Arts & Entertainment

Reflections of Peach Lake and Bloomerside

1e4f664ee28b1b83df67_42650_.jpg
Peach Lake on a September day. A late 1950s postcard of a photo taken from the Vail's property looking west to the Bloomer property. Credits: Photo courtesy of Warren Lucas
9aaa279f87c7e52c0aff_42651_.JPG
North Salem Supervisor Warren Lucas with his book "The Making of Bloomerside." Credits: Sue Guzman
1e4f664ee28b1b83df67_42650_.jpg

People have vacationed there. People have fallen in love there. Hundreds of others call it home. The iconic Peach Lake community means different things to different people, but one thing’s for sure, it has a storied history in the town of North Salem and Supervisor Warren Lucas is working hard to document it and make certain its many stories are not forgotten.

What started as curiosity over a dusty basket filled with antique documents in his family farmhouse, including deeds and photos,  as well as a family genealogy document, has led Lucas on a journey since 1992, when he first began writing his book entitled, “The Making of Bloomerside and the Peach Lake Communities.”
Aside from growing up in North Salem, Lucas has roots in the area going back many generations. Peach Lake was originally a farming community

His family, the Bloomers, was originally from Rye and moved to North Salem in the 1760s and began farming the land. They also brought in dairy cows.  Many in the town jumped on the bandwagon, reaping the financial benefits of dairying. They provided milk for the Borden Condensed milk factory in Brewster up to 1915 when the factory went under, forcing many residents to leave the area and find alternate livelihoods. The land was also farmed by the Ryder family in Southeast, and the Vail family on the other side of the lake. 

Sign Up for E-News

In his book, “The Making of Bloomerside,” Lucas details the beginnings of the town more than 400 years ago in 1609 when the area around Peach Lake was the ancestral home of the local Indian tribes, namely the Mohegans and Kitawonks. The lake was called Lake Pehquenakonck by the Native American tribes in the region. That was later shortened to Peach Pond.

As the New World was discovered and colonized, particularly by the Van Cortlandt family, North Salem became the eastern outpost of the Van Cortlandt family’s vast land holdings. Lucas’ book details the evolution of the name Peach Lake. Many assume it was named after the Pietsch family, but it was not, he explained. 
Lucas’ book covers the extensive evolution of Peach Lake focusing in on how its summer communities were born at Bloomerside, Vail’s Pietsch’s and the Hotel at Hotel Property.  It details such things as boating on the lake, its many community dances, nearby campgrounds, extensive gardens and picnic grounds that were so widely used and visited in the early 1900s. It features many photographs, including one featuring contestants in the 1935 Miss Peach Lake contest.

His research took him from libraries, to historical societies to local residents and family members’ accounts of the area to the internet, which he said has revolutionized and even simplified the way research is now done.

Lucas said writing the book has been a labor of love. “There are people…in Croton Falls who could write about Purdys, I’m sure,” he said. “But so much of this town’s [history] was affected in the late 1890s. You lose that if you haven’t talked to people 20, 30 years ago, and that was one of the benefits of sitting down with my aunt who remembered elephants going down the road.” 

But with 24 years in the making, Lucas’ book is still not published. He estimated he’d need about $20,000 to get the book in print form; something he thinks would be of great interest to local members of the community and an investment that he could easily recoup.

“I just keep finding more and more information though. It’s like a puzzle or a mystery,” he said, adding, “And it feels like I’m never done.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

North Salem

Upcoming Events

Sat, February 24, 10:00 AM

Jefferson Valley Mall , Yorktown Heights

Yorktown Indoor Farmers Market

Food & Drink Health & Wellness

Sat, March 3, 10:00 AM

Jefferson Valley Mall , Yorktown Heights

Yorktown Indoor Farmers Market

Food & Drink Health & Wellness

Sat, March 10, 10:00 AM

Jefferson Valley Mall , Yorktown Heights

Yorktown Indoor Farmers Market

Food & Drink Health & Wellness

Winter Is Fleeting

By some alchemy, winter is flying by us this year. Faster and faster every year of our lives. We’re nearly two-thirds done with the season already. There’s just a month and a few extra days left to withstand. A snap of the fingers and it will be gone. Finished. Another winter to enter into our personal annals, in which we thrived or merely survived.    

Soon ...

A Trip to the 'Liberry'

Raise your hand if you didn’t—did not—call the library the “liberry” when you were little. I’m guessing not a lot of hands just went up.

Didn’t just about all of us say “liberry” when we were learning to read? (Well, whaddya expect when a place is named something way too easy for little kids to mispronounce?)

OK. Now, raise your hand if ...

I'm Mrs. Heat Miser

To be perfectly honest, I did not need a large rodent with insomnia to convince me that we had six more weeks of winter. It’s been so cold outside lately that when I go out, my nostrils stick together. The dog is so hesitant to go out that he does his business right on the deck, less than five feet from the door, and then gives me a look of contemptuous indignation when he comes back in the ...

'Bravo' to Column on Trump

February 15, 2018

To the editor,

I am responding to guest columnist Sy Globerman’s article, “Trump is revivifying America” in the Thursday, Feb. 8 edition of your newspaper.

Mr. Globerman is right on target. Bravo to him for stating the facts about President Trump. All we seem to read and hear from the media is Trump bashing.

Therefore, it’s quite refreshing to read about ...