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, May 31, 2007

Fox Hunting Arrives at The Country Club in Pelham in 1885

Pelham Manor once was the country playground of members of New York Society. During the 1880s, New York Society attended steeplechase races at The Country Club that then was located in the area of today's Pelham Bay Golf Course. In 1885, members of the Club assembled a pack of hounds and brought fox hunting to Pelham Manor. Below is a brief account of the event excerpted from an article published in 1897.

"The first cross-country riding done in Westchester was after the Queens County hounds, brought over from Long Island by Mr. Griswold, and quartered at Castle Inn, New Rochelle. For a season or so, supported by Elliott Zborowski and some other leadning spirits of that day, the pack was hunted by Mr. Griswold, and then went back to Long Island, where it was consolidated with the Rockaway hounds, as already related.

From that time, about 1881, there was no hunting in Westchester until, in 1885, a pack of harriers was imported by Mr. James M. Waterbury, and by him given to the Country Club, then located at Pelham. To this pack the Country Club loaned its name and provided stabling and kennels, but the hounds were supposed to be maintained by an uncertain subscription list, and were hunted by different members of the club, who, in an informal way, were annually chosen at the hunt dinner.

Such a haphazard method, of course, proved very unsatisfactory, so that when the Country Club moved from Pelham to near Westchester town, the humting members organized an independent club - although the old harrier livery, green coats faced with canary, was retained -- called it the Westchester Hunt, and moved the kennels to the neighborhood of White Plains."

Source: Whitney, Caspar, Cross-Country Riding, Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Vol. XCIV, No. DLXIV, pp. 821, 832 (May 1897).

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