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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.

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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.

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The Fox Meadow Tennis Club, founded in 1883, is one of the oldest and most respected tennis clubs in the U.S. and is recognized as the 'Founding Club of Platform Tennis'. They hosted numerous national championship tournaments, and count many nationally ranked players and champions among their members.

On Saturday, June 19th from 2 - 4 pm the Fox Meadow Tennis Club is having a Neighborhood Day party for any members of the community who are interested in playing some tennis, meeting club members, or seeing the newly renovated club house.

Refreshments will be served and families are welcome. Tennis whites are required for anyone who would like to play tennis during the event.

Fox Meadow Tennis Club
14 Wayside Lane
Scarsdale
(914) 723-9743
www.foxmeadowtennisclub.com

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Add Enjou Chocolat on Garth Road to the ever-growing line-up of disappearing Scarsdale retailers. When you find yourself yearning for chocolate you won’t find Enjou. The store is dark, there is no explanatory note on the window and the store appears to be in the midst of a renovation. Their chocolate covered pretzels were a favorite in my house and made great gifts at Christmas. Enjou will be missed. Here one day, gone the next, stores seem to vanish overnight.

In Hartsdale, Enrico’s Bakery will be moving into larger quarters in the storefront previously occupied by Hartsdale Farms. Enrico’s, which always appears to be doing brisk business, will expand their line of products. In addition to cakes, breads, cookies and pastries, Enrico’s plans to offer bagels, smoked fish and cheeses. Perhaps they are attempting to fill the void left by the Cheesery that closed earlier this year.

Despite their Italian roots in the Bronx, Enrico’s already sells kosher goods, and with the addition of smoked fish and cheeses, they may be aiming to serve the Jewish community with catering and smoked fish platters for special occasions and holidays. They plan to move into their new space down the block in July.

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Be True Yoga opens its doors on June 1 as the first green yoga studio in Westchester, right in the heart of Scarsdale Village. A multi-traditional studio with a core of highly skilled teachers, Be True focuses on alignment and a lifting of the spirit. Classes are offered at various levels for teens to adults with a strong mix of teachers and styles from Anusara to Iyengar to Vinyasa.

After teaching in her home studio in Scarsdale, for four years, Be True director Iris Cohen, responded to the need for a dedicated yoga space that would provide the vibe and energy of a New York City studio. She gutted a light-filled, high-ceilinged doctor’s office in the Harwood building installing bamboo floors and using reclaimed wood for all the millwork. Everything from the reception desk to the cubby walls to the yoga props is sustainable. The studio features artwork from local artists and students and the space will offer Sunday afternoon workshops on yoga basics, yoga therapeutics and nutritional counseling.

The decision to open a studio in the heart of the village rather than a shopping strip was deliberate. “I wanted the studio in the center of town where you could ride your bike or hop on and off the Metro North train before or after work; A place where you could shop in the village, eat lunch and do your errands without having to get into your car for every errand,” says Cohen.

One of the many pleasures of realizing the dream, was that there are an abundance of highly skilled, charismatic teachers right in Westchester who like Iris Cohen, trained in the rigorous Anusara yoga training program with the same top New York City teachers. Other waiting-list only Equinox teachers such as Cynthia Zimet, Melanie Hyman Tilles and Susan Malcolm were all looking to find a yoga studio home as was a Scarsdale-based Iyengar teacher, Nancy Kardon.

Be True invites the community to explore the transformative power of yoga with a summer special promotion of a $10.00 introductory class and a 5-class package at $82.50. Registration is available at the studio or online at betrueyoga.com. More information about the studio’s mission, the classes and levels, teachers and contact information is also available on the website. Be True Yoga can be found at 14 Harwood Court, third floor, suite 326 in Scarsdale Village.

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