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, September 15, 2005

Newspaper Item Published in 1942 Sheds Light on Baseball in 19th Century Pelham

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Those who know me know that I have an abiding love for the sport of baseball and its history. Those who have followed my research regarding the history of Pelham also know that I have written about baseball in 19th century Pelham. For two such examples, see:

February 10, 2005 Historic Pelham Blog Posting: New Discoveries Regarding Baseball in 19th Century Pelham

Baseball in Late 19th Century Pelham, The Pelham Weekly, Vol. XIII, No. 17, Apr. 23, 2004, p. 8, col. 2.

I recently ran across an article by J. Gardner Minard published in The Pelham Sun in 1942. The article, entitled "Do You Remember?" is interesting for the many tidbits of life in Pelham in the late 19th century described in the many references in the article. One particular item, however, caught my attention. It referenced with some specificity the location of the old baseball field on which Pelham's local baseball team played in 1897. The article, set forth below in its entirety, contains the following reference:

"DO YOU REMEMBER? . . . Pelham's first uniformed baseball team in 1897 that played a double header in the field opposite where St. Catherine's church now stands and how Mr. and Mrs. John H. Young entertained the visitors with a dinner?"

Below is a detail from Plate 20 of John Fairchild's Atlas of Mount Vernon and Pelham published in 1899. The detail shows a three-lot field across from where today's St. Catharine's Church now stands. (See the red arrow pointing at the area.) Even more interesting, careful viewers will notice that the home adjacent to the fields to the north (i.e., the right of the image) is marked as owned by John H. Young who, according to the reference quoted above, "entertained the visitors with a dinner".

The entire text of Mr. Minard's article containing the reference quoted above appears immediately below.


Pelham Veteran Newspaper Man

When Wolf's lane ran over instead of under the New Haven tracks?

When the New Haven depot was called 'Pelhamville' and located where the post office now stands?

When the Pelhamville post office was located in the ticket office at the station?

Charlie Merritt's old red stage that rented with driver and team for $5 a day or night?

When Chester Park was the William T. Standen farm?

When the district from the bend of Fifth avenue north to Mayflower avenue and from Fifth avenue to the New Rochelle boundary line was the Andrew Heisser farm?

When you could go into what is now Pelhamwood any frosty October morning and gather a bushel of chestnuts?

When the students of Mrs. Hazen's Seminary of Pelham Manor skated at Iden's Pong; that was on the east side of Wolf's lane 100 yards south of Colonial avenue?

When they shot live pigeons weekly at the White Hotel grounds, north of Third street and west of Wolf's lane?

When the gale blew the Pelhamville station platform across the tracks and wrecked the express?

The black bull in Winyah Park (Pelhamwood) that killed Patrick Walsh?

When Jim Reilly's son, Jimmy ate green apples, his death was ascribed to 'cholera moebus'?

When the block for 500 feet north of Third street from Fifth to Fourth avenues was an apple orchard?

Dr. Charles A. Barker's big bob sled?

When there was not even a blade of grass growing along the New Haven Railroad embankment from Fifth avenue to the Mount Vernon line?

Pelham's first uniformed baseball team in 1897 that played a double header in the field opposite where St. Catherine's church now stands and how Mr. and Mrs. John H. Young entertained the visitors with a dinner?

When trolley tracks were laid along the Post road from Split Rock road to the New York City boundary line; also along Split Rock road from Boston Post road to the New York City line, and no car ever ran over them?

When the fire department was called out to quell the fight between construction gangs of the Union Railway and Connecticut Traction companies over the laying of tracks along Fourth street?

When North Pelham Horse Car Railway Company was formed and applied for the franchise along Fifth avenue and it was rejected?

When Mike Lynch and Eddie Barry were the 'Mutt and Jeff' of the Democratic Party in North Pelham?

When the state enacted a law taking away from local powers the right to appoint local excise commissioners and made them state appointments and Pelham had two boards and the saloonkeepers would pay neither?

When officials and political leaders wore high silk hats at elections?

When the big map lithographing plants showed Wolf's lane all the way to the Wolf homestead at Third street, North Pelham?"

Minard, Gardner, Do You Remember?, The Pelham Sun, Vol. 32, No. 3, Apr. 24, 1942, p. 3, col. 6.

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