Tuesday, Feb 20th

Last updateMon, 19 Feb 2018 11am

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Power Outages

According to Con Edison, the heat wave and a fire in White Plains substation may be the cause of power outages in our area. On Monday July 5 some residents experienced outages but Con Edison restored power to the area by 9 pm last night. On Tuesday, 1,500 homes in Westchester are without power, however most of those are in Peekskill.

Wednesday was far worse for Scarsdale. According to Mayor Carolyn Stevens  1961 households, or a little more than 1/3 of the total homes in Scarsdale, were dark. The outage primarily affected Greenacres and Fox Meadown residents and was caused by a fire in a sub station in White Plains. Due to the heat wave, the loss of power and air conditioning forced many to leave their homes and seek shelter in their cars or with friends.

Con Edison brought in three truck--size generators to restore power by back feeding the system.  The generators should be effective in restoring power on Wednesday night.  Con Edison has not provided information on when repairs to the substation will be done.

For those of you who do have power, Con Edison maintains a map of the location of power outages and updates it every 15 minutes. So if you want to see which homes are affected, visit the Con Edison outage map;

Bike and Blade Night in Scarsdale Village

The Scarsdale Recreation Department along with the Scarsdale Police Department and Scarsdale Chamber of Commerce are proud to present a special event planned for Saturday, July 17th. Bike and Blade Night, a night of bicycling and in-line skating will be held in the downtown streets of the Village. The event runs from 5pm-8pm and admission is free. All elementary and middle school students, their friends and families are invited to attend this night of bicycling, skating, music, and entertainment! Bring your bike for a free safety inspection.  In the case of severe weather, the event will be cancelled by 4:00 pm that day. A notification will be on the Recreation Department website at www.scarsdale.com.  Any further questions may be directed to Dan at the Recreation Department by email at dwalczewski@scarsdale.com or by calling 722-1160.

Fox Tales

Many residents have reported spotting foxes in the past few weeks. They dart across lawns and roads, often so quickly that you’re not quite sure what you saw. The look like small dogs, with brown fur and a touch of white on their tails. I have seen several on my street and also saw one fly across Mamaroneck Road at 5:30 am last week. An agile contractor caught this fox, with a squirrel in its mouth, running across the lawn of a Brewster Road home.

Given the number of reports, it no longer seems as if we have one or two in the neighborhood. It appears their numbers are on the rise.

Could this area have originally been the home to packs or “skulks” of foxes? Undoubtedly Fox Meadow got its name from the presence of a large fox population who lived there. According to Village history Caleb Heathcote purchased “the Fox Meadow” from the Indian Chiefs who presumably named the area.

Here is information on the history of Scarsdale courtesy of the Village website:

Deep in the historic background of Scarsdale is a romantic twist of fate. In 1666 during Charles the Second's reign, a sixth son Caleb was born in the family of Mayor Heathcote of Chesterfield in the Hundred of Scarsdale, Derbyshire, England. Some twenty-six years later, after his intended wife had transferred her affections to one of his older brothers, a disappointed Caleb Heathcote took his patrimony and set sail for New York. Prospering in trade, he soon became one of the leading men of the colony and began to buy up land in Westchester. At the end of the century he purchased from Ann Richbell the claims her husband had established to land running nine miles back from Long Island Sound to the Bronx River and averaging two miles in width. Shortly thereafter he purchased the Fox Meadow from the Indian chiefs, among whom was Cohawney, and then acquired a bit more land to the south along the Bronx River, rounding out his holdings to the town line in Eastchester.

If you have fox photos please send them to: scarsdalecomments@gmail.com and share any fox findings below.

Vega to Open in Hartsdale

It looks like the new Mexican restaurant in Hartsdale will soon be opening its doors. A worker on the site told Scarsdale10583 that they plan to complete construction in just two weeks. The restaurant will be called Vega, and is owned by Shiva Natarajan, who owns Malabar Hill in Elmsford.

The interior is looking slick with a water wall separating the bar area from the dining room. The restaurant will seat 110 and the menu is now being finalized.

Across the street, Enrico's is in the process of moving from their present location to the former home of Hartsdale Farms a few doors down. A new sign says, “Enricos, We are not just cake anymore –look for our opening in late July.” An employee of the bakery told us that Enrico’s will soon be adding bagels, smoked fish and cheeses to their selection of baked goods, filling in the void left by the Hartsdale Cheesery that went out of business earlier this year

Depression Era Letters Found in Attic of Richbell Road Home

While renovating a home on Richbell Road in the Spring of 2009, the residents discovered a trove of old letters under the attic floorboards. Further searches brought stacks of documents to the surface: immigration visas, Christmas cards, friendly correspondences, war bonds. Dated from 1929 to 1945, these documents pieced together the story of the Rabe family.

The Tretter family is the current owner of the house and daughter Alison, a junior at SHS, has researched the Rabe family history, written an introduction and developed an exhibit of the found materials in the library of Scarsdale High School. The letters are now on view and members of the community are invited to take a look.

The Rabe family consisted of Harry, his wife Dora, and their son Raymond. Throughout the thirties and forties, Harry worked as a florist for both public greenhouses and private resorts. His wife, Dora, was an immigrant from London, England who worked as a housewife and occasionally as a maid.

Although the letters were never written to the Heathcote home where they were discovered, they were addressed to many other areas near or in Westchester. Ali’s research concluded that The Rabes services as domestic servants were probably popular in the Westchester area because of the influx of wealth in the community after World War One. A middle class family pre-war was able to hire a houseful of servants in the twenties due to the success of the war economy. In addition, elaborate gardens were common on the elite of Westchester’s estates. These upper-class gardens required large staffs of gardeners and the most modern machinery in order to outshine those of their neighbors. However, as the Depression hit Westchester, the upkeep of such gardens was an unnecessary luxury for most. The letters from friends and family reflect the Rabes’ struggle during this time. But, when the economy improved with the start of World War Two, the Rabes found their services were needed once again. Working in a greenhouse, Harry probably participated in the Victory Garden craze that swept Westchester.

Through the addresses and postmarks on the letters, Ali was able to trace the Rabe family from Mamaroneck in the early thirties, to Tuxedo Park in Orange County during the mid thirties, to Mamaroneck again in the late thirties, and to New Jersey in the forties. Most likely, the family lived in the carriage house on the Scarsdale property in the fifties or sixties; Harry as a gardener for the estate and Dora as a maid. Ali deduced that, over all, the Rabes has almost the same experience as the average, native-born, domestic servants: their welfare during the Depression depended greatly on the fiscal stability of the upper-class and they heartily participated in the war effort. However, their services were more prized than the average domestic due to the family’s location in affluent Westchester.

Among the papers is the program of events on the Cunard Samaria ocean lines for a crossing from England to New York on August 29, 1931. The program includes a schedule for Tea Dances and a Deck Tournament and Mrs. H.Rabe is listed as a participant (quite possibly working for her passage as a “hostess” aboard the ocean liner). Perhaps she was taking a trip home to visit her family as another letter expresses concern about the welfare of Mrs. Rabe’s mother who stayed behind in England. Other documents and letters housed in the exhibit include a letter from Dora’s brother in the UK bemoaning the lack of work both in England and the USA during the Great Depression and a chatty and humorous letter from a friend, Sandy, who was stationed in the Aleutian Islands during WWII. The letters reveal that Dora’s father lost his flat during the bombing raids of London. There is correspondence from Dora’s brother in England discussing the food shortages and other post war inconveniences. The exhibit also includes Christmas cards and Birthday greetings found in the attic.

Ali’s research located the Rabe’s on the 1930 US Census records and through the internet and obituaries, Ali has been able to locate the descendants of the family living in New Jersey!

Drop by the Scarsdale High School Library to view the exhibit before school closes for the year.