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.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

1860 Auction Offering Pelhamdale Lots from the Estate of James Hay

On June 2, 1860, auctioneers offered for sale 110 acres of land between today's Boston Post Road and the New Haven Line.  The auction was the carve-up of one of the few remaining large sections of the vast estate developed by Philip Pell II in about 1750 when he built a farmhouse that now forms a portion of the basement level rear portion of the home known today as Pelhamdale, located at 45 Iden Avenue and listed on the New York State and National Registers of Historic Places.  The auction notice published before the 1860 auction indicated that the land would be offered in parcels of "eight to ten acres each" on behalf of the estate of James Hay, deceased.

James Hay bought the Pell home and an extensive portion of the Pell estate in 1823 from the widow of David Jones Pell, a son of the original owner, Philip Pell II.  Hay expanded the home, named his estate "Pelhamdale," and changed the home essentially to the form seen today.  As Lockwood Barr stated in his History of Pelham (Plate XXV), Hay "made it one of the showplaces of Westchester."  Hay served as Town Supervisor of the Town of Pelham in 1842, 1844, and 1845.  

According to some sources, others bought other portions of the Pell estate from David J. Pell's widow in 1823:

"Upon the death of Colonel David J. Pell in 1823 his estate was divided and a large part of the farm was conveyed in 1827 to Nancy H. Ogden and upon her death became the property of her son, Nathaniel P. Ogden, who in turn conveyed it on April 7, 1836 to Francis Secor. The Ogden house was built about 1827 and was situated in front of the well near Wolf's Lane on the Secor land which is now the property of Mr. J. Manger. It was in this house that Mr. Ogden P. Pell was born in 1835. The house was destroyed upon the completion of the new Secor house. 

Another part of David J. Pell's estate was conveyed in 1833 to A. Wolf, who sold it in 1851 to the Pelhamville Land Co. This property constituted the major part of what is now known as the village of North Pelham. Another part of this vast estate including the old stone house became the property of James Hay in 1827, who named it Pelham Dale."

Source:  Montgomery, William R., The Old Stone House by the Bridge, The Pelham Sun, Oct. 21, 1927, p. 10, cols. 1-6.

The 1860 auction of the lands owned by James Hay did not include the home itself or the lot on which it stood.  The home and its lot were purchased by the Coudert family after James Hay's death.  Although some say the home known as Pelhamdale was used for a time thereafter as a boy's school, no reliable evidence to establish that assertion has yet been found by this author.  It is possible that researchers have been confused by the fact that a member of the Coudert family operated a very famous boys' school in New York City in the 1840s. 

The subdivided lots today form much of the land near Wolfs Lane between Boston Post Road and today's Colonial Avenue.  Many of the homes in that area can trace their title back to a purchase resulting from this auction conducted by A. J. Bleecker, Son & Co. on June 2, 1860.

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Below is an image of the auction notice that forms the basis of today's posting.  It is followed by a citation and link to its source, as well as a transcription of its text to facilitate search.

1860 Sales By Auction Notice for Pelhamdale Estate
Lands After Death of James Hay, Owner of Pelhamdale
Notice], New-York Tribune, May 25, 1860, p. 2, col. 3 (Note:
Paid subscription required to access via this link).
NOTE:  Click on Image to Enlarge.

"A. J. BLEECKER, Auctioneer.

A. J. BLEECKER, SON & Co. will sell at auction on SATURDAY, June 2, at 12 o'clock m., on the premises, 


divided into parcels of from eight to ten acres each, lying between the Boston Post Road and the New Haven Railroad, near the PELHAMVILLE STATION.  SALE POSITIVE.  Terms easy.

Particulars at No. 7 Pine st., or of LYON & PORTER, No. 25 Nassau st., N. Y.  By order of 

S. D. LYON, and 
Administrators of the Estate of Jas. Hay, deceased.

Source:  A. J. BLEECKER, Auctioneer -- ADMINISTRATOR'S SALE OF PELHAMVILLE VILLA SITES [Sales By Auction Notice], New-York Tribune, May 25, 1860, p. 2, col. 3 (Note:  Paid subscription required to access via this link).  

The Home Known as "Pelhamdale" at 45 Iden Avenue.
NOTE:  Click on Image to Enlarge.

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I have written about the lovely historic home known as "Pelhamdale" (and "Pelham Dale") on numerous occasions.  For a few of many examples, see:

Thu., Oct. 20, 2016:  Fears in 1934 and 1935 that the Historic Home Known as Pelhamdale Would Be Razed.

Fri, May 13, 2016 1851:  Advertisement Offering Farm and Mansion Known as Pelhamdale for Lease.

Fri., Sep. 04, 2015:  Sale of the Pre-Revolutionary War Home Known as Pelhamdale in 1948.

Tue., Jun. 24, 2014:  Story of Pelhamdale, the Old Stone House by the Bridge, Once Owned by David J. Pell.

Thu., Jan. 03, 2008:  Charges in 1808 Against Lieutenant-Colonel David J. Pell of Pelham that He "Indulges in Inebriety and Habitual Drunkeness." 

Thu., Oct. 26, 2006:  Genealogical Data Regarding David Jones Pell of the Manor of Pelham, Revolutionary War Officer

Mon., Oct 15, 2007:  Town Proclamation Recognizes Celebration of the 250th Anniversary of Pelhamdale at 45 Iden Avenue

Wed., Nov. 02, 2005:  Engraving by P.M. Pirnie Showing Pelhamdale in 1861

Thu., Oct. 13, 2005:  Two More Pelham Ghost Stories

Mon., Sep. 19, 2005:  The Long-Hidden Pastoral Mural Uncovered in Pelhamdale, a Pre-Revolutionary War Home

Mon., Apr. 11, 2005:  More From the William R. Montgomery Glass Negative Collection (includes photograph of fire at Pelhamdale on February 28, 1925)

Tue., Mar. 22, 2005:  The 1790 U.S. Census Information for the Township of Pelham.

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