Auction of Chester Park Lands in Pelhamville in 1892
Though Standen worked in the headquarters of United States Life Insurance Company located at 261 Broadway in New York City, he and his wife had a residence on the lands they owned in the Town of Pelham. They called their residence "The Homestead."
The Homestead was located north of today’s Pine Avenue between Maple Avenue and Pelhamdale Avenue. By May of 1891, the Standens had decided to subdivide their land and develop it as “Chester Park”. In May and June of that year, the lands were surveyed for the purpose of creating a subdivision map for development purposes.
On several occasions during the 1890s, William Standen and his wife relied on public auctions to try to sell lots in their new Chester Park development. Today's posting to the Historic Pelham Blog publishes an image, and transcribes the text, of an advertisement for one such early auction held on May 7, 1892.
The advertising is interesting and significant because it goes into detail regarding the improvements made to the new development. For example, the advertisement indicates that water for each plot was provided by Artesian Well with "Water Pipes to every Plot tested to 250,000 gallons capacity daily." The advertisement emphasizes the beauty of the large, two-acre "Public Green" in the center of the development "from which can be seen miles of beautiful valley sloping toward the Sound." The advertisement further makes clear that sixty New Haven Line trains stopped at the nearby Pelhamville Station each day for trips to and from New York City that only took thirty minutes with annual commutation costs of "$60 Yearly." (In contrast to a trip that, nearly 125 years later, takes on average, about 35 minutes and costs $2,784 in annual commutation costs of twelve monthly passes costing $232 each. Sixty dollars in 1892 would be the equivalent of roughly $2,025 in 2015 dollars.)
The image appears immediately below, followed by a transcription of its text with a citation and link to the source.
"Real Estate at Auction.
300 OF THE MOST VALUABLE BUILDING LOTS EVER OFFERED FOR SALE
In the vicinity of this city will be sold at
AUCTION, WITHOUT RESERVE, NEXT SATURDAY, MAY 7, 1892, AT 3 P.M., ON THE PREMISES.
This is the property of Mr. W. T. Standen, Actuary of the United States Life Insurance Co., No. 261 Broadway, N.Y. Many thousands of dollars have been spent to beautify this place. These lots are in
near the City of Mount Vernon, and just north of the N.Y., N.H. & H.R.R. station at Pelhamville.
Carefully laid-out Park. Macadamized Roads, (40 feet wide.) Artesian Well. Water Pipes to every Plot tested to 250,000 gallons capacity daily. Large Public Green of two acres, from which can be seen miles of beautiful valley sloping toward the Sound. Less than 10 Minutes to Station at Pelhamville on New-Haven Road. 60 Trains Daily and Only 30 Minutes to New-York. Commutation $60 Yearly. Easy of access. High, Dry, and Healthy. Just the place for men of Moderate Means to locate. Must be sold on day of sale. No reserve. Worth $500 each 25 feet, but will not bring one-half of it at this sale. This is no Trial Sale -- Bona fide bids or none. Do not forget the day or date.
SALE WILL TAKE PLACE ON THE PREMISES.
TRAINS WILL LEAVE
Grand Central Station on N.Y., N.H. & Hartford R.R., at 2:02, 3:02, 4:08, 4:33.
ON WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY, & FRIDAY and will be met by carriages at Pelhamville Station free of charge,
AND ON SATURDAY, THE DAY OF SALE,
conveyances will meet the trains that leave the Grand Central Depot at 1:02 and 2:02 P.M.
Rebate Tickets of $2 for expenses, fares, &c., will be given each purchaser. Send to me now and get one. Ten per cent. and auctioneer's fee on day of sale; balance easy. Full particulars, views, map &c., on application to
GEORGE W. BARD, AUCTIONEER, REAL ESTATE AUCTIONEER FOR WESTCHESTER COUNTY.
Office, No. 4 North 3d Av., MOUNT VERNON, N.Y.
This is a peremptory sale, and one of the most beautiful and valuable pieces of property in New-York State. No such advantages have ever been offered in connection with the sale of suburban property as in this instance. Prospective buyers are invited to bring real estate experts. Remember that this sale
Is Absolute Without Reserve, and upon easy terms.
SATURDAY, MAY 7, AT THREE P.M."
Source: Real Estate at Auction -- 300 OF THE MOST VALUABLE BUILDING LOTS EVER OFFERED FOR SALE [Advertisement], N.Y. Times, May 4, 1892, p. 7, col. 4.
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I have written about the history of Chester Park on numerous occasions. For more, see:
Bell, Blake A., History of Chester Park in the Village of Pelham, The Pelham Weekly, Vol. XIII, No. 46, Nov. 19, 2004, p. 10, col. 1.
Thu., Jul. 23, 2015: The Home at 45 Maple in Chester Park Built to Serve as a Church.
Tue., Mar. 24, 2015: An Early Description of Efforts to Open Chester Park Published in 1891.
Wed., Jul. 16, 2014: Final Auction of Remaining Lands of the Pelhamville Land and Homestead Association in 1898.
Thu., Jun. 01, 2006: Early Photographs of Chester Park Among Materials Donated to The Office of The Historian of The Town of Pelham.
Fri., Jun. 2, 2006: Several of the Early Photographs of Chester Park Recently Donated to The Office of The Historian of The Town of Pelham.
Mon., Jun. 5, 2006: More Early Photographs of Chester Park Recently Donated to The Office of The Historian of The Town of Pelham.
Tue., Jun. 6, 2006: More Early Photographs of Chester Park Recently Donated to The Office of The Historian of The Town of Pelham.
Mon., Jun. 19, 2006: Court Decision Issued in 1894 Sheds Light on Finances Behind the Development of Chester Park in the Early 1890s.