Yesterday I finished reading Out of the Wilderness: The Emergence of Eastchester, Tuckahow and Bronxville, 1664-2014. It is magnificent.
The book is thoughtfully written, wonderfully documented with entirely unobtrusive endnotes and luxuriously illustrated with more than 300 images, most in color, that serve as instructive and beautiful milestones to emphasize the text.
Most importantly, the first third of the 309-page book will be of interest, and instructive, to a wide audience outside of Eastchester, Tuckahoe, Bronxville and Mount Vernon. Anyone with an interest in the history of lower Westchester County or the northeast Bronx will find the book to be an important resource regarding the early history of those regions.
I consider the book a little like a feature-packed Swiss Army knife that can be all things to all people. For some, it will be a handsome, lavish and cherished coffee table book to be thumbed through and marveled at for many years. For others, like me, it will be an important tool that furthers the understanding of our shared local history and the contexts within which that history has evolved. For still others, it will serve as a well-documented reference that can be relied upon in connection with schoolwork and other academic endeavors.
Though the various chapters and preface are written by a variety of capable scholars and historians, the book is edited so that it speaks with a single voice and tells a chronological story of the history of Eastchester, Tuckahoe, Bronxville, and even a little of the early years of today’s City of Mount Vernon. Moreover, this luscious and colorful work will serve as a model for decades to come for any community considering the publication of its own local history in connection with any similar upcoming anniversary!
Eastchester, Tuckahoe and Bronxville should be justly proud of this entertaining, carefully-crafted, lovingly-detailed, and richly illustrated record of their 350-year history! I know I will be relying on it and re-reading much of it for many years to come.
Blake Bell, Pelham Town and Village Historian