Turning "Stink Field" Into the Colonial Athletic Field, Predecessor to Today's Glover Field
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The field complex known today as "Glover Field" took many years -- and one failed school bond vote -- to plan and construct. By 1935, additions to the original Pelham Memorial High School complex required the School Board to cannibalize the adjacent athletic fields. Thereafter, the High School had no varsity sports fields whatsoever as the Great Depression roared. Indeed, for years, Pelham varsity teams played most games "away." Occasionally, they played "home" games. (Typically that meant that they played on fields in Mount Vernon. Indeed, often the School Board paid to "rent" Memorial Stadium on the Pelham Border for such "home" games.) Additionally, varsity teams had to practice on fields in Mount Vernon.
During the 1940s, however, the Town of Pelham arranged with the Westchester County Park Commission to allow access to a large swath of land sandwiched between the Hutchinson River Parkway and the Hutchinson River for athletic fields. The acreage included a large swampy lagoon. In addition, a Westchester County sewage pumping station stood directly across the Hutchinson River from the field. Nearby there also was an incineration plant that routinely emitted noxious odors. The lagoon, sewage pumping station, and incineration plant combined to give the land its time-honored epithet: "Stink Field."
I have written before about the history and development of Glover Field, first known as Colonial Athletic Field, then as Parkway Field, and finally as Glover Field. See:
Mon., Feb. 09, 2015: Town Board Considered Renovation of "Stink Field" to Create Parkway Field (Today's Glover Field) in 1952.
Tue., Feb. 23, 2010: A Brief History of the Development and Unveiling of Parkway Field in 1955 -- Known Today as Glover Field.
Today's posting to the Historic Pelham Blog tells a little more of the story of the development of "Stink Field" into the beautiful sports complex known today as Glover Field.
WPA Work Relief Program Improves Colonial Avenue Playfield in the Mid-1930s
Almost immediately after the Board of Education had to cannibalize the high school athletic fields for an expansion of the Pelham Memorial High School, efforts were begun to identify and develop a new location for playing fields. The Great Depression, however, was raging.
The most logical location was a large tract owned by the Town once known as the Isaac Rodman tract sandwiched between the relatively new Hutchinson River Parkway and the Hutchinson River. Near the rear of the property was a smaller adjaent area owned by the County of Westchester on which stood the ruins of the abandoned Pelham sewage disposal plant. The smaller original area was known as the Colonial Avenue Playfield, although that name later seems to have been applied to the larger area.
In 1935, the Federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) was supporting worker relief programs throughout the United States including Westchester County. A Westchester County bureau known as the Emergency Work Bureau (also known, informally, as the "Emergency Work Board" or simply the "Work Board") served as a "clearing house" for WPA projects in Westchester County. Among those projects was the "Colonial Avenue Playfield" project to improve an area adjacent to the Hutchinson River Parkway and the ruins of the abandoned Pelham sewage disposal facility on what was known as "Stink Field."
The Pelham sewage disposal plant was constructed in about 1910 but was taken offline when the Hutchinson Valley Sanitary Sewer System was installed around 1925. Thereafter the plant was abandoned and deteriorated into ruins that interfered with development of the surrounding lands as an athletic facility.
Word came at the end of 1935 that there would be no money available to continue the Emergency Work Board in Westchester. Although many worried that would mean the end of any development of the Colonial Avenue Playfield, an "informal" county committee approved a budget of $75,000 for work relief projects in the county including $1,300 to improve Colonial Avenue Playfield. Moreover, it appears that at or about this time, the Town of Pelham ponied up about $900 to fund WPA workers clean up the property known as the Colonial Avenue Playfield project.
As a consequence of the Depression, however, work seems to have slowed. Consequently, the eventually unsuccessful Democratic candidate for Town Supervisor, William M. McBride, made the Colonial Avenue Playfield project an issue in the local elections in 1937. He argued that Republican Town Supervisor Harold W. Davis and the Town Board had spent a large sum on the project, then abandoned it. Davis responded that the Town had only spent $900 to help local workers and noted that the County of Westchester offered the "playfield" (with the remnants of the sewage disposal plant) to both the Town and the School Board for a leasehold of $1.00 per year. Both turned down the offer because, at the height of the Great Depression, neither authority felt it could "afford it" to accept responsibility for the property.
Pelham Leases the Playfield for $1, But the Area Languishes for Years
During the spring of 1938, Town Supervisor Davis and Superintendent of Schools Joseph C. Browne met with officials of the Westchester County Park Commission and reached an agreement to lease "part of Colonial Avenue playfield at a nominal rate for one year." Significantly, the tiny area included tennis courts. One report noted that the intent was to have the School Board then "lease it from the Town."
On the Eve of World War II, Plans for a High School Field Emerge
On November 5, 1941, only a month before the dastardly Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor plunged the United States into World War II, the Town Board met in special session to deal with Stink Field and approved the following resolution:
"on November 5, 1941, duly adopted a resolution, an abstract of which is as follows: RESOLVED, That the Town of Pelham sell and convey to the County of Westchester the parcel of real property owned by the Town of Pelham, commonly known as the Colonial Avenue Playfield, and described on the Assessment Roll of the Town of Pelham, no longer used or required by the Town for that or any other purpose, in consideration of the written agreement of the County of Westchester, at its sole cost and expense, except for the contribution by the Town, as hereinafter mentioned, to demolish the existing structures on said property, to level, grade and improve the same, and to convert it into an athletic field within twelve months after the conveyance to it of said property, to level, grade and improve the same, and to convert it into an athletic field within twelve months after the conveyance to it of said property, and to lease said athletic field to the Town of Pelham for the term of five years, next ensuing after the date of its completion at the rental of $1 for said term, and to consent to the subleasing of said athletic field by the Town of Pelham to the Union Free School District No. 1 in the Town of Pelham; and that the Town of Pelham contribute to the cost of the removal of the existing structure a sum of money not exceeding $1200. By order of the Town Board of the Town of Pelham, N.Y. Dated November 14, 1941."
The Town of Pelham planned to work with Westchester County and with the WPA which, at the time, was still involved with work relief projects before the war, to demolish the disposal plant ruins, grade the site and convert it to an athletic field within twelve months. World War II intervened, however. With employment ramping up quickly for the War, the WPA began to wind down its programs, including its involvement with the Colonial Avenue Playfield.
The fate of Stink Field seemed to hang in the balance once again.
The School Board Steps Into the Picture
It seems that, to move matters along, the Pelham School Board stepped into the picture and offered to provide some funds, with the Town, to demolish the disposal plant ruins and grade the field. On June 19, 1942, the Town Board adopted a resolution to provide $1,200 toward demolition of the sewage disposal plant and the grading of the roughly one-acre site to provide space for high school varsity sports. The focus, at the time, was developing the small area where the plant stood. According to one news report at the time:
"The Town Board will provide $1,200 toward the demolition of the building while the Board of Education will pay the remainder of the cost for taking down the structure, levelling off the area and rough grading the surface. The playfield, which will be approximately one acre in area, will provide space for varsity sports at Pelham Memorial High School. Through an arrangement with the Town, the County Park Commission and the Board of Education, the field will be leased to the School board at a rate of $1 for five years. The property is owned by the Town and is to be deeded to the County Park Commission for $1. The Park Commission will in turn lease the developed property to the Town will then re-let it to the School Board at the same rate."
The plan was to have a football field completed, with spectator stands, on the land (including the larger area owned by the Town of Pelham) before the beginning of the 1942 high school football season. Would they make it?
Demolition of the Sewage Disposal Plant, Grading and Construction of Fields
By early August, 1942, demolition of the plant ruins was well underway. A crane swinging an eighteen hundred pound concrete ball took its toll. At a meeting of the Town Board on August 12, Town Supervisor Thomas Fenlon announced that demolition of the ruins was complete.
Over the next two weeks, grading of a large area including the smaller site of the old sewage disposal plant was completed. By August 28, 1942, the construction of wooden bleachers on concrete footings on the western side of the field sufficient to accommodate 700 spectators were "about complete." According to one report published on that date:
"The large area which will be available is now becoming visible as the football field stakes and the setout for the baseball field came into vision. An application of top soil and the sowing of grass seed will finish the work. . . . [I]t is planned to have a running track encircling the area so that any kind of field events can be staged with plenty of opportunity for the spectators to view the contests."
On September 10, 1942, the Pelham Memorial High School football team held a practice at the new "Colonial Athletic Field." The grass on the main football field was not yet ready, but the team practiced in a grassy area on the side. It was the first athletic use of the new field that later became known as Parkway Field and, even later, Glover Field.
With World War II well underway, however, football was not the only use to which the new facility was put. The School Board worked with the local War Council to build a "commando obstacle course" at the new Colonial Athletic Field. The purpose was to prepare all young men and women of the Town of Pelham to meet the physical rigors of war. . . .
* * * * *
Below is a series of articles that touch on the early history of the development of the facility we know today as Glover Field. Each is followed by a citation and link to its source.
"WORK BOARD TO CONTINUE
Heydecker to Head Bureau as Coordinator for County Relief
(Special To The Daily Argus)
WHITE PLAINS, Dec. 31. -- The Emergency Work Bureau here, which has coped with the relief problem in Westchester under three Federal administrative set-ups, will continue to serve the county as a clearing house for county projects under the Works Progress Administration.
The Board of Supervisors yesterday authorized continuance of the work bureau indefinitely as a relief coordinating agency until such time as the WPA shall be dissolved. It gave Wayne D. Heydecker, the director, authority to continue with a skeletonized staff the work of outlining, studying and supervising work projects which affect the county generally.
At the same time, the Budget Committee recommended that towns and cities caring to continue use of the service might hire the work bureau as their agents.
No appropriations were voted to continue the bureau, but the Budget Committee has estimated that supervision on county projects by a skeletonized staff will cost in the neighborhood of $30,000 a year.
A total of $75,000 for WPA projects, approved by an informal committee composed of Mr. Heydecker, County Engineer Charles H. Sells, and Budget Commissioner William B. Folger, has been appropriated by the board in sponsors contributions.
The contributions are for materials and machinery or projects for which the labor cost is borne by the WPA. Some of the improvements were begun under the TERA and the work bureau but nearly all require new financing. In many cases the sponsor may put up machinery, if available, and additional funds for materials.
Principal funds appropriated were as follows:
Colonial Avenue Playfield, Mount Vernon, $1,300. . . ."
Source: WORK BOARD TO CONTINUE -- Heydecker to Head Bureau as Coordinator for County Relief, The Daily Argus [Mount Vernon, NY], Dec. 31, 1935, p. 18, col. 3.
"PREPARE FOR EXTENSION OF PARKWAY TO N. Y.
Start Grading Work South of Boston Road to Connect Hutchinson Route to Shore Road
Grading work started this week under WPA projects will lead to the extension of the Hutchinson River Parkway from the Boston Post road to the Shore road within New York City. Although actual construction of this parkway extension may not be undertaken for a few years, the preliminary work is being done under the same project, which provides for the extension of the parkway from Westchester avenue northward to the Connecticut line where it will be connected with the new Merritt Highway.
The Emergency Work Bureau on Saturday discontinued all its activities within towns, cities, Town Engineer Frank T. James reported. In the future all such projects will be conducted by the WPA. The work bureau, however, will continue to provide for projects under the jurisdiction of the county. These include the Colonial avenue playfield.
Michael Barrett, work bureau engineer who has been making his headquarters in Pelham for the last year, has been transferred to Yonkers, where he has supervision of several projects."
Source: PREPARE FOR EXTENSION OF PARKWAY TO N. Y. -- Start Grading Work South of Boston Road to Connect Hutchinson Route to Shore Road, The Pelham Sun, Jan. 3, 1936, p. 7, col. 6.
"REPUBLICANS RAP McBRIDE
Democratic Candidate's Claims Draw Rebukes At Meeting
(Special To The Daily Argus)
PELHAM MANOR, Oct. 13. -- Claiming the sixth district will be the focal point of the November elections, Republican officials and candidates meeting with members of that district at Village Hall last night mapped out a campaign of house-to-house calls.
Attacks on the speech by the Democratic candidate for Supervisor, William M. McBride, to the Young Democrats Monday night, were made by Supervisor Harold W. Davis and Councilman Arthur Retallick, candidates for reelection.
Mr. McBride's charge the Town Board had abandoned the Colonial Avenue Playfield after spending a great deal of money on it was censured by Supervisor Davis.
'The Town of Pelham never paid a nickel for that playfield,' he said. 'The county did. Pelham spent not more than $900 on the playground, and that for WPA workers to clean it up.'
Offered To Board, Claim
The playfield was offered to the Town Board by the County Park Commission, which owns the property, for $1 [per] year, the Supervisor said.
'The Town Board felt and still feels that it can not afford it,' Mr. Davis said. 'The school board, to whom it was offered, also turned it down on the same grounds. . . .'"
Source: REPUBLICANS RAP McBRIDE -- Democratic Candidate's Claims Draw Rebukes At Meeting, The Daily Argus [Mount Vernon, NY], Oct. 13, 1937, p. 7, col. 1.
"EXEMPT TAX PLAINT FILED
A protest against the Westchester County Park Commission's failure to pay taxes on revenue-producing properties it owns in the Town of Pelham was registered last night by the Town Board.
Councilman Arthur Retallick raised the question when he asked why no taxes were collected on a garage owned by the commission in Pelhamdale Avenue.
Supervisor Harold W. Davis, who called exemption of the property a 'gross injustice,' was authorized to make a protest.
It was revealed that the commission owns a garage, a store and two houses in the town, all but one producing revenue.
Board to Lease Playground in Manor
Supervisor Davis reported that after a conference he and Superintendent of Schools Joseph C. Brown had with officials of the Park Commission, it was agreed to lease part of Colonial Avenue playfield at a nominal rate for one year. The School Board then will lease it from the Town.
The area to be taken includes tennis courts.
The Supervisor explained that the cost of equipment makes it impossible for the Town or School Board to take over the rest of the field at present. The area to be leased will be supervised by the school authorities. . . ."
Source: EXEMPT TAX PLAINT FILED, The Daily Argus [Mount Vernon, NY], May 19, 1938, p. 11, col. 3.
"To Hold Hearing On Transfer of Land to County
The Town Board will hold a public hearing on Dec. 3 on the proposal to transfer to the County of Westchester the Town disposal plant property on the Hutchinson River Parkway. The area will be included in the plans for development of the property as a playground under a WPA project."
Source: To Hold Hearing On Transfer of Land to County, The Pelham Sun, Nov. 7, 1941, Vol. 31, No. 31, p. 1, col. 8.
"LEGAL NOTICE TOWN OF PELHAM
Resolution adopted November 5, 1941.
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, pursuant to Section 90 of the Town Law that the Town Board of the Town of Pelham, at its regular meeting, held on November 5, 1941, duly adopted a resolution, an abstract of which is as follows: RESOLVED, That the Town of Pelham sell and convey to the County of Westchester the parcel of real property owned by the Town of Pelham, commonly known as the Colonial Avenue Playfield, and described on the Assessment Roll of the Town of Pelham, no longer used or required by the Town for that or any other purpose, in consideration of the written agreement of the County of Westchester, at its sole cost and expense, except for the contribution by the Town, as hereinafter mentioned, to demolish the existing structures on said property, to level, grade and improve the same, and to convert it into an athletic field within twelve months after the conveyance to it of said property, to level, grade and improve the same, and to convert it into an athletic field within twelve months after the conveyance to it of said property, and to lease said athletic field to the Town of Pelham for the term of five years, next ensuing after the date of its completion at the rental of $1 for said term, and to consent to the subleasing of said athletic field by the Town of Pelham to the Union Free School District No. 1 in the Town of Pelham; and that the Town of Pelham contribute to the cost of the removal of the existing structure a sum of money not exceeding $1200. By order of the Town Board of the Town of Pelham, N.Y. Dated November 14, 1941. GEORGE O'SULLIVAN, Town Clerk, Town of Pelham.
Nov. 14 - Dec. 5c"
Source: LEGAL NOTICE TOWN OF PELHAM, The Pelham Sun, Nov. 21, 1941, p. 12, col. 3.
"COLONIAL AVENUE PLAYGROUND
The Town Board will hold a special meeting tonight to discuss the matter of Colonial Avenue Playground, so-called. This concerns the land immediately bordering the Pelham tennis courts on Hutchinson parkway. The ruins of an old building, formerly used as a sewage disposal plant, disfigure the site, and we should say could well be leveled as a matter of health protection.
Prior to last Fall election, The Westchester County Park Commission agreed to take over the property if the Town of Pelham would pay for the leveling of the building and rough grading of the ground, and in return for the title would improve the property and transform it into an up-to-date recreation ground which then would be leased for one dollar a year on a five-year lease to the Board of Education. At present there is no Park Commission money available for carrying out the work, and the unsightly ruin persists and the proposed recreation spot is unavailable. The Board of Education is anxious to level the building and [portion illegible] of metal, and provided the Town Board acquiesces, will go through with the original plan. The Park Commission can carry out its part and has promised to improve the property as soon as funds are available.
If the five-year lease begins only after the recreation ground is fully prepared for use, we believe the project should be started as early as possible. The place is an eyesore, a menace to health, and would be of great value as a recreation field.
Tonight's meeting should determine its future."
Source: COLONIAL AVENUE PLAYGROUND, The Pelham Sun, Jun. 19, 1942, p. 2, cols. 1-2.
"Town To Raze Disposal Plant To Make Way For Playground
PELHAM -- First steps in making the Colonial Avenue Playfield a reality after several years of planning were taken last night when the Pelham Town Board approved a resolution providing for the demolition of the old disposal plant on Hutchinson River Parkway in Pelham Manor.
Action was taken at a special session of the Board in Town Hall with Supervisor Thomas B. Fenlon officiating.
The Town Board will provide $1,200 toward the demolition of the building while the Board of Education will pay the remainder of the cost for taking down the structure, levelling off the area and rough grading the surface.
The playfield, which will be approximately one acre in area, will provide space for varsity sports at Pelham Memorial High School.
Through an arrangement with the Town, the County Park Commission and the Board of Education, the field will be leased to the School board at a rate of $1 for five years.
The property is owned by the Town and is to be deeded to the County Park Commission for $1. The Park Commission will in turn lease the developed property to the Town will then re-let it to the School Board at the same rate.
Originally the work on the field was to be done by the Park Commission as a W. P. A. project. Plans for this however were put aside last week with a change in W. P. A. activities.
In the contract it states the Commission will, when it is able, complete the project in accordance with the Park Commission specifications drawn in 1941, Supervisor Fenlon reported."
Source: Town To Raze Disposal Plant To Make Way For Playground, The Daily Argus [Mount Vernon, NY], Jun. 20, 1942, p. 7, cols. 2-3.
"Colonial Athletic Field Will Be All Ready For Fall Football Practice
The new Colonial avenue playground, proposed athletic field for Pelham High School, took tangible shape this week as the last remnants of the old Pelham disposal plant which stood on the playground site, were torn down.
The work was carried out by the Jackson & Barnum Co., under the supervision of Harry Jackson, who has been in the construction business in Pelham for many years. Demolition of the old disposal plant started a week ago in conjunction with plans of the Building and Grounds Committee of the Pelham Board of Education to develop the site as an athletic field.
Frank James, Town Engineer, approximates that the plant was built 'somewhere around 1910 and became inactive when the Hutchinson Valley Sanitary Sewer System was installed around 1925.' Mr. James is inspecting the work on behalf of the town.
When the site is cleared of debris and graded, bleachers to accommodate close to 700 people will be erected and should be completed 'sometime in August,' according to Jackson, whose company will construct the stands.
Demolition of the plant is being carried out by means of an 1,800 [pound] ball of concrete which is swung against the walls by a crane.
In commenting on the work, Joseph C. Brown, Superintendent of Schools said he thought the grounds would be ready 'at least as a practice field,' by Fall.
The new field will give Pelham High its own gridiron and will no longer necessitate the hiring of Memorial Field from the City of Mount Vernon."
Source: Colonial Athletic Field Will Be All Ready For Fall Football Practice, The Pelham Sun, Jul. 17, 1942, Vol. 32, No. 15, p. 1, cols. 4-5.
"DEMOLITION OF TOWN DISPOSAL PLANT COMPLETED
Westchester County Park Commission Requests a Deed to Property; Engineer James Says Work Has Progressed Sufficiently to Grant It.
Supervisor Fenlon reported to the Town meeting Wednesday night that the demolition of the old disposal plant had been completed and that he had been requested by George S. Haight, the general manager of the Westchester County Park Commission to give a deed of the property to the Park Commission.
Mr. Fenlon inspected the property with Mr. William B. Shaw, Buildings and Grounds chairman of the Board of Education, who has sponsored the playground project. Town Engineer Frank T. James has also inspected the work from time to time, and he reported to the Board that the work has progressed to a point where the deed can be delivered.
The Town is receiving no cash consideration from the County Park Commission for the property which consists of approximately one acre in area and lies west of the Hutchinson River Parkway about 1,000 feet south of Sanford Boulevard, but the town is to receive a lease of the land to be deeded and the surrounding land on which the playfield is being built at the rate of $1.00 a year. In turn the Town will lease the whole area to the school board. The lease is expected to be renewed more or less indefinitely and the County Park Commission has said that it will landscape the area when funds are available.
The old disposal plant has been an 'eyesore' and a 'health menace.' It has been some expense to the town also as it was necessary to keep liability insurance upon it.
It has been inspected from time to time by the Town Engineer. The land owned by the town was pretty much isolated as it was surrounded by Parkway property.
Credit for the play field belongs to Mr. William B. Shaw, for it was his persistence which finally resulted in action. During the administration of Supervisor William M. McBride the Town Board ordered a referendum on the establishment of a recreation field in that area and the voters approved the plan. Supervisor McBride urged the Board to proceed with the plan but nothing came of it. Last October Supervisor Harold W. Davis announced that the playground would be built as a W. P. A. project with joint Town and Park Commission sponsorship. The announcement turned out to be premature however although much work was done on the project before the order ending W. P. A. work for the war was issued.
Shaw then took the matter up directly and soon brought about the agreement under which the work has been carried out. The Town is supplying $1,200 toward the cost of demolition of the building and the land on which the disposal plant was located. The County is giving a lease of the entire playfield area and the School Board is grading the field, building the grandstand and laying out the baseball diamond, track, football fields, etc. It will also police the area. The School Board has authorized not more than $1,200 for the project."
Source: DEMOLITION OF TOWN DISPOSAL PLANT COMPLETED -- Westchester County Park Commission Requests a Deed to Property; Engineer James Says Work Has Progressed Sufficiently to Grant It, The Pelham Sun, Aug. 14, 1942, p. 7, col. 3.
"Grading And Bleachers Complete, New Playground At Colonial Ave. Effects Improvement Of Large Area
Marsh Land Which Formerly Surrounded Disposal Plant of Sanitary Drainage System Demolished; Site Graded and Cleared So That It Discloses Large Area Made Available by Improvement.
Grading work on the new play-fields site at Colonial avenue and Hutchinson River parkway has been completed and the erection of bleachers to accommodate spectators at the football games is about complete. The large area which will be available is now becoming visible as the football field stakes and the setout for the baseball field came into vision. An application of top soil and the sowing of grass seed will finish the work.
The bleachers have been erected on the westerly side of the field and it is planned to have a running track encircling the area so that any kind of field events can be staged with plenty of opportunity for the spectators to view the contests.
On Saturday morning workmen were busy erecting the wooden bleachers which are set on solid concrete footings, the work being supervised by School Trustee William B. Shaw. There was an element of worry present caused by the high tides of Friday night and Saturday. There were signs of the bank giving way where the swing of the ebb and flow of water disclosed the need for rip-rap protection or some stone banking.
The cost of demolishing the old disposal works and the filling in of the site together with the erection of the 100 feet of bleachers will cost in the neighborhood of $4,000 of which the Town Board has assumed part of the cost and the Board of Education part of the remainder. Money is needed for the erection of a shelter house and dressing rooms but unless some generously disposed citizen steps forward with a donation of $2,500 the work cannot be carried out. Trustee Shaw has no plans for raising such funds other than by public support as he has reached the limit of expenditures from school board and town funds.
'One of my greatest hopes,' said Trustee Shaw to a Sun reporter 'is to install a good obstacle tract here, something where men can train themselves in running, climbing and vaulting so that if occasions arise they will be in good shape to meet them. A sound healthy body means a good contribution toward victory for both men and boys.'
To reach the grounds, a cinder pathway will be built from Colonial avenue to the new fields. Parking space will be accomplished with due regard for the one-way conditions existing on the parkway, and it is our guess that a large number of spectators will drive up Carol Place to Murray street and park on the grass plot bordering the parkway on its easterly side.
Trustee Shaw is optimistic about the appearance of the playground. 'In two or three years this football field and baseball diamond should be so level and so thick with grass that it will look and feel like a velvety carpet,' he said.
When complete the new development will have transformed a large area of low-lying marshy land into a huge playfield. It will have demolished an unused sewage disposal plant, which was an eyesore architecturally and an unhealthful nuisance to the neighborhood.
School Trustee William B. Shaw who has had charge of the work, has been personally supervising it and is receiving much praise from those who are watching his efforts reach fruition."
Source: Grading And Bleachers Complete, New Playground At Colonial Ave. Effects Improvement Of Large Area -- Marsh Land Which Formerly Surrounded Disposal Plant of Sanitary Drainage System Demolished; Site Graded and Cleared So That It Discloses Large Area Made Available by Improvement, The Pelham Sun, Aug. 28, 1942, p. 9, cols. 1-2.
"HIGH GRIDDERS RUN OFF PLAYS IN FIRST DRILL
With three lettermen and two additions from out of town, a 200 pound Texan who played varsity center for Lamar High School Houston, Texas, and a varsity lineman from Kimball Union High, New Hampshire to bolster an otherwise green squad, Pelham High School went through its first outdoor football drill yesterday under the watchful eye of Coach Carl Schilling.
Asst. Coach Dennis Neely put the boys through calisthenics, after which a light drill was held as the squad was divided into four teams and ran through some of the routine plays.
It was the first practice held at the New Colonial athletic field, and though the actual playing ground was not used, the grass at the side furnished a good practice field. . . ."
Source: HIGH GRIDDERS RUN OFF PLAYS IN FIRST DRILL, The Pelham Sun, Sep. 11, 1942, p. 5, col. 1.
"PHYSICAL FITNESS PROGRAM OFFERED BY WAR COUNCIL
William B. Shaw Will be Chairman of Training Program Which Will Include Special Army Obstacle Course.
In line with the national policy of the Office of Civilian Defense, the War Council of the Pelhams is contemplating offering a training course in physical fitness for men and women over 18 years of age.
A circular letter is being distributed this week to determine the response to such a course. 'In view of the fact that so many doctors and nurses have been and will be called into active service,' the circular states, 'it is thought necessary to take some action to maintain the public health and fortify ourselves against the epidemics which occurred during the last World War.'
The contemplated courses include calisthenics, handball, badminton, volley ball, basketball, and indoor games. Outdoor exercises would include setting-up exercises, track, baseball, football, military drill and an army obstacle course which has been built on the new Colonial Athletic field.
The circular contains a questionnaire by which the committee can determine just how many are interested in the course, before securing trained instructors. William B. Shaw, a member of the Board of Education will be chairman of the project."
Source: PHYSICAL FITNESS PROGRAM OFFERED BY WAR COUNCIL -- William B. Shaw Will be Chairman of Training Program Which Will Include Special Army Obstacle Course, The Pelham Sun, Sep. 18, 1942, p. 11, col. 3.
"Democrat 'Horns In' On G.O.P. And Wants To Cut His Own Salary! . . .
The Board of Education appointed William Gray a trustee to fill the vacancy left by the death of Stacy Wood of North Pelham. The trustees also approved $2,500 for improvement of the Colonial Avenue playfield which has been completed and includes a track, baseball diamond, football gridiron, and commando obstacle course. . . ."
Source: Democrat 'Horns In' On G.O.P. And Wants To Cut His Own Salary!, The Daily Argus [Mount Vernon, NY], Dec. 31, 1942, p. 8, cols. 2-4.
"SUPERVISOR FENLON'S REPORT TO THE TOWNSHIP OF PELHAM. . . .
Old Disposal Plant
The plan which the former supervisor announced, as concluded in October 1941 to remove the old and unused sewage disposal plant as a jointly sponsored town and county park commission project under the Works Progress Administration failed of W. P. A. approval and ultimately died with the W. P. A.
In June 1942 with the active aid and earnest efforts of the Pelham School Board and the co-operation of the county authorities, the old disposal plant was demolished nevertheless. The town's share of the cost was the same as that budgeted and for one dollar the town deeded the land on which the old plant had stood to the County Park Commission. It was further arranged that the county would let to the town and town to the school for a similar rental of one dollar a year an area much larger than but including the disposal plant site. On this area the School Board is constuct[ing] a new athletic field. . . ."
Source: SUPERVISOR FENLON'S REPORT TO THE TOWNSHIP OF PELHAM, The Pelham Sun, Jan. 29, 1943, p. 10, cols. 2-7, esp. 7.
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Labels: 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942, Colonial Athletic Field, Colonial Avenue Playfield, Colonial Avenue Playground, Glover Field, Parkway Field, Pelham Memorial High School, Recreation, School Board