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.

Monday, October 03, 2016

The Union Sabbath School Society of Pelhamville Used the Pelhamville Train Station for Services in 1878

The Union Sabbath-School Society was a predecessor organization to the Congregational Church of North Pelham.  The Congregational Church of North Pelham, organized in 1888, no longer exists.

Although the organization formally known as "Union Sabbath School Society of Pelhamville" was incorporated as a religious organization on July 20, 1878, its origins date back to 1876.  That year, a group of Pelhamville residents organized to provide "instruction in Christian education" to their children.  The group asked Eli Trott and Jared Macy of the Children's Aid Society in New York to help them organize "a Sunday school that would be Christian and at the same time non-sectarian."  The organization was formally incorporated with Eli Trott, Superintendent; S. B. Carlisle, Assistant Superintendent; Alex B. Macy, Secretary; and Jared Macy, Treasurer.  

I have written before about the history of the Union Sabbath School.  See

Fri., Apr. 18, 2014:  The Union Sabbath School of Pelhamville.  

Fri., Feb. 28, 2014:  Brief History of the Role Churches Played in the Growth of the Pelhams Published in 1926

Mon., Sep. 21, 2009:  January 1882 Account of the 1881 Christmas Festival Held at the Union Sabbath School in Pelhamville

Mon., Aug. 24, 2009:  1878 Advertisement for Services of The Union Sabbath School Society of Pelhamville.

The organization provided more broadly for the spiritual needs of Pelhamville residents than merely Sunday School for the youngsters.  It arranged for revolving appearances of local church ministers from Mount Vernon and Pelham Manor to deliver sermons to the congregation.  Early services and Sunday School gatherings were held in the parlor of the home of Mr. Richard Sherwood of Pelhamville.  

At first, there were "sixteen scholars and teachers" in the Sunday School.  Within about eighteen months, however, that number had grown to eighty and Mr. Sherwood's parlor could no longer accommodate the crowds.  On nice days, the congregation held Sunday school and church services "in the open fields."  By April, 1878, members of The Union Sabbath School Society of Pelhamville were engaged in extensive fundraising activities and were beseeching other local congregations to help them raise the funds necessary to build a small chapel.

At about this time, the organization was able to arrange the use of the Pelhamville Depot on the New Haven Line during the month of June for Sunday School in the afternoon and for Sunday services in the evening.  The organization placed advertisements in The Chronicle, a Mount Vernon newspaper, indicating that Sunday School would be held in the train station at 3:00 p.m. each Sunday in June and that various local ministers would preach sermons in the train station at 7:30 p.m. under the following schedule:

June 2:  Rev. Dr. Hiscox of Mount Vernon.
June 9:  Rev. Dr. Henry Randall Wait of Pelham Manor.
June 16:  Rev. A. C. Bowdish of Mount Vernon.
June 23:  Rev. M. H. Hutton of Mount Vernon.
June 30:  Sabbath School Concert.

This is another example of Pelham institutions supporting local citizens who sought to organize and grow local religious organizations.  Various such organizations used not only the Pelhamville Train Depot, but also local barns, and even the Pelham Picture House after that movie theater was built.  Though the Union Sabbath School Society of Pelhamville no longer exists, it remains an important part of the early history of the tiny community once known as Pelhamville.

One of the Only Known Depictions of the Tiny
Pelhamville Depot Where Members of The
Union Sabbath School Society of Pelhamville
Held Sunday School and Sabbath Services in
June, 1878.  Source:  January 16, 1886 Issue of
Scientific American, "A Remarkable Railroad Accident."
NOTE: Click on Images to Enlarge.

*          *          *          *          *

NOTE:  Click on Image To Enlarge.  Text,
Citation and Link to Original Immediately Below.


THE UNION SABBATH-SCHOOL SOCIETY of Pelhamville, will hold SABBATH SERVICES, every Sabbath in June, at the Pelhamville Depot, at 7:30 o'clock, P.M.  Preaching services as follows:  June 2d, Rev. Dr. Hiscox, of Mount Vernon.  June 9th, Rev. Dr. Waite, of Pelham Manor.  June 16th, Rev. A. C. Bowdish, of Mount Vernon.  June 23d, Rev. M. H. Hutton, of Mount Vernon.  Services of Song the first half hour.  Singing from Moody and Sankey books.  Sabbath School Concert June 30.  Several Sabbath-school workers will be present and address the school.  The Sabbath-school connected with this Society will be held every Sabbath afternoon at 3 o'clock.  We give a cordial invitation to all to attend these free services."

Source:  UNION GOSPEL SERVICES [Advertisement], The Chronicle [Mount Vernon, NY], Jun. 21, 1878, Vol. IX, No. 457, p. 3, col. 1.  

Map of Pelhamville Published in 1868. Source:
Beers, F.W., Atlas of New York and Vicinity from
Actual Surveys By and Under the Direction of
F.W. Beers, Assisted By A.B. Prindle & Others, pg.
36 (NY, NY: Beers, Ellis & Soule, 1868) (Detail from
Page 36 Map Entitled "Town of New Rochelle,
Westchester Co., N.Y. (With) Pelhamville).
NOTE:  Click on Link to Enlarge.

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