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'Ghosts of Bronxville' Haunt Hilltop for Third Time PDF Print Email

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By Suzanne Pratt Davis, Board of Directors, The Bronxville Historical Conservancy


Nov. 1, 2017:  More than a dozen eery apparitions visited the village on Friday, October 27, for the spooky spectacular the "Ghosts of Bronxville" ("GOB"). The sold-out event, conceived and executed by The Bronxville Historical Conservancy, introduced 225 kids and their chaperones to the village's rich history.

The thrill-seekers navigated moonlit Hilltop roads where they met five of Bronxville's famous 19th-century residents played by Sarah Lawrence College students. The actors shared their ghostly tales on historically detailed sets at five private homes. Along the route, the children played old-fashioned Halloween games and encountered several silent, scary spirits, who were portrayed by local high school students.

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First introduced in 2013, the GOB has since returned on a biennial basis. This year's event included a preview party, held on Thursday, October 26, at the home of GOB co-chair Erin Saluti. "What a great way to learn about some of Bronxville's historic and fascinating past," said Roy Montesano, superintendent of the Bronxville schools, who attended the party at 25 Prescott Avenue, which was also the former residence of artist Mary Fairchild MacMonnies Low, one of the GOB's five speaking ghosts.


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Under the guidance of director Mariah Busk (a Sarah Lawrence graduate student), Low was played by Charlotte Davis. The four other speaking "ghosts" were Andrea Staats as Harriet Hubbard Ayer (cosmetics tycoon, involuntarily committed to Dr. Granger's Asylum in Bronxville by her husband) at 33 Valley; Ted Conley as William Van Duzer Lawrence (founding father of Lawrence Park, Lawrence Hospital, and Sarah Lawrence College) in the dining room of 7 Valley; Giovanni Kavota as Edmund Clarence Stedman (the "Poet of Wall Street," stockbroker, and editor of the works of Edgar Allan Poe) on the porch of 2 Wellington, across the triangle from his original dwelling; and Jackson Tucker-Meyer as William Augustus Bates (architect of many of the shingle-style homes in Lawrence Park) at one of his designs, 22 Gladwin. 


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Bronxville teenagers in period attire portrayed the wandering ghosts, including a macabre mother (Sarah Billings), a spectral servant (Ally Bruno), a brooding boy (Tom Dragoni), an asylum patient (Olivia Gravier), a ghostly girl (Anabel Halaby), a spooky cellist (Xavier Layton), and a morbid milkman (Bjorn Samios).

At 7 Valley, there was a New Year's Eve party scene, including a creepy butler (Emmet Balseiro) and party guests (Matthew Pytosh and Caroline Spitz).

"The dedication and professionalism demonstrated by all of the young actors was so impressive," said Saluti, who was joined by event co-chairs Michelle McBride and Suzanne Davis and junior chairs Tina Adams, Saskia Martin, and Lyndal Vermette.

The members of the 2017 GOB Committee were Hilary Blumenreich, Marie Cutaia, CeCe Heraty, Emily Liggitt, Stafford Meyer, Jennifer Russo, Linda Rafoss, and Laura Van Tienhaven.



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In addition, 75 community volunteers manned the "ghost" houses, staffed the games, poured hot chocolate, and patrolled the steep and sometimes confusing Hilltop streets. "For an event of this scale, it really does take a village to make it happen," said Michelle McBride. 

The Bronxville Historical Conservancy was founded in 1998 to record and preserve Bronxville's history and to celebrate the culture and life in the village today. For more information about the Conservancy or to become a member, please visit http://bronxvillehistoricalconservancy.org/.

Pictured here:  Participants in the biennial "Ghosts of Bronxville" event.

Photos courtesy The Bronxville Historical Conservancy





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Government & History Directory

Bronxville Overview

Bronxville Overview

Bronxville is a quaint village (one square mile) located just 16 miles north of midtown Manhattan (roughly 30 minutes on the train) and has a population of approximately 6,500. It is known as a premier community with an excellent public school (K-12) and easy access to Manhattan. Bronxville offers many amenities including an attractive business district, a hospital (Lawrence Hospital), public paddle and tennis courts, fine dining at local restaurants, two private country clubs and a community library.

While the earliest settlers of Bronxville date back to the first half of the 18th century, the history of the modern suburb of Bronxville began in 1890 when William Van Duzer Lawrence purchased a farm and commissioned the architect, William A. Bates, to design a planned community of houses for well-known artists and professionals that became a thriving art colony. This community, now called Lawrence Park, is listed on the National register of Historic Places and many of the homes still have artists’ studios. A neighborhood association within Lawrence Park called “The Hilltop Association” keeps this heritage alive with art shows and other events for neighbors.

Bronxville offers many charming neighborhoods as well as a variety of living options for residents including single family homes, town houses, cooperatives and condominiums. One of the chief benefits of living in “the village” is that your children can attend the Bronxville School.

The Bronxville postal zone (10708, known as “Bronxville PO”) includes the village of Bronxville as well as the Chester Heights section of Eastchester, parts of Tuckahoe and the Lawrence Park West, Cedar Knolls, Armour Villa and Longvale sections of Yonkers. Many of these areas have their own distinct character. For instance, the Armour Villa section has many historic homes and even has its own newsletter called “The Villa Voice” which reports on neighborhood news.

Bronxville Village Government Directory

Village of Bronxville Administrative Offices
337-6500
Open 9:00am - 4pm excluding holidays and weekends


Bronxville Police Department
337-0500
Open 24 hours


Bronxville Parking Violations
337-2024
Open 9:00am - 4pm excluding holidays and weekends


Bronxville Fire Deparment
793-6400


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