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The Town of Pelham is the oldest in Westchester County. Its history dates back to 1654 when Thomas Pell bought the area from the Siwanoy Indians. The signed treaty sealed a pact that Pell was buying not only Pelham but also the entirety of the Bronx, and all of the land along Long Island Sound located to the north of the Rye border. On March 7, 1788, the State Legislature incorporated the Town of Pelham, including all of City Island and present-day Pelham Bay Park at the east of the Hutchinson River. The town was reduced to its present total area in 1895. The villages of Pelham Manor and Pelham were incorporated in 1891 and 1896, respectively. In 1975, the villages merged to form what is now the Town of Pelham.


Pelham has a total area of 2.2 square miles, making it as the smallest town of Westchester. Pelham is every bit typical of a small town. Its total population of 12,396 is the combination of residents from the villages of Pelham and Pelham Manor, who share several social and recreational services and activities to reduce taxes.



The Pelham school district consists of award-winning schools offering high quality education in a nurturing environment. The schools within the district aim to prepare all students for life-long learning and critical thinking. All the schools work together to inspire students to become contributing citizens of this ever-changing global community.

Students have a choice between four elementary schools equally divided between Pelham’s two villages. The elementary schools in the Village of Pelham are Hutchinson Elementary School (about 400 students) and Colonial Elementary School (about 350 students). Those in Pelham Manor are Siwanoy Elementary School (around 300 students) and Prospect Hill Elementary School (with roughly 360 students). All these elementary schools serve grades K to 5.

Pelham Middle School (with roughly 700 students) is the lone middle school in the district, and so is Pelham Memorial High School (with around 850 students), which is the only high school in the center of town. Both are part of the Pelham Union Free School District. There is also the option to study in any of numerous private and religious based schools in Pelham, like Our Lady of Perpetual Help School, which serves prekindergarten to Grade8.

Pelham is located at the southeastern most tip of Westchester. Part of its territory is made up of 2.27% water. The town is directly north of the Bronx, and borders the other towns of Eastchester, Mount Vernon, and New Rochelle. Pelham is the first town that can be reached in Westchester when travelling along the Long Island Sound. Just 18 miles from Grand Central Station, it becomes faster and easier to commute to and from Pelham than any of the other New York urban suburbs. Located in the center of town is the historic Pelham Train Station where Metro North commuter rail trains provide efficient and regular trips every 30 minutes on rush hours. The town is just a 20-minute train ride to Greenwich, Connecticut and 30-minutes from Stamford, Connecticut. Pelham is the perfect halfway destination between Connecticut and Manhattan.



The residents of Pelham enjoy a wide range of recreation programs in sports and music. Community volunteer groups like the Pelham Hockey Association and Pelham Little League organize many sports. Private clubs with swimming pools compensate for the lack of a community pool in town. On the other hand, local institutions in the likes of Pelham Art Center and the Picture House Regional Film Center spearhead programs to inspire residents to get involved in the arts.

There have been big improvements noted in the small town. For instance, the Pelham Picture House was recently restored to reclaim its old glory as the last single-screen movie theatre in the entire county. Today, the historic building stands proud as a fine arts film center featuring different film genres, from classic to independent, foreign, and educational.



In downtown Pelham, commercial establishments continue to rise above the competition. The town’s proximity to the big city has given many residents additional places to shop, dine, and wine.

When traversing the main road, you’re likely to stumble upon friendly neighborhood stores offering connoisseur wines, old-fashioned ice cream, and many more. Culinary delights await you at Pelham, what with its vast assortment of restaurants that are sure to satisfy your cravings.

Enjoy alfresco dining at Caffe Regatta Oyster Bar and Grill, famous for its seafood specialties. There’s Edo Japanese Steak House that claims to be the number one stop when you’re craving authentic Japanese hibachi cuisine. Pelham Pizzeria and Ristorante serves steaming hot, delicious Italian meals and pizza for the whole family. When you’re in the mood for a quick lunch, a full course dinner, an evening snack, or something in between, you could drop by La Fontanella, which offers the best, most authentic, and outstanding Italian-Adriatic cuisine, a great wine list, a luxurious selection of desserts, a full bar, and exceptional service. Great Peking Restaurant and Pelham Palace serve authentic Chinese cuisine while Rockwell’s Restaurant serves all-time favorite burgers and pub food. You can also enjoy authentic Thai cuisine with a modern twist at Bangkok City Modern Thai Kitchen or savor warm-baked goods at the comfortable Provisions Café and Bake Shop.

In 2010, the Fairway Food Market opened, and since then, Pelham has become a food shopper’s dream come true. You will enjoy browsing the colorful produce section, relishing the aroma of coffee beans in big brown barrels, loving the sinfully sweet smell of delectable baked goods, and tasting a wide range of olive oils at the global olive oil tasting station.



The town’s main street, although named after Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, is a smaller version that you can travel by walking to  access to different town resources. Drop by at GoHeidi to shop for vintage toys. Pet lovers will have a field day shopping for high quality, holistic products for small animals at the Pelham Pet Shop. Antique collectors, as well as those who love to shop for lovely things for their home, will enjoy spending time in Accents on Antiques. Athletes have everything for their sporting needs at Pelham’s Travers Island, the prestigious facility of the New York Athletic Club. There’s also The Pelham Manor Shopping Center that is home to big names in the retail industry like BJ’s Wholesale Club, Michael’s, Sleepy’s, Dress Barn and PetSmart.



Whether on foot or wheels, Pelham offers a pleasant view of pre-WWII residential and commercial structures, from Victorian to Colonial and Tudor architectural styles, all neatly clustered into pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods within the two villages. The larger estates are constructed along the borders of Long Island Sound. Noted Pelham architect Charles Lewis Bowman probably designed some of these stately homes in the early 20th century.

Pelham has a reputation for having high taxes. However, home prices are comparatively lower than other Westchester communities. Nevertheless, people don’t complain since there’s a high level of municipal services in both villages. This includes round the clock firefighting service, more than 50 police officers doing regular cycles on two square miles, and an efficient garbage collection system.

These features and more have helped the residents of Pelham develop a deep attachment to the place. Many generations continue to live in the town while new settlers are deciding to stay for good. The small-town feel inspires folks to share a common commitment to preserve the quaint town that has become their refuge with the world’s greatest city in the background.

Pelham has successfully retained much of its old historic charm. It remains a lovely swath of fresh environment in contrast to the steely jungle bordering it. The town is also distinguished as having the lowest crime rate compared to other Westchester towns. All of this and more makes Pelham the perfect place to start a family and raise kids.