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.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The New York Athletic Club Opens Its New Travers Island Boathouse in 1888

Yesterday I published to the Historic Pelham Blog an item about the opening of the New York Athletic Club's new summer clubhouse on Travers Island in Pelham on June 10, 1888. See:

Tuesday, February 17, 2009: The New York Athletic Club Opens its New Clubhouse on Travers Island in Pelham in 1888.

Only a few weeks later, the NYAC opened a lovely new boathouse on Travers Island. A brief article about the event appeared in the August 12, 1888 issue of the New-York Tribune. Below is the text of that article.




The members of the New-York Athletic Club have just taken possession of their handsome new boat-house, at Travers Island. Having sold all the buildings they formerly occupied at One-hundred-and-fiftieth-st. to the Young Men's Christian Association, they purchased thirty acres at Travers Island and during the last few months have been beautifying these new grounds. The situation is an admirable one; is easy of access, and yet sufficiently isolated to insure privacy. The island is connected with Glen Island by ferry-boats; and yesterday to a Tribune reporter approaching the boat-house from that direction a gala appearance was presented. Hundreds of the club members were bathing, boating or sitting on the broad verandas which surround the building.

The boat-house is probably the largest in the country, and is certainly one of the most complete. On the first floor are the boats, which include everything in that line from a single shell to a seven oared barge. The members expect in a short time to have a full complement of sailing vessels; and one man intends to add a small schooner to the collection. On the second floor are bath-rooms and long rows of lockers, each provided with a combination lock. On this floor also is a large veranda, from which can be obtained a splendid view of all the neighboring islands. A little to the left of the boat-house is the cafe, which was formerly a cottage, and which in its present use is only a temporary arrangement. About four hundred feet northeast of this a large club building with a frontage of seventy-five feet will be erected in a short time. The dining-room will occupy the whole of the first floor; and, in the upper floors there will be about fifty rooms for those who desire to live on the island.

The building will cost about $40,000, including the furnishing expenses. There are a number of smaller buildings, and of all them and a small stable in the rear are painted a dark red; and, surrounded by beautiful groves, and lawns on which are a number of tennis courts, they present a beautiful appearance. About ten acres of the property of the club is marsh-land, which it is their intention to fill up and raise to the level of the surrounding grounds. Between the cafe and the site of the proposed new club-building is a fifth of a mile cinder track. The governing board of the club at present consists of twenty-one directors, who have the power to appoint all sub-committees."

Source: In Their Fine New Boat-House, New-York Tribune, Aug. 12, 1888, p. 16, col. 2.

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