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 15, 2015

Pelham News in 1885: Prisoners Escape and Appropriations for Road Repairs

In 1885, the tiny Town of Peham did not have a newspaper of its own.  Nevertheless, news of the Town was widely covered in other local newspapers including those published in nearby Mount Vernon and New Rochelle.  Archives of such nearby newspapers offer a rich historical record of day-to-day events in Pelham during the latter half of the 19th century.  Pelham was such a small community, however, that such news reports read like a combination of gossip columns and news accounts.

Today's posting to the Historic Pelham Blog transcribes a report of "PELHAM AND CITY ISLAND" news published in The Chronicle of Mount Vernon.  The brief news report is significant in two respects.  First, it describes an interesting escape by four prisoners being held on Hart Island.  Second, it provides a detailed accounting of proposed appropriations for road repairs throughout all of Pelham.  

The report is transcribed in its entirety below, followed by a citation and a link to its source.


Chas. Taylor has been employed to tend the gates at the Pelhamville crossing.

Mr. Stephan D. Horton is about to complete one of the three houses which he thought he had sold to Mr. Wm. Belden.

James Hyatt, Wm. R. Fordham and Ev. Leviness helped to swell the crowd in Washington, on Inauguration day.

The Rev. Geo. P. Mains, president elder of the Eastern District, occupied the pulpit in the M. E. Church last Sunday.

We understand that Miss Clara Green contemplates making some important alterations on her property.

Mr. Magaliard intends to begin the erection of a dwelling house on Eighth avenue, Pelhamville, as soon as the weather will permit.

Two of the Jurors of this town drive to White Plains every day in a light buggy, drawn by a stylish bay horse.  'None but the wealthy, etc.'

Last Monday night a preliminary meeting of the Pelham Democrats, was held on City Island.  The spring campaign will open in a few days.

Negotiations are in progress for the purchase of the steamer Joshua Leviness by parties interested in the new ine between Bridgeport, Huntington, L.I., and Norwalk, Conn.

The residents of Pehamville are very profuse in their praise of Mr. E. H. Gurney who, at his own expense, has had the snow cleared from the sidewalks after every storm the past winter.

On Monday evening last about fifty friends of Mr. E. H. Gurney, from Mt. Vernon, gave that gentleman a surprise.  In the company were, at least a score of musicians and vocalist who contributed in no small degree to the pleasures of the evening.

Four sixty-day prisoners got upon cakes of ice at Hart's Island on Saturday morning and floated out to a boat anchored off New Rochelle.  They sculled the boat in the New Rochelle shore and escaped.  Warden Dunphy espied them as they were getting into the boat, and started on a dead run for the shore.  He fell on the slippery snow and injured his right leg.

Of the sum of $16,650, which the commissioner of highways will ask for at the annual town meeting, $14,900 are special appropriations; $1,750, is for general road purposes and the commissioners state in their notice where it is to be used.  Repairing and grading Wolf's Lane, $75; Old Bost Road, $50; Pehamdale ave. north of Boston Post Road, $80; First avenue, $45; Second avenue, $30; Fourth avenue, $35; Fifth avenue, $35; Sixth avenue, $45; Seventh ave, $45; Fourth street, $35; Third street, $25; Second street, $35; road from Wolf's Lane to Hutchinson River, $25; Shore Road, $200; Pelham Lane, $100; City Island road, $175; Boston Post road, $150; Pelhamdale avenue, south of Boston Post road, $100; Main street, $300; Fordham avenue, $125; repairing draw to City Island Bridge $50.  The $14,900 is for macadamizing the various roads in the town on which there is the greatest amount of travel and every dollar of it should be voted.  Good roads will do much to enhance the value of property in the town of Pelham and we believe the people are beginning to see it."

Source:  PELHAM AND CITY ISLAND, The Chronicle [Mt. Vernon, NY], Mar. 6, 1885, Vol. XVI, No. 807, p. 3, col. 4.  

Detail from 1891 Map of Pelham Showing
Many of the Roads Proposed to Be Re-Graded
in the News Account Quoted Above. 

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home