A picture of the gazebo in Manor Park


Year in Review

The "Year in Review" interprets Larchmont history, year by year. Larchmonters speak for themselves through the news articles, pictures and official documents of the times. Larchmont Gazette's first year in review is 1922.


Larchmont Purchases the Water Company

Complaints about the Overhead Wires

Property Assessment a Colossal Failure

Miss Lynch Retires at Chatsworth School







The Larchmonter-Times, February 2, 1922

Prominent Larchmont men discuss conditions at meeting held by public service commission -- various suggestions for remedying defects are offered and an inspection is to be made.

A hearing called by the Public Service Commission for the purpose of hearing complaints, as to the menace to public safety, caused by the overhead high tension wires of the Westchester Lighting Company along the Post Road and Larchmont Avenue was held at the Village Hall, on Tuesday August 31st, at 10:15 PM. There were present:

J. A. Ryan, Engineer, Public Service Commission
N. J. Higinbotham, Trustee, Village of Larchmont
John McLean Robison, President, Larchmont Business Mens' Association
Louis B. Miller, Secreary, Larchmont Business Mens' Association
Dr. Otto Ernst, Member, Larchmont Business Mens' Association
W. C. Fischer, Chief Engineer, Westchester Lighting Company

Mr. Robinson, representing the Larchmont Business Mens' Association, called the attention of the Public Service Commission and the Westchester Lighting Company to the situation caused by the wires on the Boston Post Road and the Larchmont Avenue stating that at a meeting of the Association, Mr. Maddock had been appointed to examine conditions on the Boston Post Road. He reported that the secondary wires were skinned and upon a small storm in the Village all lights went out. A resolution was passed to have the matter taken up with the Westchester Lighting Company to see if the Village of Larchmont could have better lighting service.

Mr. Robinson brought up the matter of the Webber building on the Boston Post Road. The wires in front are in such a position that in case of fire a ladder could not be raised to gain access to the building. Therefore, for this and the fact of the wires fallen to the street, the high tension wires are deemed a menace to public safety.

Mr. Miller brought to the attention of the Chairman that during the last severe storms, the condition on the Boston Post Road was such as to have the police rope off this section. Mr. Miller stated that the wires are a menace, and are liable to fall at any time. He recommended that the wires be placed underground.

Dr. Otto Ernst stated that the high tension wires should be placed along the railroad. He also brought to the attention of Mr. Fisher that during a short circuit of wires in front of his residence, the men who were sent to attend to the same were not properly equipped. Mr. Fisher stated for the Company that the Company had taken up the equipment of the men and have purchased 21 new trucks with full equipment with highly powerful lights and rubber armaments to take care of the work of this nature.

Mr. Miller further stated that the lines on the Post Road would be a menace in case of fire and therefore should be put underground. Mr. Miller described the operation of raising a ladder in case of fire stating that the Department had tried every way in case of fire to cope with the situation on the Post Road. Dr. Otto Ernst stated that the wires were in a very poorly insulated condition which possibly had something to do with the poor lighting service throughout the Village. Upon discussion of the matter, Mr. Fisher stated that the insulation on the wires does not affect the outgoing of the lights. He stated that the wires were strung through trees and this friction between the wire and the tree would wear out the insulation on the wire and temporarily cause a short circuit.

N. J. Higginbotham, Trustee of the Village of Larchmont, brought up the matter of the interruption of the lighting service in the southerly part of the village. The wires are strung through the trees which have grown very tall and the wires rub against the tree causing a short circuit. Mr. Fisher, upon discussion, stated that a case like this would be remedied by insulating the wire and protecting it against the trade or lowering the wires to lower limbs.

Dr. Otto Ernst stated that during installation of wires on his property the men went away without attaching the lighting arrestors. He asked them why they did not do this. They inquired of him who he was. They then called on the Superintendent and the work was completed the next day.

In reply to this, Mr. Fisher stated for the Company that the men were instructed to finish work which had not been completed the next day, but in the case of emergency, finish up to the point in order to supply light to the people.

Dr. Ernst called Mr. Fischer's attention to the number of poles on the Post Road. Mr. Robinson, after discussion of the matter, stated that his associates desired to have these poles eliminated. After discussion of the matter, Dr. Fisher agreed to cooperate with the trolley and telephone companies so that the wires of all three companies concerns could be placed on the same poles on the Post Road. Mr. Fischer also stated that the Westchester Lighting Company were going to put up a one-pole system on Chatsworth Avenue which could be extended along the Post Road. Mr. Fischer stated that in New Rochelle and Mt. Vernon business streets a change was to be made from the four-light lamps to one-light lamps of a higher power.

Chairman Ryan stated that from the records, Larchmont is not the only section affected with lighting this year. Long Island has had more this year than any year. He also stated that interruption of the lighting service all over had exceeded all records. The Public Service Commission had engaged a Mr. Stewart to investigate the matter, and suggest a remedy to correct the frequent interruption of lighting service during storms. No further business coming before the meeting, Chairman Ryan adjourned the meeting and proposed to inspect the high tension wires with those persons present.


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