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, September 29, 2014

The Heights Tells North Pelham: So What if We Pulled a Fast One and Renamed the Train Station? Get Over It!

I have written about how Pelhamville "lost" its name and became the Village of North Pelham.  The settlement of "Pelham Heights," consisting of about two dozen residents, successfully incorporated as the "Village of Pelham" in a transparent attempt to convince authorities to change the names of the local post office and train station to "Pelham" so that they could improve their chances to sell their lots in The Heights -- rather than accepting the name "Pelhamville."  The residents of Pelhamville were livid and felt they had been duped.  For examples of previous articles addressing this issue, see:

Fri., Apr. 15, 2005:  How Pelhamville "Lost" Its Name!

Tue., July 01, 2014:  Why Do We Call It the Village of Pelham Instead of Pelhamville? Because We Were Duped!

Pelhamville residents incorporated the Village of North Pelham after the incident, but continued to seethe over the slight.  Indeed, at about the time of the tenth anniversary of the incorporation of the Village of North Pelham, local residents began to "agitate" to change the name of the Town's New Haven Line train station from "Pelham" to "North Pelham."  

The Village of Pelham, of course, would have none of it.  On December 19, 1906, the Board of Trustees of the Village of Pelham (The Heights) passed a resolution protesting any such name change.  The resolution, presumably, was for distribution to railroad authorities to ensure that the Village of North Pelham would not be able to "pull a fast one" and obtain a name-change like that achieved by The Heights a decade before. . . . 

Lockwood Barr made passing reference to the 1906 resolution, without explaining its context, in his history of the Town of Pelham published in 1946.  He wrote:

"Concerning the Pelham Station:  'Prior to July 1, 1896, this Station was known as Pelhamville, and on that date, was changed to Pelham.  In 1906, there was some agitation on the part of the Village of North Pelham, to have the name changed to North Pelham, due to the fact that the station property was located in both the Village of North Pelham and the Village of Pelham--the westbound station being in the former and the eastbound station in the latter village.  The following is quoted from a resolution adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Pelham, December 19, 1906:  'Whereas the boundary line between the Villages of Pelham and North Pelham is located in the center of the railroad property, the two stations are located in different villages and have always been regarded as town stations, being used by the residents of the Villages of Pelham, Pelham Manor and North Pelham, and the unincorporated section of the town; and Whereas the name of the station and Post Office which was originally Pelhamville, was changed to Pelham several years ago, upon a petition which originated in the Village of North Pelham; and, Whereas the property interests in the Village of North Pelham represents less than one-third of the total assessed valuation in the Town; Be it resolved that the authorities of the Village of Pelham protest against any change of the name of this station.'"

Source:  Barr, Lockwood Anderson, A Brief, But Most Complete & True Account of the Settlement of the Ancient Town of Pelham Westchester County, State of New York Known One Time Well & Favourably as the Lordshipp & Manour of Pelham Also The Story of the Three Modern Villages Called The Pelhams,  pp. 146-47 (The Dietz Press, Inc. 1946) (Library of Congress Control Number 47003441, Library of Congress Call Number F129.P38B3).

Despite "agitation" by residents of the area formerly known as Pelhamville, no name change ensued.  

Map of Pelhamville Published in 1868.
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,
pg. 36 (NY, NY: Beers, Ellis & Soule, 1868) (Detail from
Page 36 Map Entitled "Town of New Rochelle,
Westchester Co., N.Y. (With) Pelhamville).

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