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News & Town Board Reports (gblist)

Posted on: June 11, 2019

[ARCHIVED] Supervisors Report

Slice of History- "Like a long lost friend": The story of how summer recreation has evolved in Greenburgh part 1

This week's slice of history - the story of summer recreation in Greenburgh! Enjoy the progress that has been made over the years. E mail our town historians with any additional info! Thanks. PAUL FEINER


“Like a long lost friend”: The story of how summer recreation has evolved in Greenburgh

By: Riley Wentzler & Felicia Barber


“Summertime is finally here, that old Ball Park Man is back in gear… school’s out the nights roll in and just like a long lost friend  you ain’t seen in a while, you can’t help but smile.” Kenny Chesney  in “Summertime” (2006). Picnics, baseball games, concerts, hotdogs and hamburgers…some things about summer never change. However, often just as the nature of education,   technology and business change, so too does the nature of leisure. What follows is the story of how summer recreation has evolved in Greenburgh.



The roaring ‘20s, a time of swimming, fishing and archery:


In the 1920s, as the economy boomed Greenburgh residents had more money to spend on their various recreational activities. The most common recreational activities included: swimming (at the Greenburgh Public Pool, at various parks, and at the Lyndhurst Estate) fishing, and archery.



Photo-: M-852

property of the Westchester Historical Society



Photo: G-1142

property of the Westchester Historical Society


The good times were rolling, but these high spirits and seemingly endless recreational activities would not last. As the decade ended and The Great Depression occurred, recreational activities began to dry up. However even during these hard times some people still engaged in archery to take their mind off economic woes.



Photo: G-512

property of the Westchester Historical Society


The 1950s- a time of boredom and Frustration:


In addition to the economy recreation was impacted by racial segregation. Nowhere was this more apparent than in Greenburgh’s village of Fairview, home to the majority of the town’s African American Community. For instance, the headline of a February 6th, 1955 article in the Reporter Dispatch read, “Recreation Needs of Fairview not Being Met, Council Says” (Reporter Dispatch February 6, 1955). However ten years later, with the Civil Rights movement in full swing, a headline from the same paper read, “Town Nearing Completion of Fairview Playground” (Reporter Dispatch July 7, 1965).


Photo: G-6442

property of the Westchester Historical Society


While the 1950’s were known for their lack of recreational activities in Greenburgh, the next decade brought a recreation boom. 


The ‘60s- The Great Tennis Explosion:


Just like in the 20s’ swimming, fishing and archery were popular, but the 60’s also marked an explosion in the popularity of tennis. On July 24th 1963, Beaver Hill Camp in Edgemont and Virginia Road Camp in Hartsdale held tryouts for the Junior Olympic: baseball, tennis, basketball and soccer teams (Reporter Dispatch July 24th1963). As a result of the widespread interest in these games, 191 children attended these camps that year (Reporter Dispatch July 24th1964). These Junior Olympic Games were held at Edgemont High School exactly one year later. The success of these games greatly increased the popularity of the camps, and therefore, in 1966 attendance at these camps hit a record high of 1,000 students attending (Reporter Dispatch August 13th1966). In 1968, the County Tennis Club in Hartsdale held its first annual Singles Tournament for Senior Men& Women and its first annual Doubles Tournament for Senior Men (Westchester County Department Parks & Recreation 1968, p.7). After the enormous success of these events, the town decided to start a Junior Tennis Development Program in 1969 (Westchester County Department Parks & Recreation 1969, p.7). From May 14th-August 13th of 1969 the Sky Top Tennis Courts in Elmsford held the Industrial Tennis League Tennis Tournament (Westchester County Department Parks & Recreation 1969, p.7)   

Anthony Veteran pool and park (which used to be a country club)  was purchased in the early 1970s by former Town Supervisor Anthony Veteran and the Town Board. In the late 1990s and early 2000s the town acquired three additional parks: Hartsbrook Nature Preserve, Glenville Woods and Taxter Ridge with state and county support. An interactive kiddy spray area at the pool for children was built. Spray areas were also installed for children at Massaro Park and Yosemite Park. If you have more info about park and recreation evolution please e mail  please feel free to send it to us at




Previous Slices of History include:


From Farmland to Shopping District: The Rise of Central Avenue (5/25/2019)


Irvington in Chains and our Process A History of Slavery in Irvington and A look at how Slices of History are made (and our interview with historian Robert Marchant) (5/11/2019)


There is no church here, but “the brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated” this ground: The Story of The Little White Church Cemetery (4/27/19)


From Fixing Cars to building Infrastructure: How Massaro Park Got its name (4/13/2019)


From Chasing Rabbits to Setting Records: The Amazing Story of Larry James (4/7/2019)


Greenburgh Under the Hollywood Lights: The TV shows and Movies Filmed in Greenburgh Part II (3/29/19)


From Insurance to Symphonies: The Home of Charles Ives



Oh, The Places Your Mail has Gone: A History of The Hartsdale Post Office (3/9/2019)


Greenburgh Under the Hollywood Lights: The TV shows and movies Filmed in Greenburgh Part I (2/23/19)


The Power of Wealth and Humility: A Reflection on Two Highly Influential African Americans (2/18/19)


A Beautiful View for the Perfect Event:  The Belvedere Estate (2/9/19)


An Unspoken Promise of Redemption: How Hartsdale Got its Name (1/31/19)


Lost History: The Tragedy of Malkasten (1/26/19)


The Intersection of Banking, Ballet, and School: Greenburgh’s Warburg Estate (1/18/19)



A Small House, an Important Meeting, a Huge Victory: The Story of the Odell House (1/12/2019)


The Guardians of History: Greenburgh’s Historical Societies (1/6/19)


How a Flat Tire led to a Happy Escape: The Story of Carvel in Greenburgh (12/11/18) 


A Thousand Words Which You Never Knew: The Forgotten Story of the Seal of Greenburgh. (11/17/18)


"The Disappearing Railroad Blues" in Greenburgh: The Fate of the Putnam Railroad Line and the old Putnam Trail ((11/6/18)


A Different Kind of Rebel: Greenburgh’s Contributions to the Underground Railroad (10/27/18)

Greenburgh at The Great American Crossroads: Greenburgh's Civil War Story (10/19/18)  


Greenburgh’s Hall of Heroes: Ferncliff Cemetery Where Memories Live Forever (10/12/18)


A Final Resting Place for “Man’s Best Friend”: The Peaceable Kingdom (9/29/18)


Greenburgh and The Arts (9/22/18)


Greenburgh’s BROTHERLY LOVE, RELIEF AND TRUTH: A History of The Freemasons in Greenburgh (9/12/18)



About the Authors:


We are both Assistant Town Historians at Greenburgh Town Hall and we are engaged to be married and are currently looking for permanent employment.


Riley Wentzler:

I was born and raised in a small rural town in central Pennsylvania. In high school, I took every honors course available including four years of Spanish. I received A’s in all of them. I graduated third in my class of 146 students. This brought me to Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. Once there, I continued my trend of academic excellence. I graduated summa cum laude in Political Science with a minor in Spanish and a Master’s in Communication Studies, with a G.P.A of 3.94.  It was also there that I met my lovely fiancée, Felicia Barber. My Master’s in Communication has promoted public speaking, teamwork, and customer service. My Political Science degree has developed my research skills using computer-based tools and provided me with experience using the Microsoft Office products. My minor in Spanish has facilitated my bilingual capabilities. During my internship at Greenburgh, I created the petition for the State Roads project using website tools.  My diverse education and areas of interest have provided me with a wide range of skills. I look forward to finding a career opportunity in business or government. To suggest a topic for next week’s article, you can contact me at assistanthistorian@greenburghny.comor to help me find employment, you can contact me


Felicia Barber:

I was born in New York City and raised in Hartsdale, New York. I graduated from Ardsley High School. I recently earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. It was here that I met my fiancé, Riley Wentzler. As a result of my academic excellence, I won a scholarship every year. I learned and applied many graphic design skills to projects during my summer internships and at school. I am proficient in using Adobe graphic design applications including Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. For my Identity/branding course at Edinboro, I created logos to appear on the tee-shirts of Physical Education majors. For a veteran’s upcoming event, I used a typeface to focus the reader to the soldier in the poster. For the State Roads Legislative Campaign project, I created the embedded graphic-photo that accompanied the petition I am looking for a job to utilize my skills as a Graphic Designer in an agency, print shop, company or government To suggest a topic for next week’s article, you can contact me atassistanthistorian@greenburghny.comTo learn more about my artwork or to help me find employment you can contact me at



Two Interviews with the authors:



County of Westchester Department of Parks, R. &. (1968 , (unkown) (unkown)). 1968 Summer Programs and Services . 1968 Summer Programs and Services . Westchester County , New York, United States of America : Westchester County, County Excective's Office.

County of Westchester Department of Parks, R. &. (1968 , (unkown) (unkown)). 1969 Summer Programs and Services . 1969 Summer Programs and Services . Westchester County , New York, United States of America : Westchester County, County Excective's Office.

unknown. (1955, February 6). Recreation Needs of Fairview not Being Met, Council Says. Reporter Dispatch , p. unknown .

unknown. (1963, July 24). Olympic Tryouts are Held at Town Recreation Camps. Repoter Dispatch , p. unknown .

unknown. (1964, July 24). Greenburgh Plans Junior Olympics . Reporter Dispatch, p. unknown .

unknown. (1965, July 7). Town Nearing Completion of Fairview Playground. Reporter Dispatch , p. unknown .

unknown. (1966, August 13). Greenburgh Recreation Day Camps Draw 1,000. Reporter Dispatch, p. unknown .

Wiseman, C. & McEwan, S (Composers). (2006). Summertime . [K. Chesney, Performer] Nashville, Tennessee , United States of America .




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