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, August 21, 2015

Pelham Has A Dedicated Bird Santuary Downtown

Bird sanctuaries are rare.  They are becoming increasingly so.  It might seem hard to imagine, but the Town of Pelham has an officially-dedicated bird sanctuary in the heart of its downtown.  

During the summer of 1939, members of the Police Department of the Village of North Pelham did a very kind thing.  They began to feed birds in Memorial Park (also known as "Veterans Park" immediately adjacent to Town Hall). 

The Pelham Humane Society noticed the Police Department's compassion.  Sensing an opportunity, the Society asked to dedicate the park as a bird sanctuary and to present to the Town of Pelham a bird bath to install in the park in commemoration of the dedication.  

The Town agreed.  On Friday, October 6, 1939, the park was dedicated as a bird sanctuary.  The Pelham Humane Society presented a bird bath that was installed near the entrance to the Village of North Pelham Police Department facility in Town Hall.  Attached to the bird bath was a bronze plaque inscribed "Presented by the Pelham Humane Society in the Interest of Humane Education, 1939."  Town Supervisor Harold W. Davis accepted on behalf of the Town.  

Memorial Park (Also Known as Veterans Park) 
in September 2012.  Note the Bird Bath to the
Left of the Stairs.  It Is Not Now Known If
The Bird Bath in This Photograph is the One
Dedicated in 1939.  Source:  Google Maps.
NOTE:  Click Image to Enlarge.

Below is a brief article that appeared in The Pelham Sun about the dedication of Pelham's only bird sanctuary.  

"Memorial Park Is Now Sanctuary For Birds

The thoughtfulness of members of the North Pelham Police Department who have been providing food for birds in Memorial Park adjacent to Town Hall for many months has prompted the Pelham Humane Society to consider the park as a bird sanctuary, and it was formally dedicated as such on Friday with the presentation of a bird bath by the society.  Edward A. Scott, president of the humane society made the presentation and supervisor Harold W. Davis accepted on behalf of the town.  The ceremony was witnessed by Mayor Dominic Amato of North Pelham and Mayor Edmund C. Gause of Pelham Manor, and members of the Humane Society.  

The attractive bird bath was erected near the entrance to police headquarters where it will be under constant observation by the police officers whose kindly deeds were the inspiration for it.  In making the presentation, President Scott, paid high tribute to the policemen.

'It has been said that birds and dogs cannot be happy without people who love them,' said President Scott, 'and it is true also that people cannot be happy without dogs and birds.  The members of the North Pelham Police Department have demonstrated by their interest in birds and dumb animals that they are the type of men who are worthy of the trust that is placed in them by the citizens of this town.  [Illegible]  they have shown themselves to be splendid public servants indeed.'

It was [an] excellent choice, said Mr. Scott, to establish the bird sanctuary in the Memorial park, which is dedicated to the memory of the heroic deeds of Pelham's war veterans.

'I dedicate this bird bath in the name of peace,' he said, 'with a fervent prayer that the dove of peace will ever remain here in this beautiful place.'

In accepting the gift, Supervisor Davis expressed his appreciation for the effort of the Pelham Humane Society in its program for the benefit of dumb animals, and said that because of the bird sanctuary Memorial Park would have increased meaning to the children of the Pelhams, because it was a place where they could study the actions of birds at close hand, and gain a better understanding of their feathered friends.

The following is inscribed on the bronze plate on the bird bath 'Presented by the Pelham Humane Society in the interest of Humane Education, 1939.'  

Those who witnessed the ceremony of dedication included Village Clerk Walter H. McIlroy of North Pelham, Mrs. Francis Drake, Mrs. Charles Russell, Mrs. Edward A. Scott, Jr., Mrs. Charles Zanes, Mrs. John S. Coombes, Mrs. Ernest Weidhass, and Mrs. William C. Baldwin, members of the Pelham Humane Society."

Source:  Memorial Park Is Now Sanctuary For Birds, The Pelham Sun, Oct. 6, 1939, Vol. 29, No. 27, p. 1, cols. 1-2.

Blue Jay.  Source:  Public-Domain-Image.com.
NOTE:  Click Image to Enlarge.

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