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.

Friday, May 30, 2014

1873 County Board of Supervisors Resolutions Authorizing Construction of Bridge Over the Hutchinson River on Boston Post Road


Recently I ran across the records of the Westchester County Board of Supervisors reflecting their work in 1873 to authorize the Towns of Pelham and Eastchester to issue bonds and to construct a bridge across Eastchester creek (where it crosses Boston Post Road), partly in Pelham and partly in the then-adjoining Town of Eastchester.  These records reflect an important effort to improve the infrastructure to improve the Web of roadways that then was beginning to connect New York City with the Town of Pelham (and with surrounding communities). 

 
Detail from 1881 Bromley Map Showing at Bottom, Center,
The Bridge Over the Hutchinson River Authorized in 1873.

The material is quoted immediately below, followed by citations to the source.

"Friday, January 16, 1874 . . . . . 

Mr. Hyatt presented the following application of the town officers of Pelham, for authority to borrow money upon the credit of said town.

TOWN OF PELHAM,
Westchester County.  

Whereas, At a meeting of the Commissioners of Highways, the Town Clerk and Justices of the Peace of said town, held December 27, 1873, all of the said officers being duly notified to attend said meeting, and a majority thereof having so attended; it was,

Resolved, That the Supervisor of said town, for and with the consent of the Commissioners of Highways, Town Clerk and Justices of the Peace aforesaid, be authorized to borrow the sum of $3,000 for and upon the credit of said town, to build a bridge across Eastchester creek, partly in said town of Pelham, and partly in the adjoining town of Eastchester in said County, and to petition the Board of Supervisors of said County to prescribe the form of obligation to be issued for such loan, and the time and place of payment.  And that the said Board of Supervisors shall impose upon the taxable property of the said town of Pelham, sufficient tax to pay said principal and interest of such obligation according to the terms and conditions thereof, pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 855, Laws of New York, 1869.  

JEROME BELL,

Town Clerk.

WM. H. SPARKS,
THEODORE PERESSONI,
DAVID CARLL,
JOSEPH LYON, 

Justices of Peace.

JOHN BAXTER,
ELISHA BOOTH,
THOMAS HEWITT,

Commissioners of Highways.

I hereby certify that the foregoing resolution was unanimously adopted at a meeting of the Board of Town officers and commissioners of highways of the town of Pelham, held December 27, 1873.

JEROME BELL,

Chief Clerk.

Referred to the Judiciary Committee.

Mr. PEMBERTON presented the following application of the town officers of Eastchester for authority to borrow money on the credit of said town.

TOWN OF EASTCHESTER,
Westchester County.

Whereas, At a meeting of the Commissioners of Highways, the Town Clerk and Justices of the Peace of said town, duly held at the Town Clerk's Office in said town, on the 26th of December, 1873, all of the said officers being duly notified to attend said meeting, and a majority thereof having so attended; it was

Resolved, That the Supervisor of said town, by and with the consent of the Commissioners of Highways, Town Clerk, and Justices of the Peace aforesaid, be, authorized to borrow the sum of $3,000 for and upon the credit of said town, to build a bridge across Eastchester creek, partly in said town, and partly in the adjoining town of Pelham in said county.  And to petition the Board of Supervisors of said County, to prescribe the form of obligation to be issued for such loan, and the time and place of payment; and that the said Board of Supervisors shall impose upon the taxable property of the said town of Eastchester sufficient tax to pay said principal and interest of such obligation according to the terms and conditions thereof, pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 855, of the laws of the State of New York, 1869.

ADAM PALM JR., 
ROBERT WILKEY,
ISAAC RICHARDS,

Commissioners of Highways.

ROBERT W. EDWARDS,
ROBERT D. COOPER,
JOHN STEVENS,
SAMUEL FEE.

Justices of the Peace.

ROBERT W. FOSTER,

Town Clerk.

Referred to the Judiciary Committee."

Source:  Johnson, Charles E., Clerk, Proceedings of the Board of Supervisors of the County of Westchester For the Year 1873, pp. 482-85 (NY, NY:  James Sutton & Co. 1874).


"2 O'CLOCK, P.M. [Friday, January 16, 1874]

The Board re-assembled.

Present -- F.M. CARPENTER, Chairman, and a quorum of members.

Mr. HUNT, from the Judiciary Committee, to which was referred the application of the town officers of Eastchester, for authority to borrow money on the credit of said town, presented the following report thereon:

To the Board of Supervisors:

The Judiciary Committee, to whom was referred the application of the Justices of the Peace, Town Clerk, and Commissioners of Highways of the town of Eastchester, praying for authority to borrow on the credit of said town, the sum of $3,000, for the purpose of building a bridge over Eastchester creek, partly in the town of Eastchester, and partly in the town of Pelham, respectfully report in favor of granting the sum, and recommend the adoption of the following resolution:

Resolved, That the Supervisor of the town of Eastchester be and he hereby is authorized with the consent of the Justices of the Peace, Town Clerk, and Commissioners of Highways of said town, to borrow on the credit of said town, the sum of $3,000, for the purpose of building a bridge across Eastchester creek (where it crosses Boston Post Road), partly in said town and partly in the adjoining town of Pelham, in said county, and the abutments and draw to said bridge in said county.  That the bonds or obligations to be required to secure such loan shall be executed by the Supervisor and Town Clerk of said town, under the seal of said town, and shall be of the denomination of $500 each, and bear interest respectively at the rate of seven per cent. per annum; that $1,000 of said principal sum shall be made payable on the first day of February, 1875, and the further sum of $1,000 on the first day of February in each and every year thereafter, until the whole principal shall be paid, with interest thereon, payable semi-annually on the 1st days of February and August in each year after the dates of said bonds.

The said bonds and interest shall be made payable at such place as the Supervisor may designate in the town of Eastchester or in the city of New York, and the consent of the Justices of the Peace, Town Clerk, and Commissioners of Highways of said town to the issuing thereof shall be indorsed on said bonds or obligations, and upon each and every one of them.  

DANIEL HUNT,
G.W. WESLEY, 
E.G. SUTHERLAND, 
A.R. CLARK,

Judiciary Commimttee.

The report was considered and adopted, two-thirds of all the members elected to the Board, including the Supervisor of Eastchester, voting in favor thereof, as follows:

Ayes -- Messrs. Birney, Brown, F. M. Carpenter, Jesse G. Carpenter, Clark, Davids, Dusenberry, Fish, Hoag, Hopkins, Hunt, Hyatt, Lunny, Pemberton, Rockwell, Secor, Sutherland, Tompkins, Wesley, Willets, Willsea -- 21

Mr. HUNT, from the Judiciary Committee, to which was referred the application of the town officers of Pelham to borrow money upon the credit of said town, presented the following report thereon:

To the Board of Supervisors:

The Judiciary Committee, to whom was referred the application of the Justices of the Peace, Town Clerk and Commissioners of Highways of the town of Pelham, praying for authority to borrow on the credit of said town, the sum of $3,000, for the purpose of building a bridge over Eastchester Creek, partly in the town of Eastchester, and partly in the town of Pelham, respectfully report in favor of granting the same, and recommend the adoption of the following resolution:

Resolved, That the Supervisor of the town of Pelham be and he is hereby authorized with the consent of the Justices of the Peace, Town Clerk and Commissioners of Highways of said town, to borrow on the credit of said town, the sum of $3,000, for the purpose of building a bridge across Eastchester Creek (where it crosses the Boston Post Road), partly in the town of Pelham and partly in the adjoining town of Eastchester in said County of Westchester, and the abutments and draw to said bridge.  That the bonds or obligations to be issued to secure such loan shall be executed by the Supervisor and Town Clerk of said town under the seal of said town, and shall be of the denomination of $500 each, and bear interest respectively at the rate of seven per cent. per annum.  That $1,000 of said principal sum shall be made payable on the 1st day of February in each and every year thereafter until the whole principal shall be paid, with interest thereon, payable semi-annually, on the first days of February and August in each year, after the dates of said bonds.  The said bonds and interest shall be made payable at such place as the Supervisor may designate, in the town of Pelham or in the city of New York, and the consent of the Justices of the Peace, Town Clerk and commissioners of highways of said town to the issuing thereof shall be endorsed on said bonds or obligations and upon each and every one of them.

DANIEL HUNT,
G.W. WESLEY,
E.G. SUTHERLAND,
A.R. CLARK.

Judiciary Committee.

The report was considered and adopted, two-thirds of all the members elected to the Board, including the Supervisor of Pelham voting in favor thereof as follows:

Ayes -- Messrs. Birney, Brown, F.M. Carpenter, Jesse G. Carpenter, Clark, Davids, C. R. Dusenberry, Fish, Hoag, Hopkins, Hunt, Hyatt, Lunny, Pemberton, Rockwell, Secor, Sutherland, Tompkins, Wesley, Willets and Willsea -- 21."

Source:  Johnson, Charles E., Clerk, Proceedings of the Board of Supervisors of the County of Westchester For the Year 1873, pp. 495-98 (NY, NY:  James Sutton & Co. 1874). 

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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. 

"BRONX PARKS.
-----
Colonial and Revolutionary Landmarks.
-----
Homes of Romance, Tradition and Tragedy.
-----

*   *   *

PELHAM BAY PARK.

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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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Description of City Island in the Town of Pelham Published in 1868


Before its annexation by New York City in the mid-1890's, City Island was part of the Town of Pelham.  The area that included City Island, surrounding islands and the mainland adjacent to the area was considered one of the most magnificent and beautiful areas anywhere near New York City.  With the creation of Pelham Bay Park, much of the area has been preserved in a lovely, pristine state.

I have written on many occasions about City Island and various aspects of its history.  I have included a lengthy list of such postings with links at the end of this brief article.  

Today's posting to the Historic Pelham Blog transcribes an article that appeared in the Eastern State Journal on September 18, 1868 describing City Island.  At the time, the bucolic island had a population of about 800 people -- the vast majority of the entire population of the Town of Pelham.




Map of Town of Pelham with Inset of City Island, 1868.
Source:  Beers, F.W., Atlas of New York and Vicinity, p. 35
(NY, NY:  Beers, Ellis & Soule, 1868).

"CITY ISLAND.
-----
ITS RESOURCES - ATTRACTIONS - AND THE NEW BRIDGE.
-----

This neck of land, which projects from the main land at Pelham, is one of the most pleasant and desirable locations of the many which abound on the shores of Westchester County.  There is a population of eight hundred souls, two churches, public schools, one hundred dwellings, three hotels, two shipyards, with railways for hauling out vessels, and all the necessary appliances for building or repairing vessels, of which there is a good deal done.  It was at the yards on the Island that the celebrate yacht, Vesta, was built; and the Henrietta, the property of James Gordon Bennett, Jr., was lengthened previous to her famous ocean race.  It is from this Island, also, that our famous Saddle Rock oysters are brought, and for which the inhabitants of New York and the surrounding country are indebted.  

The approach to the Island from the main land is from New Rochelle, or Mount Vernon Station, a distance of about four miles, through a magnificent country, studded with some of the most beautiful farms in our State, and forms a most desirable drive of fifteen or twenty minutes, which to those visiting the Island from the city, more especially, is a pleasant relaxation from the heat, dust, and inconvenience of the cars.

Until the present year, the means of access to the Island from the main shore was by a boat or a large barge, which was propelled by means of ropes, stretched from one shore to the other, and by which the boat was drawn forward and back; but the more enterprising and public spirited citizens of the Island have recently formed a stock-company, and have constructed a bridge, of a solid and substantial character, thus affording the islanders and those visiting them a rapid and safe means of transit, and at a small cost -- for of course it is a toll bridge.

The dimentions [sic] of the bridge are a span of one thousand feet, twenty-four feet in width, with a draw of one hundred and twenty-eight feet, leaving a passage-way for vessels of forty-two feet in width.

The directors of the Bridge Company are Messrs. George W. Horton, Stephen D. Horton, David Carll, Joshua Leviness, and Benjamin Hegeman -- names which are a sure guarantee for the proper official management of the Company.  The bridge has been erected at a cost of nearly or quite thirty five-thousand dollars.

After crossing over to the Island you have before you a splendid shell road, running the length of the Island -- to which the famed Coney Island road, that our neighbors of the City of Churches speak so proudly of, will hardly compare, for the making of fast time.

The Island consists of two hundred and seventy acres, is one and a quarter mile long, by from one quarter to a half mile wide; and the soil is said to be rich and productive to a great degree.  The steamboat Meta plies to and from New York city, daily; and the Neversink touches at the Island on Sundays.  To these means of access there is about to be added a railroad from Harlem Bridge to New Rochelle, which will run within three-fourths of a mile from City Island Bridge, and where a depot will be built for passengers vising the Island.

To say of our readers in search of a day's pleasure, or desiring a relaxation from the cares of business, or those fond of the beautiful, the picturesque, and the romantic, we would recommend to them a visit to the shores of City Island, and its hospitable inhabitants, for besides being the principal harbor on Long Island Sound for wind-bound vessels -- as many as one hundred and fifty having been there at one time -- is it not there where you can find good bathing on hard sand -- in salt water!  There are plenty of boats, fish, fishing-tackle, clams, oysters, and many good things to enjoy and consume, which make a trip like this so enjoyable; to say nothing of the bass-fishing and the duck-shooting in the Fall and Winter.

Heretofore the residents owning property on the Island have not been disposed to sell, prefering [sic] to enjoy their inheritances in apparent seclusion; but as several Summer residences have been erected during the present year, a disposition for still further improvement has shown itself, and we learn upon inquiring that some choice building sites will be offered for sale during the coming Spring."

Source:  CITY ISLAND - ITS RESOURCES - ATTRACTIONS - AND THE NEW BRIDGE, Eastern State Journal [White Plains, NY], Vol. XXIV, No. 21, Sep. 18, 1868, p. 2, cols.  4-5.

*          *          *          *          *

Below are links to a host of prior postings that address, in one fashion or another, aspects of the history of City Island.

Mon., Apr. 07, 2014:  History of A Few of the Earliest Public Schools in the Town of Pelham

 Tue., Feb. 04, 2014:  Pelham: Once Oyster Capital of the World.

Thu., May 13, 2010:  More on the Early History of the Pelham and City Island Horse Railroad.  

Thu., Apr. 29, 2010:  City Islanders Complain and Force the Operators of Their Horse Railroad to Agree to Replace Antiquated Cars in 1908.  

Wed., Apr. 28, 2010:  Efforts by the Pelham Park Horse Railroad to Expand and Develop a Trolley Car Line on Shore Road in 1897.

 Tue., Apr. 27, 2010:  New York City's Interborough Rapid Transit Company Sued to Foreclose a Mortgage on the Horse Railroad in 1911.  

Mon., Apr. 26, 2010:  Public Service Commission Couldn't Find Marshall's Corners in 1909.  

Fri., Mar. 26, 2010:  Captain Joshua Leviness Defies the New York Legislature and Dredges Oysters with a Steamer in 1878

Thu., Mar. 25, 2010:  Discovery of "The Great Oyster Bed" in Long Island Sound in 1859

Wed., Mar. 24, 2010:  The Oyster War of 1884 Between Glen Cove and City Island Intensifies.

Tue., Mar. 23, 2010:  Yet Another "Oyster War" in 1884; Glen Cove Officials Feud with City Island and Connecticut Oystermen.

Mon., Mar. 22, 2010:  77-Year Old City Island Oysterman Joshua Leviness Reminisces in Testimony Provided in 1884.

Fri., Mar. 19, 2010:  The New York Legislature Stepped Into the Oyster War on Long Island Sound in 1895.

Thu., Mar. 18, 2010:  1859 Town of Huntington Record Reflecting Dispute with City Island Oystermen.

Wed., Mar. 17, 2010:  Report of September 13, 1884 Tour of Oyster Beds by Captain Joshua Leviness of City Island.

Tue., March 16, 2010:  More on 19th Century Oystering in Pelham - Descriptions of Oyster Beds Off Hart Island, City Island and in Pelham Bay Published in 1887.

 Mon., Mar. 15, 2010:  More on 19th Century City Island Oyster Industry - City Island Oystermen Complaint of Pollution.

Fri., Mar. 12, 2010:  Early History of Oystering in the Waters Off City Island in the Town of Pelham.

 Thu., Mar. 11, 2010:  The "Great Oyster War" Between City Island and Tarrytown in 1877 and 1878.

Wed., Mar. 10, 2010:  1899 Article About City Island's New Bridge Describes History of Area and Includes Wonderful Images

Fri., Mar. 5, 2010:  Construction of the City Island Horse Railroad in 1887.  

Thu., Mar. 4, 2010:  Beginnings of Horse Railroad - News from Pelham and City Island Published in 1884.

Wed., Mar. 3, 2010:  1879 Advertisement for Robert J. Vickery's City Island Stage Line, A Predecessor to the City Island Horse Railroad.

Tue., Mar. 2, 2010:  1901 Report Indicated that The Flynn Syndicate Planned to Buy the Pelham Bay Park & City Island Horse Car Line.

Mon., Mar. 1, 2010:  Flynn Syndicate Buys the City Island Horse Car Line in 1907 to Incorporate It Into Electric Trolley Line.

Fri., Feb. 26, 2010:  1913 Decision of Public Service Commission to Allow Reorganization of City Island Horse Railroad for Electrification.

Thu., Feb. 25, 2010:  Photograph of Patrick Byrnes and Article About His Retirement of the City Island Horse Car in 1914.  

Wed., Feb. 24, 2010:  Attempted Suicide of City Island's Long-Time Horse Car Driver.

Wed., Feb. 3, 2010:  Early Information Published in 1885 About the Organization of the "City Island Railroad", a Horse Railroad from Bartow Station to City Island.

Tue., Feb. 2, 2010:  Information About the Pelham Park Railroad at its Outset.

Fri., Jan. 22, 2010:  1884 Account of Early Origins of Horse Railroad Between Bartow Station and City Island.
Mon., Jan. 4, 2010:  1888 Local News Account Describes Altercation on the Horse Railroad Running from Bartow Station to City Island.

Thu., Dec. 31, 2009:  1887 Election of the Board of Directors of The City Island and Pelham Park Horse Railroad Company.

Thu., Dec. 31, 2009:  Obituary of David Carll, Master Shipbuilder on City Island in the Town of Pelham

Thu., Dec. 3, 2009:  Pelham News on May 30, 1884 Including Allegations of Oyster Larceny and Meeting of the Pelhamville Improvement Association.

Wed., Dec. 2, 2009:  Accident on Horse-Car of the Pelham Park Railroad Line in 1889.

Tue., Dec. 01, 2009:  Brief History of City Island Published in 1901.

Mon., Oct. 05, 2009:  1878 Account of Results of Sloop Race Held Off the Pelham Shores

Fri., Sep. 18, 2009:  City Island News Published in January, 1882.   

Mon., Sep. 7, 2009:  More on the Ejectment of Henry Piepgras from Land Beneath the Waters Surrounding City Island

Tue., Sep. 1, 2009:  Pelham News on February 29, 1884 Including Talk of Constructing a New Horse Railroad from Bartow to City Island.  

Tue., Aug. 11, 2009:  News of Pelham Manor and City Island Published on July 14, 1882.  

Wed., Jan. 28, 2009:  Biography of Archibald Robertson, Another Resident of City Island When it Was Part of the Town of Pelham.

Fri., Jan. 23, 2009:  Biography of Jacob Smith of City Island, Proprietor of the Macedonian Hotel.

Mon., Jan. 07, 2008:  1878 Article Describing the "Attractions of Little-Known City Island" in the Town of Pelham.  

Wed., Dec. 05, 2007:  Photograph of the Old Wooden City Island Bridge.

 Mon., July 30, 2007: 1885 Report Notes Decline of Oyster Industry Near City Island in the Town of Pelham

Fri., Jul. 27, 2007:  Possible Origins of the Oyster Feud Between City Islanders and Huntington, Long Island.

Thu., Jul. 26, 2007:  Pelham's City Island Oystermen Feud with Long Islanders in 1869.

Fri., Apr. 13, 2007:  Oystermen of City Island (When it Was Part of the Town of Pelham) Pioneered Oyster Cultivation.  
Thu., Apr. 12, 2007:  Advertisement Offering Lots on City Island Belonging to Peter Harrison for Sale in 1775

Tue., Jan. 30, 2007:  Interesting Advertisement for Sale of Land on City Island in the Town of Pelham in 1800.  

Mon., Jan. 29, 2007:  Palmer Family Offers One Thirtieth of City Island for Sale in 1785

Fri., Jan. 26, 2007:  A History of the Early Years of City Island When it Was Part of the Town of Pelham, Published in 1927.

Thu., Jan. 25, 2007:  A Brief Account of the Early History of City Island, Published in 1909.

Mon., Nov. 27, 2006:  The 19th Century Ejectment of Henry Piepgras from Land Beneath the Waters Surrounding City Island.

Mon., Sep. 18, 2006:  A Brief Description of Oystering in Eastchester Bay and at Pelham Published in 1881.  

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Pelham Town Supervisor Benjamin Hegeman Who Served from 1862 Until 1873



Benjamin F. Hegeman was a resident of City Island who served as the Town Supervisor of the Town of Pelham, New York from 1862 until 1873.  See 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, p. 172 (The Dietz Press, Inc. 1946) (Library of Congress Control Number 47003441, Library of Congress Call Number F129.P38B3). 

According to family genealogists, Benjamin Hegeman was born March 2, 1827 in Bayville, Queens County, Long Island, NY.  He died at the age of 46 on April 23, 1873 on City Island, Town of Pelham, Westchester County, New York.  

Benjamin Hegeman married Elizabeth Craft on December 30, 1851 in Oyster Bay, Long Island, NY.  Elizabeth Craft Hegeman was born on August 19, 1828 in Locust Valley, Queens County, Long Island, New York.  Elizabeth lived to the age of 87 and died on February 27, 1916 on City Island, Borough of The Bronx, New York.  The couple had a large family of twelve children, all of whom were born on City Island in the Town of Pelham, County of Westchester, NY.  Their children included:

1. Ada A Hegeman,  b. 17 Apr 1853, Pelham, Westchester, New York,  d. 14 Feb 1904, City Island, Bronx, New York  (Age 50 years)

2. Alice C Hegeman,  b. 8 Sep 1854, Pelham, Westchester, New York,  d. 19 Apr 1928, City Island, Bronx, New York  (Age 73 years)

3. John B Hegeman,  b. 4 Mar 1856, Pelham, Westchester, New York,  d. 23 Mar 1864, Oyster Bay, Queens Co., LI, NY  (Age 8 years)

4. Hannah M Hegeman,  b. 14 Jul 1857, Pelham, Westchester, New York,  d. 9 Mar 1911  (Age 53 years)

5. Georgiana A Hegeman,  b. 15 Aug 1859, Pelham, Westchester, New York,  d. 8 Jun 1933  (Age 73 years)

6. Grace Hegeman, b. 15 Nov 1861, Pelham, Westchester, New York, d. 4 Oct 1862, Oyster Bay, Queens Co., LI, NY  (Age 10 months)

7. Herbert A Hegeman, b. 8 Mar 1862, Pelham, Westchester, New York, d. 19 Apr 1937, City Island, Bronx, New York  (Age 75 years)

8. John B Hegeman, b. 24 Sep 1864, Pelham, Westchester, New York, d. 9 Mar 1928, City Island, Bronx, New York  (Age 63 years)

9. Cora G Hegeman, b. 8 Apr 1866, Pelham, Westchester, New York, d. 7 Mar 1877, City Island, Bronx, New York  (Age 10 years)

10. Sarah E Hegeman, b. 24 Oct 1868, Pelham, Westchester, New York, d. 1 Oct 1926  (Age 57 years)

11. Charlotte Hegeman, b. 9 Aug 1870, Pelham, Westchester, New York, d. 22 Nov 1948, Torrington, Litchfield, Connecticut  (Age 78 years)

12. Benjamin H Hegeman, b. 8 Mar 1873, Pelham, Westchester, New York, d. 5 Mar 1892, City Island, Bronx, New York  (Age 18 years).  

In addition to his service as Town Supervisor of the Town of Pelham for a decade, Benjamin Hegeman was a founder of Pelham Masonic Lodge No. 712 on City Island in the Town of New York in 1871.  According to one account of the history of that lodge:

"The history of Pelham Lodge extends back to 1871, when Pelham Lodge No. 712 was founded. The history comes in two parts. The first part I obtained from a copy of the 1971 100th Anniversary Celebration journal, written by W:. James O. Payne and the second part from R.W:. Donald P. Mattson, which he has written himself.

A group of City Island Masons on or about 1870 decided to form their own lodge.  Thereafter, Grand Lodge sent them a dispensation and Pelham Lodge was born.  The charter members were: D.W:. Billar, Jerome Bell, John Bowman, Wm. F. Billar, Oswald Bergan, David Carll, John O. Fordham, James Hyatt, Benjamin Hegeman, Stephen D. Leviness, Frederick Price, Charles H. Stringham, and A.B. Wood. 

The first meeting, attended by 12 members and 1 visitor, was held on Saturday, February 4, 1871 with John O. Fordham as Master.  By-laws were drafted and it was voted to meet every Tuesday night.  A dispensation cost of $80.00 was paid and Pelham Lodge became part of the Ninth Masonic District.  The lodge rooms were over a carpenter shop south of where the Island Pub is now located, in a building owned by a Mr. Baxter who later became a Brother.  Rent was $100.00 a year without heat and the cost of coal was $6.00 per ton. 

At the fifth meeting on February 28, 1871, By-laws were adopted, and at the eighth meeting, Pelham held its first Master Mason's Degree, at which 3 candidates were raised.  The first application to be received was that of Edward L. Wooden, age 25, teacher at City Island's one-room, one-teacher schoolhouse. 

During Pelham's first year, 13 Brothers were raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason, making a total of 31 members, 2 Fellowcrafts, and 3 Entered Apprentices.  W:. Bro. John O. Fordham was re-elected Master for another year on December 19, 1871.  The second Worshipful Master of Pelham Lodge was S. D. Levenap, elected December 24, 1872.  Elections were held for the offices of Worshipful Master, Senior Warden, Junior Warden, Senior Deacon, Junior Deacon, Secretary, and Treasurer. 

On April 25, 1873, a special meeting was called to arrange for a suitable steamboat to carry the remains of Brother Benjamin Hegeman to its resting place in Bayville.  The Steamboat HARLEM was chartered, piloted by Captain Longstreet. 

W:. John O. Fordham was installed as Master for the coming year at a public installation on December 26, 1873. After the Civil War, the Grand Master of the State of New York asked for a donation to help the Masonic Brothers of the South.  Thirty dollars was raised and forwarded to the Grand Secretary and subsequently a letter acknowledging the receipt of this money was received from Louisiana Relief Lodge #1. 

There were no meetings from May 13th to December 23rd, 1884, as there was a fire in the building that housed the lodge.  The first destroyed some of the furniture, for which the lodge collected $375.00 on an $800.00 policy. 

On December 6, 1887, Pelham Lodge was notified of its indebtedness to the Grand Lodge of New York for $275.00 for building the 23rd Street Masonic Temple.  To pay this amount, Pelham Lodge took out a loan, putting up the lodge furniture for security. 

On January 7, 1888, the members of Pelham voted to move to Booth's Hall, its present location, and requested the Right Worshipful District Deputy Grand Master to inspect the new lodge rooms before they completed the deal.  Rent was $10.00 a month for 10 months each year.  The lodge rooms were dedicated on April 15, 1890.At the meeting of February 19, 1895, the lodge was nine months behind in its rent and decided to give up its rooms.  February 26th of that year they reconsidered this action and decided to stay. 

In 1897 [shortly after City Island was annexed into The Bronx], Pelham Lodge had 23 members and was placed in the Eighth Manhattan District."

Source:  The Bronx Masonic District:  Pelham Lodge No. 712 <http://www.bronxmasons.com/Lodges/712.htm> (visited May 22, 2014).  


Map of Town of Pelham with Inset of City Island, 1868.
Source:  Beers, F.W., Atlas of New York and Vicinity, p. 35
(NY, NY:  Beers, Ellis & Soule, 1868).

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To facilitate research as well as full text search, below I have transcribed various resources that contain brief references to Benjamin Hegeman. 

Dec. 16, 1872:  Served on  Board of Supervisors Committee on County Treasurer.  See PROCEEDINGS OF THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, Eastern State Journal [White Plains, NY], Dec. 20, 1872, Vol. XXVIII, No. 35, p. 2, col. 3.  

On December 17, 1872, Hegeman presented to the Westchester County Board of Supervisors an "application of the Town Clerk, Justices, and Commissioners of Highways of the town of Pelham to borrow $2,000, on the credit of said town, for the construction of a road known as Wolf lane, which was referred to the Judiciary Committee."  Source: 
PROCEEDINGS OF THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, Eastern State Journal [White Plains, NY], Dec. 20, 1872, Vol. XXVIII, No. 35, p. 2, col. 4.  

On December 18, 1872, Hegeman presented to the Westchester County Board of Supervisors the following:  "Resolution by Mr. Hegeman -- To levy $1,000 upon the county of Westchester to aid in building a bridge over East Chester creek between the towns of Pelham and East Chester on the West Chester turnpike and postroad, in pursuance of the Revised Statues [sic], &c.  Referred to the Committee on Roads and Bridges" 
Source:  PROCEEDINGS OF THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, Eastern State Journal [White Plains, NY], Dec. 20, 1872, Vol. XXVIII, No. 35, p. 2, col. 4. 

On December 18, 1872, Hegeman presented to the Westchester County Board of Supervisors the following:  "Resolution of Mr. Hegeman -- That a Committee of Three be appointed by the Chairman of this Board to inquire into and report to this Board as to the propriety and expediency of purchasing the City Island bridge, connecting said City Island with the mainland, in the town of Pelham (Laid over under the rule.)  Source:  PROCEEDINGS OF THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, Eastern State Journal [White Plains, NY], Dec. 20, 1872, Vol. XXVIII, No. 35, p. 2, col. 4.

"MR. CAULDWELL called the attention of the Board to the death of Benjamin Hegeman and Joseph Leggett, and presented the following preamble and resolutions:

Whereas, Since the last annual session of this Board, it has pleased an all-wise Providence to remove from our midst, two old and respected members, who had for a long series of years represented their respective towns in our councils, with credit to themselves and their constituents; and

Whereas, it is due to the memory of our deceased friends and late associates, that we should place on record some testimonial of our sincere regret for the loss we have sustained, and of our appreciation of the faithful service of the deceased, as members of this Board.  Therefore, be it 

Resolved, That this Board has, with profound sorrow, learned of the death of Benjamin Hegeman, late supervisor of the town of Pelham, and Joseph Leggett, late supervisor of the town of Mount Pleasant, the former having represented his town in this Board for a period of ten years and the later [sic] for a period of five years, and to which positions both were re-elected and re-endorsed by their respective constituents last March.  

Resolved, That we deplore the loss of their valuable services as supervisors, and their association as friends and co-laborers, and that we most cordially testify to their honorable character and sterling worth in their public capacity, and to their high standing as citizens of Westchester County.  

Resolved, That we deeply sympathize with the families of our late associates in their great bereavement, and assure them that those whom they mourn will ever be kindly remembered by all who were ever associated with them in the Board of Supervisors of this county.

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions, signed by the officers of the Board, be transmitted to each of the families of deceased, and that this preamble and resolution be entered in full upon the minutes."

Source:  Johnson, Charles E., Clerk, Proceedings of the Board of Supervisors of the County of Westchester For the Year 1873, pp. 32-33 (NY, NY:  James Sutton & Co. 1874).  

"Westchester County Elections.

Mr. Benjamin F. Hegeman, Democrat, the present Supervisor of Pelham, was re-elected by 77 majority over Mr. Billen, Democrat.  James Hyatt was elected Town Clerk of the same town. . . . "

Source:  Westchester County Elections, NY Times, Apr. 1, 1870.   

"PELHAM.

There are scarcely enough Republicans in this town for seed.  BENJAMIN HEGEMAN, Democrat, was re-elected Supervisor, without opposition.

TICKET ELECTED.

Supervisor - Benjamin Hegeman.

Town Clerk - James Hyatt.

Assessor - James A. Grencebeck.

Commissioner of Highways - James A. Grencebeck.

Collector - Joseph B. Horton.

Justices of the Peace - William S. McClellan (full term), Robert M. Mitchell (vacancy), Benjamin Hegeman (vacancy), Joseph Lyon (vacancy).

Constables - David Lyon, Alexander Rolfe, Chas. Baxter, Charles Lockwood.

Overseers of the Poor - Joshua Leviness, Joseph Lyon.

Inspectors of Election - Elisha Booth, James Hyatt.

Pound Masters - George W. Horton, Charles McClellan."

Source:  PELHAM, Eastern State Journal [White Plains, NY], Mar. 31, 1865, Vol. XX, No. 48, p. 2, col. 5. 

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