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The original item was published from 8/10/2020 5:00:00 PM to 8/14/2020 9:35:42 AM.

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Posted on: August 14, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Slice of History Happy Hour Amid Civil Strife in Elmsford

The Story of How the Brother Against Brother Nature of the American Revolution Led to the Cocktail

Town Historian

Happy Hour Amid Civil Strife in Elmsford: The Story of How the Brother Against Brother Nature of the American Revolution Led to the Cocktail

By: Riley Wentzler & Felicia Barber

Elmsford Brothers

Every village of Greenburgh has something which makes it unique. These features allow town residents to point to their specific village and be proud: Dobbs Ferry is the place where most of Greenburgh’s Union Civil War dead are buried (to see our article on the Little White Church Cemetery click here: is the birth-place of the first Carvel (to see our article on Carvel click here: Hastings has many Nobel Prize winners (to see last week’s article on Nobel Prize winners in Hastings click here: Irvington was home to Charles Lewis Tiffany (to see our article on the life of Charles Lewis Tiffany click here: Tarrytown is where all of the masonic lodges in Greenburgh are located (to see our article on masonic lodges in Greenburgh click here: Our most attentive readers have probably noticed that we have not yet covered the uniqueness of Ardsley or Elmsford and our readers who reside in these villages are probably saying, “Hey wait!! What about us?” Well, for the residents of Elmsford, the wait is finally over for you.

To highlight what makes Elmsford special, one should look back to the 1700s and to the spot where Tarrytown Road intersects with Saw Mill River Road. Readers should remember that in the 1700s, every village in Greenburgh had its fair share of patriots who wanted to be independent of England and loyalists who, as the name implies, loved the mother-country and wanted no part of independence. Both patriots and loyalists owned businesses in the area and it was common for patriot business owners to refuse to serve loyalist customers and vice versa. Petty crime where loyalist and patriots would steal or destroy each other’s property was also common. It was difficult to know who would and who would not be punished for their crimes as control of New York frequently fluctuated between the Continental Congress and one of the many royal governors such as: James De Lancey, Charles Hardy, Cadwallader Colden, and William Tryon.

Oral histories say that on the spot where Tarrytown Road intersects with Saw Mill River Road in Elmsford stood Ledger House Tavern, and that this tavern, was owned and operated by a local patriot woman named Betty Flanagan ( Westchester Magazine reports that when patriots stole loyalist owned roosters, or as they were more commonly known at that time, cocks, they would often bring their loot to Ledger House Tavern. When these rascals arrived, Betty Flanagan would use the tailfeathers of these roosters to stir customers’ drinks ( Therefore Elmsford is thought to be the birthplace of the cocktail (!

 Slice of History

Previous Slices of History include:


1. Greenburgh’s BROTHERLY LOVE, RELIEF AND TRUTH: A History of The Freemasons in Greenburgh (9/12/18)

2. Greenburgh and The Arts (9/22/18)

3. A Final Resting Place for “Man’s Best Friend”: The Peaceable Kingdom (9/29/18)

4. Greenburgh’s Hall of Heroes: Ferncliff Cemetery Where Memories Live Forever (10/12/18)

5. Greenburgh at The Great American Crossroads: Greenburgh’s Civil War Story(10/19/18)

6. A Different Kind of Rebel: Greenburgh’s Contributions to the Underground Railroad (10/27/18)

7. "The Disappearing Railroad Blues" in Greenburgh: The Fate of the Putnam Railroad Line and the old Putnam Trail (11/6/18)

8. A Thousand Words Which You Never Knew: The Forgotten Story of the Seal of Greenburgh (11/17/18)

9. How a Flat Tire led to a Happy Escape: The Story of Carvel in Greenburgh (12/11/18)

10. The Guardians of History: Greenburgh’s Historical Societies (1/6/19)

11. A Small House, an Important Meeting, a Huge Victory: The Story of the Odell House (1/12/2019)

12. The Intersection of Banking, Ballet, and School: Greenburgh’s Warburg Estate (Updated) (10/22/19) 

13. Lost History: The Tragedy of Malkasten (1/26/19)

14. A Beautiful View for the Perfect Event: The Belvedere Estate (2/9/19)

15. The Power of Wealth and Humility: A Reflection on Two Highly Influential African Americans (2/18/19)

16. Greenburgh Under the Hollywood Lights: The TV shows and movies Filmed in Greenburgh Part I (2/23/19)

17. Oh, The Places Your Mail has Gone: A History of The Hartsdale Post Office (3/9/2019)

18. From Insurance to Symphonies: The Home of Charles Ives (3/16/19)

19. Greenburgh Under the Hollywood Lights: The TV shows and Movies Filmed in Greenburgh Part II (3/29/19)

20. From Chasing Rabbits to Setting Records: The Amazing Story of Larry James (4/7/2019)

21. From Fixing Cars to building Infrastructure: How Massaro Park Got its name (4/13/2019)

22. There is no church here, but “the brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated” this ground: The Story of The Little White Church Cemetery (4/27/19)

23. Irvington in Chains and our Process A History of Slavery in Irvington and A look at how Slices of History are made (and our interview with historian Robert Marchant) (5/11/2019)

24. From Farmland to Shopping District: The Rise of Central Avenue (5/25/2019)

25. Like a long lost friend”: The story of how summer recreation has evolved in Greenburgh (6/7/2019)

26. Abandon Ship!!! The Story of United Nuclear Corporation and their Short-lived Elmsford Facility (6/28/19)

27. Beyond Heritage Versus Hate Toward Hope and Reconciliation: The story of Mount Hope Cemetery and its Confederate Monument (7/13/19)

28. Hidden History: The Story of Fairview Fairgrounds Part I (7/27/19)

29. Entertainers for Justice (8/3/2019)

30. A Tale of Two Towns: Greenburgh, NY, and Muncy, PA (8/23/ 2019)

31.  When Greenburgh Went “East Bound and Down”: Greenburgh During Prohibition (10/6/2019)


32. From Mopping The Floor of One Institution to Managing Three at Once: The Amazing Story of Former Westchester County Commissioner of Public Welfare Ruth Taylor (12/12/19) 


33. Greenburgh Gets its “Sun Daze on” Under the Watchful Eyes of the Boys in Blue (1/9/2020)


34. Making Martin Luther King Jr’s Dream Come Alive the Success Story of the Parkway Homes/ Parkway Gardens Community:(1/18/2020)

35. Formed By Adversity, Held Together by Faith: The History of the Parkway Homes/Parkway Gardens Community (2/27/2020)


36. From an Apple Orchard to The Olympics: The Saint Andrew’s Golf Club (3/8/2020)

37. Ashes “Ashes, Ashes!!We all Fall Down”(3/23/2020)


38. A Leading Medical Institution at The Border of Greenburgh: The Story of New York Medical College (4 /4 /2020)


39. When the Cure was Worse than the Disease: A Look back on When The Medical Profession Wasn’t so Reliable: ( 4/18/2020)


40. All Aboard!!! The Story of The Old Putnam Railroad In Greenburgh (5/31/2020)



41. Juneteenth: A Day of Liberation (6/6/2020)

42. The Jewel of Greenburgh: The Life of Charles Lewis Tiffany (7/25/2020) 


43.  Hastings’ Best and Brightest : Nobel Laureates of Hastings




About the Authors:

We are both Assistant Town Historians at Greenburgh Town Hall and we are engaged to be married and are currently looking for permanent employment.

Riley Wentzler:

I was born and raised in a small rural town in central Pennsylvania. In high school, I took every honors course available including four years of Spanish. I received A’s in all of them. I graduated third in my class of 146 students. This brought me to Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. Once there, I continued my trend of academic excellence. I graduated summa cum laude in Political Science with a minor in Spanish and a Master’s in Communication Studies, with a G.P.A of 3.94. It was also there that I met my lovely fiancée, Felicia Barber. My Master’s in Communication has promoted public speaking, teamwork, and customer service. My Political Science degree has developed my research skills using computer-based tools and provided me with experience using the Microsoft Office products. My minor in Spanish has facilitated my bilingual capabilities. During my internship at Greenburgh, I created the petition for the State Roads project using website tools. My diverse education and areas of interest have provided me with a wide range of skills. I look forward to finding a career opportunity in business or government. To suggest a topic for next week’s article, you can contact me at assistanthistorian@greenburghny.comor to help me find employment, you can contact me at 


Felicia Barber:

I was born in New York City and raised in Hartsdale, New York. I graduated from Ardsley High School. I recently earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. It was here that I met my fiancé, Riley Wentzler. As a result of my academic excellence, I won a scholarship every year. I learned and applied many graphic design skills to projects during my summer internships and at school. I am proficient in using Adobe graphic design applications including Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. For my Identity/branding course at Edinboro, I created logos to appear on the tee-shirts of Physical Education majors. For a veteran’s upcoming event, I used a typeface to focus the reader to the soldier in the poster. For the State Roads Legislative Campaign project, I created the embedded graphic-photo that accompanied the petition I am looking for a job to utilize my skills as a Graphic Designer in an agency, print shop, company or government To suggest a topic for next week’s article, you can contact me at assistanthistorian@greenburghny.comTo learn more about my artwork or to help me find employment you can contact me at


Two Interviews with the authors:



Robbins, D. (2011, October 17). How Elmsford, NY, May Have Been the Birthplace of Cocktails. Westchester Magazine , pp. Online at

Safeguard Self-storage Company. (2016, September 29). A Toast to Elmsford, Legendary Birthplace of the Cocktail. Retrieved from

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