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, May 07, 2014

How 4th Street in Today's Village of Pelham Became Lincoln Avenue


Early maps of the Village of North Pelham, now part of today's Village of Pelham, reveal that today's Lincoln Avenue once was named "Fourth Street" within the Village of North Pelham.  Today's posting to the Historic Pelham Blog details how and why the name of the roadway was changed to Lincoln Avenue.

The roadway that we know today as Lincoln Avenue cuts entirely through today's Village of Pelham and extends from within the City of Mount Vernon, across all of the Village of Pelham, and extends into the City of New Rochelle.  The roadway has existed within Pelham since the area once known as Pelhamville was first plotted for development as the detail from a map published in 1853 and reproduced immediately below illustrates.

 Detail from 1853 Map Showing Pelhamville.
Source:  M. Dripps & R. F. O. Conner, Southern Part
of West-Chester County N. Y. (1853).
Note:  The Roadway Known as Fourth Street
Is Clearly Shown, Though Unlabeled, Beneath
"Pelham Square," Site of Today's Hutchinson School.
 


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:  The Street Is Clearly Labeled "Fourth St." Here.

Nearly 100 years after the streets were first laid out as part of the effort to develop and sell lots in the hamlet known as Pelhamville, the area had changed tremendously.  Mount Vernon was incorporated as a City and was growing in leaps and bounds.  Indeed, today it is reportedly the eighth largest City in the State of New York.  The little hamlet of Pelhamville had become the Village of North Pelham and was nearly fully developed.  Similarly, the City of New Rochelle had exploded in population and was becoming very developed.  Today it is reportedly the seventh largest City in the State of New York.

By 1948, the Village of North Pelham road known as "Fourth Street" connected with a road in Mount Vernon named Lincoln Avenue.  On the northeasterly side of the Village of North Pelham, Fourth Street once had continued into New Rochelle as a roadway known as
Pelhamwood Road and also as Winyah Avenue at different points along the road.  The City of New Rochelle, however, renamed Pelhamwood Road and Winyah Avenue as "Lincoln Avenue."  The result was that Lincoln Avenue extended through Mount Vernon until it reached North Pelham where it was known as Fourth Street, then again became Lincoln Avenue as the roadway entered the City of New Rochelle.

In March of 1948, Mayor Stanley Church of the City of New Rochelle contacted Mayor Dominic Amato of the Village of North Pelham as well as the Board of Trustees of the Village of North Pelham and asked if the Board would consider changing the name of the road in the Village of North Pelham from "Fourth Street" to "Lincoln Avenue" to make it consistent with the way the roadway was labeled in the City of Mount Vernon and in the City of New Rochelle.  The intent, according to the Mayor of New Rochelle, was to eliminate potential confusion among motorists traveling the roadway.  

On March 30, 1948, the Board of Trustees of the Village of North Pelham held a public hearing on the matter.  Twelve persons appeared during the hearing.  Several of the twelve spoke and expressed support for the proposed name change saying it would reduce confusion.  There was no opposition to the proposal.

The Board of Trustees voted in favor of the name change.  The street since has been known as Lincoln Avenue.

*          *          *         *          *

Below are transcriptions of the text of two articles that appeared in a local newspaper about the name change, each followed by a citation to its source.  

"North Pelham Acts To Change Street's Name

NORTH PELHAM -- At the request of Mayor Stanley Church of New Rochelle, the North Pelham Village Board will hold a public hearing March 30 at 8 P. M. at Town Hall on a proposal to change the name of Fourth Street to Lincoln Avenue.  

New Rochelle requested the change because that City has re-designated Pelhamwood Road and Winyah Avenue, which are a continuation of Fourth Street in North Pelham to Lincoln Avenue.  It was brought out that Mount Vernon's part of Fourth Street is named Lincoln Avenue and that it will be  less confusing if the entire thoroughfare has the same name.  

The board decided to provide more parking areas by grading off the northwest areas by grading off the northwest corner of Fifth Avenue and Third Street for a temporary public parking space for day parking only.  It also decided to use the lot on Fifth Avenue adjacent to the fire headquarters for public all-day parking.  

Charles Nelson, chairman of the Village Board of Assessors, tendered his resignation effective March 31 because he has been named to the Town Board of Assessors.  The board accepted his resignation with regret and congratulated him on his elevation.

The board will hold an organization meeting April 5 at 8 P. M. at Town Hall when newly elected members will be welcomed.  

John W. Raymond, of Boston, Mass., was employed for a $300 fee as a consulting engineer to go over plans for a drain at First Street drawn up two years ago by Village Engineer George Godfrey.

The week of April 12 was designated as annual 'Clean Up Week.'

Sergeant Earl McCracken and Patrolman Robert Smith were put on permanent status after a three-month probationary period.  Mayor Dominic Amato presided."  

Source:  North Pelham Acts To Change Street's Name, The Daily Argus [Mount Vernon, NY], Mar. 17, 1948, p. 13, col. 3.

"No. Pelham Changes Fourth Street's Name

NORTH PELHAM -- The name of Fourth Street in this village was changed to Lincoln Avenue at a public hearing held last night by the Village Board in Town Hall.  No opposition was voiced to the change, and several of the 12 residents who attended pointed out that the change will avoid confusion, since New Rochelle changed the name of its part of the thoroughfare to Lincoln Avenue recently.  North Pelham thus links Mount Vernon's Lincoln Avenue stretch with that in New Rochelle."

Source:  No. Pelham Changes Fourth Street's Name, The Daily Argus [Mount Vernon, NY], Mar. 31, 1948, p. 9, col. 4. 

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