Eastchester, Tuckahoe and Bronxville’s 350th celebration is coming to a close. The anniversary year embraced their 350 years of history. In this column, I presented a tableau of historical sites where this remembrance of things past can be experienced.
In this last column, I would like to thank each of the non-profit organizations I visited and thank them for their time. I only hope I have done justice to their history and all that they continue to contribute to those communities. Here’s a synopsis. Check out the Eastchester Review website to read the original articles for a more in-depth discussion of each.
The virtual collection of all things Eastchester, Tuckahoe and Bronxville’s are at the 350th anniversary website, eastchester350.org. Great history enhanced by great graphics and great photos. It’s all there.
The Tuckahoe History Committee is a hidden gem which meets in the Tuckahoe Village Hall lobby Wednesday mornings. They catalog artifacts, photos and articles brought in by residents. But make certain to plan on staying for a while. They will proudly enlighten you about anything in their collection.
The Eastchester Marble Schoolhouse is an 1835 restored one room schoolhouse, home to the Eastchester Historical Society. It has a library of 18th and 19th century children’s’ books and volumes of New York State genealogical records, all available for research. Its annual Victorian Christmas Party, held this year on Dec. 13, displays its unique assortment of children’s toys and dolls. A must-see in the busy holiday season. St. Paul’s National Park is an oasis in the midst of industrialization. It has certain uniqueness, characterized by its greenness and history. The National Park service understood the history encapsulated there, that history going back to the earliest colonists and the Revolutionary and Civil War soldiers. Its cemetery of locals from as far back as 1708 is enhanced by the exhibitions inside and ongoing lectures and concerts. Its living history enactments bring it all to life.
Tomes have been written about the creation of the Bronx River Parkway Reservation. But the river was a natural resource beginning with Native Americans and ended up being developed into a recreational jewel by 1925. A stroll along its three-mile paved pathway provides a myriad of
Along the Hutchinson River the Eastchester border is one of the only remaining landscapes and one of the only remaining stables which once lined the river. Twin Lakes Park is public but definitely meander over to the Twin Lakes Farm and speak with owner Scott Tarter. He’ll be proud to tell you about his stables and riding academy. The stables even had a life as a dairy farm and sold an elixir called “kumyss” around Westchester County. Scott might convince you to saddle up for a ride through the park. He is passionate and dedicated to the town and the county, an asset to the community.
Norman Rockwell and Lancaster Underhill’s names reflect the eclectic history of the three railroad depots in these communities. The former used the Crestwood station for his Saturday Evening Post cover in 1946 and the latter was the area’s first station master starting in 1853. Together all three depots comprise the town and village’s three historic railroad stations. Mere dollars and mere minutes can take you from one depot to another. Stopping at each station you can then tour and appreciate each station’s history and the surrounding blocks.
OSilas Gallery may be the area’s best kept secret. Rotating exhibits grace its walls above Concordia College’s library. They held a Rodin exhibit in 2013 and it’s most recent display celebrated Eastchester, Tuckahoe and Bronxville’s 350 years. It highlighted over 30 locals who were part of this splendid culture. It also highlighted the marble industry which made Tuckahoe the “Marble Capital of the World” for almost a century beginning in the mid-1800s. They sponsor children’s workshops and adult concerts and trips and are very involved members of the community.
The Bronxville library and the Dutch Reformed Church sit catty-corner at Bronxville’s Four Corners where Midland and Pondfield meet. Deemed the village’s “Civic Center,” the two buildings were designed by the same architect and create a stately corner. Inside, it’s not merely religion and reading. Both institutions deliver a wide range of programming for young and old.
The Westchester Italian Cultural Center resides in the stately building in Tuckahoe’s Depot Square. Now owned by the Generoso Pope Foundation, the building started as Tuckahoe’s Village Hall more than 100 years ago. One huge wreath decorated the building in the 1920s. The wreath was constructed with flowers from every state in the United States to honor the remains of what was considered the American Revolution’s Unknown Soldier whose remains were located in Tuckahoe. Today, the center provides programs galore to inspire you or to indulge your palette and all with a taste of Italy.
I hope I have raised your awareness of the area’s rich heritage and seen the area as a microcosm of America’s journey from colonial to suburban. I hope that you have learned something about each site and have savored their modestly presented but proudly displayed collections. You can read all the original articles by googling my name at the Eastchester Review’s website.
Each site also has a website. If you haven’t visited them yet, visit this year and keep visiting during the next 350 years. They all comprise a treasure trove of this rich enduring legacy and strengthen who Eastchester, Tuckahoe and Bronxville are as communities. Kudos to each and every one of these non-profits for their inspirational programming and earnest beliefs in their goals. Their love and dedication was inspiring. I hope I have in turn inspired many of you.
Onward to the next 350 years. Let’s make some history.