Welcome to Briarcliff Manor! Like our regular episodes, this is the story of the incorporation of one of New York City's suburbs. It is a bonus ep because it's shorter and has less music than a regular episode (which you may recognize from previous episodes!). We are working on more full-length episodes in the same style as the first four. In the meantime, we found this story and wanted to share it with you.
Briarcliff Manor was incorporated by Walter Law, a millionaire who purchased the land to start a dairy farm. After he retired from the carpet industry, Law decided to start a more socially-conscious business: providing pure milk to the babies of well-to-do families around New York City. Although Law owned thousands of acres, he couldn't incorporate his farm into a village...because he was the only one who actually lived there. So he sold parcels of land to his employees, creating a company town that would allow him to make his farm an official municipality.
An Eyesore and a Plague is a podcast about the creation of the New York City suburbs, which were mostly incorporated by millionaires to dodge local taxes and exclude outsiders.
Let us know your thoughts about the episode! Get in touch: https://www.aneyesoreandaplague.com/contact
Bronxville wasn't exactly an estate village, since it wasn't incorporated under Section 33. (What is Section 33? That's the law that allowed rich people to incorporate their tiny neighborhoods as villages, which we talk about in the first three episodes.)
But, like estate villages, the village of Bronxville was the passion project of one man, a millionaire named William Van Duzer Lawrence. Biographers credited Lawrence's success to his thrift, prudence, and enterprise, but in fact he made his money selling a patent medicine called Fellows' Compound Syrup of Hypophosphites. Later in his career, Lawrence decided to pivot to property development. He bought 86 acres in the suburbs north of New York City, and invited artists and well-to-do professionals to live there.
But not everyone was invited to live in Bronxville. Certainly not the people of Tuckahoe, an adjacent hamlet that had the idea to incorporate as a village...and who wanted to include the neighborhood of Lawrence Park, the artist colony that Lawrence considered his own.
This bonus episode is about Episode 3: The Beaches! Here Jon and Paulina talk about:
Stay tuned for Episode 4: Bronxville!
In 1910, New York State made it possible for tiny neighborhoods to incorporate as villages. Some villages incorporated to dodge local taxes, or escape a school district they didn't feel like contributing towards. But many villages incorporated to prevent outsiders - even people who lived just a couple of miles away - from enjoying the public beaches within the village limits.
This episode is about Mill Neck, Bayville, and Sands Point, and how they manipulated local laws to keep the public off the public beaches.
Find notes and transcripts on our website: aneyesoreandaplague.com/the-beaches
Welcome to the Sands Point bonus episode! In this episode, Jon and Paulina talk about:
Also! A preview of Episode 3 and a few words about their favorite whiskey! Sorry in advance to any whiskey snobs who might be listening.
Notes and transcripts to the Sands Point episodes: https://www.aneyesoreandaplague.com/sands-point