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, July 31, 2017

Raising Funds in the 1870s to Build a Bigger Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church on City Island

Today's Trinity United Methodist Church located at 331 City Island Avenue on City Island in the Bronx was founded as Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church in 1852.  It was one of the earliest churches built in the Town of Pelham.  I have written about the history of the church before.  See Tue., Sep. 27, 2016:  Brief History of Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church Established in Pelham in 1852.  

Post Card View of Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church
Postmarked Oct. 22, 1904.  NOTE:  Click on Image to Enlarge.

By 1851, a group of City Islanders had raised sufficient funds to begin building a tiny chapel on donated land located near the present location of today's church.  The group completed construction of the tiny chapel in 1852.  First known as the "Union Chapel," the congregation joined the Methodist Episcopal Church and named their church "The Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church."  

By the 1870s, however, the population of Pelham had more than tripled to nearly 1,800 people with most living on City Island.  The congregation had grown as well and needed a larger church building.  

During 1877 and 1878, the congregation began raising funds and acquired the lot on which the church still stands.  By 1878, the church either owned the lot outright, "or the balance due on it [was] otherwise provided for."  The congregation wanted to build a beautiful, larger church building that, completely furnished, would cost about $6,000 (apparently including the cost of the lot).  

By the summer of 1878, the congregation had received pledges totaling more than $2,000 toward the cost of the new building.  They planned to commence work on the building once $5,000 had been raised.

One of the church-sponsored events to raise building funds that summer was held on July 4, 1878.  As part of the Town of Pelham's grand celebration of the Fourth of July that year (which included fireworks at Belden Point and a grand baseball game between the Vails and the Clam Diggers), the women of The Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church hosted a church social, picnic, and clam bake in the Scofield Orchard that once stood near the church parsonage.  

There is a detailed description of the planned event, though there appears to be no local newspaper write-up regarding how the event went.  Nevertheless, the event most assuredly took place as the weather in Pelham that July 4 was lovely.

The women of the church that Fourth of July offered a picnic and clam bake as well as "ice cream and other refreshments."  Indeed, the event was reminiscent of the sorts of events that the Bolton Family hosted in the early 1840s to help fund construction of Christ Church in Pelham Manor.  

The congregation's fund-raising and the work of the women of the church were successful.  Later in the year (1878), construction of the new church building began.  The new church, in which the congregation continues to worship to this day, opened the following year. 

*          *          *          *          *

"City Island.

On Thursday, July 4th, the ladies of the M. E. Church of City Island propose holding a citizens' picnic and clam-bake, in the Scofield Orchard, near the church parsonage.  Proceeds for the benefit of the new church in contemplation.  Dinner, ice cream and other refreshments can be procured on the grounds.  If the day should prove stormy, the picnic will be held the next fair day.  It is to be hoped that the ladies will reap a large sum from this enterprise, thereby helping to forward the new church movement.  The old church is entirely too small for the congregations that meet in it from time to time.  The people of City Island have done nobly.  Thus far over $2,000 have been pledged, and it only remains for a few of the wealthy men on and near City Island to swell the amount so that the work can go on.  The lot is clear, or the balance due on it otherwise provided for, and when $5,000 has been pledged work will be begun and pushed forward to a rapid completion.  The congregation want to build a church that will cost, furnished comple[te], about $6,000.  The plans have been prepared and from the description given us, the building will be not only sufficiently commodious, but an ornament to the island. . . ."

Source:  City Island, The Chronicle [Mount Vernon, NY], Jun. 28, 1878, Vol. IX, No. 458, p. 2, col. 5

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, July 28, 2017

The City Island Bridge Regatta of 1878

The Town of Pelham was abuzz with excitement and anticipation as the first annual City Island Bridge Regatta approached.  The sailing yacht race was scheduled for Saturday, June 22, 1878.  A news report published the day before the race noted that entries were expected from City Island, New Rochelle, and Cow Bay, Long Island.  Prizes for the first, second, and third place finishers were $20, $10, and $5 cash.  (About $730, $365, and $183, respectively, in today's dollars.)

Race day dawned with heavy gray skies.  A steady rain fell in the morning.  For a time it was feared that the race would not proceed.  According to one account, however, "A large crowd of spectators had gathered to witness the race."  Thus, at about 12:30 p.m., the referee's boat headed out onto the course.

The course covered eight miles, to be sailed over twice.  It began from a stake boat off City Island Bridge and proceeded to a buoy eight miles distant, southeast of Throgg's Neck.

The water that day was very rough.  To make matters worse, a strong southeast wind blew against the slow current from the west.  It seemed impracticable even to attempt the race.  Conditions were so poor that only five sailing yachts appeared at the start:  Lulu (New Rochelle), Little Pluck, Nettie, Mary B. (City Island), and Susie (New Rochelle).  

At about 12:45 p.m., the Umpire Boat and the Press Boat took their positions near the starting line at City Island Bridge.  Precisely at 12:51 p.m., the starting gun signaled the first start (Lulu).  Within the next two minutes, the starting gun signaled all of the remaining four boats.

The results were bad.  Two of the three sailing yachts suffered substantial mishaps and failed to complete the race.  A third had to complete repairs on the course and, only then, was able to complete the race.

The Nettie was the first to suffer a problem.  Off Horton's Point on City Island, she carried away her bobstay and broker her rudder.  (A bobstay is a rope that is part of the rigging of a sailing vessel that counteracts upward tension on the bowsprit from jibs and the forestay.)  The Lulu soon carried away her bobstay and her mast went overboard.  Like the Nettie, the Lulu failed to complete the race.  The Mary B. was the next to suffer a mishap.  Its bobstay broke.  The crew was able to repair the problem and finish the race, but it took about fifteen minutes to fix it.  

The Mary B. and the Susie made quite a race of it.  The Susie was the first to cross the finish line at about 4:25 p.m. with a final time of three hours, thirty-two minutes, and twenty-two seconds.  The Mary B. took second place, crossing the finish line barely three minutes later at about 4:28 p.m.

In the meantime, the Little Pluck was very far behind the two leaders.  Nowhere near the finish line, the Little Pluck suffered terrible luck.  At about 5:00 p.m., about 35 minutes after the other two racers had crossed the finish line, the wind ended and there came a dead calm.  

The Little Pluck wasn't able to cross the finish line until about 6:08 p.m.  It was enough, however, to take third place and the third place prize of $5.  

Given the maritime history of City Island and its boatyards, it should come as no surprise that such sailing yacht races were a common sight off the shores of the little island.  

*          *          *          *           *

"City Island. . . . 

The City Island Bridge Regatta will take place to-morrow (Saturday). At present it looks as though the race will be a very interesting one. New Rochelle will be represented by the Lulu and Centennial, and probably the Susie. City Island will be represented by the Mary B. and A. F. Vail, and two or three boats are expected from Cow Bay, L. I. Entries can be made as late as 10 o'clock. . . ." 

Source:  City Island, The Chronicle [Mount Vernon, NY], Jun. 21, 1878, Vol. IX, No. 457, p. 2, col. 5.

"City Island. . . .

The first annual City Island Bridge Regatta was sailed on the 22d inst.  The day was unfavorable and the race proved unfortunate for three of the boats.  During the early morning hours the rain fell steadily and when it ceased a strong south-easterly wind sprang up and continued until about 3 o'clock in the afternoon when it began to die out and at 5 o'clock there was a dead calm.  A large crowd of spectators had gathered to witness the race, and at 12:30 P. M. the referee's boat was ordered over the course.  The water was very rough, the strong south-east wind blowing against the slow current from the west, and it was at one time thought impracticable to call the race.  However, at ten minutes to 1 the first gun was fired and the Umpire and Press boats took their places at the starting point.  The course was from a stake boat off City Island Bridge to a buoy 8 miles distant, south-east of Throgg's Point, to be sailed over twice.  The following is the time of starting, finishing and time of race:








Little Pluck…


30 1/4


Mary B………





The Nettie carried away her bob stay [sic] and broke her rudder when off Horton's Point.  The Lulu had to be withdrawn on account of a mishap off Button Ball Tree; she carried away her bob stay [sic] and her mast went overboard.  Off old Tom the Mary B. broke her bob stay [sic], and it took about 15 minutes to fix it.  The prizes were $20, $10 and $5; the Susie, of New Rochelle, took the first prize.  There will be another regatta next month by the same club.


Source:  City Island, The Chronicle [Mount Vernon, NY], Jun. 21, 1878, Vol. IX, No. 457, p. 2, col. 5.

Archive of the Historic Pelham Web Site.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Terrible Storm of 1856 Wrecks Dozens and Dozens of Ships Including Many on Pelham Shores

The winter of 1855-1856 was one of the coldest on record.  The terrible winter was marked by a terribly devastating storm that pounded the eastern seaboard and formed a nor'easter that ended as a great blizzard January 4-6, 1856.  

Snow began in New York City on Saturday, January 5, 1856.  The storm grew into a monster that pounded the New York region and continued overnight and well into the following day.  The Monday, January 7, 1856 issue of The New-York Daily Times reported:

"The last was one of the greatest snow storms that has visited our City for many years.  It set in from the northeast on Saturday afternoon, and continued with increasing violence until Sunday morning.  The cold, gusty wind by which it was accompanied caused the snow to drift so deeply as to render the thoroughfares nearly impassable. . . ."

Source:  THE STORM -- Great Depth of Snow-Stoppage of Trains -- Damage to Shipping, &c., The New-York Daily Times, Jan. 7, 1856, Vol. V, No. 1342, p. 1, cols. 4-5 (Note:  Paid subscription required to access via this link).

Pelham, Long Island Sound, and Long Island were particularly savaged by the massive storm.  For more than a week, reports trickled in of the terrible toll taken on human lives and shipping in Long Island Sound.  Brigs, schooners, and ships of all kinds literally littered the shores of islands within the Town of Pelham.  

By the time the storm ended, at least twelve major vessels had been wrecked on Pelham shores.  Among them was a wrecking schooner that was attending the previously wrecked Plymouth Rock that was driven ashore on City Island by a similar nor'easter only two weeks earlier.  I have written before about the wreck of the Plymouth Rock during one of the storms of the terrible winter of 1855-1856, as well as the extensive efforts to re-float and repair the massive vessel.  See Fri., May 26, 2017:  The Significance of the Wreck of the Steamer Plymouth Rock in Pelham in 1855.

Wrecks on Pelham shores included several on and near Hart Island.  The Brig Nebraska of Providence, Rhode Island, was cast high on the beach on the east side of the island.  The Schooner Cornwall, from Thomaston, was still afloat but ice-bound near the island with its foresail gone.  An unnamed but "full rigged brig" was driven ashore on the island.  The Brig Abeona of New York City, was aground at low water off the shores of Throggs Neck toward City Island and Hart Island.

On City Island, the wrecking schooner that had been attending the wreck Plymouth Rock dragged three anchors and was cast ashore "high and dry."  Five additional unnamed schooners were cast ashore and also left "high and dry."

Huckleberry Island also was the scene of shipwrecks.  Two unnamed schooners were cast ashore there.  

It is no exaggeration to say that there have been hundreds and hundreds of shipwrecks in Pelham waters in the last 360 years.  The terrible nor'easter that pounded Pelham overnight from Saturday, January 5 to Sunday, January 6, 1856. however, likely was responsible for more major shipwrecks in our little town than any other storm in the town's history.  

*          *          *          *          *

News stories about the January 5-6, 1856 nor'easter that pounded Pelham and the surrounding region are legion.  Below are relevant excerpts of one such story that form the basis of today's Historic Pelham article.  It is followed by a citation and link to its source.

Another Ship, a Bark and two Schooners on Long Island.
Two Barks, one Brig, two Schooners and a Pilot Boat Ashore on Jersey Coast.

Accounts of shipwrecks continue to crowd in upon us.  Our columns were yesterday filled with the thrilling statements of the survivors of the pilot boat K. K. Collins, and the particulars of the wrecks of the Stingray, Pacific and others on the Jersey and Long Island shores.  Although we have now to chronicle the loss of fourteen more vessels, we are happy to state that they do not, probably, involve the loss of any more lives. 

It appears by our special despatches that the storm of Saturday night last was more disastrous to vessels bound to this port than that of the 5th inst.  It not only broke up and scattered those driven ashore in the first storm, but it added fourteen or fifteen more vessels to the list of wrecks, namely:  --

Ship John Stroud.
Steamship Granada.
Bark Echo.
Bark John Farnbam.
Bark D. S. Goodell.
Brig Samuel and Edward.
Brig Abeona
Brig Nebraska
Schooner Samuel P. Lord
Schooner Envoy.
Schooner Rio Grande.
Schooner John G. Roach.
Schooner Cornwall.
Pilot Boat Phantom.

Our special despatches give the latest and fullest intelligence. . . . 


One of our special reporters has obtained from Captain Hoffmire, of the steamtug Hector, the following particulars of vessels ashore on Hart Island: -- 

Brig Nebraska, from Providence, ashore east side of Hart Island, high up on the beach.  No cargo.  Vessel partly insured.  Went ashore at four o'clock yesterday morning.

Brig Abeona, of New York, touches at low water, east side of Throgs Neck, surrounded by ice.  Belongs to Jesse Foy, 105 Water street; is deep loaded.  The pilot of the steamtug walked to her on the ice.

Schooner Cornwall, from Thomaston, is [in] the ice near Hart Island, foresaile gone.

CITY ISLAND, Jan. 14, 1856.

The wrecking schooner attending on the steamer Plymouth Rock, dragged three anchors and went ashore on City Island high and dry.

At Sand Point and about Cow Bay the effects of the storm on Saturday night and Sunday morning were very severely felt.  A full rigged brig was driven ashore on Hart Island, five schooners were left high and dry on City Island, and two schooners were cast upon Huckleberry Island. . . ."

Source:  OUR SHIP NEWS REPORTS -- FOURTEEN MORE VESSELS ASHORE -- Another Ship, a Bark and two Schooners on Long Island -- TOTAL LOSS OF THE CLIPPER STINGRAY -- Two Barks, one Brig, two Schooners and a Pilot Boat Ashore on Jersey Coast -- TWO BRIGS AND A SCHOONER ON HART ISLAND, &c., &c., &c., The New York Herald, Jan. 15, 1856, No. 7078, p. 1, cols. 2-5.  

*          *          *          *          *

I have written before about a number of terrible nor'easters that have pounded the Pelham region.  For a few examples, see:

Fri., May 26, 2017:  The Significance of the Wreck of the Steamer Plymouth Rock in Pelham in 1855.

Mon., Mar. 13, 2017:  Another Account of The Great Blizzard of 1888 that Raged in Pelham 129 Years Ago Yesterday and Today.

Tues., Apr. 22, 2014:  Another Story of the "Great White Hurricane" that Struck Pelham and Surrounding Regions in 1888.

Thu., Mar. 13, 2014:  The Great Blizzard of 1888 in Pelham: 126 Years Ago Yesterday and Today.

Thu., February 20, 2014:  Pelham Manor in 1883 and in its Early Years - Recollections of An Early Pelham Manor Resident.

Tue., Feb. 14, 2006:  An Account of the Blizzard of 1888 by Pelham Manor Resident Henry W. Taft

Mon., Feb. 13, 2006:  Historic Snowfall in Pelham, NY:  The Great Nor'easter of '06.

Bell, Blake A., The Blizzard of 1888: Pelham in the Midst Of the "Great White Hurricane," The Pelham Weekly, Vol. XIII, No. 34, Aug. 27, 2004, p. 9, col. 1.

Archive of the Historic Pelham Web Site.
Home Page of the Historic Pelham Blog.
Order a Copy of "Thomas Pell and the Legend of the Pell Treaty Oak."

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

A Pelham Fish Story

For hundreds of years, Pelham was considered a sportsman's paradise for hunters, fishermen, clam diggers, hikers, and those who loved the great outdoors.  Though adjacent to the growing metropolis of New York City, the town was sufficiently remote so that thousands of ducks, geese, turkeys, pheasants, grouse, woodcocks, doves, and other game were taken in and around the Town each year.  Additionally, during much of the 19th century (and at times even today), the waters off Pelham shores teemed with hundreds of species of large fish including striped bass, bluefish, sharks of various types,  blackfish, sea bass of various kinds,  flounder of various types, and much, much more.

Thousands of sports-loving New Yorkers have fished the waters off Pelham (including today's Pelham Bay Park) for centuries and continue to do so today.  Thus, as one might expect, so-called fishermen's tales have been common over the last two hundred years.  Some, however, are a little odder than others -- such as today's "Pelham Fish Story" reported in 1889.

According to the tale, two friends rowed a small boat out to Huckleberry Island off the shores of Pelham to fish for blackfish.  Like all who fish, they were ever the optimists and had prepared for success.  One had brought a length of unusual window cord with which to string the pair's catches through the gills and hang them overboard to keep them alive as long as possible.  

The pair had a lucky day.  The fish were biting.  By 4:00 p.m., they had caught forty-two pounds worth of blackfish, stringing each one on the window cord that they tied to the oarlock of the rowboat.  They kept the fish so strung in the water to keep them alive.  

Near the end of the day, ready to call it quits, one of the two tried to untie the cord and lift the fish into the boat, only to let the cord slip through his hands.  The pair watched helplessly as the mass of blackfish slowly squirmed away, deeper and deeper into the waters of the Sound.

Avid fishermen, two weeks later the pair was out fishing again.  This time they were fishing from the Eastchester town dock near Eastchester Bay on the Hutchinson River.  The two had not been fishing for more than ten minutes when one of them hooked what he thought was a monster fish.  He tugged and pulled to bring it up.  As it reached the surface, to his shock, it was "the self-same string of blackfish that I had caught two weeks before at Huckleberry Island."  

He knew it was the same string of blackfish because they were attached to the very window cord he had used to string them in the first place.  Even more surprising, not only was every fish that the pair had caught and strung two weeks before still alive, but also "every fish weighed double what it did before."  Thus, according to the fisherman's tale, ""instead of having forty-two pounds I had ninety-seven pounds of nice, living fish." 

Somehow, the string of fish had made its way for miles from Huckleberry Island to the Eastchester Town Dock.  Moreover, the blackfish reputedly had thrived and grown in Pelham waters during the previous two weeks.

We all have heard strange fishermen's tall tales before, usually involving little more than exaggerating the size of a fish.  Before dismissing this particular tale skeptically, however, let this author now step outside the role of local historian and relate his own fisherman's tale -- one that evokes the "Pelham Fish Story" told above.  The author's own tale is, most assuredly, true.

As a youngster growing up in Jackson, Mississippi, I had the fortune to fish frequently at what was then called Ross Barnett Reservoir.  One summer in the early 1970s, while fishing for catfish with a friend, we left a rod and reel propped and unattended as was so often done (whether napping or tending to multiple rods).  Shortly the rod bent violently and began bobbing, signaling that a catfish was on the hook.  Before either of us could get to the rod to fight the fish and reel it in, the fish dragged the rod and reel right into the water and took off with it.  (I even stripped to skivvies, dove in after it to the bottom, and felt in the murky water for the outfit.  Soon it was apparent.  The rod and reel were gone -- a difficult result for an avid young fisherman who did not have the money to replace it easily.

Several weeks later, I was able to return to the spot and was trying my hand at stalking catfish once again.  This time, I had learned my lesson and kept the rod and reel in my hands.  Soon the rod bent violently and began bobbing.  I began fighting the fish, but it seemed unusually large and difficult to reel in to shore.  

I was successful and reeled in a nice catfish.  It was nice (several pounds) but not, however, as large as I expected given the difficulty I had getting it to shore.  As I looked more closely, I noticed what looked like an extra line hanging out the fish's mouth.  I tugged on the extra line.  It seemed snagged on something.  I began pulling and felt it give a little.

I pulled and tugged until I reached what was on the other end of the extra line.  It was the rod and reel that had been pulled into the water several weeks before.  Incredibly, the catfish seemed none the worse for the wear and tear.  Indeed, it seemed quite healthy, but for the two hooks and lines that it had swallowed.  

You may think this catfish story is merely another tall tale, but it is entirely true (except, perhaps, for exaggerating ever so slightly the size of the fish).  I ask you, however, to ask yourself:  if I assume the catfish tale to be true, might the Pelham Fish Story involving catching the same blackfish twice in 1889 also be true?

I, for one, am a believer. . . . 

Blackfish (Tautoga Onitis)

*          *          *          *          *

Below is the text of a news item that forms the basis of today's Historic Pelham article.  It is followed by a citation and link to its source.

"Ready to Furnish Proof.

Two weeks ago last Sunday a friend and myself were fishing for blackfish at Huckleberry Island.  Our luck was good.  Every time that we caught a fish we would string it on a line that we had tied to the oarlock.  About 4 o'clock P. M. we got tired of fishing, and in untying the line it slipped from my hand and sank to the bottom, fish and all.  Last Sunday my friend and myself were fishing at the East Chester town dock.  We hadn't been fishing ten minutes before I had a tremendous bite and hauled up the self-same string of blackfish that I had caught two weeks before at Huckleberry Island.  Every fish was alive, and strange to say every fish weighed double what it did before, and instead of having forty-two pounds I had ninety-seven pounds of nice, living fish.  This string of fish must have traveled about ten miles.  There is no mistake about the string that I used, because it was a piece of window cord that I took with me from home.  This story can be vouched for by the crew of the yacht Sara, who saw me lose the fish two weeks ago.

W. A. S., 
432 East Seventy-fifth street."

Source:  Ready to Furnish Proof, The Evening World [NY, NY], Jul. 2, 1889, p. 3, col. 2.  

Archive of the Historic Pelham Web Site.
Home Page of the Historic Pelham Blog.
Order a Copy of "Thomas Pell and the Legend of the Pell Treaty Oak."

Labels: , , , , , ,

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Closing of the Old Colonial Elementary School in 1926 to Make Way for Today's School Building

The original Colonial School once stood on the site of today's Colonial Elementary School in Pelham Heights. The first Colonial School was built in 1900.  The poorly-designed structure was a two-story brick building with four classrooms and a wooden staircase so noisy that multiple accounts indicate that teachers had to stop lessons when students or visitors moved up or down the staircase.  An image of the original Colonial School appears immediately below.

First Colonial School that Stood on the Site of Today's Colonial
Elementary School in an Undated Photograph, Circa 1905.  Source:
Pelham Union Free School District No. 1, [Untitled History of District
Schools], p. 4 [Unnumbered Pages], Visited May 10, 2015.
NOTE:  Click Image to Enlarge.

During the first quarter of the 20th century, the Town of Pelham experienced two significant bursts of growth in its population that virtually overwhelmed the schools of the Town.  To make matters worse, older structures such as the first Colonial School were poorly designed to handle an expanded student population and quickly became outmoded for modern education.  Indeed, prior to 1921, the State Board of Education condemned the first Colonial School for use as an "educational institution."  

With enrollment still on the rise, the School Board had little alternative but to continue using the school building.  As it searched for a replacement site that would accommodate a much larger building with adequate recreational space, it received stiff opposition from residents of Pelham Heights who did not want a new, large school building near their properties.  Finally giving up, the School Board decided to build a replacement structure on the site of the first Colonial School and an adjacent property that the School Board was able to acquire.

On Friday, June 11, 1926, the original Colonial School closed its doors for the year, thus ending its twenty-six year history as the principal elementary school for Pelham Heights schoolchildren.  The following month, the empty school building was razed to make way for its replacement.  

The cornerstone ceremony for the new building took place on November 21, 1926.  The new school building, today's Colonial Elementary School, was completed in 1927, dedicated to "the truth and virtue in the interest of the children who will begin their education there."

To learn more about the history of Colonial Elementary School, see, e.g.:

Fri., Sep. 18, 2015:  Early History of Colonial Elementary School: The Battle in 1925 Regarding How to Deal with Colonial School and Other Pelham Schools - Part I

Mon., Sep. 21, 2015:  Early History of Colonial Elementary School: The Battle in 1925 Regarding How to Deal with Colonial School and Other Pelham Schools - Part II.

Thu., May 14, 2015:  When School Board Balked, Pelham Heights Resident Donated a School, Furnishings and Paid Teachers With His Own Money.

*          *          *          *          *

Below is the text of a news article noting the closing of the first Colonial School building in 1926.  It is followed by a citation and link to its source. 

"Colonial School Closes Doors in March of Progress
School Building Marked the Beginning of Education of Many Pelhamites

After more than twenty years service to the Pelhams as an educational institution, the Colonial School on Highbrook avenue closed its doors Friday, to be torn down to make way for a more modern structure.  The classes, which have studied there were removed to the Memorial High School, there to pursue their studies until the new building is constructed.

Erected during the last few years of the nineteenth century, the Colonial School was at one time the last word in school buildings.  Its four rooms were ample to accommodate the students of Pelham Heights and a portion of Pelham Manor.  With the construction of the Siwanoy School the Colonial school shared the educational work, and as the school children grew more numerous, the building was relegated to the teaching of the lower grade children.

A few years ago the State department of Education condemned the building as an educational institution and the Board of Education sought to replace it with another school nearer the Pelhamwood section.  The taxpayers however rejected this.  At a recent special election the taxpayers voted to construct a new two-story, twelve-room school building on the site of the Colonial school and adjoining property owned by the school district.

The work of razing the school building will start early in July."

Source:  Colonial School Closes Doors in March of Progress -- School Building Marked the Beginning of Education of Many Pelhamites, The Pelham Sun, Jun. 11, 1926, p. 11, cols. 3-4.  

Archive of the Historic Pelham Web Site.
Home Page of the Historic Pelham Blog

Labels: , , , , , , ,