Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Happy Hundred

Bedford Historical Society celebrates its centennial



Hyman Glasser’s Bedford Store

Photos Courtesy of the Bedford Historical Society

Growing up on the edge of Bedford Village in the 1950s, I had no idea how indebted my glorious childhood was to the Bedford Historical Society. The village’s exceptional historic charm I took for granted because its gracious old colonial buildings, dating from when it was the seat of northern Westchester County (1787 to 1870), were all in use. Sixty years ago, Bedford Village was a vibrant, little commercial center, a multiethnic microcosm of the American dream.

The merchants were great people and always greeted me as I passed their stores on the way to the post office to get the mail (Box 333, combination A1T) or to buy some candy or a fishing lure at Trela’s, the fabulous, ramshackle general store that had everything a kid could possibly need.

Sometimes in the winter, there was a solid foot of black ice on Kinkel’s Pond, on the other side of the village, and everybody would dress up in mittens, wool hats, and snow pants to skate on it, as if in a Norman Rockwell painting. John Kinkel was one of the nine

founding members of the Bedford Historical Society, which is celebrating its centennial this year. Edith Leonard Colgate, whose house was across the road from the pond, was another founding member. She saved the A&P, one of the last columned A&Ps in the country, and it is now a store catering to Bedford’s equestrian set. In my day it was still the A&P, and sometimes you’d even get an Indian-head penny in your change. Ed the butcher, a big jolly man in a blood-stained white apron, always had a big hello for us kids. 

Mrs. Colgate was the widow of Lathrop Colgate, the third-generation CEO of the toothpaste-and-soap company founded by his grandfather. She had a formal garden with busts of prominent Greeks and Romans on pedestals. There was an old road, overgrown with brambles, between her property and Captain and Francie Woods’s huge mansard-roofed Victorian.

he road led to the Mianus River and crossed it by way of an old curving stone bridge, below which was a big pool that was one of my favorite fishing holes. The road continued up a steep hill to the deep, water-filled Baylis Quarry, where Kinkel had mined feldspar. Adelaide Baylis was another of the historical society’s founders. 

Two other BHS founders were Delia Marble and Eloise Luquer, who also started the Trailside Nature Museum at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. They were also founders of the first chapter of the Garden Club of America in 1935. 

While other communities in New England have older historical societies, they tend to be genealogy-oriented or museum-oriented. What stands out about Bedford’s is that from the very beginning it has focused on architectural preservation, which, according to current executive director Evelyne Ryan, made it way ahead of its time. The American architectural preservation movement was not galvanized until New York City’s magnificent Penn Station was demolished in 1962.

In 1916, the Methodist Church, which had been moved from Succabone Road to the village green, stopped holding services, was de-sanctified, and picked up at auction by a Pole who wanted to turn it into a tenement. This prompted community members to band together to keep downtown Bedford from being sullied by a multi-family dwelling.

They raised the money to buy the property and formed the Bedford Historical Society to manage it and preserve other old buildings in town. The BHS was a creation of the progressive period between the two world wars, which also saw the building of Northern Westchester Hospital, where my sister and I and my two eldest boys were born, and where my mother and father died, as did the parents of my contemporary, singer-songwriter Loudon Wainwright III, who grew up on Tarleton Road and wrote a haunting song about it called “Hospital.”

The old Bedford Store, where the historical society office is now, was Mr. Trumpy’s antiques store in my day. Then it became John Renwick Jr.’s real-estate agency, which is still in town and now in its fourth generation. Before Trumpy, it was Hyman Glasser’s general store.

Old Mr. Glasser, whom I remember sitting on his porch below the courthouse and Sharlach’s hardware store, came from Latvia in 1920 and had started as an itinerant peddler, bringing local farmers what they needed in a handcart. Prospering, he built the Empire Building, which was where most of the stores were in my day, including Glasser Brothers clothing store, run by his sons Jake and Al, where we got our duds, and Morris Glasser’s adjacent grocery store.

All of us who grew up in Bedford Village have many wonderful memories of the town. Now that I understand the vital role the Historical Society has played in keeping Bedford much the way it has been for the last 237 years, I just want to say thank you. May the centennial celebration events be hugely successful, and keep up the great work!

Add your comment:

Connect With Us

             

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Catch the Vibe Newsletter

See this weekend's events in the area!
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Bedford Shout Outs - September/October

This, that, and the other things

Cliff Hanger

Glenn Close finds comfort on the edge

Show Stoppers

Fashion spotlight on local non-profits

A Renewed Focus

The Bedford Post's two restaurants merge local farms with fine dining

Maine Squeeze

Breathing new life into a mid-century split-level home

Profiles

Your Guides to Leading Local Professionals

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

September 2018

Take a one-hour guided tour of the historic Lyndhurst mansion overlooking the Hudson River. The Gothic Revival mansion has been used as a movie set for six major motion pictures...

Cost: $18

Where:
Lyndhurst
635 S. Broadway
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

Kykuit, a hilltop paradise, is now a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was home to four generations of the Rockefeller family. Read our review of...

Cost: $25

Where:
Kykuit
381 N. Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

The Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce and the Connecticut Giant Pumpkin Growers Club will host the 6th Annual Giant Pumpkin Weigh Off on Sunday, September 23, 2018 from 10 am to 3 pm in Ballard Park,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ballard Park
Ridgefield, CT  06877


Sponsor: Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce
Telephone: 203-438-5992
Contact Name: Jen Mulhern
Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Somers Women's Club, a not-for-profit community service organization, will hold its major fundraiser on Sunday, September 23, 2018 at Reis Park on Route 139 in Somers. There will be a huge sale...

Cost: 0

Where:
Reis Park
182 Primrose St
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Sponsor: Somers Women's Club
Contact Name: Jodi Hu
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Gunn Memorial Library in Washington, CT is pleased to welcome back literary scholar Mark Scarbrough as he leads a five week course The Soul Ajar: An Emily Dickinson Literature Course.  The classes...

Cost: Free and open to the public

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  06793
View map »

More information

Take a one-hour guided tour of the historic Lyndhurst mansion overlooking the Hudson River. The Gothic Revival mansion has been used as a movie set for six major motion pictures...

Cost: $18

Where:
Lyndhurst
635 S. Broadway
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

MARGARITAS FOR MOCKINGBIRDS A Bedford Audubon Fundraiser Bedford Audubon Society will host its first annual fundraising event at TRUCK Restaurant on September 24, 2018 from 6-8pm.  Tickets are...

Cost: $125.00

Where:
Truck Restaurant
391 Old Post Rd
Bedford, NY
View map »


Sponsor: Truck Restaurant

More information

Kykuit, a hilltop paradise, is now a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was home to four generations of the Rockefeller family. Read our review of...

Cost: $25

Where:
Kykuit
381 N. Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

This presentation, led by Martin House member Bryan Stern, will help small business owners understand key tax law changes that may affect their 2018 business tax returns so that they can plan ahead...

Cost: Free

Where:
Martin House Workspace
69 Westchester Ave.
Pound Ridge, NY  10576
View map »


Sponsor: Martin House Workspace
Telephone: 914-764-3128
Contact Name: Erin Trostle
Website »

More information

Kykuit, a hilltop paradise, is now a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was home to four generations of the Rockefeller family. Read our review of...

Cost: $25

Where:
Kykuit
381 N. Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Kykuit, a hilltop paradise, is now a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was home to four generations of the Rockefeller family. Read our review of...

Cost: $25

Where:
Kykuit
381 N. Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

Facilitated by Nina Bertolino This program will meet every other Wednesday from 10:30 - 12:30 on the following dates: September 12th & 26th, October 10th & 24th, November 7th & 21st, December 5th...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ruth Keeler Memorial Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Kykuit, a hilltop paradise, is now a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was home to four generations of the Rockefeller family. Read our review of...

Cost: $25

Where:
Kykuit
381 N. Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

On Thursday, September 27, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich will host its first-ever Oktoberfest celebration. Featuring German beer from Paulaner USA, Oktoberfest at the Bruce...

Cost: $30 for Bruce Museum members, $40 non-members

Where:
Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Hospice of Westchester (HOW) will host its annual “In Celebration” Gala Cocktail Reception on Thursday, September 27, 2018. This year’s event will honor Joan and Michael...

Cost: $300

Where:
Westchester Country Club
99 Biltmore Avenue
Rye, NY  10580
View map »


Sponsor: Hospice of Westchester
Telephone: 914-682-1484
Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Kykuit, a hilltop paradise, is now a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was home to four generations of the Rockefeller family. Read our review of...

Cost: $25

Where:
Kykuit
381 N. Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Kykuit, a hilltop paradise, is now a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was home to four generations of the Rockefeller family. Read our review of...

Cost: $25

Where:
Kykuit
381 N. Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

Laura from Olive My Skin will be joining us to talk about her lovely natural soaps, wood wick soy candles and skin care line, all proudly made in Connecticut. All Fair Trade, paraben free,...

Cost: free

Where:
The Smithy
10 Main Street
New Preston, CT  06777
View map »


Sponsor: The Smithy
Telephone: (860)868-9003
Contact Name: susan
Website »

More information

The 57th Annual Armonk Outdoor Art Show is September 29-30  10am-5-pm, Rain or Shine Newly Ranked #2 Best Fine Art and Design Show in the Country! (Sunshine Artist, 8/2018) 185...

Cost: $12 General, $10 Seniors, 18 and under: Free

Where:
Community Park
205 Business Park Drive
Armonk, NY  10504
View map »


Sponsor: Friends of NCPL
Telephone: 914-629-7529
Contact Name: Anne Curran
Website »

More information

Evocation of light is ever present in the romantic and experiential landscapes of Ira Barkoff. His recent works convey the spontaneity and the maturity of the artist’s hand and dedication to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: 1953
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags