, for the purpose of building a railroad from Bartow to City Island.  The road was divided into two parts, the first-named company agreeing to build the part on the main land, and the City Island Company the part o nthe island, it being understood that the two roads should be consolidated after their completion.  Both companies readily obtained the consent of the commissioners of Highways to the construction of their roads, and the City Island Company also obtained the consent of a large majority of the property owners along its line.  The Pelham Park Company was, however, unable to obtain the consent of the requisite number of the property owners along its division of the road, and it accordingly appealed on Monday of last week to the General Term of the Supreme Court in Brooklyn, for the appointment of commissioners to determine whether its road was necessary and should be built, notwithstanding the objections of the property owners.  At the hearing the company was represented by W. R. Lamberton of Pelham Manor, and the property owners by Chas. D. Burrill of Bartow, Miller, Peckhouse & Dixon, of New York and others.  The opposition to the motion was based upon alleged defects in the moving papers and in the incorporation of the ocmpany, on the unconstitutionality of the statute under which the company was incorporated and on the law prohibiting the construction of a railroad in a public park.  The court reserved its decision at the time, but on the following day decided in favor of the company, and appointed Elisha Horton, of White Plains, Arthur Burns of Yonkers and Stephen D. Horton of Peeksill as Commissioners.  This decision, it would seem, finally settles the quiestion of a railroad to City Island, as there appears to be no doubt regarding its necessity.  City Island now contains over 1500 inhabitants and has the distinction of being the only place of its size in the United States without the convenience of a railroad, and this fact is all the more remarkable because fo the close proximity of the Island to New York City.  With the completion of the new road it is expected that the Island will have a regular 'boom,' and will become within a few years the most popular summer resort in the neighborhood of New York.  It has every advantage in the way of location, and all it now needs is a convenient means of a communication with the metropolis."

Source:  Pelham and City Island, Supplement to the Chronicle [of Mount Vernon, New York], Dec. 19, 1884, p. 1, col. 7.

Mon., May 3, 2010:  Efforts To Reorganize the Operators of the City Island Horse Railroad and Monorail in 1914.

Fri., April 30, 2010:  "Truly, An Illuminating Little Passage in the History of New-York!" - Efforts to Develop Shore Road Trolley Line in 1897.

Thu., April 29, 2010:  City Islanders Complain and Force the Operators of Their Horse Railroad to Agree to Replace Antiquated Cars in 1908.

Wed., April 28, 2010:  Efforts by the Pelham Park Horse Railroad to Expand and Develop a Trolley Car Line on Shore Road in 1897.

Tue., April 27, 2010:  New York City's Interborough Rapid Transit Company Sued to Foreclose a Mortgage on the Horse Railroad in 1911.

Mon., April 26, 2010:  Public Service Commission Couldn't Find Marshall's Corners in 1909.

Fri., March 5, 2010:  Construction of the City Island Horse Railroad in 1887.

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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