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.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Pelham's First District Firefighters Repaired Christmas Toys for Children in 1938


The Great Depression still was underway.  In those years, the Town of Pelham offered needy Pelham children a Christmas holiday party with a visit from Santa Clause and a bag full of toys and necessaries for each child.  See Wed., Dec. 06, 2017:  The Town of Pelham's First Annual Children's Holiday Season Party Held in 1932.  The firemen of the First Fire District of the Town of Pelham joined in such charitable efforts.  In 1938, they collected and repaired broken toys as Christmas gifts for Pelham youngsters.  Recently, members of Pelham Professional Firefighters Local 2213 posted to Facebook a very special photograph that commemorates that holiday season in 1938.

The photograph, seen below, shows Pelham firefighters repairing children's toys for Christmas, working on the apparatus floor of the current firehouse.  The caption suggests that the photograph was printed and then given to the firemen by the Pelham Lion's Club.  The caption reads:  "First Fire District Firemen repair toys for Children's Christmas PRESENTED BY PELHAM LION'S CLUB, 1938."


The photograph appeared on the front page of the December 22, 1938 issue of The Pelham Sun.  That Christmas season, the firemen cooperated with the Lions Club of Pelham to distribute gifts to needy Pelham children identified by the local Welfare Department.

The President of the Lions Club, Herman Glasser, led a major initiative that season to collect toys and playthings that needed light repair.  Glasser also donated a supply of paint to touch up articles as did Arthur D. Koppel, Chairman of the Board of Fire Commissioners.

The toys began pouring in by about the third week of November that year.  About 2,000 arrived from "all sections of the Town."  The firemen immediately began repairs and repainting.  

Village of North Pelham officials also were involved.  North Pelham Mayor Dominic Amato and North Pelham Village Clerk Walter H. McIlroy led a group that packed the toys and distributed them to parents of needy children who were to receive them that morning.  In addition to the toys, a generous anonymous "local resident" donated boxes of candy so that each child received not only toys, but also a box of candy.  

The Christmas Spirit was alive and well as it is today in Pelham, New York.  

*          *          *          *          *

"Volunteer Firemen and Lions Club Help Santa Claus Repairing and Distributing More Than 2,000 Toys
-----

Santa Claus will come down the chimney according to tradition on Saturday night in many homes in Pelham where, but for the effort of the firemen of the First Fire District and the members of the Lions Club, he might have gone by without noticing.  His pack will be filled with toys which have been collected by the service club and repaired by the firemen.  It is estimated that 2,000 playthings received at the Fire Headquarters and the majority of these [illegible] were distributed among children of needy families.  The lists were prepared by the Welfare Department.

Herman Glasser, president of the Lions Club was in charge of the group that collected the articles, and he also donated a supply of paint.  Arthur D. Koppel, chairman of the Board of Fire Commissioners also contributed paint.  During the last month members of the department have been having a joyous time returning to their more youthful days, by repairing and repainting the toys which were sent by residents of all sections of the town.

Mayor Dominic Amato and Village Clerk Walter H. McIlroy head the group which packed the presents and began distribution of them to the parents of the children who are to receive them on Christmas morning.  In addition to the toys, a box of candy, donated by generous local resident, was included in every gift box."

Source:  Volunteer Firemen and Lions Club Help Santa Claus Repairing and Distributing More Than 2,000 Toys, The Pelham Sun, Dec. 22, 1938, p. 1, cols. 3-6.  

"Spread Christmas Cheer With Lights On Outdoor Trees At Your Residence
-----

Pelham's Christmas display should extend throughout the town according to the members of the Pelham Lions Club who are urging that local merchants set a good example for the rest of the town by erecting outdoor Christmas displays of Christmas tree, greens and lights.  The service club has inaugurated a Christmas Display prize to be awarded the local merchant whose storefront is judged the most attractive during the holiday shopping season.  The displays must be erected by Dec. 15.

The Lions Club is offering a $15.00 cash prize to be awarded to the merchant whose outdoor display of Christmas greens and electric lights is judged the best by a committee of women to be selected  by Mrs. E. A. Jimenis, chairman of the Susan B. Holmes Garden Trophy Committee of the Manor Club.  The displays must be installed by Dec. 15.  

The Lions Club committee for the display competition is James T. Bollettieri, Freeman Yorks and John Quatroni.

In conjunction with the Christmas Display in the shopping district the members of the service club are urging local residents to spread the Christmas illumination throughout the town by decorating outdoor trees at their homes with Christmas lights.  A committee of members of the clubs has planned to make a survey through the various sections of the town and to make suitable recognition of the neighborhoods which present the most attractive appearance by Christmas tree illumination during the holiday season."

Source:  Spread Christmas Cheer With Lights On Outdoor Trees At Your Residence, The Pelham Sun, Dec. 2, 1938, Vol. 28, No. 35, p. 1, cols. 7-8.

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Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Patrick and Rose Marvel, Two of Pelhamville's Earliest Residents, Died in 1906 and 1910, Respectively


Patrick and Rose Marvel were two of the earliest residents of the settlement once known as Pelhamville created in the early 1850s.  The couple moved to Pelhamville in 1855, shortly after their marriage.

Patrick J. Marvel was born in Ireland in August, 1827.  His wife, Rose, also was born in Ireland, but in September, 1834.  Genealogists believe that Patrick immigrated to the United States in 1851, followed by Rose who immigrated in 1852.  Researchers differ over the date of their marriage, but it appears that the couple married shortly before moving to Pelhamville in 1855.  Patrick J. Marvel became a naturalized U.S. citizen on October 8, 1856.

The couple lived in a home on Fourth Avenue near Second Street and raised a large family.  Among their six children was Patrick J. Marvel, Jr. who became Town Clerk of the Town of Pelham before his untimely death on December 30, 1910.  According to some genealogists, the couple had at least seven children:

Patrick J. Marvel (b. 1861)
Celia Marvel (b. 1865)
Rose Marvel (b. 1868)
Ellen Marvel (b. 1870)
Mary Marvel (b. 1872)
Tesse Marvel (b. 1879)
Walter Marvel (b. ?)

The Marvel family became a Pelhamville institution.  Upon the death of Rose Marvel on October 17, 1906, an obituary appeared on the front page of the local newspaper detailing her life and the length of her residency as "one of the oldest residents in the village."

Today's Historic Pelham article transcribes the obituary of Rose Marvel, early Pelhamville resident.



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"DEATH OF MRS. ROSE MARVEL IN NORTH PELHAM YESTERDAY
-----
Was One of the Oldest Residents of the Town and one of the Earliest Settlers.
-----

North Pelham, Oct. 18. -- Mrs. Rose Marvel, wife of Patrick Marvel, died at her home on Second avenue, near Sixth street yesterday afternoon at 2:45 o'clock.

Mrs. Marvel was one of the oldest residents in the village, having lived here since 1855, in which year she came to this country from Ireland, where she was born.  

Mrs. Marvel was one of the earliest settlers in Pelham, and was one of the original inhabitants of the old Pelhamville.  She was a neighbor of Frederick Case, who was a member of the old Pelhamville association.  At that time she resided on Fourth avenue, near Second street.  She had seen, during her life, many changes take place in the village of North Pelham, and had seen it grow from a village with only a few houses to one of nearly a thousand population.  She also saw Pelham Heights and Pelham Manor come into existence.

Besides her husband she leaves six children to mourn her loss:  P. J. Marvel, Mrs. M. C. Driscoll, Nellie, Mary, Cecelia and Walter Marvel, all of Pelham.

The funderal services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, in St. Catherine's church, where mass will be said."

Source:   DEATH OF MRS. ROSE MARVEL IN NORTH PELHAM YESTERDAY -- Was One of the Oldest Residents of the Town and one of the Earliest Settlers, Daily Argus [Mount Vernon, NY], Oct. 18, 1906, No. 4448, p. 1, col. 2.  


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Monday, December 25, 2017

"A Christmas Creed" Presented to Pelham During the Holiday Season in 1922


Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year Dear Pelham!

Pelhamites enjoyed the holidays in 1922 at the outset of the Roaring Twenties.  The local economy was humming along.  All was good in the world.  

"Radiophones" were the new rage in Pelham that year.  See Mon., May 22, 2017:  Early Radio in Pelham: Pelham Firefighters and Business at Pelham Picture House Installed "Radiophone" in 1922.  Prohibition was underway that year as well, though it didn't stop Pelhamites from celebrating with a nip or two.  See Thu., Feb. 02, 2017:  Bootleggers Began to Feel the Heat in Pelham in 1922.  The Huguenot Memorial Presbyterian Church at Four Corners celebrated its 46th anniversary that year.  See Thu., Aug. 24, 2017:  Huguenot Memorial Presbyterian Church Had a Special Celebration of its 46th Anniversary in 1922.  "Silent Cop" traffic "semaphores" and signals were being installed throughout Town as traffic grew to otherwise dangerous levels.  See Wed., Nov. 29, 2017:  Pelham Grows Up: Installation of "Silent Cop" Traffic Lights and Traffic Semaphores in the 1920s.  Grading and construction of Memorial Park next to Town Hall began in 1922.  See Fri., Sep. 22, 2017:  The Establishment of Memorial Park by the Town of Pelham During the 1920s.  Single copies of The Pelham Sun, our local newspaper at the time, cost six cents in 1922.  An annual subscription cost three dollars.  The "Good Ol' Days" were well upon Pelham that year.

Even Dear Pelham's "Christmas Spirit" was optimistic that year.  Indeed, The Pelham Sun devoted its entire front page on December 15, 1922 to "A Christmas Creed."  With yet another Christmas now underway in Pelham, "A Christmas Creed" is transcribed below, followed by a reproduction of the front page of the newspaper on which it appeared ninety-five years ago.

"A Christmas Creed

By MARTHA B. THOMAS
Copyright 1922, WESTERN NEWSPAPER UNION

I believe in Santa Claus.  I believe no hair is snowier, no cheeks redder, no smile merrier and no eyes more twinkling than his.  I believe the heart inn him is big enough to encompass the world -- if people would let it!  I believe in the jingle of his sleigh bells, the swiftness of his reindeer, the sound of their tapping feet on the roof.  I believe in chimneys, big, broad, deep-throated chimneys that will not cramp the Merry Gentleman with his bulging pack.  I believe in solemn rows of stockings hanging by the fire -- father's short one, mother's long one and the dangling ones of the children, all waiting and expectant.  I believe in the invisible blossom of happiness that Santa Clause leaves at every house, and I believe that it will grow through all the year if people try to keep the spirit of Christmas every day!"

Source:  Thomas, Martha B., A Christmas Creed, The Pelham Sun, Dec. 15, 1922, Vol. 13, No. 42, p. 1, cols. 1-7.



NOTE:  Click on Image to Enlarge.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Dear Pelham!

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Friday, December 22, 2017

Villages in the Town of Pelham Moved to Annex Unincorporated Town Lands in 1914 and 1915


When the three original villages that once existed within the Town of Pelham were created in the 1890s, their boundaries did not encompass all land within the Town of Pelham.  Thus, there were portions of the Town that were "unincorporated" and were known as "unincorporated sections."  

Over the next two decades, most of these unincorporated sections were slowly annexed by the various villages.  By 1914, only two unincorporated sections remained within the boundaries of the Town.  One was a sliver of land along the New Rochelle border beyond Rochelle Terrace, adjacent to the Village of Pelham (today's Pelham Heights).  This sliver existed due to an adjustment of the border between the Town of Pelham and the City of New Rochelle.  The second was a large section adjacent to the Village of Pelham Manor that included an area where today's Fairway supermarket is located.

In about 1914, the Town Board of the Town of Pelham began agitating for the Village of Pelham (Pelham Heights) and the Village of Pelham Manor to annex the remaining unincorporated sections.  Though news articles provide no explanation for why, it would appear that the Town hoped to shift its cost of maintaining roads, providing police services and the like in the unincorporated sections to the villages that already provided such services in immediately adjacent sections.

In mid-August, 1914, a petition circulated throughout the Town of Pelham, as then required by law, to place a proposition on a ballot in a special election in the Village of Pelham (Pelham Heights) to have the village annex the unincorporated section along the border with New Rochelle at Rochelle Terrace.  Members of the Town Board signed the petition, among many others.

On November 10, 1914, the special election was held at the Pelham Heights police headquarters on Wolfs Lane.  It attracted almost no voters.  Only eleven votes were cast.  The proposition was passed by a vote of 10 to 1.  The land subsequently was annexed.


Detail of 1908 Map Showing Unincorporated Section Adjacent to
the Village of Pelham (Pelham Heights) Shown Along Right Side.
Source:  Fairchild, John F., Atlas of the City of Mount Vernon and
N.Y, Plate 28 (1908) (Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division,
The New York Public Library).  NOTE:  Click on Image to Enlarge.

At about the same time, a petition circulated throughout the Town to have a special election in the Village of Pelham Manor to authorize the village to annex the unincorporated section adjacent to its borders.  During the regular monthly meeting of the Village Board on Wednesday, October 7, 1914, according to one account, the following occurred:

"William Curry appeared with a petition requesting the annexation of the unincorporated section of the town of Pelham to the village of Pelham Manor and asked for the signatures of the members of the board not residents of Pelham Manor.  The petition was read and the members not residing in Pelham Manor signed it and at the same time stated that it met with their approval.  The advantages of the annexation were not stated.  A resolution approving the annexation was passed by the entire board. . . ."

The special election in Pelham Manor was held on Friday, January 29, 1915.  In advance of the special election, Pelham Town Supervisor Hugh Herndon issued a letter urging Pelham Manor voters to vote in favor of annexation of the unincorporated section.  There were 61 votes cast at this special election, of which 53 votes were cast in favor of annexation and 8 against.  The unincorporated section subsequently was annexed by Pelham Manor.

The following week, tongues all over Pelham began wagging.  Because there no longer were any unincorporated sections left within the boundaries of the Town of Pelham, why would the Town continue to need various Town officers such as the Town Poormaster, the Town Superintendent of Highways, the Town Health Officer, Town Police and Constables, and the like.  Those responsibilities would rest with the villages for the entirety of the Town following annexation of the last two unincorporated sections.

To make matters more complex, Town bonds previously had been issued to fund improvements in the unincorporated section to be annexed by Pelham Manor in the amount of $18,075.  The Town of Pelham wanted the Village of Pelham Manor to assume the debt obligations because Pelham Manor would begin receiving the property taxes from this section upon annexation.  

Despite such issues, annexation proceeded smoothly.  The last unincorporated sections of the Town were now gone -- part of the villages within the Town.  

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"Pelham Heights
-----
May Annex Land.

A petition is being circulated to have a proposition placed before the voters in the near future for the taking over of the strip of land which is located outside the village of Pelham and extends between this village and the city of New Rochelle from North Pelham to Pelham Manor.  The strip is in the unincorporated section of the town and is about a half mile from the unincorporated section of the town in Pelham Manor.  The plan is to have this taken over by the village of Pelham.  Before it can be placed before the voters, the matter must be submitted in a form of petition.  The members of the town board have signed such a petition."

Source:   Pelham Heights -- May Annex Land, The Daily Argus [Mount Vernon, NY], Aug. 11, 1914, p. 6, col. 1

"Pelham Heights
-----
Special Election Tomorrow.

Tomorrow between the hours of 4 and 8 p.m., a special election will be held in the village for the purpose of voting upon the following proposition:

'Shall the following described property now being a part of the unincorporated part of the town of Pelham and lying outside the village of Pelham, be annexed to and made a part of the said village of Pelham:  Beginning at the New Haven railroad at the intersection of the dividing line between the town of Pelham and the city of New Rochelle and the southerly boundary line of the village of North Pelham, running northwesterly with the southerly boundary line of the village of North Pelham to the easterly boundary line of the village of Pelham:  running thence southerly with the easterly boundary line of the village of Pelham to its intersection with the southerly line of Colonial avenue, (formerly the Old Boston road) thence easterly with said southerly side line of Colonial avenue to its intersection with the dividing line between the town of Pelham and the city of New Rochelle; thence northerly with the said dividing line between the said town and city to the point or place of beginning.  Said parcel being all of the unincorporated section of the town of Pelham bounded on the east by the city of New Rochelle; on the west by the village of Pelham and on the north by the village of North Pelham and on the south by the village of Pelham Manor.  The polling place will be at the police headquarters on Wolf's lane between the hours mentioned above."

Source:   Pelham Heights -- Special Election Tomorrow, The Daily Argus [Mount Vernon, NY], Nov. 9, 1914, p. 11, col. 2.  

"Pelham Heights
-----
Few Vote in Village Election.

Little interest was shown Tuesday evening at the special election held in this village for the purpose of voting upon the matter of accepting or rejecting a section of the unincorporated part of the town of Pelham which is east of this village into the village of Pelham.  Eleven votes were cast at the election, of which number, 10 were in favor of annexation and one was against.  Athough the number is not a representative vote, it is understood that the election will stand."

Source:  Pelham Heights -- Few Vote in Village Election, The Daily Argus, Nov. 12, 1914, p. 11, col. 3.

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"North Pelham [sic]
-----
TOWN BOARD MEETING.
-----
Petition for Annexation of Unincorporated Portion of Town.
-----

The monthly meeting of the members of the town board was held Wednesday evening. . . . 

William Curry appeared with a petition requesting the annexation of the unincorporated section of the town of Pelham to the village of Pelham Manor and asked for the signatures of the members of the board not residents of Pelham Manor.  The petition was read and the members not residing in Pelham Manor signed it and at the same time stated that it met with their approval.  The advantages of the annexation were not stated.  A resolution approving the annexation was passed by the entire board. . . ."

Source:  North Pelham --TOWN BOARD MEETING -- Petition for Annexation of Unincorporated Portion of Town, The Daily Argus [Mount Vernon, NY], Oct. 9, 1914, p. 7, col. 2.  

"Pelham Manor
-----
Special Election on Friday.

A special election will be held in the village of Pelham Manor at the village hall on Friday, between the hours of 4 and 8 p.m., for the purpose of voting upon the question of annexing a portion of the unincorporated section of the town of Pelham to the incorporated village of Pelham Manor.  The unincorporated section of the town is located between the New Haven tracks and the Harlem river branch of the same railroad beginning immediately in the rear of the Pelham post office and running thence in a westerly direction from the Split Rock road and the New York City line across the Boston Post road toward the Hutchinson river, taking in the Westchester Lighting company's plant, etc.  Another small strip is located between the city of New Rochelle and the village line on the northerly side of the village beyond the street known as Rochelle Terrace."

Source:  Pelham Manor -- Special Election on Friday, The Daily Argus [Mount Vernon, NY], Jan. 26, 1915, p. 11, col 3

"Pelham Manor
-----
Vote Today on Annexation.

Between the hours of 4 and 8 o'clock this afternoon, a special election will be held at the village hall to vote upon the question of annexing a portion of the unincorporated section of the town of Pelham adjoining this village to the incorporated village of Pelham Manor.  This matter is one of importance, not only to this village but to the town.  A petition bringing about this election was signed by the members of the town board and residents of this village.  Supervisor Herndon has sent out a letter urging that the section be annexed.  There is slight opposition to the annexation."

Source:  Pelham Manor -- Vote Today on Annexation, The Daily Argus [Mount Vernon, NY], Jan. 29, 1915, p. 11, col. 3.  

"PELHAM MANOR . . . 
-----
Annexation Wins.

Friday evening at the village hall the taxpayers of this village voted to annex the unincorporated section of the town of Pelham adjoining Pelham Manor to the incorporated village of Pelham Manor.  There were 61 votes cast at this election, of which 53 votes were cast in favor of annexation and 8 against.  If the village of Pelham annexes the remaining part of the town to the village there will be no more unincorporated section of the town of Pelham."

Source:  PELHAM MANOR . . . Annnexation Wins, The Daily Argus [Mount Vernon, NY], Feb. 1, 1915, p. 7, col. 2.  

"Legal Question Raised.

What does the annexation of the unincorporated section of the town to the incorporated village of Pelham Manor mean to the town offices, such as poormaster, superintendent o highways, constables, justices of the peace, police and health officer, was asked Wednesday evening about the town hall.  Whether or not all these offices are abolished by this act is yet to be learned by Supervisor Herndon, who was not prepared Wednesday evening to give a legal opinion.  There remains unincorporated in the town but a small strip of land, caused by the correction of the town line between the village of Pelham and New Rochelle, and this is soon to be annexed to the village of Pelham.  With a town consisting of three incorporated villages there will be nothing left for the town officers to do, except in the case of the justices who will try cases not contained in the village laws.  Another point is whether or not Pelham Manor will assume the obligations of the unincorporated part of the town annexed.  The amount of bonds issued against this part of the town amounts to $18,075.  It is advanced that as Pelham Manor derives the taxes from this section it should assume its obligations.  However, a legal opinion will be submitted to the town board on the matter shortly."

Source:  Legal Question Raised, The Daily Argus [Mount Vernon, NY], Feb. 5, 1915, p. 11, col. 3.  

"Town Board Meeting.

The regular monthly meeting of the members of the town board was held at the town hall Wednesday evening all the members of the board, with the exception of Justice Rogers, who is out of town, were present. . . . The matter of the responsibility for the bonds issued against the section formerly unincorporated part of the town of Pelham was referred to the law committee."

Source:  Town Board Meeting, The Daily Argus [Mount Vernon, NY], Feb. 6, 1916, p. 15, col. 4.

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Thursday, December 21, 2017

The William Henry Schofield Home on City Island: An Historic Pelham Treasure


Shortly before the Revolutionary War, Samuel Rodman Sr. and Benjamin Palmer successfully lobbied the New York Lieutenant Governor, the Council and the General Assembly to enact a statute authorizing them to build a free drawbridge between Rodman's Neck on the mainland and Minneford's Island (known today as City Island).  The plans were part of Benjamin Palmer's grand scheme to develop Minneford's Island into a major city seaport to rival New York City.  Palmer renamed the island "City Island." 

The onset of the Revolutionary War dashed these plans. The statute required that the free drawbridge be built within seven years of its date of passage on April 3, 1775. The war raged for the next eight years. Thus, the bridge was never built .  Palmer's grand plans for City Island were relegated to the trash bin of history.

During the war, the Town of Pelham including City Island were part of the so-called "Neutral Ground" between the British and American forces.  The entire region was ravaged by British and American forces, as well as British and American sympathizers.  Development of the area was exceedingly slow after the war.  

In 1807, Nicholas Haight took possession of much of City Island.  In 1818, Haight sold a 42-acre plot at the southern tip of the island to George Horton.  Horton became Town Supervisor of Pelham and began developing streets on City Island.  

Beginning in the 1820s, members of the Schofield Family (often referenced as the "Scofield Family) including William, Daniel, and David Schofield joined the Horton Family and acquired large plots of land on City Island.  William Schofield, Sr. and his wife, Maria Bishop Schofield, came to City Island in 1826.  They farmed their land and had five children including an eldest son named William Henry Schofield (1828-1902).

Beginning in about 1856, only a few years before his death in about early 1865, William Schofield, Sr. built a lovely and important home on City Island in the Town of Pelham.  Upon his death, the elder Schofield's real estate and other assets passed to his eldest son, William Henry Schofield.  Shortly after gaining the inheritance (including the new home,) William Henry Schofield married Sarah Fritts in 1867.  The younger William Henry Holden rejected farming and became a successful City Island oysterman. 

I have written before about William Henry Schofield, Jr. whose father built the Schofield House.  See  Mon., Jan. 26, 2009:  William Henry Scofield and the Scofield Family Who Lived on City Island in the Town of Pelham in the 19th Century.
Wiliam Henry Schofield and his family lived in the lovely Italianate style farmhouse house built by Schofield's father beginning in about 1856.   The home still stands at 65 Schofield Street, City Island, Bronx and is a beautiful example of an early Pelham home built by an affluent City Island family.  On April 12, 2016, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the home a New York City Landmark.  See Warerkar, Tanay, Curbed New York:  Historic 19th-Century City Island Home Now a NYC Landmark (Apr. 12, 2016) (visited Dec. 16, 2017).  

The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission has described the home as follows:

"Built in 1856, the William H. Schofield House is situated on the corner of Schofield Street and William Avenue and sits on a full corner lot that has a frontage of 114 feet along Schofield Street and a frontage of 69 feet 17 inches along William Avenue. . . . William H. Schofield House is a transitional Italianate style farmhouse, and is characterized by a square plan and tall windows combined with Greek Revival style features such as the flat roof with overhanging cornice and elaborate paired acorn drop brackets under the eaves that flank octagonal shaped windows.  The main body of the house is sheathed in wood clapboard and retains its historic character.

Historic:  The historic northeastern addition is set back from the main body of the house, and has a separate entrance but shares the elaborate veranda.  The house is unusually massed with two windows to the right of the main entrance and one to the left.  The front entrance has a double-leaf wood paneled doors with a transom window above.  The house's most prominent feature is the one-story veranda that runs the width of the ground floor level across both sections.  Turned posts rise from a baluster railing (may be later replacements) supporting the projecting porch roof and each is flanked by wooden jig-sawed brackets.  Directly above are pairs of smaller brackets ornamented with acorn drop pendants.

Prior to the Landmarks Preservation Commission designation vote, the owner made several sensitive alterations to the historic building, including:  several additions to the historic main structure, and historic addition.

Alterations:  Historic Structure:  the existing house has been moved several feet southwest, closer to the corner of Schofield Street and William Avenue, and rests on new foundations and porch footings; roof replaced; original Yankee gutters with copper downspouts reproduced; deteriorated wooden clapboards replaced throughout with matching clapboards made of composite material; all replacement windows and projecting lintels match original design; porch posts, acorn drop brackets at eaves and porch roof, and jig sawed brackets were repaired and reused."

Source:  New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, William H. Schofield House, 65 Schofield Street, City Island, Bronx, New York, Built:  c. 1860; Architect Unknown (Apr. 12, 2016) (visited Dec. 16, 2017). 


The William H. Schofield House at 65 Schofield Avenue, City Island.
Source:  Photograph by Theresa C. Noonan, 2016, for New York
City Landmarks Preservation Commission, William H. Schofield
House, 65 Schofield Street, City Island, Bronx, New York, Built:  c. 1860;
Architect Unknown (Apr. 12, 2016) (visited Dec. 16, 2017). 
NOTE:  Click on Image to Enlarge.




The William H. Schofield House at 65 Schofield Avenue, City Island
in About 1939.  Source:  Photograph by Theresa C. Noonan, 2016, for New
York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, William H. Schofield
House, 65 Schofield Street, City Island, Bronx, New York, Built:  c. 1860;
Architect Unknown (Apr. 12, 2016) (visited Dec. 16, 2017).  Photograph
by New York City Department of Taxes, ca. 1939, from the New York City
Department of Records and Information Services, Municipal Archives.
NOTE:  Click on Image to Enlarge.

*          *          *          *          *

"WILLIAM HENRY SCOFIELD. 

William Henry Scofield was a useful and highly respected citizen for many years of City Island, borough of Bronx, where he was born December 28, 1828. His parents were William and Maria (Bishop) Scofield, who were among the first land owners of City Island, where they were engaged in farming throughout the active years of their life. They were the parents of five children: 1. William Henry, see forward. 2. Mary Ann, born January 15, 1829, married Elisha Booth, September 3, 1848, and has children: Isabella, born September 3, 1849, married David Craft, December 31, 1869, and has one child, Agnes Craft, born July 28, 1875, died February 7, 1876. Spencer S., born July 18, 1865, married Carrie Magnus, August 27, 1891 ; she was born September 11, 1869, and has children: Frank L., born July, 1893; Florence, born February 1, 1895. Maria S., born April 17. 1869, died April 16, 1889. 3. Elizabeth, married Samuel Pell, of City Island. 4. Sarah, married Ezra Waterhouse, of City Island.  5.  Daniel, died aged about nineteen vears. [Page 242 / Page 243] 

William H. Scofield received his educational training in the schools of City Island, and was reared to manhood years under the parental roof. Upon taking up the practical duties of life, he engaged in the oyster planting and shipping business, in which line of pursuit he was successfully engaged for many years. In addition to his commercial interests, he took an active part in all social and church enterprises of City Island, and frequently gave of his time and substance for charitable purposes. In all his affairs he became known as a just and upright man. He passed away February 19, 1902. 

Mr. Scofield married, January, 1867, Sarah Fritts, born August 6, 1829, in Hunterdon county, New Jersey, daughter of Frederick and Elizabeth (McKinney) Fritts. Of this marriage were born two children, both of whom died in early life. The faithful wife survives her husband and resides on the homestead at City Island." 

Source: Pelletreau, William S., Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Family History of New York, Vol. IV, pp. 242-43 (NY and Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company 1907).

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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Early Organization of Pelham's First "Horse Railroad" in 1884

Prior to the opening of Pelham's Bartow Station on the Branch Line in the early 1870s, a stage coach line established by a man named Robert Vickery traveled from City Island to Mount Vernon.  In about 1873, so-called horse cars replaced the stage coach line. When the horse car line first began, it was owned by Judge Henry DeWitt Carey, a banker.   

The first horse car line involved a car pulled by a single horse. According to one source, "it left Belden Point and stopped at three locations on the island - Horton, Fordham, and Bridge Streets. People desiring to travel to New York City would then take the horse car to Bartow Station, pay a 5ยข fare to Westchester County and board a trolley to 177th Street, where they would make another connection to the Battery." See Scott, Catherine A., Images of America: City Island and Orchard Beach, p. 48 (Arcadia Publishing 1999; reissued 2004). The cars looked much like trolley cars. Later, beginning in the mid-1880s, the horse cars were replaced with a "horse car railroad" that ran on tracks, but were pulled by a pair of horses.  Indeed, for sixteen years the two principal horses used to pull the horse cars were known as "Bob" and "Harry".  

When the time came to convert the simple horse car line to a horse railroad line, two things had to happen:  (1) the commissioners of highways of the Town of Pelham had to approve the laying of tracks; and (2) either a majority of adjacent property owners had to consent to installation of the line or a court had to find the horse railroad to be "necessary."  

In 1883 and 1884, plans were underway to build a horse railroad from Bartow Station on the New Haven Branch Line and the southern tip of City Island.  On August 30, 1884, two companies were chartered, each to build half of the line.  The Pelham Park Railroad Company was created to build the tracks on the mainland from Bartow Station to Marshall's Corner (i.e., to the City Island Bridge) a distance of about 1-1/2 miles.  The City Island Railroad Company was incorporated to build the tracks from Marshall's Corner to Brown's Hotel near the southern tip of City Island.  There reportedly were plans to merge the two companies after the horse railroad tracks were constructed. 

Only a month or so after the two companies were chartered, they submitted reports effective as of September 30, 1884 for inclusion in the Second Annual Report of the Board of Railroad Commissioners of the State of New York.  Though the two reports indicated that little progress had yet been made, they shed interesting light on the status of the organization of the two horse railroads that then were planned to connect Bartow Station with City Island almost to its very southern tip.

The two companies had interlocking directorates.  Indeed, the two boards of directors were comprised of the same seven members on each -- five of whom were from Pelham Manor with one from New York City and another from Long Island City.  Two of the directors from Pelham Manor served as President and Secretary and as Treasurer and Superintendent of both companies (John B. Miller and W. R. Hamberton, respectively).  The other three Pelham Manor directors were members of the Miller family:  C. M. H. Miller, M. E. Miller, and Albert A. Miller.  The director from New York City was Inglis Stuart.  The director from Long Island City was Eliphalet N. Anable.

The City island Railroad was able quickly to secure the necessary consents of the local authorities and local property owners to the construction of its line on City Island.  Indeed, the company so represented in its report to the Board of Railroad Commissioners as of September 30, 1884.

The Pelham Bay Park Railroad, however, was having trouble.  It reported that as of September 30, it had "been unable, as yet, to obtain the consent of the requisite number of property-owners along its line."  It further noted that no work could begin until it obtained the necessary consents.  The City Island Railroad thus reported that "no work has been done because of the inability of the Pelham Park Railroad Company, whose road is necessary as an outlet to this road, to obtain the consent of the property owners along its line."

Both companies issued $50,000 in capital stock.  As of September 30, 1884, both companies had unpaid subscriptions to purchase $42,250 of the stock.  

Pelham, it seemed, would have its Horse Railroad.  It was not quite ready, however, during the fall of 1884.


Undated Postcard View of Bartow & City Island Horse Railroad Car
at the First Bartow Train Station that Was Replaced With a Lovely
Stone Station Designed by Cass Gilbert and Built in About 1908.
NOTE:  Click on Image to Enlarge.

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"PELHAM PARK.
(Date of charter, August 30, 1884.)
NOT IN OPERATION.
-----

This company has been unable, as yet, to obtain the consent of the requisite number of property-owners along its line.  Work will be commenced as soon as the consents are obtained. 

No assessment has been levied upon the subscribers, except the first one of  ten per cent  ten per cent on $1,000 per mile as required by law, it being deemed inexpedient to call in any further sum until it is needed.

STOCK AND DEBT.

Capital stock as by charter.............................$50,000.00
Capital stock, amount now..............................50,000.00
Amount of stock subscribed............................42,250.00
Total amount now paid in of capital stock.....  2,000.00
The amount now of floating debt....................     100.00

[Page 1072 / Page 1073]

PELHAM PARK.

COST OF ROAD AND EQUIPMENT.

For land, buildings and fixtures, including land damages....$137.59

CHARACTERISTICS OF ROAD.

Length of road, main line, from Bartow station,
Pelham, to Marshall's corner, about.......................................1.50 miles.

GENERAL BALANCE SHEET, SHOWING CONDITION OF ACCOUNTS AT THE CLOSE OF BUSINESS SEPTEMBER 30, 1884.

Assets.

Construction account..............................................................     $137.59
Accounts receivable...............................................................  42,050.00
Cash on hand..........................................................................        162.41

Total..........................................................................................$42,350.00

Liabilities.

Capital stock............................................................................$42,250.00
Accounts payable...................................................................        100.00

Total...........................................................................................$42,350.00

NAMES AND RESIDENCE OF OFFICERS OF THE COMPANY.

Names of Directors.                                                 Residence.

ELIPHALET N. ANABLE........................................Long Island City, N. Y.
INGLIS STUART......................................................New York City
JOHN B. MILLER.....................................................Pelham Manor, N. Y.
C. M. H. MILLER......................................................Pelham Manor, N. Y.
M. E. MILLER...........................................................Pelham Manor, N. Y.
ALBERT A. MILLER...............................................Pelham Manor, N. Y.
W. R. HAMBERTON...............................................Pelham Manor, N. Y.
President and Sec. .... JOHN B. MILLER............Pelham Manor, N. Y.
Treasurer and Supt.....W. R. HAMBERTON........Pelham Manor, N. Y.

Communications intended for this company should be addressed to the company, Pelham Manor, Westchester county, N. Y."

Source:  Second Annual Report of the Board of Railroad Commissioners of the State of New York for the Fiscal Year Ending September 30, 1884 -- Transmitted to the Legislature January 12, 1885, Vol. II, pp. 1072-1073 (Albany, NY:  Weed Parsons & Co., 1885).

"CITY ISLAND (Pelham).
(Date of charter, August 30, 1884.)
NOT IN OPERATION.
-----

This company has obtained the consent of the local authorities and property owners to the construction of its line, but no work has been done because of the inability of the Pelham Park Railroad Company, whose road is necessary as an outlet to this road, to obtain the consent of the property owners along its line.  

No assessment has been levied upon the subscribers except the first one of 10 per cent on $1,000 per mile, as required by law, and it is not probable that there will be any further assessments until the Pelham Park Railroad Company is ready to construct its line.

STOCK AND DEBT.

Capital stock as by charter.................................$50,000.00
Capital stock, amount now.................................   50,000.00
Amount of stock subscribed..............................    42,250.00
Total amount now paid in of capital stock.......          200.00
The amount now of floating debt......................         103.75

COST OF ROAD AND EQUIPMENT.

For land, buildings and fixtures,
     including land damage...............................            149.33

CHARACTERISTICS OF ROAD.

Length of road, main line, from Marshall's
     Corner, Pelham, to Brown's Hotel, Pelham..... 1.5 miles.

GENERAL BALANCE SHEET, SHOWING CONDITION OF ACCOUNTS AT THE CLOSE OF BUSINESS SEPTEMBER 30, 1884.

Assets.

Construction account..............................................    $149.33
Accounts receivable................................................42,050.00
Cash on hand...........................................................      154.42

Total..........................................................................$42,353.75

Liabilities.

Capital stock...........................................................$42,250.00
Accounts payable..................................................        103.75

Total..........................................................................$42,353.75

NAMES AND RESIDENCE OF OFFICERS OF THE COMPANY.

Names of Directors.                                 Residence.

ELIPHALET N. ANABLE..................................Long Island City.
INGLIS STUART................................................New York City.
JOHN B. MILLER...............................................Pelham Manor, N. Y.
C. M. H. MILLER................................................Pelham Manor, N. Y.
M. E. MILLER.....................................................Pelham Manor, N. Y.
ALBERT A. MILLER.........................................Pelham Manor, N. Y.
W. R. HAMBERTON.........................................Pelham Manor, N. Y.
Pres. and Sec.............JOHN B. MILLER.........Pelham Manor, N. Y.
Treasurer and Supt....W. R. HAMBERTON....Pelham Manor, N. Y.

Communication intended for this company should be addressed, City island Railroad Company, Pelham Manor, Westchester county, N. Y."

Source:  Second Annual Report of the Board of Railroad Commissioners of the State of New York for the Fiscal Year Ending September 30, 1884 -- Transmitted to the Legislature January 12, 1885, Vol. II, p. 988 (Albany, NY:  Weed Parsons & Co., 1885).

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I have written about the City Island Horse Railroad on numerous occasions.  For a few examples, see:

Thu., Jan. 22, 2015:  Lawsuit in 1884 Cleared the Way for Construction of Horse Railroad from Bartow Station to Lower Part of City Island in Pelham.

Mon., Sep. 22, 2014:  New York City Sport Fishermen Travel the Horse Railroad in 1886 to Fish in Pelham.

Mon., Jul. 18, 2011:  City Island Horse Railroad Temporarily Shut Down in 1892 Over Cruelty Concerns.

Thu., May 13, 2010:  More on the Early History of the Pelham and City Island Railroad.

Tue., May 4, 2010:  Questions Regarding the Trolley Franchise from Bartow Station to the Tip of City Island Arose in 1915.

Mon., May 3, 2010:  Efforts To Reorganize the Operators of the City Island Horse Railroad and Monorail in 1914.

Fri., April 30, 2010:  "Truly, An Illuminating Little Passage in the History of New-York!" - Efforts to Develop Shore Road Trolley Line in 1897.

Thu., April 29, 2010:  City Islanders Complain and Force the Operators of Their Horse Railroad to Agree to Replace Antiquated Cars in 1908.

Wed., April 28, 2010:  Efforts by the Pelham Park Horse Railroad to Expand and Develop a Trolley Car Line on Shore Road in 1897.

Tue., April 27, 2010:  New York City's Interborough Rapid Transit Company Sued to Foreclose a Mortgage on the Horse Railroad in 1911.

Mon., April 26, 2010:  Public Service Commission Couldn't Find Marshall's Corners in 1909.

Fri., March 5, 2010:  Construction of the City Island Horse Railroad in 1887.

Thu., March 4, 2010:  Beginnings of Horse Railroad - News from Pelham and City Island Published in 1884.

Wed., March 3, 2010: 1879 Advertisement for Robert J. Vickery's City Island Stage Line, A Predecessor to the City Island Horse Railroad.

Tue., March 2, 2010:  1901 Report Indicated that The Flynn Syndicate Planned to Buy the Pelham Bay Park & City Island Horse Car Line.

Mon., March 1, 2010:  Flynn Syndicate Buys the City Island Horse Car Line in 1907 to Incorporate It Into Electric Trolley Line.

Fri., February 26, 2010:  1913 Decision of Public Service Commission to Allow Reorganization of City Island Horse Railroad for Electrification.

Thu., February 25, 2010:  Photograph of Patrick Byrnes and Article About His Retirement of the City Island Horse Car in 1914.

Wed., February 24, 2010:  Attempted Suicide of City Island's Long-Time Horse Car Driver

Wed., February 3, 2010:  Early Information Published in 1885 About the Organization of the "City Island Railroad", a Horse Railroad from Bartow Station to City Island

Tue., February 2, 2010:  Information About the Pelham Park Railroad at its Outset

Fri., January 22, 2010:  1884 Account of Early Origins of Horse Railroad Between Bartow Station and City Island.

Mon., January 4, 2010: 1888 Local News Account Describes Altercation on the Horse Railroad Running from Bartow Station to City Island.


Wed., December 2, 2009:  Accident on Horse-Car of the Pelham Park Railroad Line in 1889.

Thu., December 31, 2009:  1887 Election of the Board of Directors of The City Island and Pelham Park Horse Railroad Company.

Tue., September 1, 2009:  Pelham News on February 29, 1884 Including Talk of Constructing a New Horse Railroad from Bartow to City Island.

Wed., Jan. 04, 2006:  Another Post Card Image of the Horse Car That Ran Between Bartow and City Island.

Fri., Dec. 30, 2005:  Subdivision Development Map Created in 1873 for Bartow Village in the Town of Pelham.

Mon. Dec. 12, 2005:  19th Century Subdivision Map of Planned Bartow Village.

Thu. Jul. 21, 2005:  Today's Remnants of the Bartow Station on the Branch Line Near City Island.


Thu., June 23, 2005:  Horse Cars Come To City Island in the Town of Pelham in the 1880s.

Thu. Mar. 24, 2005:  The Bartow Area of Pelham in the 19th Century: Where Was It?

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