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, August 03, 2006

Images of Colonel Delancey Kane and His "Pelham Coach" Published in 1878

There was a time in the 19th century when New Yorkers thought of Pelham as “The Country” – a romanticized area in the region north of Manhattan dotted with tiny, quaint villages. “Pelham,” then, was less like today’s Pelham and more like the Manor of Pelham: a massive acreage that Thomas Pell carved out of 17th century wilderness lands purchased from Siwanoys on June 27, 1654. The City of New York had not yet annexed much of the land that later became Pelham Bay Park and large portions of the Bronx.

Pelham and its shores on the Long Island Sound became viewed as the playground of the wealthy. In 1876 a horse-drawn road coach known as “The Pelham Coach” began running between New York City’s Hotel Brunswick and the “Pelham Manor” of yore. This road coach was not a simple hired coach that ferried passengers from New York City in the days before Henry Ford mass produced his Model T. Rather, this road coach was driven by Colonel Delancey Kane, one of the so-called “millionaire coachmen,” who engaged in a sport known as “public coaching” or “road coaching” as it sometimes was called.

For years I have studied Colonel Delancey Kane and his "Pelham Coach" that he named the "Tally-Ho". Those interested in the topic should see a couple of early articles that I wrote on the topic. See:

Bell, Blake A., Col. Delancey Kane and "The Pelham Coach", Available Via HistoricPelham.com (Sept. 2003).

Bell, Blake A., Col. Delancey Kane and "The Pelham Coach", The Pelham Weekly, Vol. XII, No. 38, Sept. 26, 2003, p. 1, col. 1.

Since the publications of those articles I have continued rather intensive research. I have located the "Pelham Coach" (yes, it still exists). I have uncovered dozens of images of the coach and Col. Kane. I have pieced together much more of its history and have located many choice anecdotes about its travels.

Today's Historic Pelham Blog Posting provides two images that I recently found in a magazine published in 1878. The images, and a brief discussion of each, appear immediately below.

As the caption indicates, the dashing young gentleman with his mutton chop sideburns in the image immediately above is Col. Delancey Kane. This image is from an engraving that appeared in a magazine published in 1878. Here is a full citation to the publication: The Four-In-Hand, and Glances at the Literature of Coaching in Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. XXI, June 1878, p. 683, 699 (Philadelphia, PA: J. B. Lippincott and Co. 1878).

The image immediately above, from page 691 of the same publication, shows the "Pelham Coach" on the road between New York City and Pelham. Note the small dog running alongside the coach. The image is strikingly similar to another one (immediately below) that appeared two years earlier on the cover of sheet music reflecting a song written about coaching to Pelham.

The image immediately above is from an engraving that appeared on the cover of sheet music published in 1876 for the song "Hip! Hip!! Hurrah!!! Or, On The Road To Pelham". Wm. A. Pond & Co. published the sheet music. Though headed from right to left, the image is composed essentially the same as the one immediately above it and even includes a small dog running alongside the coach.

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