During the sixteenth century, over three hundred years ago, John Richbell purchased a large tract of land from the Siwanoy Indians for a quantity of cooking utensils, cloth, firelocks and shillings. These three “neckes of land” called Mamaroneck provided the best harbor area on the side of Long Island Sound. Legend has it that the name Mamaroneck evolved from Indian words meaning “Where the fresh water meets the salt water.” Others claim the name stems from the Indian chief that concluded the land sale to Richbell.
Whatever the background of the name might be, the Village has a proud history as an active port, an important railroad stop “within reasonable distance of New York” and, most important of all, as an area wherein families could build their homes on or near the water and enjoy the beauty of these fine surroundings.
The Village was incorporated in 1895 and growth increased at a steady rate, but it was not until 1914 that the area we know as Shore Acres was developed.
Initial roads that cut into this area were Barry Avenue and Harmon Parkway with a small cut named Alda Road. Oakhurst and Shore Acres Drive were mainly on the drawing boards when the sub-division map was filed in 1914, and Soundview Drive was a side path off Barry Avenue.
At the end of Harmon Parkway, the Reed Corporation erected a building known to the area residents as the “Villa” -- a home with fine marble floors, spacious rooms and a view that took in all the Harbor and Long Island Sound. The beachfront featured bathhouses and all that went with the more relaxed living of that time. The building then changed hands, becoming first the Oakhurst Club, and later the Shore Acres Yacht Club.
Eventually the building and grounds fell into disrepair and leaders of the community (most of them active in the Shore Acres Property Owners Association) undertook to improve the area by removing the old bathhouses, reviving the grassy lawns and bringing in countless yards of sand to rebuild the eroded beachfront. Among the members of this group were Larry Quinliven, Stanley Hare, Ivan Anderson, Kirk Savage, Milton Decker, Henry Hornidge and Stuart Halsey.
During World War II, the Yacht Club became bankrupt and the Shore Acres Point Corporation was formed in 1945 to purchase the property. By 1951 the old Villa had been razed and replaced with the present building. Again major renovations were undertaken on the seawall, the lawn areas and the beachfront. Summer 1952 saw increased use of the facility and the growing need for additional recreational areas. Plans were made for the construction of the parking area and both a kiddie pool and a large swimming pool.
Committees were formed to undertake the study of these projects, the raising of funds from members, the evaluation of contracts and all the details involved therein. 1957 saw the completion of the project due to the efforts of Mike Barclay, Vic Oristano, Bud Taylor, Jacques Megroz, Bud Banks, Steve Dietz, Bill Clark, Ed Benedict, Raleigh Baum, Harry Powell, Joe Salmon and others.