Excerpt from Biographical History of Westchester County, New York, 1899
Section on Jacob Read

. . . I recall one event which created great excitment in Yonkers in 1842 or 1843. A dam above Ashford (a place subsequently called Ardsley by Mr. Cyrus W. Field), about five miles north of Yonkers, gave way, by reason of a sudden and heavy fall of rain, owing to a cloud burst. Oliver Rhead, whose farm was in Sawmill river valley, a little north of St. John's Cemetery, saw the river rising rapidly, and, mounting his horse, rode swiftly down to Yonkers to alarm the village. The Wells and Paddock dam, north of the present Elm Street bridge, was then comparatively new , but for some time it resisted the pressure of the flood. In those days there were no factories or other buildings near the dam to be damaged. At last the water broke through and with irresistible force rushed through the village. It gullied out Mechanic (now New Main) street about seven feet. . . .