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, December 25, 2014

Christmas in Pelham in 1926

The Roaring Twenties were well underway in 1926.  It was a simpler time in a simpler town.  The commercial district in today's Village of Pelham would seem incredibly quaint to us today.  Yet, merchants at the time faced the same issues with advertisements running in local newspapers urging Pelhamites to "Buy in Pelham!"  

The merchants of the commercial district and the Chamber of Commerce, however, certainly new how to celebrate Christmas and attract shoppers!  In 1926, town shopkeepers pooled more than $600 (the equivalent of more than $8,000 in today's dollars).  They erected Christmas trees every hundred feet or so covered in red and white lights.  The evergreens extended from Sparks Avenue to a point 200 feet north of today's Lincoln Avenue.  The Chamber of Commerce hired a New York City based "electrical decorative specialist" for the work.  The brightly lit avenue welcomed shoppers Wolfs Lane and Fifth Avenue from December 16, 1926 to the New Year.  

Today's posting to the Historic Pelham Blog is intended as a reminder that many of the festive traditions that Pelhamites embrace have long been embraced by our forbears.  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to one and all!

Front Page, The Pelham Sun "Christmas Edition"
Published on December 17, 1926.  NOTE:  Click
on Image to Enlarge.

Merchants Contribute Over $600 to Provide for Illuminative Decoration Which Will Continue Until the New Year -- Chamber of Commerce Responsible For Movement

Fifth avenue and Wolf's Lane were aglow last night with Christmas lights.  From Sparks avenue all along the main thoroughfare to 200 feet north of Fourth street [today's Lincoln Avenue], the street has been decorated with evergreens.  Every hundred feet or so two clusters of red and white lights are pendant from the guy wires of the street-car system.  The lights will shine every night until the end of the year.  

Credit for Pelham's attractive holiday lighting scheme must be given to the Chamber of Commerce.  President Wm. A. Rose and Messrs. Robert Ghames and Thomas Kennett, with Secretary Mrs. Charles Singer, are the committee responsible for the work.  The energy of Mrs. Singer and Robert Ghames was responsible for raising over $600 by voluntary contributions from the business men of the street.

Joseph Capone, electrical decorative specialist of New York City, obtained the contract for the work.  Pelhamites generally are expressing approval of the progressive spirit shown by the business men."

Source:  CHRISTMAS LIGHTS ON MAIN STREETS SHINE FOR FIRST TIME LAST NIGHT,  The Pelham Sun, Dec. 17, 1926, Vol. 17, No. 42, Third Section, p. 17, cols. 5-6.  

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