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 29, 2014

1910 Article Describes Mansions that Still Stood in What Once Was Pelham Overlooking Long Island Sound

During the nineteenth century, the beauty of the Town of Pelham situated on Long Island Sound attracted wealthy New Yorkers who built stupendous mansions and elegant summer homes on Pelham Neck and along Shore Road overlooking the Sound.  I have written on the histories of many such mansions and their owners.  I have included an extensive list of such postings at the end of today's article.

1868 Map Detail Showing Many Pelham Mansions and Summer Homes. 
Source:  Beers, F.W., Atlas of New York and Vicinity,
p. 35 (NY, NY: F.W. Beers, et al., 1868) (plate entitled
"City Island, Pelham Township, Westchester Co., N.Y.
(with) Town of Pelham, Westchester Co., N.Y.").

Today's Historic Pelham Blog posting transcribes a lengthy exerpt from an article published in 1910 that describes many of the mansions that continued to stand at the time in Pelham Bay Park. 

Colonial and Revolutionary Landmarks.
Homes of Romance, Tradition and Tragedy.

*   *   *


Bartow Mansion -- This beautiful and exclusive mansion, displaying such a striking Grecian front of native cut masonry, is a short distance northeast of the Bartow station of the New Haven road, and perhaps a mile south of Hunter's Island.  Standing on what was the Pell estate, it is but a stone's throw east of the fabled site of the ancient Pell manor house, where the manor courts were held and the tenants of Lord Pell would assemble in the early days.  The grizzled veteran of the forest, which up to a year ago stood on the immense grassy lawn in front of the Bartow mansion, was pointed out as the great tree under whose branches Lord Pell signed the celebrate treaty [sic] with the Indian sachems, on Nov. 14, 1654 [sic], the noted Pell treaty oak.  Closer to the water's edge a tiny cemetery proclaims from the quaint inscriptions on its well-worn tombstones that it is the last resting place of several members of the Pell family.  For a number of summers the courtesy of the Bronx park commissioner has enabled the Crippled Children's Asscoiation to have its little members bask in the warm sun and enjoy the cooling and refreshing breezes that circle around the old Bartow mansion.

De Lancey Mansion -- Almost opposite the twin gate posts of Hunter's Island is 'Greystones,' the former splendid residence of William H. DeLancey.  On the walls used to hang the original portrait of the Hon. Caleb Heathcote, lord of the Manor of Scarsdale.  This native stone building has been known as Hunter's Island Inn, and is situated at a sharp curve in the road that has proved such a thorn in the flesh to scorching automobilists.

Hunter Mansion. -- This elaborate stone residence lately used as an inn stands adjoining the athletic field, not far from the picturesque summer house by the shore, commanding a fine view of City Island across Pelham Bay.  Built in the fifties of the last century, it was styled
Annie's Wood' by the late owner E. Des Brosses Hunter, son of John Hunter of Hunter's Island.  It stands on part of the extensive estate of the Bayards, those well-known early settlers who came from France to escape the Huguenots persecution.  One of the three brothers who came as immigrants was Blathazar Bayard, a Huguenot clergyman, who accounts tell us, was shipped from Rochelle, France, in a hogshead.

Hunter's Island Mansion. -- Standing like a massive stone sentinel on the central crest of Hunter's Island in the very northeastern corner of Pelham Bay Park, this splendid old-time structure occupies the grandest location for a private residence along the whole length of Long Island Sound.  Any one who has seen its striking Ionic colonnade, or the magnificent panorama of sea and land, to be obtained from the upper windows, cannot but be lost in admiration of Mr. Hunter's good taste in the selection of a home.  History tells us that the Hunter family were related to that of Gen. Philip Schuyler, of Revolutionary fame.  Certain it is that the Schuyler mansion stood not so very far removed from that of Mr. Hunter, its site being about a mile to the southwest, back of the present Bartow station, and close to the banks of the Hutchinson River, named after that noted early settler, Anne Hutchinson, who braved the dangers of the primeval forest for a home in Pelham Bay Park, where she could enjoy religious freedom.  At one time the Hunter mansion was the residence of Mr. Henderson, a southern gentleman, once a surgeon in the British army, having seen service in distant Asia.  Under his ownership the mansion was a sumptuous bachelor's hall, and the 'Lonely Lord' is found to have made his homestead the palatial home of th finest prvate art gallery of its time in the whole United States, it having been filled to overflowing with the choicest treasures of the Italian masters.  For a number of years past the Hunter mansion has been the summer home of the Little Mothers' Association, and a more beautiful charity cannt be imagined than allowing these hard-worked children of the poor to have the enjoyments that this island affords.

Lorillard Mansion. -- Now known as the Tallapoosa Club House, this once splendid mansion was erected by Pierre Lorillard, Jr., and is a typical example of the grand array of country residences that once were the pride of lower Westchester County.  Its location, just this side of Pelham Bridge, commanding a glorious view of the waters of the sound, whose waves break almost at its very doors, cannot be excelled for romantic beauty.

Marshall Mansion -- Opposite the upper end of City Island and surrounded by a forest of its own the white Marshall mansion rears its stately walls, and presents in its handsome Grecian columns a most striking and picturesque appearance.  The name 'Hawkswood' still clings to the place, and it will not be long before the snaillike horse car of a bygone age will give place to the modern monorail system now under construction, whose dazzling cars are expected to fly past the Marshall mansion at 135 miles an hour.

Morris Mansion -- A few steps west of the Marshall mansion described above, 'Longwood,' A. Newbold M. Morris' late home, occupies one of the finest locations on Pelham neck with a beautiful view to the south.  Not far from this is the old shingle-sided Bowne homestead, near which, according to one account, was the old Pell residence, so located from the fishhawks' nests, which Mr. Pell felt sure would bring good luck to him and his family.

Ogden Mansion. -- In this remote yet romantic nook, on the easterly of the tiny Twin Islands, only reached by a winding roadway over the hills of Hunter's Island, is the magnificent stone Ogden mansion, for a while the home of one of Jacob A. Riis's settlements.  One cannot be but in rapture over the glorious landscape here, yet how few are allowed to enjoy it.

*    *    * "

Source:  BRONX PARKS -- Colonial and Revolutionary Landmarks -- Homes of Romance, Tradition and Tragedy, The Daily Standard Union [Brooklyn, NY], Oct. 17, 1910, p. 9, cols. 3-6. 
*          *          *          *          *
Below is a list of prior postings that address the histories of some Pelham mansions and their owners.
Mon., May 26, 2014:  James D. Fish and the Mansion He Built that Once Stood on the Most Easterly of the Twin Islands in Pelham

Thu., May 15, 2014:  Edgewood, a Grand 19th Century Estate Owned by Frederick Prime Overlooking Long Island Sound

Mon., Apr. 28, 2014:  More on The Estate Known as "West Neck" that Once Belonged to Philip B. Schuyler

Wed., Apr. 23, 2014:  Philip B. Schuyler and the Burning of the Schuyler Homestead in What Once was Part of Pelham in 1895.

Mon., Mar. 03, 2014:  The Suydam Estate known as “Oakshade” on Shore Road in the Town of Pelham, built by James Augustus Suydam
Wed., Feb. 26, 2014:  Research Regarding "Greystones," The Elegant DeLancey Estate that Became Hunter Island Inn and Once Stood in Pelham on Today's Shore Road.
Fri., Feb. 14, 2014:  Martin Euclid Thompson, the Architect of the Pelham Mansion Known as Hawkswood and the Marshall Mansion.
Thu., Feb. 13, 2014:  More Information About Elisha W. King, the Builder and Original Owner of Hawkswood.
Mon., Feb. 10, 2014:  Hawkswood, Also Known as the Marshall Mansion, Colonial Hotel and Colonial Inn, Once Stood in Pelham Near City Island.
Fri., May 07, 2010:  Image of Hawkswood Published in 1831.
Mon., Apr. 26, 2010:  Public Service Commission Couldn't Find Marshall's Corners in 1909.
Thu., Jun. 28, 2007:  19th Century Notice of Executor's Sale of "Hawkswood" After Death of Elisha W. King.

Fri., Mar. 2, 2007:  A Brief Account by American Author Margaret Deland of Her Education at Pelham Priory in the 19th Century

Thu., Dec. 14, 2006:  Items from Bolton Priory in the Collections of The Henry Luce III Center for the Study of American Culture, The New-York Historical Society.
Tue., Oct. 03, 2006:  Two Interesting Photographs of Bolton Priory in Pelham Manor
Fri., Jul. 28, 2006:  Image of Bolton Priory in the Town of Pelham Published in an 1859 Treatise on Landscape Gardening
Wed., Jul. 26, 2006:  A Brief Account of Visits to Bolton Priory in the Early 1880s

Jul. 5, 2006:  Bricks Laid by Washington Irving and Ivy from Kenilworth Castle at the Bolton Priory in Pelham Manor.
Wed., Apr. 5, 2006:  "Hawkswood", Later Known as the Marshall Mansion on Rodman's Neck in Pelham

Wed., Mar. 15, 2006:  A Biography of Cornelius W. Bolton Published in 1899.

Wed., Mar. 1, 2006:  1909 Real Estate Advertisement Showing Bolton Priory.

Wed., Dec. 7, 2005:  The Sale and Subdivision of the Bolton Priory Estate in the 1950s
Fri., Dec. 02, 2005:  John Hunter of Hunter's Island in Pelham, New York

Tue., Nov. 29, 2005:  An Early, Interesting Photograph of Bolton Priory in the Village of Pelham Manor
Thu., Nov. 3, 2005:  President Martin Van Buren's Visit to Pelham in July 1839.

Tue., Aug. 23, 2005:  Society Scandal: The "Strange" Story of Mrs. Adele Livingston Stevens Who Acquired the Bolton Priory in Pelham Manor
Fri., Jun. 10, 2005:  Pelham's Most Magnificent Wedding Gift: The Bolton Priory.   

Tue., May 3, 2005:  Colonel Frederick Hobbes Allen, An Owner of Bolton Priory in Pelham Manor

Bell, Blake A., A Brief History of Bolton Priory in Pelham Manor, The Pelham Weekly, Vol. XIII, No., 16, Apr. 16, 2004, p. 8, col. 2. 

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