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, March 23, 2006

Baseball Fields Opened on the Grounds of the Westchester Country Club in Pelham on April 4, 1884

For several years I have tried to piece together the history of baseball in Pelham during the mid to late 19th century. For those who may be interested, see:

Tue., Jan. 31, 2006: Another Account of Baseball Played in Pelham in the 1880s Is Uncovered

Thu., Oct. 6, 2005: Does This Photograph Show Members of the "Pelham Manor Junior Base Ball Team"?

Thu. Sep. 15, 2005: Newspaper Item Published in 1942 Sheds Light on Baseball in 19th Century Pelham

Thu. Feb. 10, 2005: New Discoveries Regarding Baseball in 19th Century Pelham

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

Today's posting to the Historic Pelham Blog provides an excerpt of an article entitled "Evolution of the Country Club" that appeared in the December, 1894 issue of Harper's New Monthly Magazine. In it, the author details a little of the history of the Westchester Country Club that opened in Pelham in April, 1894. The following excerpt makes clear that from the very inception of the Club, its grounds included baseball fields.

"The Country Club of Westchester developed from a suggestion to organize a tennis club into a determination to found a club where all country sports could be enjoyed. The newly organized club leased the house and racing-grounds of Dr. George L. Morris, at Pelham, and after some alterations, including a large addition, took possession April 4, 1884, fully equipped with tennis-courts, a race-track, polo field, basball grounds, traps for pigeon-shooting, a pack of hounds, boats, and bath-houses.

The sale of Dr. Morris's property made it necessary to find other quarters, and in December, 1887, the Country Club Land Association organized and bought Van Antwerp Farm, of about eighty acres, located on East Chester Bay, between Pelham Bridge and Fort Schuyler, and in the spring of '88 began to lay out the grounds and build the present club-house and stables, into which they moved the following year."

Source: Whitney, Caspar W., Evolution of the Country Club, Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Vol. 90, Issue 537, p. 30 (Dec. 1894).

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