NCN Online Archives

Arthur Lee, Elder Statesmen, Recalls Horse-and-Buggy Days

Arthur Chadeayne Lee is one of Yorktown's elder statesmen and he carries his title with exceptional zest and wit. At, he's busy on a town history project for the local museum, he's active in Grange, and a member of the Washington Irving Council, Boy Scouts. Although he retired from the Westchester County National Bank, Peekskill, back in March, 1962 - with 46 years of service at the same bank - Arthur is another of the Yorktowners too busy to retire.

Born February 27, 1897, Arthur is the son of Anson L. Lee and Mary Chadeayne. Arthur was born in the Lee Homestead, now the Wilson house on Granite Springs Road-a possible landmarks home. He lived there until he was a year or so, then he moved to the yellow house on the corner of Granite Springs Road where the Kellog's live - a home once occupied by either Daniel or Albert Strang. "We used to tap the maple trees out in front of the house," Arthur recalls, "but it was a lot of work boiling it all down. You didn't get very much."

Along with the maple Sugar-making on what used to be West Somers Road, Arthur recalls that cattle used to plod over gravel roads - now Rte. 20-2 - between the farms scattered along the road or on their way to the railroad years in Amawalk for their ride into the beef markets of New York.

"Houses were acres and acres apart in those days - all dairy farms. Horses and wagons were all we had when I was a boy. Times were not as fast as they are now," he reminisced. "Our amusements were church socials - summer picnics at Lake Mahopac. We'd go from home to home , do chores. In winter, there would be sleds and sleighing." You could see the Currier and Ives print.

Across the street from Lee house on 202, was the home of John A. Barnes, married to Laura Strang. That was another big dairy farm, but a middle school and high school campus, football field, and roads have replaced all that.

Thinking about today,, Arthur C. Lee, at 72, recalls walking down the road to where the John Notas house stands - going to the one-room, District 4 school-house. And he finds it hard to understand why kids today, "with so many privileges and opportunities, are so unhappy - they need such extreme outlets." It isn't progress - just different.

Source: unknown author, The Yorktowner, September 11, 1969

Return to the North County News Online Archives