Brief Newspaper Account of the Organization of the Pelham Manor Protective Club in 1880
Soon after the Branch Line opened, it became a particular problem. "Tramps" camped along Long Island Sound and in the woods located in today's Pelham Bay Park before and after preying on Pelham Manor residents.
During the early 1880s, a decade before the Village of Pelham Manor was incorporated in 1891, local residents founded the Pelham Manor Protective Club as a "vigilance committee" intended, principally, to deal with tramps. The founders, however, had broader foresight and organized the "Club" as a means of working together for the good of their community. Nearly the entire adult male population of the area – 52 local residents – subscribed as members. Only one household chose not to subscribe to the organization.
The purpose of the club was “to assist the public authorities in maintaining law and order within a radius of one mile from Pelham Manor Depot....” The club raised money to fund its work principally through the payment of dues by subscribing households. The work of the club included guarding against tramps, petty thieves, stray livestock and other local problems.
In 2005, an antiques dealer contacted the Librarian of The Westchester County Historical Society and, subsequently, sold to the Society a leather-bound volume containing the entire ten-year set of records of the Pelham Manor Protective Club. Those priceless records show that the club was the forerunner of the village government formed when the residents who formed the Pelham Manor Protective Club voted to incorporate as the Village of Pelham Manor.
The records of the Club, which was disbanded once the village of Pelham Manor was incorporated, provide documentation of the development of a local government in lower Westchester County in the 1880s.
I have written about the Pelham Manor Protective Club and its activities on many occasions. For examples, see:
Mon., Sep. 15, 2014: 1884 Gunfight in Pelham Manor Pits Local Residents Against Pelham Manor Depot Burglars.
Thu., Jan. 21, 2010: Another Brief Account of the January 1, 1883 Annual Meeting of the Pelham Manor Protective Club.
Mon., Nov. 16, 2009: 1882 Article About the Pelham Manor Protective Club.
Thu., Sep. 24, 2009: Brief Newspaper Account of the January 1, 1883 Annual Meeting of the Pelham Manor Protective Club.
Fri., Apr. 3, 2009: Biography and Photograph of Henry Beidleman Bascom Stapler, an Active Member of the Pelham Manor Protective Club in its Latter Years.
Fri., Nov. 16, 2007: Photograph and Biography of William E. Barnett, a Founding Member of the Pelham Manor Protective Club.
Thu., Feb. 15, 2007: Text of January 1, 1885 Annual Report of the Pelham Manor Protective Club. Wednesday,
Wed., Feb. 15, 2006: The First Lawsuit Ever Filed Against Pelham Manor?
Thu., Feb. 02, 2006: January 2, 1888: The Day Residents of Pelham Manor Decided to Incorporate a Village.
Wed., Jan. 25, 2006: The Pelham Manor Protective Club Flexed its Muscles in the 1886 Town Elections.
Tue., Jan. 24, 2006: 1890 Circular of The Pelham Manor Protective Club on Lamp Lighting.
Mon., Jan. 23, 2006: The Beginnings of Organized Fire Fighting in Pelham Manor?
Tue., Mar. 29, 2005: The Earliest Telephone in Pelham Manor?
Tue., Mar. 01, 2005: The "Outrage" of June 10, 1882 -- A Sad Mystery Solved.
Wed., Feb. 23, 2005: The Westchester County Historical Society Acquires Records of The Pelham Manor Protective Club from Dealer in Tarrytown, NY.
The Pelham Manor Protective Club Founded in 1881, The Pelham Weekly, Vol. XIII, No. 24, June 11, 2004, p. 12, col. 1.
Today's posting to the Historic Pelham Blog transcribes a brief newspaper article noting that "a society . . . to be called the Pelham Manor Protective Club" had been formed "for the suppression of the tramp nuisance in Pelham Manor." The initial announcement of the formation ot the Club emphasized that "a reward of $10 will be offered for the arrest of any tramp found in the street."
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Below is the transcribed text of the article referenced above, followed by a citation and link to its source.
"County News Items. . . .
On Tuesday evening last a society was organized for the suppression of the tramp nuisance in Pelham Manor. It is to be called the Pelham Manor Protective Club and will be governed by a President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Executive Committee of three. The Committee have full power to do whatever they deem necessary in order to keep tramps out of the sacred precincts of Pelham Manor, the other members of the club binding themselves to uphold the said Committee both financially and physically. As an initiatory step a reward of $10 will be offered for the arrest of any tramp found in the street."
Source: County News Items, Eastern State Journal, May 7, 1880, Vol. XXXVI, No. 4, p. 3, cols. 3-4.
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