Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Tennis in Early Pelham

Today the tennis courts of the Pelham Country Club, the New York Athletic Club and the Glover Field complex bristle with activity every day the weather permits. In addition, other courts and solo courts next to residences are scattered throughout the Town.

It turns out that tennis has been a popular pastime in Pelham for nearly 120 years. The earliest reference to tennis in Pelham that I have been able to locate appeared in the June 7, 1885 issue of The New York Times. The reference notes that at least by 1885 the Country Club at Pelham, established in the little hamlet of Bartow-on-the-Sound in 1884, had established "tennis grounds" for the Club's members. The brief reference reads as follows:

"The wives and sisters of members can enjoy the same privileges of the club as members, and on fine mornings the tennis grounds are besieged by lady players. Miss Leavitt and Mrs. Fellowes Morgan have arranged a tennis tournament for Monday and Tuesday of this week, and a team from the ladies' club of Staten Island will contest for a series of games with the ladies of the Country Club."

Source: The World Of Society, N.Y. Times, Jun. 7, 1885, p. 14.

The men of the Country Club at Pelham also played in local tennis tournaments during the 1880s. An account of one such tournament played on September 30, 1885 reads as follows:

The gentlemen's doubles in the open tournament at Bartow-on-the-Sound were commenced and finished yesterday before a goodly company, among whom were Mr. and Mrs. J. Lorillard, Miss Lee, Mrs. and Miss Zerega, Miss Newcombe, the Misses Dickey, Miss Roberts, Miss Hunter, Miss Evans, Mr. and Mrs. Oliver, Mr. and Mrs. De Lancey Kane, Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Sands, Mr. and Mrs. F. Jackson, the Misses Iselin, the Misses Kent, Mrs. Ellis, Mrs. Morris, the Misses Thoms, and T.K. Fraser, of Hastings-on-the-Hudson. Slocum, of the Brookly Club, and Beekman, of the Staten Island Club, won the handsome prizes with the following score:
First Round. - Major and Gregory beat E. M. Adee and Titus, 6-1, 6-2.
Paton and Van Rensselaer beat A. M. Wood and partner by default.
E. R. Adee and Morris beat Watson and Appleton, 8-6, 1-6, 7-5.
Slocum and Beekman beat Thomas and Peters by default.
Second Round. - Paton and Van Rensselaer beat Major and Gregory, 6-4, 6-1.
Slocum and Beekman beat E. R. Adee and Morris, 6-1, 6-2.
Final Round. - Slocum and Beekman beat Paton and Van Rensselaer, 7-5, 7-5, 7-5."

Source: Tennis On Long Island [sic]. An Interesting Tournament At Bartow-On-The-Sound., N.Y. Times, Oct. 1, 1885, p. 5.

Labels: , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home