Local History & Interest,  Postcards

Russell and Lawrie Post Cards

Founded by Frederick A. Russell and James T. Lawrie, the Russell & Lawrie drugstore originally occupied the first floor of the Washington Building at Main Street and Broadway in Tarrytown, a Tudor-style building which in 1894 replaced the pre-Revolutionary Edward Covenhoven inn. The drugstore moved a couple blocks up Broadway after fire swept the building in 1965.

Like their crosstown rival, Farrington’s Drug Store, Russell & Lawrie published a series of souvenirs post cards, some of which we collect here.

Russell & Lawrie card numbered A5888 shows Tarrytown’s Depot Square with the Orchard Street district intact. The entire row of buildings behind the train station were demolished in the name of “urban renewal” in the late 1960s. Based on the size (3.5″ x 5.5″) and the pre-printed postage rate of 1 cent, it was likely produced after 1901. Printed in Germany.

Russell & Lawrie card numbered A3547 shows the Irving School, the first recorded private school in the village of North Tarrytown. It was located on the east side of Pocantico Street near the present intersection with Elm Street.

Russell & Lawrie card numbered A7551 shows the original residence on the John D. Rockefeller estate. This is not the house Kykuit as we know it today but its predecessor which burned to the ground in 1902. There was no water supply on hand to fight the fire, which launched John D. Rockefeller on a years-long quest to create multiple reservoirs around his vast estate.

This card shows the intersection of Broadway and Main Street in Tarrytown. On far right is Russell & Lawrie’s own storefront, occupied today by Lefteris Gyro. On the left, the Westchester County Savings Bank building still stands today. The frame structure on the southwest corner of the intersection was once the Far and Near Tea Room. Today the spot is occupied by a 7-Eleven.

Russell & Lawrie card numbered 64476 shows the Lyndhurst mansion. The Gothic Revival home was designed for former New York City mayor William Paulding, Jr. Second owner, George Merritt, doubled its size. In 1880 railroad baron Jay Gould purchased the estate as a summer home.

Russell & Lawrie card numbered 1494 shows the Florence Inn and its livery stable. From 1819 to 1964 the inn served locals and travelers along the Albany Post Road. It was known first as the Franklin House and later as the Vincent House, Florence Inn and Hotel Florence.

This unnumbered Russell & Lawrie card is mistitled. The monument is the Andre Captors Monument, not a memorial to the British spy John Andre. Behind the monument is Brookside Park, a private residential development. The structures have since been demolished and its boundaries turned into Tarrytown’s Patriots Park.

Russell & Lawrie card numbered 64470 shows the Institute of Mercy at Tarrytown. Founded by the Sisters of Mercy, the institute served as an orphanage and school.

Russell & Lawrie carried a line of souvenir items that included photographs, art prints, silver commemorative spoons, postcards and publications like Edgar Mayhew Bacon’s Chronicles of Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow, a history and guidebook to Sleepy Hollow Country.