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, March 03, 2014

The Suydam Estate known as “Oakshade” on Shore Road in the Town of Pelham, built by James Augustus Suydam


During the early nineteenth century, the behemoth city growing adjacent to the Town of Pelham began to spill over into Pelham in interesting ways.  “As New York City became a commercial and mercantile center in the early 1800’s, its wealth spilled over into Pelham, as the well-to-do sought out property with water views for summer homes and country estates.”  Bruzelius, Ellen, From Pells to Parks (Part I) – A History of Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum, The Island Current [City Island, Bronx, NY], Jan.-Feb. 2010, p. 14, cols. 1-4.  Wealthy merchants, businessmen and attorneys built more than 20 grand country and summer estates with elegant mansions in Pelham.  Most were on the mainland near City Island and along today’s Shore Road.  I have written about a few of these grand estates on several occasions.  For a few examples, see:




Much of the area along Shore Road (about 220 acres) once was owned by Herman and Hannah LeRoy who acquired the land in 1813.  In 1836, Robert Bartow, a businessman and a descendant of John Pell (nephew of the original owner of the lands that became Pelham), acquired the lands.  Bartow built the grand gray stone mansion with Greek Revival interiors known today as the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum on Shore Road in the Bronx.  He and his family moved into the mansion in 1842. 

On May 13, 1846, Robert Bartow and his wife, Maria R. Bartow, sold a swath of land to the north of their residence (and nearby carriage house) located on both sides of today’s Shore Road.  The tract that they sold contained nearly 34 acres and included rights to use a dock and pier to give access to the tract from Long Island Sound and also from Shore Road.  The Bartows sold the land to a brother and sister from New York City:  James Augustus Suydam and his older sister, Letitia Jane Suydam.  See Westchester County Archives, Westchester County Deeds, Liber 115, pp. 272-276.  (I have transcribed the entirety of this May 13, 1846 deed filed on May 18, 1846, and have included its text among the research materials I have placed at the end of this posting.) 

James Augustus Suydam, who was an architect, lawyer and artist, later became one of the premier Luminism painters and, today, is widely-known as an American landscape painter and an important member of the Hudson River School of Artists.


Watercolor on Ivory Portrait of James Augustus Suydam;
Date:  1822 - 4.4 Inches x 3.6 Inches;
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Accession Number 1974.13.1.


“Long Island”
By James Augustus Suydam, 1862
Oil on Canvas, Private Collection

James Augustus Suydam built a grand and beautiful mansion as a summer retreat on the tract he and his older sister acquired from the Bartows.  It was in the “Italian villa style.”  Its southeast front commanded a beautiful view of Pelham Neck and the Long Island Sound. Its northwest facade faced Pelham Road, known today as Shore Road.  

James Augustus Suydam and Letitia Jane Suydam

James Augustus Suydam was born on March 27, 1819 in New York City.  He was a son of successful New York City Merchant John Suydam and his wife, Jane Mesier.  John Suydam (1763-1841) was known as “Boss John” and was a descendant of a storied Dutch family that once owned a large tract in Bushwick.  Boss John was a merchant, first with R. & J. Suydam in 1791, then with Suydam & Wyckoff in 1794, selling teas, wines and groceries.

During the 1830’s and early 1840’s, shortly before his father’s death, James Augustus Suydam attended the University of the City of New York, later known as New York University.  Initially he studied medicine, but became interested in architecture.  Soon, however, his interests turned to painting.  According to one source:

“In 1842, after the death of his father a year earlier, Suydam traveled to Europe where his artistic development began. Traveling with one of his brothers, the young aspiring artist arrived in Florence in 1843. Here, without any practical knowledge of art but a keen appreciation, Suydam met and befriended the American artist Miner Kilbourne Kellogg. Over the next few years, Suydam accompanied Kellogg throughout Europe studying the artistic treasures that the continent had to offer, including works by the Carracci family, Guido Reni, Correggio, and Guercino. During these years he also ventured beyond Italy to Switzerland, Germany, and France.  In 1844 Suydam followed the taste of his drawing instructor and traveled to Constantinople, Turkey and then on to Malta.  Departing Malta in early 1845, the artist, his brother, and Kellogg sailed to Naples before making their way back to America.”

Source:  Questroyal Fine Art, LLC – Important American Paintings, James Augustus Suydam (1819-1865), available at http://www.questroyalfineart.com/artist/james-augustus-suydam (visited Mar. 3, 2014). 

Interestingly, Suydam returned to New York in 1845 and joined his brother in partnership in the family dry goods business.  He lived in the Suydam family home at 25 Waverly Place near Washington Square Park.  Id.  He continued to paint, but made no effort at that time to earn his living from painting. 

Shortly after he returned to New York, Suydam joined his older sister, then-unmarried 37-year-old Letitia Jane Suydam, and purchased from Robert and Maria Bartow the 33-acre estate in the Town of Pelham with the apparent intent to develop a country home.  Suydam built a lovely home on the tract in the style of an Italian villa.  No record of the architect of the home (if any) or of the date it was built has yet been located by this author.  Clearly, however, the home that Suydam called “Oakshade” had been built by 1848.  See Bolton, Jr., Robert, A History of the County of Westchester, From its First Settlement to the Present Time, Vol. I, p. 552 (NY, NY:  Alexander S. Gould 1848) (noting “The adjoining estate [to Bartow’s on the east], Oak-shade, is the property of James A. Suydam, Esq.  The house is a very beautiful specimen of the Italian villa style.  The south front commands a fine view of Pelham neck and the Sound.”).


“Map of Land
Sold by
R. Bartow Esq
To
James A. Suydam Esq. &
Letitia J. Suydam
Situated in the Township of
Pelham W.C. County N.Y.
D.B. Taylor, Surveyor
May 1st 1846.”

Source:  Westchester County Archives.


Undated Post Card view of the Suydam Mansion Known as "Oakshade"
After its Conversion to a Roadhouse; Post Card Ca. 1918-1923;
Notation on Card Says:
"SHANLEY'S PELL TREE INN.  Pelham Shore Road, N.Y."

By 1849, James Augustus Suydam’s early art works were beginning to attract attention.  He was elected to the prestigious Century Association, "which also claimed the poet William Cullen Bryant, painters Asher Brown Durand, Winslow Homer, John Frederick Kensett, and architect Stanford White as members.”  Questroyal Fine Art, LLC – Important American Paintings, James Augustus Suydam (1819-1865), available at http://www.questroyalfineart.com/artist/james-augustus-suydam (visited Mar. 3, 2014). 

This honorific seems to have prompted Suydam to focus more seriously on his art.  He became close friends with Asher Brown Durand and John Frederick Kensett who mentored him and “offered informal lessons.”  See id.  Suydam also began collecting art by others at this time, including works by these two important American artists.  One source says:

“The wealth and social status inherited by Suydam from his father allowed him to both collect art and to practice his artistry in an unimpeded gentlemanly manner. Although he was often branded an amateur—mainly because he did not rely on art for a living—Suydam was held up as a model to other wealthy men for his dedication to the subject. It has been argued that Suydam’s ability to rely on his inherited wealth for sustenance had positive impact on his art because it allowed him to experiment in his work in ways that his colleagues, bound by the tastes of their clients, were not.  This being so, his success as a painter was validated by his close relationship with the National Academy, to which he was elected an honorary member in 1858.” 

Id. (citing   Manthorne, Katherine E., “Becoming A Landscape Painter,’ in Luminist Horizons:  The Art and Collection of James A. Suydam, p. 23 (NY, NY:  George Braziller, 2006).

With his election as an honorary professional member of the National Academy of Design in 1858, Suydam’s artistic success seemed assured.  (He was granted full membership in the National Academy of Design in 1861.)  He established himself as a full-time painter and began to rent studio space in the “Tenth Street Studio Building” located at 51 West 10th Street in New York City where other notable artists including Winslow Homer, Frederic Edwin Church and Albert Bierstadt worked.  Id. 

For the rest of his life, Suydam traveled throughout New York and New England “from landscape to seascape, in search of subjects for his art, often in the company of his friends Kensett and Durand.”  Id.  While on a sketching trip in North Conway, New Hampshire, accompanied by Sanford Robinson Gifford, Suydam contracted dysentery and died on September 15, 1865.  He was only 46 years old.  He never married.

Suydam made a very substantial bequest to the National Academy of Design.  One source notes:

“Suydam bequeathed $50,000 along with his collection of art to the Academy. The Suydam Collection was exhibited by the National Academy at the Annual Exhibition the very next year. The collection had been carefully amassed by Suydam over his career as an artist and included twenty-eight European works by artists including Émile Charles Lambinet, Narcisse-Virgile Díaz de la Peña, Jules Achille Noël and Alexandre Calame, and fifty-five American paintings by some of his closest friends including Kensett, Gifford, Durand, Kellogg, Church, William Hart, Jasper Francis Cropsey and others.  The importance of Suydam’s gift to the National Academy cannot be overlooked for it was one of the first to establish a serious permanent collection at an American institution.”

Id. (citing  The National Academy Airs Some Lesser-Known Work, N.Y. Times, Apr. 28, 1989). 

Less is known of the sister of James Augustus Suydam named Letitia Jane Suydam.  She was about ten years older than James.  She was born in New York City on September 30, 1808.  In 1846, when she and her brother bought the tract in Pelham from Robert Bartow and his wife, Letitia Jane Suydam was unmarried.  According to genealogists, about six years later, on June 16, 1852, Letitia married Charles Jeffery Smith.  At some point after the wedding, Letitia and her husband moved to Mastic on Long Island.   In 1872, after Letitia’s death on February 1, 1872, Charles Jeffrey Smith liquidated a $500 debt on the tiny little St. Andrew’s Church in Yaphank as a contribution to the Church in memory of his wife, Letitia, so that the Church could be consecrated.  See Foley, Tricia & Monzakes, Karen, Images of America:  Yaphank, p. 72 (Charleston, SC:  Arcadia Publishing, 2012). 

Suydam Biography Sources:  Manthorne, Katherine E. & Mitchell, Mark D., Luminist Horizons:  The Art and Collection of James A. Suydam (NY, NY:  George Braziller, 2006); Questroyal Fine Art, LLC – Important American Paintings, James Augustus Suydam (1819-1865), available at http://www.questroyalfineart.com/artist/james-augustus-suydam (visited Mar. 3, 2014); Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia, James Augustus Suydam, available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Augustus_Suydam (visited Mar. 3, 2014); The New York Society Library, John Suydam, available at https://www.nysoclib.org/collection/ledger/people/suydam_john (visited Mar. 3, 2014).  

Richard Lewis Morris

Shortly after James August Suydam’s death on September 15, 1865, Oakshade was sold.  Diligent searches for the deed reflecting the transaction have not yet turned up the precise day, but by 1868, the estate is reflected as the home of Dr. Richard Lewis Morris, a grandson of General Lewis Morris of Morrisania, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.  See Beers, F.W., Atlas of New York and Vicinity from Actual Surveys by and Under the Direction of F.W. Beers, Assisted by A.B. Prindle & Others, p. 35  (Philadelphia, PA:  James McGuigan, 1868) (Plate entitled “City Island, Pelham Township, Westchester Co., N.Y. (with) Town of Pelham, Westchester Co., N.Y.” reflects the old Suydam estate as the residence of “Dr. R. L. Morris”); cf. Bolton, Robert, The History of The Several Towns, Manors, and Patents of the County of Westchester, From Its First Settlement to the Present Time, Vol. II, p. 88 (NY, NY: 2d Edition, Chas. F. Roper 1881) (“The adjoining estate to the Bartows [sic] on the east is Oakshade, the property of Richard Lewis Morris, M.D., son of James Morris and grandson of General Lewis Morris of Morrisania, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.  The house is a very beautiful specimen of the Italian villa style.  The south front commands a fine view of the Pelham Neck and the Sound.  The old Le Roy mansion, now the estate of the Rodgers’ family, is also finely situated, and embraces every variety of water view.”). 



Source:  Beers, F.W., Atlas of New York and Vicinity from Actual Surveys by and Under the Direction of F.W. Beers, Assisted by A.B. Prindle & Others, p. 35  (Philadelphia, PA:  James McGuigan, 1868) (Plate entitled “City Island, Pelham Township, Westchester Co., N.Y. (with) Town of Pelham, Westchester Co., N.Y.”).

Richard Lewis Morris was an illustrious resident of Pelham during the 19th century.  He was born on his family’s estate in Morissania on November 4, 1805.  He was one of the twelve children of James Morris (1764-1827) and Helen Van Cortlandt (1768-1812).

Richard L. Morris entered Hamilton College in 1821 where he studied for a year.  Next he entered Columbia College from which he graduated in 1826.  He next studied medicine in the New York Medical College, then studied with Dr. Alex H. Stevens, “a celebrated surgeon, who married one of Dr. Morris’s sisters.” 

Dr. Morris married Elizabeth Sarah Stuyvesant Fish in New York City on October 15, 1829.  Elizabeth was a daughter of Colonel Nicholas Fish (1758-1833) and Elizabeth Stuyvesant Fish (1775-1854) and was a sister of Hamilton Fish, twenty-sixth Secretary of State of the United States and sixteenth Governor of the State of New York.  The couple had at least eight children.  (See research notes and materials below.)

Dr. Morris served as Health Commissioner of New York City from 1841 to 1852.  From 1852 to 1854 he served as Health Officer of the Port of New York.  He lived in New York City, for many years at 9 St. Marks Place.  After he retired from service as Health Officer of the Port of New York, he moved to Mamaroneck where he lived for a year or so before moving to the Town of Pelham.

By 1868, Dr. Morris and his wife resided at the former James August Suydam mansion which they also called “Oakshade.”  Cf. Bolton, Robert, The History of The Several Towns, Manors, and Patents of the County of Westchester, From Its First Settlement to the Present Time, Vol. II, p. 88 (NY, NY: 2d Edition, Chas. F. Roper 1881) (“The adjoining estate to the Bartows [sic] on the east is Oakshade, the property of Richard Lewis Morris, M.D.”). 

The couple lived the remainder of their lives in Oakshade.  According to an obituary published soon after Dr. Morris died on June 14, 1880, when Dr. Morris was at Oakshade:

“his chief delight at twilight was to sit on the veranda, surrounded by his family, and watch the sailing vessels and steamboats pass by an opening in the grove at the foot of the lawn.”

Source:  Dr. Morris's Death, The Sun, Jun. 15, 1880, p. 1, col. 6.  See also Personal, The Port Chester Journal [Port Chester, NY], Jul. 1, 1880, p. 1, col. 7.

In about 1876, while climbing the steep stone steps in the rear of Oakshade, Dr. Morris slipped and fell.  He was injured and became an invalid who could only walk “at times” thereafter.  In early June, 1880, Dr. Morris suffered his “last and fatal illness” from which he died on June 14, 1880.  His wife, Elizabeth, followed him in death only a few months later on March 25, 1881. 

The following obituary appeared shortly after Dr. Morris died:

"DR. MORRIS'S DEATH.
-----
Grandson of One of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Dr. Richard L. Morris died yesterday morning in his country residence at Pelham, Westchester County. While ascending the stone steps in the rear of the old mansion, four years ago, he fell, and was afterward an invalid, but able to walk at times until his last and fatal illness attacked him about ten days ago. Before that accident he was robust and hearty, entering into all the pleasures and enjoyments of younger persons. The mansion is on the shore of the Sound and his chief delight at twilight was to sit on the veranda, surrounded by his family, and watch the sailing vessels and steamboats pass by an opening in the grove at the foot of the lawn. He was tall and stout, being six feet and three inches in height, and weighing more than 200 pounds. He had a genial nature, and was a friend to many in more humble circumstances. He leaves a wife and five children.

Dr. Morris was born in the old Morris homestead at Morrisania on Nov. 4, 1805. He was one of the twelve children of James Morris. His grandfather, Lewis Morris, half brother of Gouverneur Morris, was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and he had his manor laid waste in consequence thereof. Dr. Morris entered Hamilton College in 1821, but he remained there only a year. Afterward he entered Columbia College, and was graduated in 1826. Then he studied in the New York Medical College, and subsequently he studied in the office of Dr. Alex H. Stevens, a celebrated surgeon, who married one of Dr. Morris's sisters. Dr. Morris took little interest in politics, and he held only two public offices -- that of Health Commissioner from 1818 [sic] to 1852, and that of Health Officer from 1852 to 1854. He had lived at 9 St. Marks place, but after he retired from office he went to Mamaroneck to live. A year afterward he purchased the Le Roy mansion at Pelham and began to lead a quiet life.

The funeral services are to be performed on Thursday in St. Peter's Church, Westchester, of which Dr. Morris was the warden until a year ago. The body is to be placed in the Morris Family vault."

Source: Dr. Morris's Death, The Sun, Jun. 15, 1880, p. 1, col. 6.  See also Personal, The Port Chester Journal [Port Chester, NY], Jul. 1, 1880, p. 1, col. 7.

The Country Club Years

The Suydam / Morris Estate was clearly a beautiful and appealing country location with beautiful views of Pelham Neck and Long Island Sound.  At the same time, it was convenient to New York City and was near City Island and the newly-developing suburb of Pelham Manor with its wealthy homeowners.

In the Autumn of 1883, a group of Pelham Manor residents and New York City “club men” organized a new “Country Club” dedicated to the enjoyment of all “legitimate sports.”  By 1884, the Club commenced operations in the nearly-34-acre area encompassed by the Suydam / Morris Estate.  They converted the “Oakshade” mansion into the Club’s headquarters and laid out a steeplechase course on the other side of today’s Shore Road (the north side), opposite the Club’s headquarters.  See  Pelham's Gay Pastime - A Day of Glorious Steeplechasing Provided by the Country Club, N.Y. Herald, Oct. 17, 1884, p. 6, cols. 3-4 (referring to the new “club headquarters in the Italian Villa-style mansion,” erroneously, as one that was “built  some forty years earlier by wealthy New Yorker David Lydig Suydam” who, actually, was a brother of James Augustus Suydam who bought the tract and first lived in the mansion). 



Diagram of the Pelham Steeplechase Course for the Race Run on October 18, 1884.  Note the Reference to "Pelham Road" (Today's Shore Road) at the Bottom of the Map.  Source:  Pelham's Gay Pastime - A Day of Glorious Steeplechasing Provided by the Country Club, N.Y. Herald, Oct. 17, 1884, p. 6, cols. 3-4.

The Club was not a predecessor to today's Pelham Country Club.  To make matters more confusing, the Club was known by many different names including the Pelham Country Club, the Country Club at Pelham, the Country Club, the Country Club at Westchester, and more.

Members of the Country Club at Pelham rode to the hounds, sponsored and competed in steeplechase races, held grand polo matches, played baseball, tennis, billiards and more at their Club.  The Club's great steeplechase races became nationally-renowned and attracted gamblers and spectators from all over the northeast.  I have written extensively about the Pelham Country Club and, particularly, the baseball games and steeplechase races that it sponsored.  (See the lengthy list of links at the end of this posting.)

Grand balls were held inside Oakshade, the Club's headquarters.  During the country club years it was the scene of many dances, parties and celebrations.  The grounds of the estate were particularly busy during the summer months when the weather was fair.  For nearly five years the Club entertained 250-300 members, their families, and guests.  Many of the links at the end of this posting describe the grand scenes of steeplechase races and the pageantry of early “base-ball” games held at the Country Club.

As New York City intensified its efforts to purchase the entire area for inclusion within the new Pelham Bay Park, however, the Club was forced to search for a new site.  In early 1889, the Club settled on a new site on Throgg’s Neck (about two and a half miles away) and arranged to move to a new clubhouse and grounds in the fall of that year.  An article about the move published at the time said, in part, the following:

“The Country Club of Westchester County will move into its new home early in the fall, probably during the month of September.  Since its foundation [sic], in 1884, the club has occupied the old Morris estate and mansion on the shores of the Sound in Pelham Bay Park.  When the park, extending in all over 1,750 acres, was purchased by the city it became necessary for the Executive of the club to look around for new quarters, and finally the new site, a most eligible one, was secured.  It is on Throgg’s Neck, some two and a half miles below the present one.  The large attendant expense was made easy to the club by the formation of the Country Club Land Association, which company purchased the new estate, comprising about 130 acres, apportioning 100 acres into building lots and leasing the balance to the club proper for its new club house and grounds.

The property is bounded on the north by the Lorillard-Spencer estate, on the south by the William Laytin estate, with the Eastern Boulevard and the waters of Pelham Bay as its western and eastern boundaries respectively.  The new club house, which is now completed save for the interior decorations, stands upon a knoll seventeen feet above the water level, and with a lawn in front of it stretching down to the shore of the bay.”

Source:  THE COUNTRY CLUB – A Description of the New House of This Famous Organization, The Press [NY, NY], Apr. 28, 1889, p. 7, col. 2. 

The Pell Tree Inn

Like other mansions within the boundaries of the new Pelham Bay Park, Oakshade seems to have languished for a number of years after the lands on which it stood were annexed by New York City in the mid-1890's.  No records reflecting any meaningful use of the Oakshade mansion have yet been found by this author for a number of years after the departure of the Country Club of Westchester. 

It seems certain, however, that by 1915, the building had been converted into a roadhouse and had been renamed the “Pell Tree Inn” in honor of the nearby “Pell Treaty Oak.”  The Pell Treaty Oak once stood on the grounds of the Bartow-Pell Mansion (on the adjacent property) and was said to be the site where Thomas Pell acquired the lands that became Pelham from local Native Americans on June 27, 1654. 

An item that appeared in the September 17, 1915 issue of Variety magazine referenced a car accident involving a group returning from the "Pell Tree Inn."  See Cabarets, Variety Magazine, Sep. 17, 1915, p. 8.  By at least November 10, 1915, New York City Police Captain John Tappin had joined with a man named Tonjes and converted Oakshade into a roadhouse that they named "Pell Tree Inn."  See Pell Tree Inn, N.Y. Times, Nov. 10, 1915, p. 22.  Cf. Tappin's, Evening Telegram [NY, NY], Jul. 1, 1916, p. 12, col. 3 (advertisement for "Tappin's . . . AT PELL TREE INN").



Undated Post Card View of Tappin's Pell Tree Inn (Ca. 1915-1918)
Notation:  "PELL TREE INN, Pelham Bay Park, N.Y. City.  Tonjes and Tappin."


Undated Post Card View of  Interior of Tappin's Pell Tree Inn (Ca. 1915-1918)
Notation Says:  "PELL TREE INN, Pelham Bay Park, N.Y. City.  Tonjes and Tappin"

The Proprietress of the Pell Tree Inn was listed in 1918 as “Mrs. John S. Tappin, wife of New York City Police Captain Tappin.”  See Ex-Jockey Pleads Guilty, The Evening World [New York, NY], Aug. 27, 1914, Baseball and Racing Results Page, col. 8.  

New York City Police Captain John Tappin seems to have had quite a moonlighting talent when it came to arranging leases of New York City park lands with his New York City employer to develop – and then to sell – leases for local roadhouses located in Pelham Bay Park.  Only a few years prior to his (and his wife’s) involvement with the Pell Tree Inn, Captain Tappin “purchased the business at the Hunter Island Inn” only a few hundred yards away, and ultimately sold out to Arthur E. MacLean.  See Town Topics, New Rochelle Pioneer, Apr. 15, 1911, p. 5, cols. 1-2 ("John F. Tappin, a captain in the New York City police department, it is reported, has purchased the business at the Hunter Island Inn and will continue that hostelry."). 

As was the case with the Hunter Island Inn, the involvement of the Tappins with the Pell Tree Inn seems to have been short-lived.  In 1918, a well-known New York City restaurateur named Peter F. Shanley took over the Pell Tree Inn.  He retained the name of the inn, but remodeled the roadhouse completely and became its proprietor.  The first World War, however, was underway.  

Shanley was a showman.  He immediately concocted an interesting scheme in an attempt to attract patrons to his new venture.  

Victory Gardens were becoming popular as American citizens planted vegetable gardens as part of the home-front effort to support their nation at War.  Shanley decided to capitalize on that trend.  A newspaper account at the time said:

“Peter Shanley’s Pell Tree Inn.

At his new Pell Tree Inn, in Pelham Parkway, Westchester, Peter Shanley offers an alluring opportunity to the public to mix patriotism with its pleasure.  He has divided the 150 acres which surround the building into small plots, which he is parcelling [sic] out to patrons for war gardening. 

Already many patriots have taken advantage of the novel offer.  The only condition attaching to temporary ownership by any given person is that he assume full responsibility for the care of his garden.  Before many months he will be able to gather his own vegetables, and then, repairing inside the restaurant, have them served in whatever style his taste dictates.  For the present many expect to spend the afternoons weeding their gardens and when evening comes satisfy their appetites with the dinners for which the Pell Tree is already famous.

Mr. Shanley has entirely remodelled [sic] the inn at a cost of over $1,000.  The dining room has a capacity of 600, a new dance floor has been installed and as a decorative feature of particular attractiveness excellent paintings have been hung.  Miss Agnes Martin is the new hostess, and Cartonne and Joseph Closkin, both long at the Plaza Hotel, have joined the staff, the former as chef, the latter as head waiter.”

Source:  Peter Shanley’s Pell Tree Inn, The Sun [New York, NY], Apr. 21, 1918, Section 2, p. 5, col. 6. 

Another account at the time noted that Peter F. Shanley was the proprietor of Pell Tree Inn in the spring of 1918.  Olga Cook was a singer who led Gus Edwards’ “new song revue” at the venue.  Gus Edwards sang and served as the master of ceremonies.  A jazz band played for the crowd which, at times, could “overflow the large hall usually devoted to the night gathering and occupy even the open air space skirting the edge of the roof.”  See To-Night The Night At Pell Tree Inn, The Sun [New York, NY], May 10, 1918, p. 4, col. 1.


 
Undated Post Card View of Shanley's Pell Tree Inn from Shore Road. (Ca. 1918-1923)
Notation:  "PELL TREE INN, Shore Road, Pelham Park, N.Y.C."


Detail from 1918 Insurance Map Reflecting "SHANLEY'S PELL TREE INN."
Source:  Sanborn Map Company, Atlases of New York City / Insurance
Maps of New York / Bronx, Atlas 55, Vol. 18, Plate 97 (1918).

The following year, Shanley had what may have been his first brush with the law.  He was among those called to testify before a Federal Grand Jury in 1919 investigating violations of the Wartime Prohibition Act.  See Liquor Graft Net Sweeps Broadway; 20 Men Involved – Politicians, Café and Saloon Keepers, and Lawyers to be Summoned, N.Y. Times, Oct. 24, 1919; Dry Law Graft Hunt Grows as One Confesses – Federal Grand Jury Starts Hearing Men from Large Cafes and Roadhouses on Monday in Big Inquiry, New-York Tribune, Oct. 24, 1919, p. 3, col. 1.  

It seems that with the advent of Prohibition and the Roaring Twenties, the Pell Tree Inn (also known as “Shanley’s”) became simply another in a string of suburban roadhouse speakeasies that surreptitiously served liquor to its happy clientele.  Indeed, Peter Shanley and his head waiter named John McNulty were caught selling liquor in the roadhouse on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 1920.  A news report a few days later noted that both were arrested and held on $1,000 bail each after selling liquor to Prohibition agents:

 “Peter Shanley, proprietor of the Pell Tree Inn, at Pelham Bay Park, and his head waiter, John McNulty, were held in $1,000 bail each for trial after a hearing before United States Commissioner Hitchcock.  Prohibition agents testified they bought liquor at the inn New Year’s eve.” 

Source:  More Arrests In Liquor Ring Expected Here, New-York Tribune, Jan. 5, 1921, p. 9, col. 1. 

The arrest may have played a role in Shanley’s decision to sell the Pell Tree Inn.  The next proprietors turned out to be famous throughout the land.  (See next section). 

Peter F. Shanley died at the age of 72 in 1950.  His obituary noted his involvement with the Pell Tree Inn.  See P.F. Shanley Dies; Restaurateur, 72; Last of 7 Brothers in Field Here – Had Operated Eating Places in Yonkers, Pelham, N.Y. Times, Mar. 3, 1950.  (“After leaving the Shanley’s restaurant at Forty-third Street and Broadway, Peter Shanley ran Shanley’s on South Broadway, Yonkers, and then the Pell Tree Inn.”).

The California Ramblers Inn

As the Roaring Twenties opened, jazz was red hot.  Two young college students who loved jazz formed a partnership and created a jazz band.  Arthur Hand and Wallace T. Kirkeby formed a band the members of which were principally from Ohio.  According to tradition, the group chose the name “California Ramblers” because they feared that the public would not be excited about a band if its name suggested it was from from the midwest. 

Young Arthur Hand became conductor of the group, to the chagrin of his wealthy father, Joseph C. Hand.   Arthur asked his father for a loan to help him and his new partner get the band on its feet.  The elder Hand refused and forbade his son from involving himself with any jazz band.  Thereafter, Arthur Hand and his father “were not on speaking terms” and the elder Hand repeatedly told his jazz-loving son that he had been disinherited as a result of the decision to proceed with the band. 

Soon, the band found itself riding the crest of the wave known as jazz.  Its members changed over time, but the California Ramblers became nationally-famous among college students and young people in the United States. Three members of the band, Tommy Dorsey, Jimmy Dorsey, and Red Nichols, went on to front big bands of their own in later years.   In view of his son’s success, Joseph C. Hand’s attitude toward his son and his son’s chosen profession “became softer” and the elder hand even brought his friends to see the band perform.  Then, in July 1924, the elder Hand died.  In his will, he left his jazz-loving son the then-substantial sum of $500,000, apparently having forgiven Arthur for his career choice.  Source:  Green, Abel, Abel’s Comment in Variety Magazine, Feb. 4, 1925, p. 37, col. 4. 

The California Ramblers became stars of the "Columbia Recording" orchestras.  Indeed, they became so successful that early in the band's career it was able to acquire the lease to Shanley’s Pell Tree Inn.  The band reopened the facility as a jazz roadhouse named “California Ramblers’ Inn.”  As one article noted: 

 “CALIFORNIA RAMBLERS TO TAKE OVER INN – The California Ramblers, a high class orchestra, which played last year at Post Lodge in Larchmont and which appeared in vaudeville at Proctor’s here while on tour this season, is to be located at Shanley’s restaurant on Pelham Parkway, opposite the golf links in Pelham Bay Park.  Kirkeby and Hand, it is announced, have completed arrangements for the California Ramblers to take over the establishment.  The orchestra has a big following in Westchester.” 

Source:  California Ramblers to Take Over Inn, The Daily Argus [Mt. Vernon, NY], May 18, 1923, p. 19, col. 2.  See also Cabarets, Variety Magazine, May 24, 1923, p. 33, col. 1 (“An idea of the prosperity usually visited on a successful band is gleaned from the opening of the California Ramblers’ Inn Saturday [May 19, 1923].  The Ramblers have purchased the property.  It was the former Shanley’s, located on Pelham Parkway, N.Y., overlooking the Sound.”); Byrnes, Marion T., Gilbert Kahn – Banker’s Son, The Strange Diversion of Otto Kahn’s Son, Who Spends His Week-Ends From Princeton Blowing a Saxophone in a Manhattan ‘White Light’ Restaurant, Brooklyn Daily Eagle Sunday Eagle Magazine, Mar. 30, 1924, p. 2, col. 1 (“The ‘Ramblers’ are a group of young men who have won their fame as much through their personality as their playing.  They have played at many well-known places:  the Post Lodge, Palais Royal, Hippodrome, and at their own ‘California Ramblers’ Inn’ on the Boston Post road [sic].  Wherever they play they have their following of college boys and girls who always give them the ‘glad hand’ in the manner of that genus.  They are owned and managed by Wallace Kirkeley [sic] and Arthur Hand.”).



Album Cover:  "Hallelujah!  Here Comes The California Ramblers 1925-29.

The California Ramblers used the California Ramblers Inn on Shore Road in Pelham Bay Park principally as a summer venue.  Much of the rest of the year they traveled and appeared in venues throughout the country.  As their fame soared and they recorded more songs (under their own name and under pseudonyms), they contracted to take over other venues where they would play including the Supper Club in a new casino located in Miami Beach, Florida.  See Noted Musical Group Will Be At Lafayette – California Ramblers, Recording Orchestra, Vaudeville Headliner for This Week, Buffalo Courier-Express, Aug. 22, 1926, p. 71, col. 8.

Hollywood Gardens

As the Roaring Twenties drew to a close, the proprietorship of the Oakshade mansion changed once again – though its use as a roadhouse did not.  In June 1930, the proprietors of the Hollywood restaurant on Broadway opened “Hollywood Gardens” in the old Pell Tree Inn / California Ramblers Inn.  The proprietors of the Hollywood restaurant on Broadway were Jacob Amron and Joe Moss, well known New York City restaurateurs.  According to one source:  “Hollywood Gardens, on Pelham Road, in Westchester county, opened this month with Paul Whiteman and his orchestra and Florence Richardson and her Twelve Melody Boys furnishing the continuous dance music.  N.T.G. [Nile T. Granlund] and his revue appear twice nightly.  As is the custom with the Hollywood restaurant on Broadway, which is under the same management, there is no cover charge.”  Source:  At Hollywood Gardens, The New York Sun, Jun. 26, 1930, p. 21, col. 6. 

Almost immediately, friction arose with the nearby community of the Village of Pelham Manor.  The following article describes that friction: 

“BROADCAST ENDS AT POLICE ORDER
-----
Pelham Manor Again Tranquil at Night.  Jazz Programs Confined to Indoors.
-----

Mayor Lawrence F. Sherman’s complaint about the broadcasting of music through powerful loud speakers outside the Hollywood Gardens restaurant on the Shore Road had its desired effect and now the residents of Pelham Manor are able to enjoy undisturbed  sleep.  The New York City police department issued orders to stop the noisy broadcasting which was being done to attract patrons to the eating place.  Mayor Sherman is keeping a close check on the situation to prevent a repetition of the nuisance.

Since the protest of Mayor Sherman was filed with the New York City police department the jazz music has been confined to the inside of the restaurant.”

Source:  Broadcast Ends at Police Order, The Pelham Sun, Aug. 29, 1930, p. 2, col. 4. 

By 1931, the Hollywood Gardens’ claim to fame was that it had an “open air restaurant” that seated up to 5,000 persons and, in good weather, featured NTG [Nile T. Granlund] as the master of ceremonies with a chorus of girls and performances by Ben Bernie’s Orchestra.  Some programs were “broadcast” which likely meant they were amplified by sound equipment.  See First Street Boys Plan Fishing Trip, The Daily Argus [Mt. Vernon, NY], May 6, 1931, p. 6, col. 1. 

The End of Oakshade

On October 15, 1932, Hollywood Gardens was destroyed by fire.  A series of articles set forth below describe what happens.  The facility had been closed for the season about a month before.  Shortly before 11:00 p.m. that evening, a fire of undetermined origins broke out.  Though the newspaper articles at the time suggested nothing untoward, one article referenced what it called an incredible “coincidence” the same evening – a coincidence that suggests to this author that the fire may not have been accidental.  The articles transcribed below detail the story.

“Hollywood Gardens Destroyed by Fire
-----
Many Pelham Residents Attracted to Scene of Fire on Shore Road in New York City.
-----

Many Pelham Manor residents were attracted to the fire which destroyed the Hollywood Gardens, dance resort on the Shore road, west of the New York City line, late Saturday night.  The origin of the fire has not been determined.  The firemen were seriously handicapped by smoke.  The building is situated several hundred feet off the highway and it was necessary to stretch long lines of hose from hydrants on the Shore road. 

Traffic was detoured through Split Rock road to the Boston road. 

The main building which was formerly known as the California Ramblers, was completely gutted.  The dance resort was constructed on property which was included in the original Pell grant and is situated to the east of the old Bartow Mansion, which is now the property of the International Garden Club.  It was recently extended to include a seating capacity of more than one thousand diners.—E.F.”

Source:  Hollywood Gardens Destroyed by Fire, The Pelham Sun, Oct. 21, 1932, p. 3, col. 1. 

There were some very unusual circumstances regarding the fire.  It seems that at 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 15, 1932, the wife of Mr. Moss, the proprietor of Hollywood Gardens, left the Park Central Hotel in Manhattan.  She walked to where she had parked her $4,000 sedan in front of the hotel only to find that her sedan had been stolen.  Only two hours later, she learned that her husband’s Shore Road nightclub was ablaze and was being destroyed by flames.  In the middle of the night, after the fire had gutted her husband’s nightclub, her stolen car was discovered abandoned on Peace Street in Pelham Manor, only a short distance from Hollywood Gardens.  See Fortune Spins a Fast Wheel, The Daily Argus, Oct. 17, 1932, p. 9, col. 7. 

“FORTUNE SPINS A FAST WHEEL
-----

Speaking of coincidence, how is this for hard luck?

Mrs. L. E. Moss, wife of the owner of Hollywood Gardens night club on the Shore Road, left the Park Central Hotel in New York City about nine o’clock Saturday night to discover that her $4,000 sedan had been stolen from in front of the hotel.

Shortly after 11 o’clock she learned that her husband’s Shore Road night club was being destroyed by flames.  About two o’clock yesterday morning she learned that her car had been recovered by Sergeant James McCaffrey and Patrolman Michael Spillane on Peace Street, Pelham Manor, not far from Hollywood Gardens.

Speaking of hard luck followed by a little good luck, how is that for coincidence?”

Source:  Fortune Spins a Fast Wheel, The Daily Argus, Oct. 17, 1932, p. 9, col. 7. 

The fire played havoc with traffic in the area, so much so that it attracted attention in local newspapers.  For example, one report noted:

“BLAZE AT RESORT HAMPERS TRAFFIC
-----
The Village of Pelham Manor felt the effects of Saturday night’s fire which destroyed Hollywood Gardens, the restaurant and night club which occupied a prominent site on the Shore Road in the Bronx not far from the Village line.  Village streets were jammed with traffic for several hours from about 11 o’clock, shortly after the fire broke out, until after 2 o’clock in the morning.

New York police found it necessary to detour Shore Road, south of the fire and Pelhamdale Avenue, north of the fire, to the Boston Post Road.  Tieups [sic] were frequent during the three hour jam of cars and Village police were taxed in straightening out tangles.

Hollywood Gardens, a favorite entertainment place for many Pelham residents, stood on property acquired by the Pell family in Revolutionary days.  It had closed for the season a month ago.” 

Source:  Blaze at Resort Hampers Traffic, The Daily Argus, Oct. 17, 1932, p. 9, col. 6.

Plans were immediately commenced to rebuild some venture on the site.  It appears that the proprietors intended to use the site to recreate an Old World beer garden.  One article stated: 

“Jacob Amron of the Hollywood Restaurant will cross the big pond this Winter for the purpose of studying the Berlin and Vienna Biergartens.

Upon his return, the Amron-Moss combine will start the construction of a replica of the Famiena at Berlin, or some other equally famous Old World spot, on the seventeen acre site of the recently fire-destroyed Hollywood Gardens on Pelham Parkway.

Commissioner Dolan of the Park Department has granted permission for the enterprise.”

Source:  Where To Dine, Daily Star, Nov. 19, 1932, p. 14, col. 1. 

Some form of Hollywood Gardens apparently was resurrected after the devastating fire, because a year later, according to one report, a wedding anniversary celebration was held at “Hollywood Gardens, Shore Road.”  Source:  Three Anniversaries Are Marked At Party, The Daily Argus [Mt. Vernon, NY], Jun. 19, 1933, p. 4, col. 2. 

Nevertheless, the fire was the end of the Oakshade Mansion.  Today the overgrown, wooded area provides little reminder of the grand mansion, country club headquarters and roadhouse that once stood on the site. 

*     *     *     *     *

I have written extensively about the Country Club of Pelham and events that were held on its grounds in the 1880s.  Below are a few examples of such postings.


Bell, Blake A., The Pelham Steeplechase Races of the 1880s, The Pelham Weekly, Vol. XIV, Issue 12, March 25, 2005, p. 10, col. 2.














*     *     *     *     *

Miscellaneous Research Materials and Research Notes Relating to the Topic of This Blog Posting Appear Below.

The clubhouse of the Pelham Country Club which was organized in the autumn of 1883 was “old, but substantial, and was built by Mr. Lydig Suydam, about 40 years ago, as an Italian villa.”  Country Club Meeting, The Chronicle [Mt. Vernon, N.Y.], Oct. 17, 1884,  p. 2, col. 3.  Substantially similar accounts appeared at about the same time in a variety of other publications.  See, e.g., The Country Club of Westchester County - The Steeplechase Meeting, New Rochelle Pioneer, Oct. 18, 1884, p. 3, col. 5; Pelham's Gay Pastime -- A Day of Glorious Steeplechasing Provided by the Country Club, N.Y. Herald, Oct. 17, 1884, p. 6, col. 3.

Note:  Lydig Suydam was a brother of James Augustus Suydam who bought the property in Pelham where the Pelham Country Club was located.  It appears that James Augustus Suydam built the home – not Lydig Suydam as the quote above -- some 38 years later -- suggests.

“The Bartow mansion was not the only grand home in the Pelham Bay area.  As New York City became a commercial and mercantile center in the early 1800’s, its wealth spilled over into Pelham, as the well-to-do sought out property with water views for summer homes and country estates.  Prominent neighbors included James Augustus Suydam, a well-known art collector, and Dr. and Mrs. Richard Lewis Morris.  Dr. Morris had been a New York City Commissioner of Health, and Mrs. Morris was the sister of the renowned statesman Hamilton Fish.  In all, some 20 grand houses dotted the Pelham Bay landscape.”

Source:  Bruzelius, Ellen, From Pells to Parks (Part I) – A History of Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum, The Island Current [City Island, Bronx, NY], Jan.-Feb. 2010, p. 14, cols. 1-4.

The property on which the Suydam home was built was acquired by James Augustus Suydam and his then-unmarried sister, Letitia Jane Suydam, on May 13, 1846.  See Westchester County Archives, Westchester County Deeds, Liber 115, pp. 272-276 (“ROBERT BARTOW & WIFE TO JAMES AUGUSTUS SUYDAM & OTHER”).  The deed is quoted in full at the end of this material.  At the time of the purchase, Letitia Jane Suydam was the unmarried 37-year-old sister of James Augustus Suydam.  According to genealogists, about six years later, on June 16, 1852, Letitia married Charles Jeffery Smith.  At some point after the wedding, Letitia and her husband moved to the Manor of St. George near Yaphank on Long Island where, after Letitia’s death, in 1872 Charles Jeffrey Smith liquidated a $500 debt on the tiny little St. Andrew’s Church as a contribution to the Church in memory of his wife, Letitia.  See Foley, Tricia & Monzakes, Karen, Images of America:  Yaphank, p. 72 (Charleston, SC:  Arcadia Publishing, 2012). 

“The adjoining estate [to Bartow’s on the east], Oak-shade, is the property of James A. Suydam, Esq.  The house is a very beautiful specimen of the Italian villa style.  The south front commands a fine view of Pelham neck and the Sound.” 

Source:  Bolton, Jr., Robert, A History of the County of Westchester, From its First Settlement to the Present Time, Vol. I, p. 552 (NY, NY:  Alexander S. Gould 1848).

“The adjoining estate to the Bartows [sic] on the east is Oakshade, the property of Richard Lewis Morris, M.D., son of James Morris and grandson of General Lewis Morris of Morrisania, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.  The house is a very beautiful specimen of the Italian villa style.  The south front commands a fine view of the Pelham Neck and the Sound.  The old Le Roy mansion, now the estate of the Rodgers’ family, is also finely situated, and embraces every variety of water view.”  

Source:  Bolton, Robert, The History of The Several Towns, Manors, and Patents of the County of Westchester, From Its First Settlement to the Present Time, Vol. II, p. 88 (NY, NY: 2d Edition, Chas. F. Roper 1881).


"Hollywood Gardens on Shore Road
(August 1, 2002)

I recently came across a program for the Fourth Annual Dinner of the Throgg’s Neck Property Owners and Welfare Association.  The event was held at Hollywood Gardens on Thursday, July 20, 1933.  The catering hall and restaurant was located on the Shore Road opposite the Split Rock Golf Course, just north of the Bartow-Pell Mansion.  It was built by R. L. Morris and served the family well as a rural homestead until the Parks Department acquired it in 1888.

A gentleman by the name of [Shanley] then leased the mansion and turned it into a roadhouse under the name Pell Tree Inn.  He chose that name due to its close proximity. To the large oak tree under which Thomas Pell purchased much of the east Bronx and lower Westchester from the Siwanoy sachems on November 14, 1654.  This tree, called Treaty Oak, was destroyed by fire in 1906, but a fenced-in area still marks the site, and the name of the inn certainly was wisely chosen. 

The building later became known as the Ramblers’ Inn after the backup group for Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, who became the main attraction at the inn.  The backup group was called the California Ramblers.  The mansion then became known as Hollywood Gardens, and Paul Whiteman and his orchestra were hired and also attracted great crowds.  This would be the last cognomen for the roadhouse, as Robert Moses ordered it destroyed [Page 43 / Page 44] circa 1934, along with the 600 or so bungalows at Old Orchard Beach and all buildings thereon. . . .”

Source:  Twomey, Bill, The Bronx in Bits and Pieces, pp. 43-44 (Bloomington, IN:  Rooftop Publishing, 2007). 

1918, Apr. 21:  The Proprietress of the Pell Tree Inn is Mrs. John S. Tappin, wife of New York City Police Captain Tappin.  See Ex-Jockey Pleads Guilty, The Evening World [New York, NY], Aug. 27, 1914, Baseball and Racing Results Page, col. 8. 

1921, Jan. 5:  “Peter Shanley, proprietor of the Pell Tree Inn, at Pelham Bay Park, and his head waiter, John McNulty, were held in $1,000 bail each for trial after a hearing before United States Commissioner Hitchcock.  Prohibition agents testified they bought liquor at the inn New Year’s eve.”  More Arrests In Liquor Ring Expected Here, New-York Tribune, Jan. 5, 1921, p. 9, col. 1. 

1923, May 24:  INFORMATION ABOUT THE CALIFORNIA RAMBLERS


Liner Notes History of the California Ramblers:  http://www.redhotjazz.com/caramblers.html

INFORMATION ABOUT JAMES AUGUSTUS SUYDAM (A WELL KNOWN HUDSON VALLEY LUMINIST PAINTER) AND LETITIA JANE SUYDAM




Biography and exhibition materials:  http://www.tfaoi.com/aa/6aa/6aa412.htm


INFORMATION ABOUT RICHARD L. MORRIS

Richard L. Morris was an illustrious resident of Pelham during the 19th century. He had a "country home" in the Town. He was a grandson of Lewis Morris, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He died at his home in Pelham on June 14, 1880. An obituary appeared in the June 15, 1880 issue of The Sun, published in New York City.

"DR. MORRIS'S DEATH.
-----
Grandson of One of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Dr. Richard L. Morris died yesterday morning in his country residence at Pelham, Westchester County. While ascending the stone steps in the rear of the old mansion, four years ago, he fell, and was afterward an invalid, but able to walk at times until his last and fatal illness attacked him about ten days ago. Before that accident he was robust and hearty, entering into all the pleasures and enjoyments of younger persons. The mansion is on the shore of the Sound and his chief delight at twilight was to sit on the veranda, surrounded by his family, and watch the sailing vessels and steamboats pass by an opening in the grove at the foot of the lawn. He was tall and stout, being six feet and three inches in height, and weighing more than 200 pounds. He had a genial nature, and was a friend to many in more humble circumstances. He leaves a wife and five children.

Dr. Morris was born in the old Morris homestead at Morrisania on Nov. 4, 1805. He was one of the twelve children of James Morris. His grandfather, Lewis Morris, half brother of Gouverneur Morris, was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and he had his manor laid waste in consequence thereof. Dr. Morris entered Hamilton College in 1821, but he remained there only a year. Afterward he entered Columbia College, and was graduated in 1826. Then he studied in the New York Medical College, and subsequently he studied in the office of Dr. Alex H. Stevens, a celebrated surgeon, who married one of Dr. Morris's sisters. Dr. Morris took little interest in politics, and he held only two public offices -- that of Health Commissioner from 1818 to 1852, and that of Health Officer from 1852 to 1854. He had lived at 9 St. Marks place, but after he retired from office he went to Mamaroneck to live. A year afterward he purchased the Le Roy mansion at Pelham and began to lead a quiet life.

The funeral services are to be performed on Thursday in St. Peter's Church, Westchester, of which Dr. Morris was the warden until a year ago. The body is to be placed in the Morris Family vault."

Source: Dr. Morris's Death, The Sun, Jun. 15, 1880, p. 1, col. 6.  See also Personal, The Port Chester Journal [Port Chester, NY], Jul. 1, 1880, p. 1, col. 7.


See The New York City Society Library, New York City Marriage and Death Notices, Vol. III, 1857 to 1870, p. 17 ("MARRIED 1859:  On the 23d of June, by the Rev. Mr. Jackson, William St. John Elliot Marshall, of Natchez, Miss., to Elizabeth Stuyvesant Fish, daughter of Richard L. Morris, M.D., of Oaksdale, Westchester county, N.Y.”).  NOTE:  This notice is all the more interesting because Morris’s daughter, Elizabeth Stuyvesant Fish Morris, was marrying a son of Morris’s neighbor and owner of the estate known as “Hawkswood” on the mainland near City Island in the Town of Pelham, Levin Rothrock Marshall. 

FindAGrave.com information about Richard Lewis Morris:  http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=114099170

“RICHARD LEWIS MORRIS, son of James and Helen (Van Cortlandt) Morris, was born November 4, 1805.  He was graduated from Hamilton College, and in 1826 from the College of Physicians and Surgeons (New York).  From 1841 to 1852 he served as health commissioner of New York City, and from 1852 to 1854 as health officer of the port of New York.  He was a prominent and successful medical practitioner of his times.

Died at Pelham, N.Y., June 14, 1880.

Married Elizabeth S. Fish, daughter of Colonel Nicholas Fish and sister of Governor Hamilton Fish.

Issue:

1.  James Morris, b. October 2, 1832.  He received his preparatory education in a select school in New York, entered Harvard University, and was graduated there in 1852, also being graduated as bachelor of laws from the Harvard Law School in 1854.  He [Page 431 / Page 432] is a lawyer in New York City, where he resides; a member of the Association of the Bar, St. Nicholas Society, and Delta Phi.  M. Elizabeth W. Gray; one child, Marion Gray Morris, who d. young.

2.  Elizabeth S. Morris.  M. William St. John Elliot Marshall of Natchez, Miss.  Issue:

    i. William St. John Elliot Marshall.  M. Constance B. Runcie, daughter of Rev. Dr. Runcie.  Issue:  1. Jean Dale Marshall.  2.  William St. John Elliot Marshall.

    ii. Elizabeth Morris Marshall.  M. Francis L. Mordaunt.  Issue:  1. Elizabeth Morris Mordaunt.  2. Mildred C. Mordaunt.

3.  Nicholas Fish Morris; lost at sea in the United States sloop of war ‘Albany.’

4.  Richard L. Morris, d. young.

5.  Richard L. Morris.  M. Lillian Monson.  Issue: 

     i.  Monson Morris.

    ii. Helen Van Cortlandt Morris.  M. Nelson Burr.

6.  Stuyvesant Fish Morris:  graduated from Columbia College in 1863; physician in New York; member of the Century Club and St. Nicholas Society.  M. Ellen J. Van Buren, daughter of Smith Van Buren and granddaughter of President Martin Van Buren.  Issue:

    i.  Elizabeth M. Morris.

    ii. Van Buren Morris, d. young.

    iii. Ellen Ban Buren Morris.  M. F. Livingston Pell.

    iv. Stuyvesant Morris, d. young.

    v.  Richard L. Morris.

    vi. Stuyvesant Fish Morris.  M. Elizabeth H. Wynkoop.  Issue:  1. Stuyvesant Fish Morris.  2. Martin Van Buren Morris.

7. Helen Van Cortlandt Morris.  M. David King.

8.  Charlotte Louisa Morris.  M. Bayard U. Livingston of Albany, N.Y.  Issue:

    i.  Louisa Morris Livingston.

    ii. Bayard Urquhart Livingston.”

Source:  Spooner, W.W., “The Morris Family of Morrisania” in American Historical Magazine, Vol. I, No. 5, Sep. 1906, pp. 427, 430-31 (NY, NY:  The Publishing Society of NY). 

INFORMATION ABOUT DAVID LYDIG SUYDAM, BROTHER OF JAMES AUGUSTUS SUYDAM

David Lydig Suydam, known as “Lydig Suydam,” donated the 184-pound church bell in the steeple of Christ Church of Pelham Manor.  See Bolton, Robert, The History of The Several Towns, Manors, and Patents of the County of Westchester, From Its First Settlement to the Present Time, Vol. II, p. 99 (NY, NY: 2d Edition, Chas. F. Roper 1881) (“The bell [of Christ Church in Pelham Manor], weighing one hundred and eighty-four pounds, was presented to the church by Lydig Suydam, Esq.”).  See also Bolton, Robert, History of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the County of Westchester From its Foundation, A.D. 1693, to A.D. 1853, p. 700 (NY, NY 1855). 

David Lydig Suydam was an unmarried bachelor whose parents were Jane Mesier and John Suydam.  See Suydam, Henry, History and Reminiscences of the Mesier Family, of Wappinger’s Creek, Together with A Short History of Zion Church, p. 33 (Privately Printed, 1882).  He was a “socially prominent New Yorker”  linked with Swedish operatic soprano Christine Nilsson and was described as one “who trots after her like a poodle” who could “talk of nothing but the honour he enjoys in her friendship.”  Pease, William H. & Pease, Jane H., eds., The Roman Years of a South Carolina Artist:  Caroline Carson’s Letters Home, 1872-1892, p. 153 & nn. 1-2 (Columbia, SC:  University of South Carolina, 2003). 

“OBITUARY . . . DAVID LYDIG SUYDAM.

David Lydig Suydam died of pneumonia at his residence, No. 40 East Thirty-first street, Friday night.  He was the son of John Suydam, a shipping merchant, and was born Jan. 24, 1812, at No. 4 Broadway.  His father’s house was in the middle of a lot of the space now occupied by the Produce Exchange.  His parents feared the British might land and take possession or demolish the lower part of the city, and prepared to move to Fort Montgomery, a short distance below West Point, just after his birth, but the outlook changed and they did not go.  He was in Paris from 1832 to 1837, representing the importing house in New-York of Babcock & Suydam, of which he was a member.  Soon after his return to this country he retired from business.  He was a member of the New-York Hose Company, No. 5, composed of merchants, of which Carlisle Norwood was foreman.  After his retirement from business he divided his time between this country and Europe.  He was well known in both London and Paris, and had traveled all over the Old World.  Mr. Suydam had a wide acquaintance in New-York society.  He was of a philanthropic nature and was a friend of the philanthropist Peabody.  He was greatly interested in the Five Points House of Industry and the Asylum for the Blind, both of which institutions he was a Trustee.  He belonged to the Century and Union Clubs and was a bachelor.  His family was related to the Whitneys, the Phoenixes, and the Schermerhorns.  The funeral services will take place Tuesday morning at 10 o’clock at Grace Church.”

Source:  OBITUARY . . . DAVID LYDIG SUYDAM, N.Y. Times, Dec. 21, 1884. 

“BURIAL OF DAVID L. SUYDAM.

The funeral of David Lydig Suydam was largely attended yesterday at Grace Church.  The Rev. Dr. W. R. Huntington officiated, assisted by the Rev. George F. Nelson.  Upon the coffin were a wreath and a cross of white roses, and a wreath of ivy leaves.  The pall-bearers were James M. McLean, Hugh N. Camp, Murray Hoffman, Joseph Foulk, Justice A. R. Lawrence, Benjamin L. Swan, Jr., William C. Schermerhorn and James C. Cartier.  Among other persons present were Henry Suydam, a brother of the deceased man; Dr. and Mrs. F. D. Weisse, Dr. and Mrs. F. Leroy Satterlee, Jacob Reese and family, Mr. and Mrs. George K. Crocker, William Reese, Mr. and Mrs. William Remsen, Henry Remsen, Dr. George Remsen, Dr. Charles Remsen, Mr. and Mrs. C. Thompson, Judge and Mrs. John R. Brady, Mr. and Mrs. David Lydig, Justice and Mrs. Charles P. Daly, Mrs. F. R. Sturges, Mrs. John R. Staples, John S. Suydam, Jr., Walter Suydam, Charles Fearing, Henry Bergh, Professor R. Ogden Doremus, Thomas Lawrence, Colonel T. Reed, D.W. Bishop, Hugh Auchincloss, F.A. Schermerhorn, Charles W. Bathgate, Joseph T. Beck, C.N. Jordan, Robert T. Whipple, A.W. Kreuger, Morris Feltman, Robert J. Gilchrist and C.T. Roseman.  The Union, Century and St. Nicholas Clubs were represented.  The body was buried in the family vault of the Suydams, in St. Mark’s churchyard.”

Source:  BURIAL OF DAVID L. SUYDAM, New-York Tribune, Dec. 24, 1884, p. 8, col. 1. 

FINDAGRAVE.COM INFORMATION:
David Lydig Suydam
Birth:  Jan. 24, 1812
New York, USA
Death:  Dec. 19, 1884
Born: January 24, 1812
Died: December 19, 1884
David was the brother of Peter, who is also buried in the cemetery.
Contributed by The Genealogy Genie (#46972727).
Burial:Saint Mark's Church-In-The-Bowery
Manhattan, New York County, New York, USA
Plot: No. 139
Created by: Rich H.
Record added: Sep 24, 2002
Find A Grave Memorial# 6800144

MAY 13, 1846 DEED FROM ROBERT AND MARIA BARTOW TO JAMES AUGUSTUS SUYDAM AND LETITIA JANE SUYDAM

“ROBERT BARTOW & WIFE )
TO )
JAMES AUGUSTUS SUYDAM & OTHER )

THIS INDENTURE, made the 13th day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty six, BETWEEN ROBERT BARTOW, of the Town of Pelham, in the County of Westchester and State of New York, Gentleman, and MARIA R., his wife, parties of the first part, and JAMES AUGUSTUS SUYDAM and LETITIA JANE SUYDAM, of the City of New York, of the second part.  WITNESSETH, that the said parties of the first part for and in consideration of the sum of NINE THOUSAND DOLLARS, lawful money of the United States of America, to them in hand paid by the said parties of the second part at or before the ensealing and delivery of these presents, the receipt [Page 272 / Page 273] hereof is hereby acknowledged, and the said parties of the of the [sic] second part, their heirs, executors and administrators forever released and discharged from the same, by these presents have granted, bargained, sold, aliened, remised, released, conveyed and confirmed and by these presents do grant, bargain, sell, alien remise, release, convey and confirm unto the said parties of the second part, and their heirs and assigns forever, ALL that certain piece or parcel or farm of land, situate, lying and being in the Town of PELHAM aforesaid, bounded and described as follows:  BEGINNING at a point on the westerly shore of the waters of Long Island Sound at a rock where is or is to be placed an iron bolt and being the westerly corner of the farm of land now owned and occupied by the said parties of the first part, and running thence north forty one degrees west along the said by fourteen chains and fifty five links to an ash tree, thence along said farm [illegible] thirty eight degrees west three chains and forty links, thence along said  [illegible] north thirty seven degrees and ten minutes west four chains and eighty eight degrees west eight chains and sixty six links across said road and along said farm and other land of the said Robert Bartow, thence north sixty eight degrees east twenty six links to land of Mr. Coles, and thence in a continuous line twelve chains and twenty six links to other land of Mr. Coles, thence south twenty three and a half degrees east eight chains and twenty links along the lands of said Coles and across the road aforesaid, thence south thirty seven and a half degrees east fourteen chains and eighty one links along other lands of said Coles to the Peir [sic; should be “Pier”] and dock at the shore, thence alond [sic] the easterly side of said Dock or Pier, south by six and a half degrees east forty six links to the end of said Dock or Pier thence westerly and southwesterly along the shore of Long Island Sound to the place of beginning.  Containing thirty three acres one quarter and twelve rods more or less of land after deducting the roads.  Being a portion of a tract of one hundred and eighty one acres of land which with other lands was conveyed to the said Robert Bartow by Herman Le Roy, Jr. and wife by deed dated 25th April, A.D., 1836, recorded in the Clerks [sic] office of Westchester County in Liber 67 of conveyances page 175 &c.  A map of the premises hereby conveyed made by D. B. Taylor, Surveyor, dated May 1st, 1846, is filed in said [Page 273 / Page 274] Clerks office of Westchester County.  TOGETHER with all and singular the tenements, hereditaments and appurtenances thereunto belonging or in anywise appertaining and the reversion and reversions, remainder and remainders, rents, issues and profits thereof.  AND also all the estate, right, title, interest dower and right of dower, property, possession, claim and demand whatsoever, as well in law as in equity of the said party of the first part, of, in, and to the same and every part and parcel thereof with the appurtenances.  TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the above granted bargained and described premises with the appurtenances, unto the said parties of the second part, their heirs and assigns to their own proper use, benefit and behoof forever.  SUBJECT to a right of way and privilege to the assigns of Herman Le Roy, [beginning of inserted material] Senior deceased reserved in his deed to H Le Roy Junr., dated Feb 17th 1829 and also in the deed to said Bartow above mentioned to have use of the said Dock or Pier as a landing place and to have free ingress and egress to and from said Dock or Pier through the Gate now standing on the northeasterly line of the premises hereby conveyed (described in said deed from H. Le Roy, Junr. to said Bartow as the northeasterly line of lot number eight) and which gate stands nearly adjoining said dock and is the first gate therefrom and a right of way over the direct road now laid out and leading from said gate to said dock or pier.  AND the said Robert Bartow for himself, his heirs, executors and administrators doth hereby convenant, grant and agree to and with the said parties of the second part, their heirs and assigns that the said Robert Bartow at the time of the sealing and delivery of these presents is lawfully seized in his own right of a good absolute and indefeasible estate of inheritance in fee simple of and in all and singular the above granted, bargained and described premises with the appurtenances and hath good right full power and lawful authority to grant, bargain, sell and convey the same in manner and form aforesaid.  AND that the said parties of the second part their heirs and assigns shall and may at all times hereafter peaceably and quietly have, hold, use, occupy, possess and enjoy the above granted premises and every part and parcel thereof with the appurtenances without any legal suit, trouble, molestation, eviction or disturbance of the said parties of the first part, their heirs or assigns or of any other person or persons lawfully claiming [Page 274 / Page 275] or to claim the same.  AND that the same now are free, clear, discharged and unencumbered of and from all former and other grants, titles, charges, estates, judgments, taxes, assessments and encumbrances of what nature or kind soever, except the right of way and privilege above mentioned.  AND ALSO that the said parties of the first part and their heirs and all and every other person or persons whomsoever lawfully or equitably deriving any estate, right, title, or interest of in or to the herein before granted premises by from under or in trust for them will and will at any time or times hereafter upon the reasonable request and at the proper costs and charges in the law of the said parties of the second part, their heirs and assigns make do and execute or cause or procure to be made done and executed all and every such further and other lawful and reasonable acts, conveyances and assurances in the law for the better and more effectually vesting and confirming the premises hereby intended to be granted in and to the said parties of the second part their heirs and assigns forever as by the said parties of the second part, their heirs and assigns forever as by the said parties of the second part, their heirs or assigns or their counsel learned in the law shall be reasonably devised advised or required.  AND the said Robert Bartow for himself, and his heirs the above described and hereby granted and released premises and every part and parcel thereof with the appurtenances unto the said parties of the second part, their heirs and assigns all and every person and persons whomseover lawfully claiming or to claim the same shall and will warrant and by these presents forever defend.  IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties to these presents have hereunto interchangeably set their hands and seals the day and year first above written.

The words ‘& to’ interlined.

Sealed and Delivered in the presence of

ROBERT BARTOW (L.S.)

MARIA R. BARTOW (L.S.)

James P. Hinman
WESTCHESTER COUNTY, STATE OF NEW YORK.  SS.  On the thirteenth day of May, in the year one thousand eight hundred and forty six before me a Justice of the Peace for the County of Westchester came ROBERT BARTOW and MARIA R. BARTOW, his wife, both known to me to be the individuals described in and who executed the foregoing conveyance and they severally [Page 275 / Page 276] acknowledged that they had executed the same and the said Maria R. Bartow on a private examination apart from her husband acknowledged that she executed the said conveyance freely and without any fear or compulsion of her husband.

James P. Hinman, Justice.

A true copy of the original Deed and acknowledgment thereof recorded May 18th, 1846, 12 oclock [sic] M.

Munson I. Lockwood, Clerk.”

Source:  Westchester County Archives, Westchester County Deeds, Liber 115, pp. 272-276. 

"On the way to the Bartow-Pell mansion, I point out the Split Rock Golf course and the general direction where Anne Hutchinson got her head tomahawked by some unfriendly local Indians back in the 17th century.  We park at the mansion, where I have a word with the old Scandinavian caretaker who I have come to know over the years.  I sometimes wonder about his and his wife's situation in that big lonely house, relying for their only protection on the telephone to the police, some signs warning about guard dogs, and the dogs themselves.  These are a couple of large old dogs, one of them a very friendly Shepherd and the other some mixed breed.  One recalls the recent N.Y. Times article in which golfers on the Split Rock Golf course across the Shore Road are said to occasionally find unnatural hazards on the links in the form of dead bodies.

Finishing with the courtesy call, I take the students on a tour of the sites.  We start by going south from the mansion road following the horse trail.  Just a few feet from the left of the trail we come up Pell's treaty tree half hidden in the bushes and trees, encircled by an iron fence.  There used to be a bronze plaque on the gate, which is presently propped up against the fence next to the opening.  The original treaty tree had died, and the present tree, which is already fairly old, is a replacement.  Continuing down the horse trail to the south, on one occasion this summer, we came upon a fairly new red Dodge sport car stripped of its tires, and its doors, hood and trunk wide open.  Less than 25 feet farther down the trail we noted a number of items which heightened the mystery.  This was a torn red dress lying next to a pair of beige colored high heeled shoes, lying together side by side.  Tossed in the bushes was a fairly fresh bouquet of six red carnations.  Wordlessly we hurried by.  Farther along after pondering over this, I advised my group to stay together and not to wander off the trail into the bushes.


My objective on this sortie was the site of the original Pell House.  We took a left before we came to the creek, threading our way eastward over a dim path through bushes and undergrowth.  I had visited the site several times previously, but this time I seriously wondered if I could find it because of the verdant growth.  It had been very obvious in the late 70's when a group of City Island collectors had been excavating there.  The had exposed the house foundations and the chimney hearth.  Jerry Jacobsen and I had surveyed these remains because we did not know whether the collectors had done so or not.  Continuing on our way, we passed by the mill site on the old Pell property and the old Pell cold cellar.  The ground was virtually white with shells in this area.  This place, if I am correct, was known as 'Hollywood Gardens,' and my field notes dating back 50 years ago to my high school days identifies a number of collectors who had worked this and other sites in Pelham Bay Park.  The Pell site gave PANYC some concern a few years ago when it was discovered that the City Island collectors were illegally excavating there.  There was a serious suggestion that the parks department seal the site under a covering of asphalt as protection against further excavations.  The caretaker informed me that he, as a single individual and not young, was no match for several tough young men armed with shovels.  On Jerry Jacobson's and my surveying visit, we were confronted, surrounded from two directions, by armed policemen who were told to watch the site.  All this is past history now, because it is quite evident that no one had disturbed the site recently, and it is fully overgrown with brush, etc.  In fact, I doubt that the Pell site could be located without a guide.  A.C. Parker in his Archaeological History of New York (1922, p. 490) notes that there was a burial place in this vicinity.  Returning to the Bartow-Pell Mansion, we continue on the road toward Shore Road, where about opposite the Pell Treaty Tree we proceed northeastward on the horse trail.  Not far from the mansion road was reportedly what may have been the principal village of the local Siwanoy Indians.  The Reverend W.R. Blackie investigated here for the Museum of American Indian, Heye Foundation in the 1920's.  Ed Kaeser excavated the 'Archery Range' site in this locale.  It is marked today by a scatter of shells, and some disturbances in the terrain surface."  Solecki, Ralph, A Contemporary View of Some Archaeological Sites in New York City, Professional Archaeologists of New York city, Newsletter No. 26, pp. 9-10 (Nov. 1985) available at http://www.panycarchaeology.org/newsletters/PANYC%20Newsletter%20026.pdf (visited Mar. 3, 2014).  See also "William Stiles:  Field Notes, Throgs Neck, Hollywood Gardens, Pelham Bay, 1930-1940, Box 275, Folder 9" in O'Neal, Jennifer & Menyuk, Rachel, Museum of the American Indian / Heye Foundation Records, 1890-1989, Dec. 13, 2012 available at http://nmai.si.edu/sites/1/files/archivecenter/AC001_maiheye.pdf (visited Mar. 3, 2014). 

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