This just in from the folks who are organizing Eastchester’s celebration of 350 years as a community in 2014:
A committee of local historians is looking for volunteers to help put together a book to mark this milestone.
Possible topics include the Eastchester Covenant of 1665 and its role as a founding American document, the industrial and commercial development in the area in the 1850s, how Anne Hutchinson came to settle on land that eventually became part of Eastchester, separating fact from fiction about Eastchester’s relationship to the Bill of Rights, or Eastchester’s volunteers in the Civil War.
Eastchester Town Historian Richard Forliano intends to write about the ethnic and racial makeup of the community in the early 1900s—including the Italians and African Americans who moved to Tuckahoe, the artists and professionals who settled Lawrence Park, and the Irish who were the largest and most politically active group—a topic that he has been researching for some time. Bronxville Village Historian Eloise L. Morgan will explore why and where the town borders grew and shrank over the centuries, beginning with purchases from Native Americans and British land grants in the 1600s and continuing through later losses of territory as Mount Vernon incorporated separately, New York City absorbed southern Eastchester into the Bronx, and Bronxville and Tuckahoe each formed separate villages within the larger town.
Other volunteers have expressed interest in researching and writing about why the community came to have three separate public school systems, what happened in Eastchester during the American Revolution, the role of African-Americans in Eastchester before 1900, and the work of private and public charitable organizations in early 20th century Eastchester. Suggestions for other topics are welcome. The publication committee plans to avoid merely repeating what has already been published and to footnote citations to source materials.
Anyone interested in participating in the preparation of the publication—writing, research, fact checking, editing, collecting illustrations, creating graphics, and the like—is urged to contact Richard Forliano, firstname.lastname@example.org or Eloise Morgan, email@example.com. The committee will help volunteers identify primary and secondary source materials and provide other assistance. With a publication target of 2014, the group hopes to have drafts of the various articles by mid-2013. “It sounds like a long time,” said Morgan, “but given the amount of work to do, it feels like tomorrow.”
The book is only one of many activities and events planned for the community’s anniversary celebration in 2014, under the auspices of a 350th Anniversary Committee chaired by Eastchester Town Clerk Linda Doherty and former Bronxville Trustee Robert Riggs. Volunteers interested in participating in, or getting information about, other aspects of the overall festivities may contact the Anniversary Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.