I’ve got a song to sing
A song for you and me
It’s got the notes, high and low
and everything between
Its about life with its joys and sorrows
Got all the words, the notes and harmonies
Its about laughter, hate and anything you want it to be
Its a song that needs to be heard
Or, its just a bunch of words on a page in cyber space.
When you look around?
Do you see what you want to see or what is really there?
I see a world that others don’t want to see
A world of hate,
Chapter 1- The House
He was just an ordinary man. A simple man who decided to take a walkabout on his property in the early morning of October. He was born and raised in the area but the land was unknown to him. The land came to him as an inheritance from an Uncle who had died a number of months previously.
The inheritance came as a complete surprise. There were others who might have been a better choice for ownership. But, the executor of his uncle’s will, a lawyer, who had contacted him about his inheritance was very clear.
The property was massive but was largely undeveloped. There was a log cabin with a dirt road leading to it from the closest road but most of the property had been left to its own. The uncle who had lived on the property with his parents from childhood had only gone away to college. After his retirement from a lifetime career, he remained in the cabin keeping mostly to himself. His wife had died years before but they had no living children. The cabin had a source of water, electricity and even modern plumbing but beyond the cabin there were none of those amenities.
The man thought of selling the property but the lawyer explained that the land must remain in the family and as the appointed guardian of the property there was to be no development. After coming, the man just didn’t know whether to rent it out or just live in the house. It wasn’t like he had a great living situation. He was retired and lived in a small apartment up north but it really didn’t matter to him whether to return home and just let the property stay as it was.
After seeing the closest town, there were plenty of stores to get provisions but there was always online ordering. He’d have to get a hook up some how with the internet. Maybe satellite TV would be an option but there was a phone line connection. He’d have to look into it. His cell phone to his surprise worked cause there was a tower near by on higher ground.
The man had a family but his wife had left him a decade ago. His children were grown and he even had a few grandchildren. They could visit as the cabin had a bunch of bedrooms.
Walking into the woods, the man stumbled on the path that led into the meadow ahead. A view of the area could be seen from the top floor of the cabin. There were trees that surrounded the meadow and the grasses were high. There was a brook that ran through the meadow but the waters were shallow and doubted that there would be any fish.
As he walked, an odd feeling came to him. There were no birds about. It was uncomfortably quiet. Eerie in fact. The air was still without a breeze. The whole area was deadly still. The sun was strong and there were no clouds in the sky. At a shallow point, the man crossed the stream. His boots didn’t even get wet. The path continued on but then split into three directions. Ahead the meadow met a wooded area but to his right and left the paths meandered through high grass.
Deciding to return to the cabin, the man retraced his steps. There was a shed on the property that had an ATV that might be best to use in exploring the property and his uncle might have a map somewhere. But, he had yet to go through his uncle’s things. His uncle had died in the hospital after suffering a sudden heart attack. He had been in relatively good health according to the lawyer for a man in his late 80’s. Not even his friends could explain his final end.
Back at the cabin, the man went to the refrigerator for a beer. The inside was stocked with two 12 packs, a loaf of bread and an assortment of foods that might need to be thrown out. He had decided to spend at least one night in the cabin and had picked up enough for sandwiches. His favorite food group baloney and mayo. The freezer was also stocked with enough meat and fish for a month.
There was no TV or computer but plenty of books and magazines. There was an old jukebox filled with a bunch of old records. There were also a number of radios and an old stereo with a collection of albums taking up an entire shelf in the living room. The downstairs was basically one big room with a kitchen area. One door led to a half bath and another to an office. His uncle had been a lawyer and the office was filled with files. Near the front door was a large stairwell leading upstairs where there were two small bedrooms with a shared bathroom and a master with a full bath and a large closet. The master overlooked the back of the property and the meadow was as he left it.
The stillness was then interrupted by the sound of a motor. Looking out the front window, the man saw that a pick up truck had pulled up to the house and parked behind his own SUV. Out came the driver who was unfamiliar to the man but not seemingly to the cabin. Following the driver, was a Labrador that followed the driver to the front door.
The man went to the door imagining the driver was an old friend of his uncle. He had a full beard and massive gray hair on top. As the man, opened the door, the dog sped passed him into the house.
“Sorry about that, ” the driver spoke.
“No, problem. He might know the place better than me,” the man responded. “I’m Jed, by the way.”
“Mike,” the older man stated. “I was a friend of your uncle.”
“I figured that,” Jed went on. “Come in. Would you join me in a beer?”
“Sure thing. Larry always had a few in the frig.”
Jed went to the frig and grabbed another beer to give to the older man. He handed it over.
“Thanks,” Mike said. After a few sips he went on. “I heard from Larry’s lawyer that you were here. What’s your assessment of the place?”
“Compared to the City I suppose it is,” he sat down on the couch. “I hope you don’t mind but I was curious how you were getting on.”
“Its different from my place and the property is expansive.”
“Good word for it. A guy I know could give you a plane ride to see all of it. Lives in town.”
“I might do that,” the man said sipping his beer. “I thought I’d take the ATV out for a ride,”
“Property’s pretty big. There’s a few paths but most of it is wild.” Mike then finished off his beer and set it down on the table next to the coach. “I could take you round if you like. I know most of it.”
“That sounds good but I’m headed back to Thomasville in the morning”
“Another time then.”
“I might come back in a week or so but I’ve got somethings to attend to back home.”
“I see. Well I could look in and make sure things are as they are while you’re home.”
“That’s mighty helpful. I don’t right know just yet what to do with the place.”
“That’s a big decision. Its a nice place and like you said quiet.”
“A bit too quiet.”
“I took a walk just a while ago and it was really quiet. Dead still. No birds, no wind and not even a cloud in the sky.”
“That’s weird. Mike said the same thing like a week ago before he had his heart attack.”
“Now, that’s interesting,” Jed stated with a lot of thought.
“Well, I would never have thought Dan would die from a heart attack. It was a surprise for all of us. He was in good health and was still working,” Mike said. “I live in town above the Drug Store. You can call me at any time. Numbers listed. I just wanted to see how you were getting along. Dan and I go back a long ways.” Mike then got up and waved for his dog to follow him as he made his way to the door.
“Thanks for stopping,” Jed said.
And, then Mike was gone back the way he had come and Jed was alone again. It was time for a sandwich and a few more beers.
Chapter 2- Home
The next day, the man decided to return home. He cleared out cabin’s refrigerator of things that might expire or had and put everything in the back of his SUV. Making sure every window had been closed and the house locked, the man drove away to the road. It was another blue sky day. He would have a long ride ahead so he would stop first in town to get some food for the road and see about getting rid of the garbage.
In town, there was a diner and a small market. He’d stop in the market first and then get some breakfast. It was the plan. There were a few people about but as it was very early, few were about.
In about thirty minutes, the man head to the highway. He was actually looking forward to getting back home where he would need to make a decision about his unexpected inheritance. It would take hours to get to Thomasville. A little music would make the journey less tedious and he had already put in the first of the CD’s he had lined up.
It was early evening, when the man parked his car and went into his apartment. He had a nice size place with a terrace that overlooked a lake. He had lived in the place for a few years now after his divorce. He’ll check his e-mails and make a few calls before settling down in front of the TV for his favorite shows.
————————–to be continued——————-
Two Markers placed in 2012 for the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail can be found in Tibbits Park. Its near Main St outside fountain.
During the Pandemic of 2020, NY was put on “pause” with the Matilda Law innacted by Governor Cuomo during a State Emergency. It started in March with the most stringent closings on March 22. Governor extended the May 16 reopening till June 6 with a new set of rules.
I could cry. This is the craziest time of my life. Well, at least the part I remember. These are the things I learned:
This is an article recently posted online:
Our world has certainly seen its share of generation-defining events, from global wars to the 1918 influenza pandemic to the attacks of 9/11. And now, the COVID-19 pandemic. While each was unique, they all altered the lives of those who experienced them.
With the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve surely learned a lot. Some lessons have been painful—COVID-19 spotlighted healthcare inequities and the higher rates of infection and death in Black, Latino, and Native American populations. But recognizing what’s been wrong will help push our systems in the right direction, experts say, and some of the disruptions the crisis caused may produce lasting benefits.
“There has been often a lot of focus on loss . . . now people are beginning to reflect on what was gained,” says Vaile Wright, PhD, senior director of health care innovation at the American Psychological Association (APA).
For instance, many people say they want to continue to spend more time at home as the pandemic eases, according to a March 2021 Consumer Reports nationally representative survey of 2,144 American adults (PDF). And the vast majority hope the emphasis on cleanliness and hygiene continues…
…”But what pandemic-related changes are we most likely to hold on to? Here, five key lessons and how they may improve our lives in the long run.
The tech revolution that seemed perpetually around the corner actually got here as the coronavirus spread—upending the way we work, socialize, and handle many basic needs.
Take telehealth. With restrictions on in-person visits, doctors saw patients via phone, tablet, or computer. More than 80 percent of clinicians who responded to a 2020 COVID-19 Health Coalition survey said telehealth improved the timeliness of care, and a subsequent HC survey found that patients were similarly satisfied. Experts say talk therapy also works well via telehealth. (What’s unclear: whether insurers, who expanded coverage for virtual care during the pandemic, will continue their coverage.)
Countless Americans used tech tools for working at home—a full 70 percent of full- or part-time working adults were doing their jobs remotely at least some of the time in April 2020, a Gallup poll found. Many liked it: 81 percent of 1,500 surveyed professionals who worked remotely in the past year would prefer not to go back to the office at all or to have a hybrid schedule going forward, according to a recent Harvard Business School survey. “We learned a lot about the ability to telework and still get the work done,” says Georges Benjamin, MD, executive director of the American Public Health Association (APHA). “The technology exists to do it effectively.”
Some also turned to tech for leisure activities like virtual cooking, live-streamed museum tours, and interactive fitness classes. And people regularly “visited” with relatives and friends via Zoom or FaceTime. While remote schooling for children was widely unpopular, the expansion of virtual adult education may continue to appeal: About one-third of American adults said online classes offered the best value for them, in a July 2020 survey by the nonprofit Strada Education Network.
One tech issue the pandemic magnified is that not everyone has reliable home internet access. Though solutions may be a while in coming, President Biden’s infrastructure bill aims to expand broadband to communities where it’s lacking.
Though we initially knew almost nothing about COVID-19, over the course of the pandemic many of us learned how strategies such as wearing masks, regular and proper hand-washing, distancing physically from those outside our household, ventilating indoor spaces, and staying home while sick could help reduce the spread of the illness.
At this point, experts as well as most consumers appear to want to see such infection-protective behaviors become the norm in the U.S. For instance, 79 percent of Americans say they feel positive about the focus on cleanliness and hygiene, and hope it remains after the pandemic is declared over, according to CR’s March 2021 survey. “I think handshakes probably won’t return real quickly,” says the APA’s Wright.
And just as many people in East Asia wore masks during daily activities such as commuting by public transit after the SARS outbreak there in 2003, some mask-wearing may persist in the U.S. for a while, says Barun Mathema, PhD, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York.
This may be more likely in areas that were hit hard by COVID-19—or if a winter surge in coronavirus occurs in the U.S., according to Ali Mokdad, PhD, a professor of health metrics sciences at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle, speaking at a news briefing in April 2021.
Importantly, smart health and hygiene habits have benefits beyond protecting against COVID-19. “The flu epidemic that comes every year didn’t happen this year, because of mask-wearing, hand-washing, and social distancing—and vaccination,” says the APHA’s Benjamin.
Those months at home gave some the chance to notice every area of their living spaces that needed fixing or upgrading. That, in turn, motivated consumers with time on their hands to try do-it-yourself projects, and built confidence in their abilities to wield a pair of pliers or a screwdriver, says Grant Farnsworth, president of The Farnsworth Group, which does market research on the construction, lawn, and home improvement industries.
The result: During the pandemic consumers started 5 to 10 percent more DIY home improvement projects—such as landscaping and installing lighting—than they typically do, Farnsworth says.
When spring 2021 rolled around, and COVID-19 vaccines became widely available, industry experts expected the DIY home fix-up trend to end. But it didn’t. Instead, even as the professional contracting business has picked up, people are tackling DIY home improvements much as they did in 2020.
And the DIY movement went beyond home fixes. Thanks to guidance from friends, virtual classes, or video tutorials on YouTube, consumers learned to cut their own hair, designed and sewed face masks, and began breadmaking in such large numbers that flour became scarce in grocery stores. Many people also started crafting for fun, says Diana Smith, associate director of retail at market research firm Mintel, which predicts a rise in handmade gifts such as knit hats and home-baked cookies throughout 2021.
Whether this penchant for self-reliance will last is unclear, but the confidence that many gained from home projects could remain for life, Farnsworth says. And some of these DIY projects, Smith points out, offer a leisure option that “kind of feeds the soul.”
When the pandemic forced us to suddenly alter our shopping routines, many people opted for contactless pickup and online and other delivery-based options.
Before COVID-19, online shopping was growing—people already bought most electronics on the internet, for instance. But the pandemic accelerated this, says Mintel’s Smith, particularly for groceries, household cleansers, and healthcare products, and tech gear useful for working at home. A nationally representative August 2020 Consumer Reports survey (PDF) of more than 2,000 U.S. adults found that the percentage of Americans who used delivery or pickup for groceries grew by more than 80 percent.
Consumers turned to local venues too, especially for food. A March 2021 survey by the International Food Information Council (IFIC) found that 44 percent of Americans ages 18 to 80 made an effort to support area restaurants and 25 percent purchased from nearby farmers.
The pandemic’s economic blow also made it hard for some people to put food on the table. CR’s August 2020 survey found that about 1 in 5 American grocery shoppers had used a food bank or pantry at some point since the pandemic began—and about half of them said they hadn’t used these programs in the preceding year. In IFIC’s March survey, more than 40 percent said they often or sometimes bought less food or less healthy food due to money worries.
Looking ahead, 55 percent of Americans say they hope contactless options like curbside pickup will last, CR’s March 2021 survey found. Almost half say they’re still shopping online more than in the past, Mintel says. But many may also continue to buy local, says Smith: “There’s an emphasis and a focus on community and connection.”
Throughout the ups and downs of the pandemic, many Americans have been reconsidering what matters most in life, and that’s little surprise to the experts we interviewed.
As Richard Tedeschi, PhD, a professor of psychology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, points out, going through challenging experiences often leads us to think more deeply about our core beliefs—whether it’s our personal relationships or health, the work we do, or how we spend our free time.
In addition, the coronavirus “caused people to realize that things could change in an instant,” says Mintel’s Smith. The firm’s recent data found that 59 percent of Americans say they want to spend more time with family. And 44 percent said they enjoyed spending more time at home during the pandemic and hope that continues afterward, according to CR’s March 2021 survey. “I think people have appreciated being forced to slow down,” says the APA’s Wright, “to actually be present in activities” with family and friends.
Mintel also found that 58 percent of people express a desire to take better care of their physical health. Home cooking could help there. According to CR’s August 2020 survey, more than a third of grocery shoppers say they cooked from scratch or tried new recipes more often than they used to before the coronavirus.
On the job front, the dedication of healthcare workers throughout the pandemic appears to have inspired more people to become doctors. Applications to attend medical school in 2021 were roughly 18 percent higher than the previous year’s numbers, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. “After 9/11, [we] saw a big increase in individuals joining the armed forces,” Wright says. “I think that this is probably similar.”
The crisis motivated us to look out for our local communities, too, a trend that’s likely to endure, Smith says. We saw this worldwide: COVID-19 drove a global surge of interest in volunteering with food banks and organizations that support the elderly, disabled, or migrant populations, according to the United Nations.
Finally, 35 percent of us say we yearn to try “something new,” Mintel reports. But what? Only time will tell whether that means starting a blog or a business, learning a new language, raising chickens, relocating—or an entirely different kind of pursuit.
Future pandemics are inevitable, according to health experts, but they note that takeaways from this crisis can make all the difference. Here’s what they say matters.
Many countries around the world need expert help to identify emerging outbreaks and new pathogens so that possible threats can be contained.
The U.S. spends roughly $98 billion annually on public health. That needs to grow by about $7 billion, says Georges Benjamin, MD, of the American Public Health Association, to address new and chronic diseases. By comparison, the U.S. government spent trillions after COVID-19 spiraled out of control.
Scientists across the globe worked together to develop safe and effective vaccines and treatments and learn about the virus in record time.
After early failures in the U.S. pandemic response, people stayed home when requested, so “we were effective at bending the curve,” Benjamin says.
Editor’s Note: This article also appeared in the August 2021 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.
Consumer Reports is an independent, nonprofit testing and advocacy organization. Since 1936, we have provided unbiased, evidence-based information and advocated to protect the rights and safety of consumers. Sign up for a free CR newsletter to get expert insights delivered to your inbox. This article was originally published by Consumer Reports on July 8, 2021.“
Caring for Mother Earth is a job but it can also save you money. Organizing one’s “stuff” is important to cut waste, make room for other things and to find things when you have a need. Knowing you have enough of the things you need when you need it (like batteries, detergents, cleaners and paper goods).
Reuse Paper/plastic bags from stores:
1. Store in a place for easy retrieval.
Books/DVDs/CD’s: 1. Sell 2. Donate (library, senior centers)
1. Donate usable clothing
2. Make into rags
3. Recycle where you can
Hartsdale, NY shares not only a border with White Plains (WP) but its history. White Plains has a street named Hartsdale Ave located in Highlands neighborhood.
Hartsdale during Colonial Days was part of Philipsburg Manor owned by the Frederick Philipse family and his descendants. The patriarch was born Vredyck Filipsen before emigrating but changed his name in 1664 under British rule. The Dutch merchant came to America in 1653 and bought hus estate from Adriaen van der Donck. Before the Revolution, the section that is now Hartsdale was rented to six wealthy families: Appleby, Odell, Oakley, Hart and Barnes. John Hart were tenants of what now makes up part of the Harts Brook Park Preserve. The hamlet of Hartsdale gets its name from John Hart. The name was used for streets, sections of the hamlet, brooks, parks and businesses.
In 1778, Philipsburg was confiscated by the American rebels and broken up. Appleby, Odell and Oakley families were loyalists at start of Revolution. Hart started as a loyalist (Tory) but changed allegiances.
In 1776, the Battle of White Plains took place not only where Hartsdale is today but parts of Philipsburg Manor (now Greenburgh) White Plains, Scarsdale, North White Plains and Harrison. A skirmish took place along the Bronx River near where the Hartsdale train station is today. The exchange between British Forces and the installed American forces along the river took place before the battle that took place on Chatterton Hill of Philipsburg named after the Chatterton family (the only tenant on the hill) on October 28, 1776.
A farmhouse dating from 1732 on Ridge Road was used as headquarters for Comte de Rochambeau in 1781. House was locale for meetings between George Washington and for the French troops that joined with the Americans. Today the house is named for John Odell who was a guide for George Washington and bought house in 1785. The house was deeded to the Sons of the American Revolution in 1965 but has deteriorated over time but money has been allocated for its renovation to become a museum.
to be continued….
There are many things that one has to prepare for in life but planning for surgery is something one needs to do in order to get through it. Most important is to be emotionally and physically ready for what is to come. I find that doctors don’t adequately prepare their patients for surgery. Often, they leave out the most important details. Information is key to a successful result.
Living alone, I did not have someone who could get me things once I came home from the hospital. The internet is great in seeking out a variety of information and I found a great many sources where people shared their experiences. In one case, I found speaking to a person who actually had a Vitrectomy very helpful.
My first surgery was a Tonsillectomy but at four my parents took responsibility for my care. But, the surgeries that I had as an older adult were very different. The Vitrectomy that I had to correct a macular hole in my left eye was a real challenge. I was awake for this procedure and lasts at minimum 45 minutes to one hour. It was strange not being able to see through this eye during surgery and experience no pain. What was difficult was staying still and the recovery period that followed.
Recovery for a Vitrectomy is very challenging. I had to prepare for everything ahead of time. After surgery, your head has to stay in a downward position till the doctor tells you can sit up. They put an air bubble in your eye that will close the macular hole. This means one has to eat, sleep and be with your head facing downward all the time. Luckily, I only had to do this for 9 days but some patients have had to do this longer.
I had to rent furniture so that I could stay with my head facing down and it is really a boring experience. I had a special chair that is like the massage chairs to sit in. I had a special mirror to watch TV and borrowed a number of audio books from the library to pass the time. I even borrowed my father’s old walker to move around my apartment to help me keep my head down. I put a stool by my kitchen sink so it would be easier to bend over when brushing my teeth or cleaning up. I even took up some rugs so I would be able to move about easier.
Sleeping was the hardest thing. I had to put my head in a donut ring and prop my head up above the mattress to sleep downward. I did not get much sleep. I had to prepare meals ahead of time and bought foods that I could eat with my head downward. I froze meals that I could easily pop into the microwave to heat up. I used a straw for drinking and disposable plates, cups and utensils so I didn’t have to wash up after. This took a lot of preplanning.
Doctors do not tell you about the medications you will have to take till after the surgeries (determined after surgery) so I had my doctor fax a pharmacy that I use that delivers.
I had to make arrangements to get to the hospital for the Vitrectomy as well as the trip home. My mother came with me and I had to arrange for her to go with me. I live in White Plains and she lives in Yonkers. My father needed looking after and my brother was nice enough to volunteer to watch him when my mother was with me. My brother lives in Delaware.
Out of all the surgeries I have had, the Vitrectomy was the most difficult. For me I found that some of the same measures that I took then, could be applied to all procedures and surgeries that I had after.. Being prepared is the most important thing and plan accordingly.
i want to fly, when i can’t
i want to be, when i can’t
just want to do a lot of things
but i can’t
oh, it’s hard
trying to get out of being me
down the rabbit hole again
woe is me
struggling just to get up
fighting life with all the energy of my being
i want to go anywhere but here
but i can’t
getting the gears going takes the day; then its over
darkness envelopes my essence
woe is me
but, now my head is spinning
can’t get it together
heavens just let me sleep
Remember, that modern day horses did not come to America till Europeans brought them here. Native Americans inhabiting the White Plains (WP) area got around mostly on foot. To the Munsee speaking people of the Weckquaeskeck tribe, WP was known as Quarropas. They created a number of footpaths that settlers would later use as roads. North St was one of WP’s first roads made from one of these footpaths. The settlers that came from Rye (around 1683) used the path.
Horses were used for travel, to transport goods & to work. Many horses were used by Hessian Soldiers and some Americas during the Battle of WP in 1776. Horses were used to pull WP’s earliest fire vehicles and even its first ambulances.
Horses were also used for sport. Horseback riding was quite popular as well as other equestrian events (like polo, racing, and jumping). The Gedney Farm Hotel that opened in 1913 (and closed in 1924) held such events. They even had a stage coach that gave the wealthy guests rides.
Horses were also used by mounted police officers. One barn of the former Gedney Farm was used by Mounted State Troopers (Troop K) from 1917 till a fire burned it down in 1924. In more recent times, WP had two mounted police officers in the Business District.
For the horses, fountains were constructed in some of WP’s roadways (one in the circle on Westchester Ave and one on Central Ave). Today, the only remnant of that time that can be found in WP is the horse trough on S. Lexington donated to City (see entry on memorials for more information).
Horse Trough by Public Safety Building
Bicycling was also used as a mode of transportation. Early bikes were wooden and had no pedals. Pedals were added in the 1800’s making them easier to use.
Today, people cycling also use bicycles for sport. Many long distance cyclists use Rt 22, a state designated bike route. There is also a multi use pathway along the Bronx River that goes as far south as Mount Vernon and north to Kensico Dam in Valhalla. Westchester County has Bike Sundays during warmer months for bicycling on the Bronx River Parkway.
WP recently put in bike lanes (4.3 miles) on some of its streets. In 2018, bike sharing was introduced (Lime Bikes) and in April 2019 they added e-assist bikes. These bikes are dock less. But the company pulled out like a years later.
Trains (NY and Harlem Railroad) came to WP from NYC in 1844 using a steam coal run engine. Early train carriages in NYC were horse drawn.
The Train’s arrival was instrumental in changing WP’s economy. The small village was transformed from a small agriculturally based community to a modern city. Farms switched from small subsistent farming to dairy. Milk could now be delivered to NYC where there was a big market. Small mills disappeared replaced by small industrial businesses and factories along the train route. The Business District changed to Railroad Ave that the City would rename Main Street. Even the County Government buildings moved and a new Court House was built on its street.
Weathly NYers commuted to the Westchester and for vacation homes as an alternative place to the dirty hot crowded City. Wealthy NYers bought former farms to create large homes. “Gentlemen” farmers like Howard Willet bought the Gedney Farm to raise cattle (for dairy) and for his prize horses and dogs. Willet’s first home burned down in 1909 but his 2nd home built in brick is still at 25 Hathaway Lane. Gedney Farm Hotel was built on the land Willet sold to accommodate these NYers. The hotel was created from the former barns after his dairy farm was no longer viable.
Train Ad that included suburban homes for sale
Trains were instrumental in bringing people to Westchester by aggressive advertising. They advertised the availability of inexpensive land where the wealthy could build a vacation home. Many former farms in WP were purchased and wealthy NYers built large estates. When these homes were abandoned many estates were subdivided into multiple smaller plots that were advertised for little money and where one could build a home. Developers put in streets, sewers and other needed amenities. Even Sears Roback and other companies advertised and delivered kits for building homes by providing designs, instructions, and everything one would need to build a home. There are still homes in WP made from these kits like one at 100 Greenridge Ave.
The New York and Harlem Railroad that later became part of the NY Central Railroad had a number of train stations in WP with most located south of Main Street. First two were small wooden structures. The 2nd station in WP is pictured below and when it was no longer used as a station, it was moved and used as a saloon till it was demolished.
White Plains residents also use the North White Plains Train Station where today the city has parking and a multi-level garage.
When the steam engine was electrified in 1910 (battery powered Julien traction cars), the tracks became a hazard so they were lifted above the streets at Main St & Hamilton Ave. In 1914, a new station was built nearer to Main St than the former stations.
In 1987, a new station was built on the tracks and it is now under going a major 92 million dollar renovation. The older station was demolished in 1983 but remnants from the former station can be found behind Bank St Commons Apartments. Today the Harlem Rail line is run by MetroNorth and they have offices at 525 North Broadway.
Another rail line ran in the central part of WP from the Bronx to the terminal at Westchester Ave. NY, Westchester Boston ran from 1912 to 1937. There were stations at Ridgeway, Gedney Way and Mamaroneck Ave (all demolished) and Mamaroneck Ave station was the last station in WP when it began service on May 29, 1912 since the terminal at Westchester Ave was not completed till July 1912. The terminal at Westchester Ave had two island platforms for the four tracks. There was also a freight yard located alongside the terminal. The rail was to be extended north to Pound Ridge but this was never completed.
Passenger service ended on December 31, 1937. Most abandoned mostly till 1940 as railroad was rented for for some commercial uses but in 1942 much of the rail was torn down and salvaged for scrap.
The Westchester Terminal was torn down in the 1950s for construction of B. Altman’s. The department store was torn down to build Nordstrom within the The Westchester mall that opened in 1995. The mall architecture has some similarities to the terminal on the exterior
Westchester Ave Terminal
Businesses on Gedney Way popped up on road with station there as well as Mamaroneck Ave where Bloomingdale intersects. City created a trail on parts of tracks now named the Harrington Trail. It goes from Scarsdale border to Bolton but there is construction underway to extend it toward Bryant Ave. Parts of the rail bed run through Sam’s of Gedney Way parking lot and under Bryant Ave going to at City parking lot at Mamaroneck Ave by Bloomingdale Rd. See Facebook page for more pictures and info: https://www.facebook.com/nywbry
During late 1800’s to 1926, trollies were used in WP run by electricity. Trolley tracks ran along many streets connecting to other places in Westchester. Buses replaced the trolleys and by 1926 they were gone. Buses could go on most streets and routes could change. The trolley tracks were phased out till they were paved over.
Today, many Westchester County run BeeLine buses often have a 2nd cab. They are ADA compliant and many have hybrid engines to reduce carbon emissions. Many outside front areas have a place for bicycles. Fares that were once paid in coins and bills now use MetroCards. Coins can be used but machines do not accept pennies. Alternative Paratransit buses are available for disabled passengers but some cities like WP use local taxicabs to supplement the demand.
WP is part of the NY states mass transit system connected with the new Governor Mario Cuomo Bridge from Rockland County. WP has a bus depot and bus station near the train station for Greyhound/Trailways for longer trips. Buses also come to WP from CT.
Hudson Link to other side of Hudson:
Cars and trucks were used in the early 1900’s in White Plains and roads were made out of more durable materials (cobble stone to asphalt). Trolleys and then buses used the same streets. Except for recreational use or by police, horses were eventually gone from the roadways.
Cars were made (one at a time) in WP in early 1900’s. Mammoth Garage was an early locale for making cars in WP. Building that was over one hundred years old was demolished in 2019.
Cars were also used to transport people for individual trips. There are multiple taxis companies operating in WP. City has rental cars available through many companies and with “Zip” Cars. Ride sharing is also available as well as limo services.
In 1939, Westchester County Airport was given the Gedney Farm Golf Club as a possible site for airport. The airport in West Harrison was built in 1942 for Air National Guard during WWII to protect NYC’s water supply. Since then the National Guard has moved on ( from 1983) and the County run airport has become a major airport in area with flights within in and outside the United States. It has become an alternative for LaGuardia Airport in NYC (Queens).
“Westchester County Airport” by Kent Patterson has info on early airports in County.
For more information see other entries on this website.