14 Cohawney Road, Scarsdale, New York

2016
2016

Meher Baba stayed in this house when he visited New York in July 1952 after his visit to the Myrtle Beach Center and later the serious car accident in Prague, Oklahoma.

He and the women mandali lived in this house between 15th and 30th July.

They all departed for England, Switzerland and India directly after this stay.

Winter . Courtesy of Yolanda Koumidou-Vlesmas, New York 2010
Winter . Courtesy of Yolanda Koumidou-Vlesmas, New York 2010

1952

 

Filis Frederick recalls ;

 

All of the injured did make a good recovery and towards the end of July, we received the news that Baba would stop in New York on His way back to India. Even in His condition, He said He would give darshan for three days in New York. But a house had to be found for Him and about 18 in His party. This house had to be half an hour from New York, it had to have a garden overlooked by no one, and so on. Everyone at once started looking for it. The phone wires burned between New York and Myrtle Beach, but no house satisfied Baba.

Then I suddenly recalled an acquaintance in Scarsdale — Kate Ferris. She had heard of Baba and I had gone to see her just once. Her house was large and charming. Boldly, I called her, "Would you like to loan your house to Meher Baba for two weeks?"

"Of course," was her answer: and yes was Baba's answer, with a rider — I had to help get the house ready! I shook in every limb, because although my mother was the original "Good Housekeeping" expert — I was just the opposite. Plus I had a regular job in the city, and Scarsdale was half an hour out.

Of course everyone helped, but I had to hire a cook and a maid who could adapt to all the odd-hour needs of Baba and the mandali, some of whom were still ill. I had to acquire extra beds, linens, dishes, fans and what not. Somehow it was done — and there on July 15, we were waiting for Baba to arrive — Mrs. Ferris on the front porch with the key in her hand. She would not let me run to greet the car; "That's personal love," she said. But I slipped to the back, where Baba's car came in just as I expected. Just before it came, I felt this tender breeze of love through the heart ... like a wind foretelling Baba's presence.

 

THE AWAKENER MAGAZINE, Vol. 14, No. 2, pp. 16-17

( L - R ) standing ; Gustadji Hansotia, Adi K. Irani and Meherjee Karkaria with Meher Baba in the wheelchair at this time. Courtesy of LM page 3866 ( 1st ed. )
( L - R ) standing ; Gustadji Hansotia, Adi K. Irani and Meherjee Karkaria with Meher Baba in the wheelchair at this time. Courtesy of LM page 3866 ( 1st ed. )

On Monday, 14 July 1952, Baba, with the men and women mandali, left Myrtle Beach by car for Florence, South Carolina, where they took a train to New York City.  Elizabeth ( Patterson ) and her nurse, Sadie Martin, accompanied them, along with Ruano and Charmian. Delia and Margaret had left for New York on 26 June. Delia went on to London, so she could receive Baba and the mandali there after making due arrangements with the help of Charles Purdom and Will and Mary Backett. The pillow she had placed under Baba's head alongside the road where the accident occurred in Oklahoma was drenched with his blood. Delia gave it to the Center in Myrtle Beach as a memorial of Meher Baba's love and sacrifice for America and its people.

 

Ivy Duce was waiting to greet Baba at the New York train station the next morning ( 15th )at 8:50 A.M. Baba and the mandali proceeded to the home of Kate Ferris at 14 Cohawney Road in Scarsdale, New York. Arrangements had been made for his stay there. The women mandali resided with him. Kate Ferris was an acquaintance of Jean Adriel, whom Filis had met. When Filis asked her boldly, "Would you like to loan your house at Scarsdale to Meher Baba for two weeks?" she had replied, "Of course."

Mrs. Ferris and Filis were waiting for Baba to arrive. This was the first time Filis had seen Baba since the accident. She took his hand wordlessly, and Baba gestured, "Don't be despondent." Adi and Meherjee unpacked his wheelchair, and again Filis felt a lump in her throat. Baba waved away her grief. As he had stated to her in Myrtle Beach: "God is always lighthearted, even when crucified."

Baba and the women could move about freely in the garden, as all three of Mrs. Ferris' neighbors had "unexpectedly" taken a vacation, and so they were assured of privacy.

Lord Meher Online Edition Page 3103

1952 ; Meher Baba recouparating
1952 ; Meher Baba recouparating

Baba recounted the accident for Filis and spelled on the board, "America was after my blood for a long time." Baba repeated this with a beaming smile, as if everything had gone just as he wished.

Soon after Baba arrived, Fred and Ella Winterfeldt drove up to see him.

The mandali (Adi Sr., Nilu and Gustadji) were booked at a Guest House in nearby White Plains and the Winterfeldts lent them their Chevrolet to drive back and forth to Scarsdale. Meherjee and Sarosh attended to some private business and family related work in New York City.

 

( L - R ) Meherjee Karkaria, Meher Baba on crutches and Adi K. Irani at this time. Courtesy of LM page 3871 ( 1st ed. )
( L - R ) Meherjee Karkaria, Meher Baba on crutches and Adi K. Irani at this time. Courtesy of LM page 3871 ( 1st ed. )

On Wednesday, 16 July 1952, Ivy and Charmian drove out to Scarsdale. Charmian was to take Mehera and Goher to the doctor, and Ivy to have an hour's talk with Baba. Baba revealed to her more about the book he wished to publish, which Dr. Ghani had been working on before he died, from points Baba had dictated. A typed copy of Ghani's manuscript had been brought with them from India.

Baba stated, "I don't understand what Ghani did with all the material I gave him. Now I shall take this [manuscript] home and I shall have to write the whole book over again." (It was eventually published as God Speaks.)

Baba looked critically at Ivy and said, "You look tired; you need a rest. I am infinitely tired — never since eternity have I been so tired — and disgusted with conditions in the world. I wish I could return to my eternal bliss, but I must go on, and you must go on! The work has to be done. But after I go to Europe, you must go somewhere and rest so that you can be strong for the winter and all that lies ahead.

"From November 15 on, when my Fiery Life begins, the world will be upside-down [Baba made a topsy-turvy gesture] — there will be chaos everywhere."

He later added: "Calamity will strike from all angles, so few will escape. The world will soon cry out for God."

Afterward, Baba and the women were driven to Ivy's apartment in New York City.

Lord Meher Online Edition Page 3105

1952 : Meher Baba recouparating in the USA.
1952 : Meher Baba recouparating in the USA.
2016 ; Rear patio
2016 ; Rear patio

On 17 July, Fred Winterfeldt sent a boy in the hope that he would prove suitable for nightwatch, but Baba sent him back the same day. Watch near Baba was a very important duty, but being unable to comprehend Baba's gestures or read his board well, the boys were unable to carry it out. Besides, to stay awake the whole night was something only the mandali, who could dance to Baba's every whim, could do.

Finally, Filis called her cousin Keith Macgaffey, eighteen, of Binghamton, New York, who was a sophomore at Colgate University. He came on the 17th with Darwin Shaw after Filis begged him to "help take care of a very sick man with a broken arm and leg." The young man was to be paid a modest fee. Keith turned out to be suitable; he could even read Baba's board. Once, at Ivy's home, Keith asked Baba to explain what God-realization meant. Baba touched his forehead and dictated, "It is like a headache. Until you have had one yourself, you cannot understand what it is like."

The first morning after Keith arrived, Baba asked him, "Will you obey me?" .

"Even if I ask you to do something bad?"

"Yes," he answered. Keith wrote all this to his mother, a strict Anglican. The whole family became upset and drove down to Scarsdale to see who it was their son was working for. But when they met Baba, all doubts vanished.

On another occasion, Baba asked Keith, "What do you want to be?"

"I am not sure," he said.

"A doctor?" Baba asked. Later Keith Macgaffey did become a doctor. Although Baba kept Keith with him, he was not allowed to do nightwatch.

 Lord Meher Online Edition Page 3106

2016 - Aerial view
2016 - Aerial view

Interviews with Baba began on Friday, 18 July 1952, at Ivy's apartment (33 West 67th Street) in New York City. Charmian drove Baba there daily, with Adi Sr., Gustadji, and Keith in Darwin's car. Margaret was also present. Baba's leg was still in a plaster cast, and Keith would push him in a wheelchair. Although Baba had not fully recovered, still he agreed to see people. Many came to meet him, and Ivy and John Bass would introduce them to Baba.

 

The first day, Baba arrived at 6:00 A.M. It was the middle of summer and the heat was stifling in the un-airconditioned apartment. Baba was very tired, as he had not slept for many nights, and was most uncomfortable in his leg cast. But after the first few interviews he looked transformed and beamed as he said, "You see, so much love has revived me."

Kenneth Ross and his wife Josephine and their three daughters, from New Jersey, were the first to meet Baba at 7:00 A.M. in a large bedroom of Ivy's apartment.  Marion Florsheim was another of those who met Baba during this visit to America. Since she would always say, "I wish you would use my energy, Baba," he nicknamed her Energy.

Baba asked for a bowl of fruit which he placed beside his couch. He dispensed a grape or cherry as prasad to people who came. John Bass sat near him. People had been instructed not to ask questions, but in some cases Baba permitted it.

Baba received people until 11:00 A.M. and then asked all to leave and return at 1:00 P.M.

 

The first afternoon, Baba spelled on the board to Ivy, "You know, John [Bass] has been saying for some time, 'When are we going to have tea?' "

Ivy offered Baba a bottle of Seven-Up and he held up his good arm over his head and quipped, "I'm seven-up already!"

Baba returned to Scarsdale at 6:00 P.M.

Lord Meher Online Edition Page 3106-07

Courtesy of Google maps
Courtesy of Google maps

Margaret arrived in Scarsdale on the 18th and rode in the car with Baba to Ivy's the next day, 19 July, where Sarosh and Meherjee were waiting. Carolyn Frey saw Baba then, also. Donald Eugene Stevens, 33, one of Ivy's mureeds and her chief helper in those days, arrived in the afternoon. When Rabia Martin had told her group in San Francisco about Baba, Don had had reservations; he was devoted to Inayat Khan and was skeptical of another Master. But after a meeting with Martin he decided to set aside his reservations and follow her under Meher Baba's guidance.

 

He had been unable to come to Myrtle Beach for the May 17 darshan, and though he had sent a telegram asking if he could meet Baba in Prague, Baba had not permitted it.

As Ivy brought Don into the library, she beamed, "Baba, here is my boy!"

Baba spelled with a smile, "You say he is your boy, but I say he is my boy!" Making a play on words, he said, "Don, we have been together since the dawn of time."

Don thought: "My God, how corny! Here is the Avatar making puns."

Baba called a halt for afternoon tea and called in Enid Corfe, Margaret, the Shaws and John Bass. As tea was served, Baba narrated the story of King Janak (a Perfect Master and the father of Sita who married Ram).

Leatrice Shaw was sitting at Baba's feet listening.

Lord Meher Online Edition Page 3107-08

2016

2016

Courtesy of  Google Street View
Courtesy of Google Street View
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Scarsdale, New York
—  Village & Town  —
Scarsdale, New York is located in New York
Scarsdale, New York
Location within the state of New York
Coordinates: 40°59′32″N 73°47′13″WCoordinates: 40°59′32″N 73°47′13″W
Country United States
State New York
County Westchester
Settled March 21, 1701
Incorporated (town) March 7, 1788
Incorporated (village) May 24, 1915
Government
 - Village Manager Alfred A. Gatta
Area
 - Total 6.6 sq mi (17.2 km2)
 - Land 6.6 sq mi (17.2 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 217 ft (66 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 17,886
 - Density 2,685.7/sq mi (1,036.9/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 10583-4409
Area code(s) 914
FIPS code 36-65431
GNIS feature

0977410

 

Scarsdale is a coterminous town and village in Westchester County, New York, United States, in the northern suburbs of New York City. The Town of Scarsdale is coextensive with the Village of Scarsdale, but the community has opted to operate solely with a village government, one of several villages in the state that have a similar governmental situation.[1] As of the 2000 census, Scarsdale's population was 17,886.[2]

 

Contents

History

 Colonial era

 

Caleb Heathcote purchased the land that would become Scarsdale at the end of the 17th century and, on March 21, 1701, had them elevated to a royal manor. He named the lands after his ancestral home in Derbyshire, England. The first local census of 1712 counted twelve inhabitants, including seven African-American slaves. When Caleb died in 1721, his daughters inherited the property. The estate was broken up in 1774 and the town was officially founded on March 7, 1788.

The town saw fighting during the American Revolution when the Continental and British armies clashed briefly at what is now the junction of Garden Road and Mamaroneck Road. The British commander, Sir William Howe, lodged at a farmhouse on Garden Road that remains standing. Scarsdale's wartime history formed the basis for James Fenimore Cooper's novel, The Spy, written while the author lived at the Angevine Farm in the present-day Heathcote section of town.

 

 1790–1945

According to the first federal census in 1790, the town's population was 281. By 1840, that number had declined to 255—the vast majority farmers and farm workers. In 1846, the New York and Harlem Railroad connected Scarsdale to New York City, leading to an influx of commuters.

The Arthur Suburban Home Company purchased an 150-acre (0.61 km2) farm in 1891 and converted it into a subdevelopment of one-family dwellings, starting a transformation of the community from rural to suburban. Civil institutions soon appeared: the Heathcote Association (1904), the Town Club (1904), the Scarsdale Women's Club (1918) and the Scarsdale League of Women Voters (1921). Scarsdale High School and Greenacres Elementary School were built in 1917 and the Edgewood Elementary School opened in 1918. The first store in Scarsdale opened on the corner of Popham Road and Garth Road in 1912. By 1915, the population approached 3000. By 1930, that number approached 10,000.

In 1940, German agent Gerhardt Alois Westrick secretly met with American business leaders at his Scarsdale home until public pressure drove his family from the community.[3][4]

 

 1945–present

Harwood Court

Scarsdale became the subject of national controversy in the 1950s when a "Committee of Ten" led by Otto Dohrenwend alleged "Communist infiltration" in the public schools.[5] A thorough investigation by the town rejected these claims. This same group, known at the Scarsdale Citizens Committee, sued to prevent a benefit for the Freedom Riders from taking place at the public high school in 1963 because some of the performers (Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Pete Seeger) were allegedly "communist sympathizers and subversives."[6]

Another controversy enveloped the town in 1961, when the Scarsdale Country Club, headed by Charles S. McCallister, refused to allow a young man who had converted from Judaism into the Episcopal Church to escort a young woman to her debut at the club. It was the club's policy, at the time, to prohibit Jews from the premises.[7] In response, Rev. George French Kempsell of the Church of Saint James the Less announced that he would ban any supporters of the club's decision from receiving holy communion.[7] The event marked a turning point toward the decline of anti-Semitism in the town.[7]

Scarsdale's public library, which had been housed in historic Wayside Cottage since 1928, moved to its present structure on the White Plains Post Road in 1951.[8] The driving force behind the library was New York City publisher S. Spencer Scott, who raised $100,000 for the project after the village rejected a bond issue to fund the building in 1938. The new library opened with 27,000 books and Sylvia C. Hilton serving as the first librarian.[8]

The last of the town's five elementary schools, Heathcote School, opened in September 1953. The $1,000,000 architectural landmark was designed by Perkins & Will of Chicago. Walter B. Cocking, the president of the New York State Committee for the Public Schools, delivered the dedication address.[9]

In 1967, former longtime resident Dean Rusk returned to Scarsdale at the height of the Vietnam War to receive the town's Man of the Year Award and was greeted with a silent protest.[10]

Scarsdale was the subject of a landmark United States Supreme Court decision, ACLU v. Scarsdale (1985), that established the so-called "reindeer rule" regarding public nativity scenes and upheld the right of local religious groups to place crèches on public property.

 

Historians

The first official historian of the Village of Scarsdale was Richard Lederer. He was succeeded by Irving J. Sloan. Upon the death of Sloan in 2009, Eric Rothschild assumed the position of village historian.

 

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 6.6 square miles (17.2 km²), of which, 6.6 square miles (17.2 km²) of it is land and 0.15% is water.

 

 Climate

Scarsdale has a Hot Summer Continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfa).

[hide]Climate data for Scarsdale
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 39
(3.9)
43
(6.1)
51
(10.6)
63
(17.2)
74
(23.3)
82
(27.8)
86
(30)
84
(28.9)
76
(24.4)
65
(18.3)
55
(12.8)
44
(6.7)
64
(17.8)
Average low °F (°C) 20
(-6.7)
22
(-5.6)
29
(-1.7)
38
(3.3)
47
(8.3)
57
(13.9)
62
(16.7)
61
(16.1)
53
(11.7)
41
(5)
35
(1.7)
26
(-3.3)
41
(5)
Precipitation inches (mm) 3.56
(90.4)
2.84
(72.1)
4.07
(103.4)
4.16
(105.7)
4.33
(110)
3.44
(87.4)
4.20
(106.7)
3.93
(99.8)
4.37
(111)
3.67
(93.2)
4.09
(103.9)
3.80
(96.5)
46.46
(1,180.1)
Source: [11]

Demographics

As of the census[12] of 2000, there were 17,823 people, 5,662 households, and 4,993 families residing in the village. The population density was 2,685.7 people per square mile (1,036.4/km²). There were 5,795 housing units at an average density of 873.2 per square mile (337.0/km²).

According to the 2000 Census, the race distribution of Scarsdale was: White (non Hispanic) 84.1%, Asian 12.6%, African-American 1.5%, Hispanic or Latino 2.6%.

There were 5,662 households out of which 51.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 81.8% were married couples living together, 5.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 11.8% were non-families. 10.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.14 and the average family size was 3.35.

In the village the population was spread out with 32.8% under the age of 18, 4.0% from 18 to 24, 22.8% from 25 to 44, 28.7% from 45 to 64, and 11.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 94.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.2 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $182,792, and the median income for a family was $200,001. Males had a median income of $100,000+ versus $62,319 for females. The per capita income for the village was $89,907. That ranks 59th highest income in the country and 2nd most for towns with a population with over 10,000. About 1.7% of families and 2.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.2% of those under age 18 and 2.3% of those age 65 or over.

 

Neighborhoods

The neighborhoods within the village of Scarsdale are:

Arthur Manor (Edgewood Elementary); Berkley in Scarsdale (Edgewood and Fox Meadow Elementary); Bramlee Heights (Fox Meadow Elementary); Colonial Acres (Quaker Ridge Elementary); Drake Edgewood (Edgewood Elementary); East Heathcote (Heathcote Elementary); Fox Meadow (Fox Meadow Elementary); Greenacres (Greenacres Elementary); Murray Hill/Middle Heathcote (Heathcote Elementary); Old Scarsdale (Fox Meadow Elementary); Overhill (Fox Meadow Elementary); Quaker Ridge (Quaker Ridge Elementary); Scarsdale Meadows (Quaker Ridge Elementary); Secor Farms (Quaker Ridge Elementary); Sherbrooke Farms (Heathcote Elementary); West Quaker Ridge (Quaker Ridge Elementary);

 

 School system

Scarsdale High School from the Brewster Road side

The Scarsdale Union Free School District operates five elementary schools in the elementary school districts Edgewood, Fox Meadow, Greenacres, Heathcote and Quaker Ridge made up of parts of the neighborhood associations above, as well as Scarsdale Middle School and Scarsdale High School.

 

Scarsdale post office and postal zone

The Village of Scarsdale is the site of a post office, assigned ZIP code 10583. The post office building on Chase Road is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[13]

The population of the 10583 ZIP code is more than twice that of the Village of Scarsdale proper and is served by two additional post offices. Sections of the following neighboring communities are also covered by the Scarsdale zip code:

Eastchester

  • Garth Road
  • Green Knolls
  • Greenvale

Edgemont (Town of Greenburgh)

Town of Mamaroneck

  • Murdock Woods

New Rochelle

The city is the site of a post office, assigned zip code 10583. This branch serves those areas
in New Rochelle's "Northend" covered by the Scarsdale zip code. The post office is located in
the Golden Horseshoe Shopping Center on Wilmot Road.

Yonkers

  • Beech Hill

Events

The Scarsdale Town Pool was the swimming venue for the 2007 Empire State Games. Scarsdale is home to the Scarsdale Concours d'Elegance, an annual auto show for charity.

Local media

The Scarsdale Inquirer, a weekly newspaper, reports on local issues. The newspaper began publishing in 1901.[14]

 

Notable people

People associated with Scarsdale include:

 Television, film, music and radio personalities

Writers

Doctors

 Sports personalities

Legal

 Political figures

The Daniel D. Tompkins Memorial at the intersection of Post Road and Tompkins Road

 Gangsters and spies

  • Robert Hanssen, Soviet spy, lived at 150 Webster Road in Scarsdale from 1978 until 1981; his children attended IHM. His wife told the FBI that he had had dealings with Moscow during that time[30]
  • Benjamin (Bugsy) Siegel, gangster and Las Vegas resort builder. He owned a house in Scarsdale from 1929 on; he was increasingly absent in later years but his family continued to live there. [22]
  • Ronald "Escalade" Piscina, gangster, a key figure in setting up the Apalachin Meeting for the Mafia in 1957 in Apalachin, NY.
  • Joseph DiNapoli, Italian American mobster

 Science, space and technology