The people of Pelham have a wonderful tradition of hosting parties to watch the Kentucky Derby. I joined a bunch of my Pelham constituents, including Assemblywoman Amy Paulin and Pelham Mayor Tim Cassidy, to watch this classic American sporting event at the Bartow-Pell Mansion, which is located in the Bronx near the Pelham border. It was a terrific event, although the horse I was rooting for – Verrazano – did not run so well on that muddy track. (Also, I decided on Saturday that I was adding attending the Kentucky Derby to my bucket list).
Here is a link to learn more about the historic Bartow-Pell Mansion:
You should visit this impressive landmark soon. For your history lesson, the Bartow-Pell website reports that, “The story of the Bartow-Pell estate begins in 1654 when Thomas Pell, an English doctor from Connecticut, bought the land from the Siwanoy Indians as part of a nearly 9,000-acre tract. The estate was reduced to 220 acres by the end of the Revolutionary War. It was bought in 1836 by Robert Bartow who built the present Grecian style stone mansion with Greek Revival interiors. He moved into the house with his wife and children in 1842. The Bartow-Pell Mansion opened as a museum in 1946.”
You may also recognize the Pell name from a famous Revolutionary War battle – the Battle of Pell’s Point, which actually was fought in modern-day Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx. Wikipedia tell us the following about this battle:
The Battle of Pell’s Point (October 18, 1776), also known as the Battle of Pelham, was a skirmish fought between British and American troops during the New York and New Jersey campaign of the American Revolutionary War.
On October 12, British forces landed at Throgs Neck in order to execute a flanking maneuver that would trap Gen. George Washington, commander-in-chief of the American revolutionary forces, and the main body of the Continental Army on the island of Manhattan. The landing was thwarted by the Americans, and British commander Gen. Sir William Howe, commander-in-chief of British forces in North America, looked for another location along Long Island Sound to disembark his troops. On October 18, he landed 4,000 men at Pelham, 3 miles (4.8 km) north of Throgs Neck. Inland were 750 men of a brigade under the command of Col. John Glover. Glover positioned his troops behind a series of stone walls, and attacked the British advance units. As the British overran each position, the American troops fell back and reorganized behind the next wall. After several such attacks, the British broke off and the Americans retreated. The battle delayed British movements long enough for Washington to move the main army to White Plains, avoiding being surrounded on Manhattan.
At the Kentucky Derby party, I became a member of the Bartow-Pell Conservancy, which operates and supports the mansion. Here is the link if you would like to join as well: