The population of Pelham grew quickly after the Civil War. With development came problems, particularly as “tramps” found the area enticing and hitched rides to Pelham on trains running on the New Haven Main Line and the Branch Line. Before the Village of Pelham Manor was incorporated in 1891, local residents founded the Pelham Manor Protective Club as a means of working together for the good of their community. Nearly the entire adult male population of the area – 52 local residents – subscribed as members.
The purpose of the club was “to assist the public authorities in maintaining law and order within a radius of one mile from Pelham Manor Depot....” The club raised money to fund its work, which included guarding against tramps, petty thieves, stray livestock and other local problems.
The records of the club, which was disbanded once the village of Pelham Manor was incorporated, provide documentation of the development of local governments in Westchester County. It has been many a year since stray cows and horses wandered through Pelham munching on flower and vegetable gardens. This poster, printed in 1882, serves as a quaint reminder of a very different time in lower Westchester County. Also included here is the annual report of the club for the year 1884. It was read to club members at a meeting on January 1, 1885.