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From the Mayor: 'In the Course of Time...One of the Finest Villages Along the Line' PDF Print Email

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By Mary C. Marvin, Mayor of the Village of Bronxville


Oct. 18, 2017:  I decided to take a literary break from blacktop, sewer relining, and flood mitigation topics--though they may be scintillating--and just relate some interesting fun facts about our very special one square mile.

  • From the outset, not everyone could even agree on the name of our hometown, which was named after Danish farmer Jonas Bronck, who owned huge tracts of land in Southern Westchester and the Bronx. Folks "objected to the influx of visitors on Sundays who thought the Zoological Gardens were here" due to our name. Others wanted to call it Gramatan, Gramatan Hills, Lawrenceville, or Swainsville after an early tannery owner or to keep the early 19th-century name of Underhill's Crossing.

  • Our village functioned for its first year of incorporation (1898) with no ordinances.

  • Our very first ordinance (1899) protected us from public nudity, brothels, saloons, gambling, riots, and profane language, all punishable by fines of $10 to $50. Other first-generation ordinances prohibited ball playing on Sunday; "hallooing or yelling after dark"; and gunfire "between the setting and rising sun (apparently daytime gunfire acceptable!).

  • In a bit of high aspirational thinking, fire escapes would be required on all opera houses but churches were exempt.

  • In 1899, houses could be built with no notice to the village and without regard to size or placement, as it wasn't until 1922 that our first zoning ordinance was enacted. Legend says village resident and television personality Jack Paar was responsible for our first fence ordinance. As a result of his extreme penchant for privacy, he erected a high stockade fence on Studio Lane without planning board notification. Very soon after, the trustees enacted height and density rules for village fences.

  • Two of our early "postmistresses" were maiden sisters who carefully read everyone's postcards and magazines and if they thought the information of urgency, they dispatched local boys to share the messages of often upcoming appointments in New York City. Needless to say, they were deemed "authorities on all village news."

  • Our first school in 1870 looked no different than rural structures in the Midwest. Built on a small plot of donated land on the Value Drugs space on Pondfield Road, it was a little red wooden building with a cloakroom and a potbellied stove.

  • Parental involvement in the PTA was always a signature trait in the village. Early meetings concentrated on an effective method to monitor the content of motion pictures, fearing a negative impact on our community, but, more important, a deleterious effect on our diction.

  • At a period around the turn of the 20th century, we were also home to an insane asylum, the Vernon House Retreat for the Insane, near the intersection of Pondfield and White Plains Roads. Limited to ten patients, one could be treated for "mental and nervous diseases and cases of Habit."

  • Our hospital and nearby Sarah Lawrence College were thanks to the generosity of our founder, William Van Duzer Lawrence.

  • In 1908, Mr. Lawrence's son, Dudley, was stricken with an appendicitis attack that would be fatal without an operation. He was transported on a baggage car attached to the first train heading south from White Plains furnished with a box spring and mattress from the family-owned Gramatan Hotel. Dudley survived after a twelve-hour ordeal, and his father contributed $250,000 to inaugurate the hospital's capital campaign. Monies were supplemented by the performance of a "pageant" at Sagamore Park to which thousands attended, including the sitting governor, Charles Evans Hughes.

  • Mr. Lawrence envisioned a junior college for women and enlisted the help of the Vassar College president, Dr. Henry McCracken. Named after his beloved and recently deceased wife, Sarah, the members of the first board of trustees of Sarah Lawrence College were actually those of the board of Vassar College.

  • We had the same population--approximately 6,500--in the 1930s as we do today. Stores were closed on Wednesday afternoons and a home valet truck patrolled the village. Sporting the slogan "Would you spare your appearance for fifty cents?" a gentleman came to the door and ironed your rumpled suit.

  • In 1928, in honor of his 25th jubilee, Saint Joseph's beloved pastor Father McCann was treated to an around-the-world trip thanks to donations from the entire village.

  • The village seal has a bumble bee as its symbol but no records exist explaining its origin.

  • Holding dance classes at the Gramatan Hotel, Ms. Caroline Covington, proprietress of the Miss Covington's School of Dance, started each class off with the sound of castanets and stopped immediately if "wallflowers" were minus a partner.

Clearly, we have always been a unique community, and trustee William Kraft early envisioned even greater things for us, writing on village stationery that "in the course of time, we will have one of the finest villages along the line." 


 

Dr. Viji George and Community Members Form George & Associates, a Boutique Consulting Firm

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By Staff Nov. 15, 2017:  When Viji George was elected the eighth president of New York’s Concordia College in 1991, he sought advice on how best to lead a complex organization,...

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Financial & Legal Services Directory

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D'Arcangelo & Co., LLP
Certified Public Accountants & Consultants

Partner
Barbara Greene, CPA,CFP

3000 Westchester Ave.
Purchase, NY 10577-2538

914-694-4600
bgreene@darcangelo.com
www.darcangelo.com


Hymes & Associates, CPA, P.C.

Our firm provides outstanding service to our clients because of our dedication to the three underlying principles of professionalism, responsiveness, and quality.

Listed as one of the 10 largest firms by The Westchester Business Journal, we serve clients throughout the tri-state area. By combining our expertise, experience, and
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Our high standards, service, and specialized staff spell the difference between our outstanding performance and other firms. We make sure that every client
is served by the expertise of our whole firm.

Hymes & Associates, CPA, P.C.

55 Pondfield Road

Bronxville, NY 10708

914-961-1200

914-961-1715 (Fax)

Website: www.hymescpa.com

info@hymescpa.com

Attorneys

Bertine, Hufnagel, Headley, Zeltner, Drummond & Dohn LLP

Established in 1929, Bertine, Hufnagel is "a general practice law firm, offering clients expertise in both individual and commercial matters." Their broad range of services include the following: Wills, EstatePlanning and Taxation, Probate and Estate Administration, Elder Law, Real Estate (commercial, residential, condominiums and cooperatives), Commercial Law and Transactions, Litigation and Banking Law.

700 White Plains Road
Suite 237
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(914) 472 7700
(914) 472 1946 (fax)
www.bertinehufnagel.com


Bosworth, Gray & Fuller
Wills and Probate, Real Estate, Media Law, General Litigation in all courts

J. Rockhill Gray (1920 - 2009)
David Otis Fuller, Jr.
Paul A. Clewell
116 Kraft Avenue
Bronxville, New York 10708
(Tel) 914-337-3626
(Fax) 914-337-3630
dofjr@aol.com
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Griffin, Coogan, Sulzer & Horgan, P.C.

Attorneys and Counselors at Law

Located in Bronxville, New York, Griffin, Coogan, Sulzer & Horgan, P.C. takes great pride in providing our clients with comprehensive, high quality legal services in a responsive manner. The firm concentrates its practice in real estate law with a primary focus on issues relating to real estate tax litigation (also known as tax certiorari), real estate transactions, valuation law, real property taxation and tax planning and real property tax exemption matters throughout New York State.

The firm serves as general counsel for several local cooperatives and represents clients in various issues relating to wills, trusts and estate planning.

51 Pondfield Road
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(914) 961-1300
info@gcshlaw.com

www.gcshlaw.com


Suzanne M. Bloomer
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85 Pondfield Road
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914-337-0142
smbloomerattorney@msn.com


Nobile, Magarian & DiSalvo LLP

We are hardworking and dedicated attorneys who, combined, have more than 150 years of experience delivering quality legal advice. Our cutting edge is our ability to enter both the conference room and the courtroom with strength. Our law firm provides legal representation and counsel for both individual and business clients on issues related to estate planning and administration, real estate law, litigation, and business lawOur practice areas include: Commercial Litigation, Business Law, Real Estate, Wills, Estate Planning, Trusts, Estate Administration, Living Wills, Health Care Proxies, Powers of Attorney, Not For Profits, and Employment Law.

111 Kraft Avenue

Bronxville, NY 10708

914-337-6300

http://www.nmdlaw.com/


Veneruso, Curto, Schwartz & Curto, LLP

Veneruso, Curto, Schwartz & Curto is dedicated to providing businesses and individuals with exceptional legal services customized to each client's needs and objectives. Practice areas include litigation, real estate, not for profit, wills and estate planning, land use and zoning, business and corporate, cooperative and condominium and real estate tax assessment litigation.

The Hudson Valley Bank Building

35 East Grassy Sprain Road, Suite 400

Yonkers, New York 10710

914-779-1100

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Peter W. Williamson
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Trusts & Estates, Elder Law

141 Parkway Road
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914-337-3434 (tel)
914-337-3392 (fax)
Pwwilliamson@verizon.net

Financial Services

Aegis Capital
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generating investments.

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Bronxville, NY 10708
914-361-1099
janeircha@yahoo.com
www.aegiscap.com


Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.

You have dreams and goals, and we'll work together to help put them more within reach. As an advisor living and working in your community, I'm available to work with you in a way that meets your needs.

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Private Wealth Advisor

111 Brook Street, 3rd Floor

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(914) 341-1482 ext. 200

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Capital Preservation Partners, Inc.

Your Wealth Made Easier

Local Registered Investment Advisors Who Have Fiduciary Obligations To You, The Client

When you partner with CPP you join your neighbors. We are located in Westchester County, yet are ready to respond to your needs with our 70 years of combined experience. We are always available to answer your questions and concerns. Unlike giant banks and brokerage firms, you will speak to the same advisor who is thoroughly familiar with your portfolio and life circumstances.

SEC registered – Fee only planners – no commissions or hidden fees

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Capital Preservation Partners, Inc.

55 Pondfield Road

Bronxville, NY 10708

914-337-2272

914-961-1715 (Fax)

Website: www.cpp.bz

info@cpp.bz


James Van Metter & Associates

James W. Van Metter, CFP, MBA
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81 Pondfield Road, Suite 4
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MDIC Investment Company
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Daniel S. Macdonald, Jr.
116 Kraft Avenue, Ste. 8
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Insurance

Allstate
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Exclusive Agents:
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108 Kraft Avenue
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914-961-7200
dstockton@allstate.com

http://agent.allstate.com/DSTOCKTON2/Welcome/


John L. Vorbach Company, Inc. Insurance Brokers
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212-294-4900 x 112
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Daniel S. Macdonald, Jr.
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macdonald@mdicinc.com
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Palmer-Tanno Agency, Inc.
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Greg Tanno
141 Parkway Road, Suite #11
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914-793-6603
palmertanno@aol.com


Personal Risk Management Solutions
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provides unique, customized solutions that save
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Linda Graef Jones, Private Client Sales Executive
6 East 43rd Street
New York, New York 10017
914-645-3951
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www.theprmspromise.com


Ranieri Insurance Agency
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Paul D. Ranieri, CPCU
457 Palmer Road
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dcranieri@aol.com


The Rollins Agency, Inc.
Insurance and Risk Management Solutions
Since 1910
800 Westchester Ave. Suite N-311
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914-337-1833
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