© Copyright Judith Doolin Spikes 1991
Phyliss McGinley used poetic license when she wrote of Larchmont that “all the streets are named for trees.” In plain prose, only 15 streets in the incorporated Village are named for trees, while 52 are named for people. All the streets acquired their names in one of these two ways: the names were assigned either by their developers or by the Village trustees upon petition of resident property owners. Who were the people for whom 53 of our streets were named?
As you will see, not all of the original street names have a known history.
J. Addison Young, a resident of New Rochelle, owned much of the commercial district on the northern side of the Boston Post Road at the turn of the century. Among other distinctions, Young was a founder of the Westchester Bar Association (1896), a Westchester County District Attorney (1902), Supreme Court Justice for the 9th District of the State of New York (1915), and Justice of the Appellate Division (1922).
Anna Maria Bayard (1670-1756) was the wife of Augustus Jay (founder of the Jay family in America) and great- grandmother of Peter Jay Munro, who once owned almost all of the land that now makes up the Village of Larchmont.
No information: probably the developer’s wife or daughter.
Robert (Bobby) Bishop, a member of the Merchant Marine, was the first Larchmonter to die in World War II. Around 1942, the Village Board resolved to name new streets for those who fell in that war but didn’t get very far because casualties were too many and the new streets too few.
Several members of this old New Rochelle Huguenot family owned land in the area–among them, Abraham, Peter, and William. Another married into the Vanderburgh family, whose house stood near this street in the latter part of the 19th century.
H.V. Bozell was a village trustee around 1940, much involved in the Parks Committee.
Mayhew Wainwright Bronson (1864 – 1936), philanthropist and man-about-town, is best remembered as the flamboyant fire chief of 1900-04. He was also active in the local Boy Scouts and Masonic Lodge and took a leading role in creating Flint Park.
Lest we forget…there should be an “e” on the end. Charles Sheldon Clarke, son of early settlers in Mamaroneck and a member of the Larchmont Police Department, was killed in France during World War I, leaving a wife and infant twin daughters. In 1923, the editor of the Larchmont Times proposed naming streets after Larchmonters who fell in the war. The Village Board accepted the suggestion, and Clarke Court was the first so named.
No information; named for the U.S. President by the developer, presumably.
No information; possibly Coolidge’s vice-president; possibly for F. F. Dawes, who in the second decade of the 20th century operated Oak Bluff House on Oak Bluff Avenue.
In the latter part of the 19th century William Deane owned much of the triangle of land bounded by the Post Road, the Premium River and Dillon Park.
Douglas Morrison Adamson, whose father, James, lost a fortune developing Larchmont Shores during the 1920s.
Grace Ervilla, wife of John J. Murdoch, vaudeville tycoon who developed this property at the rear of his estate (Helena Flint’s Cherry Tree Cottage, 85 Larchmont Avenue) in the early 1930s. He said he did it as a Depression-relief project, to give employment to the unemployed.
Thompson J. S. Flint, who bought the Munro-Collins estate in 1865 and formed the Larchmont Manor Company in 1872 to develop it. Born in Maine, Flint made his first fortune in grain elevators in Chicago, then moved to New York City where he became a wholesale grocery merchant and banker. Flint Avenue was formerly the continuation of Bonnett Avenue; the name was changed on petition in the 1920s.
In the early 20th century, Mary Keller owned the land surrounding the present Gerlach and Stafford places. Her second husband was Julius Gerlach, a Larchmont housepainter, fire chief and Village trustee, who inherited the land on her death in 1911.
Joseph Gilder, editor of The Dramatic Critic around 1896, owned this part of the commercial district in the early 20th century. His son Harwood was born in Larchmont in 1895.
Edward C. Griffin served as Village president 1909-11 and 1915-20 and was chairman of the Larchmont Free Library Committee, which donated the library building to the Village. In 1932 he founded the Larchmont Unemployment Relief Organization, which in 1935 became the Larchmont Aid Society. A 40-year member of the Ambulance Protective Corps, he was president of the Larchmont Trust Company, vice-president of the Bank of Westchester and president of the Fort George Realty Company
An early Huguenot family from New Rochelle.
Thomas G. Hall married Caroline Wilmarth, who had inherited a large tract of land between the Post Road and Palmer Avenue from Chatsworth Avenue to the eastern boundary of the Village. He created the development known as Forest Park. In 1922 the Village Board renamed the part of Roosevelt Avenue between Palmer and Forest Park Avenue in memory of Hall, “a public spirited man.”
No information; presumably for the U.S. President.
Helena Flint, daughter of T. J. S. Flint, founder of the Larchmont Manor Company. Ms. Flint donated “The Mermaid’s Cradle” in Fountain Square in 1894 in memory of her father, and in 1915, the land for Flint Park.
The land through which this street runs, developed in 1919 as “Parkside,” was formerly the Henry Iden estate.
C. Oliver Iselin, a famous yachtsman from New Rochelle, bought land in this area in the 1890s. His father, Adrian, was a banker and president of the New Rochelle Water Company.
Andrew and Gertrude Jochum were early residents of Woodbine Park. When the deed to the street was conveyed to the Village, the trustees suggested renaming it, but this never came to pass.
Thomas Kane, an Irish immigrant, made a fortune by collecting horse manure in the streets of New York City for fertilizer. In 1876, he bought from E. K. Collins’ widow, Sarah, a 50-acre tract along the western side of Beach Avenue below the Post Road. The property was developed as Woodbine Park in 1890. Described in his 1894 obituary as ‘of a somewhat retiring disposition and never what is known as a club man,’ he contributed [generously] to a number of charitable organizations and was a major donor to the building funds of St. Augustine’s Chapel in Larchmont and Holy Trinity Church in Mamaroneck.
Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918), a writer and reviewer for the New York Sunday Times Magazine best known for his poem “Trees,” moved into a rental house (now 15 Maple Avenue) in Larchmont with his family in 1917. Outraged by the sinking of the Lusitania, he volunteered for military service and was killed July 30, 1918, in the second battle of the Marne. When Moses Cherry presented plans for a development along Ferguson Road in 1923, the Village Board asked him to rename the road “Kilmer,” in keeping with their policy to name new streets for Larchmonters killed in the World War. Author’s Query: Does anyone know who Ferguson was?
No information; presumably for the U.S. president.
Emily Earle Lindsley (1858-1944), a watercolorist and portrait painter who studied in Rome and at the National Academy of Design, was the first woman to vote in Larchmont under the Suffrage Act. She was a founder ofthe Larchmont Avenue Church, Larchmont League of Women Voters, and Larchmont Garden and Women’s clubs.
Frederick Lorenzen owned the triangle of land through which this street runs in the late 19th century and attempted to develop it in 1888, although development did not succeed until the early 20th century. Lorenzen Place was formerly the western continuation of Oak Avenue, which crossed the Premium River from the Manor and Woodbine Park by means of a bridge erected in 1890 when Woodbine Park was developed. After the bridge collapsed in 1920, the two ends of Oak Avenue were no longer connected, causing confusion, so in 1927 the Village Board substituted “Lorenzen.”
John L. Lyons, Larchmont’s first boy to make the supreme sacrifice in World War I. Formerly Monroe Place, and briefly, Sycamore Road. The name was changed to Sycamore Road by the Trustees in 1924, over the protest of residents, because of confusion with Monroe Avenue. Protest continued, and the original name was restored one month later. The name was changed to Lyons Place in 1926, in keeping with the Trustees’ policy of naming streets for World War I dead; the residents at that time petitioned for naming it Dupont Place, but the Trustees’ designation prevailed. Author’s Query: Does anyone know why “Dupont” was proposed?
Thanks to Paul Andersen, we now have the following information on the Margaret of Margaret Lane: Margaret Lord, a long-time Village Clerk and previously Deputy Clerk-Secretary. She served in these capacities from at least 1936 to 1945–probably longer.
Mayhew Wainwright Bronson. See information under Bronson Avenue.
Probably a corruption of Munro, for Peter Jan Munro, who built the Manor House and who owned from 1795 to 1845 all the land now comprising the village. (Buccaneer Channel was formerly known as Munro’s Gut, later corrupted to Monroe Inlet; the present name was given by James Adamson, the developer of Larchmont Shores.) Or possibly Augustin Monroe (1854-1904), an early Village resident and an organizer and third commodore of the Larchmont Yacht Club, which had a golf club in this area in the early 20th century.
Samuel Palmer (1648-1716), his wife, Mary Drake, and their six sons (William, Obadiah, Nehemiah, Samuel Jr., Sylvanus, and Solomon) were Larchmont’s first settlers and left many descendants in the area. Palmer Avenue, which was laid out as a public highway from Chatsworth Avenue to Weaver Street in 1874, was probably named for the Thomas Palmer (1804-1886) who purchased the land now known as Howell Park in 1842; Palmer Avenue was laid out along the northerly boundary of his property. (He was the grandfather of Miss Ella Howell, into whose hands the property had passed by the time it was sold for development)
John Pryer (1802-1887) purchased the c. 1776 Mill House (4 Pryer Manor Road) and several acres along the easterly shore of the Premium River and Mill Pond around 1850. The property passed by will to his son Charles (1851- 1916), an author,antiquarian, yachtsman, and director of the Knickerbocker Press (New Rochelle), and then to Charles’ son, Harold, under whose ownership the last remnants of the estate were sold for development.
In the early 1840s, James John Roosevelt (born c. 1795), son of Jacobus (also known as James I. Roosevelt, Sr.) and brother of Cornelius (founder of the Chemical Bank), assembled a 500-acre country estate that stretched along the Post Road from the easterly boundary of the Village to near Beach Avenue and ran north of the railroad tracks up into New Rochelle. In 1850 he sold off a 28-acre parcel bounded to the south by the Post Road and to the north by “a certain street or road recently laid out” that was named Roosevelt Avenue as part of the deal. A portion of that road remains as Roosevelt Avenue today.
In the 1880s-90s, Charles D. Shepard (1840- 1894) owned several acres surrounding Shepard Place. He also owned a large parcel near the railroad tracks, later known as the Iden Estate (see Iden, above), Shepard’s Fields (present site of Mamaroneck High School), and Shepard’s Point (the waterfront side of Park Avenue between Magnolia Avenue and Manor Park). An actor in early life, he later acquired “many friends in sporting and political circles” and engaged in a variety of pursuits, including serving as the first manager of the Larchmont Yacht Club and as proprietor of the White Elephant Billiard Hall on Broadway.
Unknown. Could be a family name, but more likely was intended by the developer to suggest Sherwood Forest.
Unknown. Possibly Peter Stuyvesant.
Mary E. Vanderburg, wife of George, purchased 28 acres of the Roosevelt estate (see Roosevelt) in 1850 and another 33 acres of that estate in 1855 from the Chatsworth Land Company, together comprising the land bounded by the Post Road, the eastern Village line, Palmer Avenue, and Chatsworth Avenue. Her husband, sometimes referred to as Colonel Vanderburg, served the Town of Mamaroneck as Inspector of Elections in 1859, Assessor in 1870, and in several other capacities through 1879. The northerly parcel passed by will to daughter Eugenia Brown and her children and was developed as Vanderburg Park in the early 20th century. (Various spellings of the name are found.)
Eugene Wakeman, a florist and long-time Village Clerk, who owned property surrounding Wakeman Place.
Carsten Wendt, a German-born attorney, purchased approximately 30 acres bounded by Palmer, Larchmont, Chatsworth, and Forest Park avenues from the Chatsworth Land Company in 1885. He was the second Village President, serving in that capacity from 1893-1900, and thereafter as Village Attorney for many years