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.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

The October 18, 1927 Unveiling of the Historic Marker at Pelhamdale, the Historic Home at 45 Iden Avenue

October 18, 1927 was a rainy, cold day in Pelham.  Despite the weather, more than one hundred members and guests of the Bronx Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution gathered in front of Pelhamdale, the lovely historic home located at 45 Iden Avenue in the Village of Pelham Manor.  The crowd gathered to watch the unveiling of a historic marker at the home.  The weather was so bad, however, that the unveiling ceremonies were moved indoors.

Portions of the home known as "Pelhamdale" are believed to pre-date the Revolutionary War.  The home once was owned by American Patriot David Jones Pell.  The structure is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The home has been significantly altered since the eighteenth century.

I have written about David J. Pell and the lovely historic home known as Pelhamdale and "Pelham Dale" on numerous occasions.  For a few examples, see:

Tue., Jun. 24, 2014:  Story of Pelhamdale, the Old Stone House by the Bridge, Once Owned by David J. Pell.

Thu., Jan. 03, 2008:  Charges in 1808 Against Lieutenant-Colonel David J. Pell of Pelham that He "Indulges in Inebriety and Habitual Drunkeness." 

Thu., Oct. 26, 2006:  Genealogical Data Regarding David Jones Pell of the Manor of Pelham, Revolutionary War Officer

Mon., Oct 15, 2007:  Town Proclamation Recognizes Celebration of the 250th Anniversary of Pelhamdale at 45 Iden Avenue

Wed., Nov. 02, 2005:  Engraving by P.M. Pirnie Showing Pelhamdale in 1861

Thu., Oct. 13, 2005:  Two More Pelham Ghost Stories

Mon., Sep. 19, 2005:  The Long-Hidden Pastoral Mural Uncovered in Pelhamdale, a Pre-Revolutionary War Home

Mon., Apr. 11, 2005:  More From the William R. Montgomery Glass Negative Collection (includes photograph of fire at Pelhamdale on February 28, 1925)

Tue., Mar. 22, 2005:  The 1790 U.S. Census Information for the Township of Pelham

Today's posting to the Historic Pelham Blog transcribes the text of a newspaper account of the ceremony to unveil a historic marker at the home on October 17 1927.  I previously have published the text of the presentation that William R. Montgomery delivered during the ceremony.  See Tue., Jun. 24, 2014:  Story of Pelhamdale, the Old Stone House by the Bridge, Once Owned by David J. Pell.

Engraving by P.M. Pirnie Showing Pelhamdale in About 1861.
Source:  Office of the Historian of the Town of Pelham.

Pelhamdale on October 14, 2007.
Photograph by the Author.

100 Members and Guests of Bronx Chapter, D.A.R., Attend Event
Site of Encampment of Glover's Army Exactly 151 Years Ago

On the afternoon of Monday [sic; ceremony was held on Tuesday, Oct. 18], in spite of the inclement weather, more than 100 members of Bronx chapter, D. A. R., and guests attended the unveiling of a marker at 'Pelham Dale,' the historic home of the Pell family at Pelham Manor.  The weather prevented the formal out-of-door unveiling ceremonies and the program was re-arranged to be held in the mansion.  The program was arranged by Mrs. C. Lee Peck, regent of Bronx chapter and the invocation given by Rev. Dr. Chas. R. Seymour.

The 'Star Spangled Banner' was sung by Mrs. Felice Chandler and Bruce De Lette accompanied by a Panatrope loaned by Broadbeck and Son, of Mount Vernon, [Editor's Note:  A Panatrope is a large gramophone record player] and the salute to the flag given.

Mrs. Peck, in introducing Mrs. Tower, recalled that just 151 years ago today this was the site of the encampment of Glover's army on the eve of the battle of Pell's Point and that this was also the 150th anniversary of the surrender of Burgoyne, a turning point in the Revolutionary War.

Mrs. William B. Tower, chairman of the committee on Preservation of Historic Spots, spoke of the action of the New York state legislature in approving $75,000 to be used in placing historic monuments and tablets throughout the state in connection with the sesquicentennial of American independence.  She presented Mrs. Floyd O. Guion (formerly Elsie Pell), a direct descendant of Lord Pell.  She was attired in dainty colonial costume and after courtsying [sic] to Mrs. Peck read this inscription which is on the marker:

'Pelham Dale'
Built before 1776
Oldest House in Pelham
Home of Colonel David J. Pell,
American Patriot

William R. Montgomery, of the Esplanade, Pelham Manor, the authority for local history, gave an interesting account, both historic and traditional, of the old mansion while in the possession of the Pell family and also the Hay family.  One charming legend was about an Indian girl, who on an October night, 151 years ago, speeded along the trail to the stone house by the bridge and kept rapping until she aroused David Pell and informed him that the British were landing at Pell's Point.  As a result Glover's regiment surprised and routed them thus permitting Washington to escape up the Bronx river to White Plains.  

Mr. Montgomery gave David J. Pell's Revolutionary War record and recalled the fact that he was only 14 years old when the battle of Pell's Point was fought.

This house was the meeting and show place of Westchester county and the center of neutral territory during the war.  The basement was originally the first floor and there is an exquisitely carved doorway still in perfect condition.  Among the other architectural beauties is the curved reception hall with its curved door.  

A plaque in the wall facing Sixth street contains the Hay coat of arms and was one of the few crests granted by the king for meritorious service.  Near the Boy Scout cabin is part of the dead trunk of a chestnut tree more than 150 years old which gave shelter to Howe and his officers.

For years the house has been in the hands of various owners who allowed it to deteriorate and who even sold its beautiful crystal chandeliers and old boxwood hedges but soon after the present owners, Mr. and Mrs. H. E. Wagner purchased the place they set to work to bring the mansion back to its original appearance and to revive that personality hurt by war, pillage and later depredations.

Mrs. Chandler entertained delightfully with a song 'Philosophy' and as an encore sang a duet with Bruce De Lette, the selection being entitled 'Veronique.' 

The guest of honor was Ogden Philip Pell, a grandson of David J. Pell.  Ogden Pell was born in 1835 on this estate in an adjoining house which has since been destroyed by fire.

Two great-granddaughters of David J. Pell, Mrs. Isaac S. Lawrence of Newark, N. J. and Miss Adeline M. Turnbull of New York city, spoke, Mrs. Lawrence showed some treasured heirlooms, among them being the white satin bridal slippers which had been worn by Mrs. David J. Pell in 1790 and every bride since who was a direct descendant.  She also brought her wedding fan, an exquisite lace head dress, an embroidered night cap, and a wonderful watch given to Lord Pell by Charles II.  

Mrs. Lawrence, as a tribute to the interest taken by Mr. and Mrs. Wagner presented to them a portrait of her grandfather, Stephen Sneden Pell.  

Other members of the Pell family present were Mr. and Mrs. Stephen H. P. Pell, Mr. and Mrs. Howland H. Pell, Mrs. Abijah Pell and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. W. F. S. Pell and daughters, Miss Muriel and Mrs. Floyd O. Guion, Mr. and Mrs. Howard Kissam Pell, Martha Pell.

Mrs. Samuel J. Kramer, state regent of the D. A. R., who is a resident of Pelham, was called out of town, so was not able to be present.  

Reginald Pelham Bolton, who revised Bolton's History of Westchester County, also hoped to be present but could not.

In closing, the regent expressed the appreciation of Bronx chapter to Mr. and Mrs. Wagner and Mr. De Lette for their cooperation and also to the East Side Improvement association for raising their flag on McClellan avenue in honor of the occasion.

Tea and coffee were served from a beautifully appointed table in the dining room, Mrs. W. H. Doyle and Mrs. W. E. Margerin pouring.  

Mrs. Arthur M. Smith was chairman of the hostesses assisted by:  Mr. John F. Almquist, Mrs. Arthur G. Cailler, Mrs. W. H. Doyle, Mrs. C. J. Hust, Mrs. G. E. Hancock, Mrs. G. A. Kuhner, Miss Florence D. Leonard, Mrs. W. E. Margerin, Mrs. Nelson W. McCoombe, Mrs. S. C. Keown, Miss Jessie E. Parkhurst, Mrs. C. A. Speakman and Mrs. Charles A. Tier."

Source:  UNVEIL MARKER "PELHAM DALE", The Daily Argus [Mount Vernon, NY] Oct. 19, 1927, No. 11,556, p. 6, cols. 3-4.  

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At 12:23 PM, Anonymous ted pierot said...

mrs floyd o guion (formerly elsie pell) was my grandmother...


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