Author Information

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Sandra Harrison was born in Bronx, New York and lived most of her early life in Yonkers. She began teaching in Bridgewater, Maine and ended her career as a Special Education Teacher with the White Plains School District in 2009. While working at White Plains High, Sandra honed her skills as a photographer. Sandra has been a resident of White Plains since 1980.

In 2013, Sandra published her book, White Plains, New York: A City of Contrasts with Lulu.com. The paperback and e-version are available through Lulu and other online book distributors.  Sandra’s other published book, Saving the Gorilla, is also available for sale.

The pre-published texts of her books and other unpublished works can be found on this website.

20 Comments on “Author Information

  1. I hope some of the areas on the Battle of White Plains helps you. I am still working on the work because things come up and things change. I hope to make the work into a book to give copies to schools and library in White Plains in 2013. I hope you find what you are looking for. It is not easy to find things that are still here from the past. I finally found the Black Cemetery in the Silver Lake Preserve this last summer while looking for a old home from 1700’s which might still be on Hall Ave. There is a new book out by Richard Sullivan with his take on the American Revolution but it is out at the library. It might have something for you.

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  2. Sandra,
    Would you be able to point me in the right direction to find out historical information regarding the cottage at 1305 Mamaroneck Avenue? The house has a marker from 1910 and I believe it was a church. I am interested in details about its uses. Thanks

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    • Are you sure you have the right address. I don’t even know if it is in White Plains even though it has the White Plains address. If it is in White Plains you can call the company Santhigram Wellness Center who are in the building to find the owner info@santhigramwellness.com or call 914 240-1417. This I got from google.com. But, I have never had luck e-mailing owners for information. If the property is in White Plains, then the Assessors office 914 422 1223 would have information. I usually went in person and I do not know if they give out info online. They usually have the property listed but not always the date of original construction. Where did you get 1910? If the map has the right structure it is big stone but I do not know if it had been a church. My research never led me to this place. There is a former church on West St. that became Rosedale School and now is a house.

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      • I did not realize that you are the company in the house. Sorry! I really don’t know how to help you. I don’t know if the White Plains Historic Society can help you but you can try posting on their forum. No one has been answering the listings so you can try just e-mailing the President. I have also tried listing on the Facebook page for the WP Historic Society but I never got an answer. I did most of my research at the Westchester Archives library as well as the White Plains Library Local history room but I don’t recall coming across this structure. If you bought the building, a lawyer would have done a search on the property. The court has land records but I never had luck with this. There is a search engine on their website (Westchester County Clerk Office). I found searching for many of the properties in White Plains very frustrating.

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  3. Thanks Sandra. We are renting the property and the landlord doesn’t have too much information on the original uses of the property. There is an old church window in the attic that has been cemented over and a plaque on the building that just states the year 1910. I will start with the White Plains library and go from there. Feel free to stop by and visit our center anytime, it is a wonderful little house.

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  4. Hi Sandra! You’ve done an excellent job presenting the history of White Plains… thank you so much for this. Here is a question that I have for you.. the land along Chatterton Parkway, by Battle Hill, that faces the Bronx River – who owns that… does the City of White Plains?

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    • Did you read my book or did you just read my blog? The book is much different but I think the donated copy that I gave to White Plains Library for circulation has disappeared. Hopefully, the Local History copy is there but you have to go to the library to see. As I explain in my book the boundaries of White Plains changed over time. You can see the present border for White Plains on Google maps by putting “White Plains NY map” in the Google search engine. Before the American Revolution, all land west of the Bronx River in the Battle Hill area was owned by Philispe Manor (you can look this up). After the war, the land was confiscated by the US because the Philispe family were Tories and supported the British during this time. The land then became part of Greenburgh. It was not till 1916 when White Plains became a city, that the land was annexed and became part of White Plains. The Bronx River Preserve along the Bronx River Parkway completed in 1925 is a Westchester Park but the area below Battle Hill is still within the White Plains’ borders. As to who owns the property, I am not sure. The Parkway is under NY State control and the parkland is maintained by Westchester County. The area is a hill and there are no houses there. Looking at individual addresses of homes does not help because the zip codes are not by municipalities. Right before the Battle of White Plains on Chatterton Hill just south along the river where Hartsdale is located a skirmish took place between the American Rebels and the British. I hope this helps.

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  5. Hello, Sandra. I’m researching my family geneaology and foun that my great, great, great, great grandparents are buried at the White Plains Rural Cemetery. I’ve been there to copy the records they have on file but my ancestors were buried there in 1825 & 1836) – before the establishment of WPRC. Do you know what became of the Methodist Church that occupied the site previously? Did the congregation move to another location? Another church? Thank you!

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    • According to “The Cemeteries of Westchester County” “vol II by Patrick Raftery, the church moved to another location on N Broadway in 1936. As to what happened to the congregation after that, I can’t help you. The location of the 3rd building was where Pace Law school is today. Westchester County Historic Society has a library in Elmsford and they might know what happened to the Church. There are other Methodist Churches in WP but often as congregations grew, new buildings were built.

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  6. Hello Ms. Harrison.
    In my genealogical research of my mother’s side (Chadderdon), I believe my 7th great-grandfather was the Michael Chatterton who farmed the land the 1776 Battle of White Plains took place on. His home was said to have stood at the base of what became known as Chatterton Hill (aka Battle Hill today.) I have several White Plains history books and have seen pictures of the white house with a gambrel roof. It apparently stood at least into the 1860s to be in those photos. There is also a drawing of it in one book. Cliff Blau on his site told me you may have believed the house was moved. Do you know anything more about it?

    By the way, I believe my line goes from Michael to Shadrack, and then at least 3 Jonathans, to Peter to William, to my mother. Today, the spelling is Chadderdon. I believe the spelling morphed during the time of the Revolution and the War of 1812. I think what happened is the name was misspelled by militia unit clerks that two Jonathans, my fourth and third great-grandfathers, served with in those wars.

    My 3rd great-grandpa Jonathan Chadderdon moved northwest in the late 1700s or early 1800s to Schoharie County, west of Albany, and eventually ended up in Cayuga County, where he died in 1853 and buried at Brick Church Cemetery (Peter’s Yard Cemetery). I believe some Chadderdons still live in Cayuga County. Several are buried at Weedsport. His son, another Jonathan, my gg-grandpa, moved west to Wisconsin in the 1840s, then on to Belle Plaine, MN. in the mid-1850s. He served as a representative in the second session (1859-60) of the Minnesota State Legislature. Three of his sons fought with the Second and Fourth Minnesota regiments in the Civil War, including my great-grandfather Peter (4th MN). One, George, (2nd MN) died at Nashville in Jan. 1864 and is buried there. A brother-in-law of the Chadderdon brothers, Zina B. Chatfield (4th MN) also served with them. Some Chadderdons continued west about 1900 to North Dakota and eventually on to Idaho and Washington state where a few still live today.

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    • I didn’t realize your question and I apologize for not answering. I have not seen any clear pictures of the Chatterton House and I believe after looking everywhere that it was demolished. The only picture I saw was in Renoda Hoffman’s book (Yesterday in White Plains) but it was from above the hill where the house was at the time and I wasn’t even sure which house it actually was. I looked and even asked the City’s Archivist about the house but I figured it might have been where Westchester County put in the Bronx River Parkway and surrounding parkland. Also Rt 119 was expanded that it could have been demolished at any time in the early 1900’s. The former librarian Ben Himmelfarb and City Archivist Elaine Massena have a new book out but it covers the 1900’s and has no pictures of Chatterton House or mentions that I know of. Battle Hill was in Greenburgh till 1916 when White Plains became a City so Greenburgh could have been the one’s to give approval for its demise. Renoda describes the house with a gambrel roof so it is must have been quite distinctive. I only know of like 4 houses that were moved to save them from redevelopment. One was the Purdy House and 2 were done by one man saving two old structures (one being the Anthony Miller House ) that are homes today. And then there is the Mitchell House that was moved. This is a quote from the walking tour put together by City Archivist: “The Battle of White Plains was fought here on October 28, 1776. At that time the area was known as Chatterton Hill after Michael Chatterton who was a tenant farmer on 152 acres of land owned by Frederick Phillipse, Lord of the Manor of Phillipsburgh. Chatterton’s house stood near the present intersection of Battle Ave (then called Dobbs Ferry Road) and Tarrytown Road, across from the Main Street bridge that spans the Bronx River. During the Battle of White Plains, Chatterton and his family hid in the basement of their home, while British and Hessian troops attacked the American forces on the hill above them. They hid until the fighting was over and the Americans were forced to cross the wooden bridge nearby and retreat up Purdy or Dusenbury Hill.” If you look at maps of the area you might see that there is a large area between Battle Ave, Tarrytown Rd and Main St that was made into a park and highway. I believe the house was somewhere in there near river and you might look at old maps to see that there were structures in the area that could have been the house. I don’t know if Bronx River Parkway has pictures but you can look online for some of those.

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      • Thank you Ms. Harrison. Yes, I suspected it is gone. Yes, with the gambrel roof it was quite recognizable. I have two or three books about White Plains or Westchester and there are about 3-4 pictures, taken from up the hill that show the house in the distance. I’ve also found a drawing of the house of 7th great-grandpa Michael’s house. I’ve read about the battle.
        I have other family connections to Westchester County. My 8th great-grandparents were Thomas Sr. and Rebecca Briggs Cornell who had land land called Cornell Neck in the 1640s – 1650s, but the Indian attack that killed Ann Hutchinson chased the Cornells back to Portsmouth RI. You can Google “Killed Strangly – The Death of Rebecca Cornell” for a pretty amazing story of her death. Their son Thomas Jr. was my 7th great-Grandpa. The Cornells were on my paternal side, while the Chatterton/ Chadderdons were on my maternal side. My mom was a Chadderdon. Both sides came to Minnesota in the early 1850s where we are still today. The Chadderdons migrated to Schoharie County NY late 1700s and married into Palatinate Germans that came over in 1710-11. My paternal lines, except for my Scottish Dickie family that arrived in 1857 directly to Minnesota, were mostly old New England families – Wing from Cape Cod, Button from Haverhill, Ma, Pettis from RI/CT Crandall from Westerly, RI, Hosford from western CT, and Davis from Williamstown, MA. My Pettis and Davis families then went to Canada in early 1800s but back to Illinois together in the late 1830s before heading north to MN in 1853. Those New Englanders aparrently suffered from ague in the heat and humidity of southwest Illinois and went north for better weather and cheap land that opened up with the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux at today’s St. Peter, MN.

        Thank you again. Terry Davis

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  7. Hi Sandra,

    I was wondering if you had any more info about the NOBLE School or 99 Quinby Avenue. My wife and I live there and have been wanting to learn more about the history.

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    • I found some papers that mentioned the Noble School. The two women who did the research had done a tour of sorts of old houses in White Plains and the work was on the website for the library but I can not find it on the library website anymore. They did not cover every street. They mention the Noble School for a different location. The School was run by Mrs. Kathleen Noble Jerome who was first married to Charles Noble in 1894 in NYC. After Charles died two years later she moved to White Plains with her son in 1905. The school opened in 1909 at 112 S Broadway (house no longer exists) with 1 student. The school was successful and moved many times till about the mid 1920’s. The building mentioned for an annex was 44 Old Mamaroneck Ave. The school had a wealthy clientele with both day and boarding students. They had a principal, 5 regular teachers and 3 visiting instructors who taught French, music and dance for k-4th grades. The school moved to Mt Kisco in the 1930’s. I don’t remember where I found the other info that included your house.

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  8. Ms. Harrison: Have you been able to find anything about the Michael Chatterton House I asked about Aug. 6? See that message.

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  9. Sandra, we’re definitely related — my father is Morris Baslow, and his father was Ruby Baslow. Morris lives in Rockland County (New City), and I’m sure he would love to hear from family! — Tracy (Ruby’s granddaughter)

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    • You are related on my paternal grandmother’s side of family. Ruby was one of my father’s favorite people to visit at his home. Ruby liked to collect things and my father was envious of this cause my mother would not let my father collect things like he wanted. We did visit his house in Queens. There are different spellings of their last name. Rita Bosloff, Ruby’s sister and my paternal grandmother used Bosloff on her marriage license. Morris name is familar to me and I will tell my mother. You can make connections on Facebook.

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  10. Hi Sandra, thanks for all of your work regarding the history of White Plains. I moved to Battle Hill 10 years ago and I am fascinated with what has happened here through time. One of the most intriguing things I have stumbled across is the Bronx River Preservation Project and all of the “reconfiguring” that happened to the Smith Street /Greenburgh Ave community. I can’t imagine the political will and engineering that went into getting the parkway built up to Valhalla. Anyway, thanks for all your work

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