Excerpts taken from a paper written by David Applegate while he was in high school. David is now Assistant District Attorney for the town of Stamford. He is also the nephew of Mrs. Rita King, and a former New Lebanon student.
Greenwich was founded in 1640 as a European settlement. At that time, King Charles I gave sixty acres of land to Thomas Lyon Sr. That land, now part of Byram's 740 acres, had been home to the Miossehassaky Native American tribe. During the Revolutionary War, Byram housed the closest outpost to New York City. After the Revolution, the southwestern end of Greenwich returned to being chiefly a farming area. Much of this land was purchased and divided up among local residents. Several names were given to the area: one part was called East Port Chester (after the expanding community that existed across the river), and another part was named after is owner, Milo Mead. The name Meadville never caught on, however the area became known as New Lebanon because its cedar trees were reminiscent of Lebanon. No one is quite sure where the name Byram came from. Some people believe that an early settler to the area was named Byram. Another legend has it that Indians who lived in the Westchester area used to paddle across the river to "buy rum" in what is now considered Byram. Byram's border's are clearly marked by the New York State border. The Byram River (once known as the Armonk River), and Long Island Sound.
Byram has several other community centers that add to its character. The Byram Veterens Association and the Byram Archibald Neighborhood Center (BANC) are both located on Delavan Avenue. Mr. and Mrs. Francis Archibald were very involved in local affairs, and donated a large brick building to the community. The Archibald Center sponsors several youth athletic teams, runs summer and winter camps, has an after-school program, and serves as a neighborhood meeting place. The Byram Shubert Library is also an improtant part of the neighborhood. It was originally established in 1931, but it opened at its present location in 1974. The library sponsors a summer reading program and has many other activities for children. Esther Banker, a former libarian and Byram native, was an integral part of the neighborhood. New Lebanon School is located just up the hill from the library. It is presently adding four clasrooms due to the expanding size of the community. New Lebanon is now Byram's only elementary school since Byram School cloesed its doors in 1978. Another important site in Byram is the Dorothy Hamill Skating Rink. Is a popular attraction for all town residents. During summer months people often go to Byram Shore to escape the heat and enjoy the large swimming pool as well as the shore. Byram also has its own boat club, and members can be seen at all hours, any time of the year, talking about anything from fishing to local gossip. Another attraction there is the baseball diamond where town teams can compete under the lights.
My great -grandfather and great-grandmother were both born in Byram in 1888. Their daughter (my grandmother) and her five siblings were born in a house that is a stone's throw from where I presently live. My grandmother spent almost her entire life in Byram, and she raised all five of here daughters here. Since I was born I have lived in tow houses, both in Byram. There are many interesting local personalities:Peter Fina has been selling fruit and deli goods at his store on Mill Stree† for fiftey-eight years. Byram also has two bårber shops. Jimmy Consenza has been cutting hair for almost half a century in his small shop overlooking the Byram River. Byram is home to six delis and three reståurå˜ts. It was featured in an article in Yankee Magazine in 1990. One of the most interesting things to happen in Byram has to be when David Letterman walked through the neighborhood interviewing local children and shop owners. The segment appeared on a show early in his talk-show career, and is probably remembered only by local residents.
New Lebanon School 1893- 1967
In 1893, the corner stone for the "old" New Lebanon School was laid. The land on which the school was to be built was given to the school district by Mr. Milo Mead, with the condition that it should always be called New Lebanon. It was said that he wanted the whole town called New Lebanon, but had to settle for the school. He had owned almost the whole town, from where Byram Park now stands, right down to the Byram River.
"The Board of Education gratefully acknowledges the gift of land from Mr. and Mrs. Walter C. Teagle as a building site for New Lebanon School."