NCN Online Archives


Letters To the Editor
Picture Brings Memories

Mrs. William H. Kear
577 Isham Street
New York, N.Y.

To the Editor:

The picture of the old building in your December 7th issue reminds me of the year 1901. The "Put" Division of the New York Central "layed up" at Pocantico Hills where we lived. It was decided to extend it to Yorktown Heights. My father, Walter Powell, an engineer, and Jack Autch, another engineer, were assigned the two "runs" so we moved to Yorktown.

There were no houses for rent and the only place available was the middle house in your picture [Railroad Avenue near Depot Plaza in 1908]. We had four rooms on the south side upstairs and the Autch family had four rooms upstairs plus the store at the north end of the building. Mrs. Autch used the room back of the store as kitchen and the store as a living and dining room. It was a short stay as enterprising men saw a future with the event of the railroad.

The store on the south end of the building was occupied by Charlie Crawford and his son, Harry, where they ran a meat market. The middle store was a barer shop run by Joe Reidelbach. The store the north was a bakery run by a man named Weiss which became Slawson's Bakery. In front of the building was "The Park"-an oval grassy space which had a path to the railroad station directly opposite the building and where Clint Brown was station agent.

The Whitney house was occupied by Joe Carpenter and his family. He ran a saloon there and sometimes had wedding receptions. In the summer the Yorktown Band played on the upper porch on holidays and Saturday nights while the town folks gathered in the Park to listen and applaud.

Ed Kear, my husband's uncle, built a house of what is now known as Kear Street for the Autch family to live in.

Charlie Bassett built a house up on the state road for us to rent which later became the property of Mr. Bill Flewellen. I thought maybe the above would be of some interest to you and some of the old-timers who still live in Yorktown Heights.

Source: The Yorktowner, Vol. 2 No. 12; January 4, 1968

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