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.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Coaching to Pelham: Colonel Delancey Astor Kane Did Not Operate the Only Coach to Pelham

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Those who follow such things, know that for many years Col. Delancey Astor Kane operated the Pelham Coach (known as the "Tally-Ho") between Hotel Brunswick in New York City and Pelham. For more about the Pelham Coach, see Bell, Blake, Col. Delancey Kane and "The Pelham Coach", The Pelham Weekly, Vol. XII, No. 38, Sep. 26, 2003, p. 1, col. 1. See also Col. Delancey Kane and "The Pelham Coach" available on the HistoricPelham.com Web site.

Although for a few years Col. Kane may have operated the most famous coach to Pelham, he was by no means the only one who operated a coach to Pelham in the 19th century. Other Pelham coaches existed. Today's Blog posting will provide the contents of two news articles about such coaches. The first one addressed below, known as the Greyhound, was operated by the Country Club of Westchester founded in the hamlet of Bartow-on-the-Sound in Pelham in 1884.



The passenger coach Greyhound, the property of the Country Club, made the first trip of the season yesterday between the Hotel Brunswick and the club-house in Bartow, Westchester County, and back again on schedule time. The start from Brunswick was at 11 o'clock in the morning, and this fact induced a number of young men who had only gone to bed a few hours previously to get up much earlier than is their wont, and there was a fine display of gorgeous morning suits, crook-handled walking-sticks, light top-coats, yellow gaiters, and gay boutonnieres in the portals of the famous hostelry as early as 10:30 o'clock. The proprietors of these outfits took occasional turns into the bar-room of the hotel and drank brandy and soda and lighted long cigars.

Shortly before the hour for the start the Greyhound came up before the door and was greeted with a shout of welcome. Every spoke and panel was shining with fresh paint and varnish, the silverplated hubs glistened in the sunshine, and the metal of the harness gleamed as the impatient horses restlessly awaited the start. The leaders were a black and a brown, the former the thorough-bred Irish mare Dolly and the later the gelding Dandy. The wheelers were a dapple gray and a bay - Barnum and Colonel. The party to take the trip to Bartow were the governors of the club, who went as the guests of James M. Waterbury, the President. Just before 11 o'clock Mr. J. R. Roosevelt emerged from the holy of holies in the interior of the Brunswick, attired in a long, white top coat, a tall white hat, and yellow gloves. He examined the four horses critically and then ascended to the box. Mr. Pierre Lorillard, similarly arrayed, climbed up beside him. Mr. Alexander Taylor, Jr., and Mr. Delancey Kane took the next seat, and Messrs. Kent, Fairman, Haight, and Jackson likewise disposed themselves about the coach.

Then Mr. Roosevelt gathered the lines in his left hand and took the whip in his right. The four horses began to prance in anticipation, the grooms removed the blankets of the leaders, the whip cracked, the coach started, the grooms snatched the wheelers' blankets as they plunged past and dexterously climbed up behind, the guard blew a blast on the great tin-horn, and away they went, Dolly and Dandy doing the ornamental prancing in front and Colonel and Barnum tugging honestly in their russet leather collars at the pole. The trip was up the Boulevard and out Macomb's Dam Bridge road to Mott Haven, and out through Westchester and Middletown over Pelham Bridge to Bartow which was reached a few minutes before 1 o'clock. Here a dinner was waiting at the Country Club, and at 3:45 o'clock the Greyhound started back again for the Brunswick.

All dudedom was out on the steps and on the sidewalk before the Brunswick and Victoria to see them back, before 5 o'clock, and all looked up the avenue incessantly. At 5:25 the blast of the horn was heard, and a moment later the coach was descried bowling down Murray Hill among countless other gorgeous turnouts, and at 5:29 it drew up before the Brunswick exactly one minute ahead of the schedule time. The gentlemen descended with dust on their boots and coats, and likewise in their throats; and being wise in their generation they turned into the hostelry to obtain an antidote for the latter difficulty. They of the high collars and tight trowsers continued to gaze at the coach and the team admiringly from the steps of the hotel, until Mr. Roosevelt issued forth again, and drove swiftly around the corner into Twenty-sixth-street."

Source: The Trip of the Greyhound - First Coaching of the Season From the Brunswick to Bartow, N.Y. Times, Apr. 29, 1884, p. 2.

Another example of an entirely different coach that ran between the Hotel Brunswick and Pelham during the 1880s was the Tantivy. The article below describes a run of the Tantivy.



The black and yellow four-in-hand coach Tantivy made its first trip of the season yesterday from the Hotel Brunswick to the Country Club's house at Pelham and back. It was chartered by Mr. Woodbury Kane. He and his friends were favored with a bright sky, balmy breezes, and the best of good luck. The party included Mr. Kane, Mr. and Mrs. F. Bronson, Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Roosevelt, Miss Berriman, Miss Winthrop, Mr. W. Cutting, Mr. Cary, Mr. Howard, Mr. B. Cutting, and Mr. Potter. Mr. Kane and Mr. Bronson drove and handled the reings with skill.

There was a good-sized crowd at the hotel to see the start at 11 o'clock, and those who were not there to see the exhilarating sight might have become aware of the send-off had they been within a radius of several blocks, for the departure was signalized by a perfect din of noises, principally blasts on the horn by the guard. The coach rattled away at a lively rate up Fifth-avenue. Half an hour later it stopped at the Point View House, where the horses were changed. The fresh teams drew the Tantivy to Harlem in 10 minutes and to Mott Haven in 15. They were exchanged at Hunt's Point at 12:03 P. M. The schedule was kept on the run to Fox's Corners, Union Port, (Swan's Inn,) West Chester, Pelham Bridge, Bartow, and finally the Country Club at Pelham. The destination was reached at 12:50 precisely, and the approach was heralded by loud trumpeting from the rear seat.

Dinner was served at the clubhouse and the return trip began at 3:40. At 5:30 the coach drew up in front of the Brunswick and while it remained there was an object of great interest. The party attracted much attention coming through Central Park and down the avenue. Until further notice the Tantivy will make daily trips, Sundays excepted, to the clubhouse, starting from the Hotel Brunswick at 11. The booking office is at the hotel. It will stop for passengers wherever hailed, except between the hotel and the Point View House."

Source: The Tantivy's Horn - It Wakes The Echoes From The Brunswick To Pelham, N.Y. Times, May 3, 1887, p. 9.

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