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.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Greyhound and the Tantivy-- The Four-in-Hand Coaches that Succeeded Col. Delancey Kane's "Tally-Ho" to Pelham

I have published many items on the Historic Pelham Blog regarding the spectacle of "coaching to Pelham" in four-in-hand carriages during the 1870s and 1880s. Col. Delancey Kane began the practice during the 1870s. Many followed in his footsteps. To read a little about the curious fad, you may wish to review the following items which are merely a few of the many, many items on the topic published to this Blog and to the HistoricPelham.com Web site.

Friday, February 11, 2005: Col. Delancey Kane's "Pelham Coach", Also Known as The Tally-Ho, Is Located.

Bell, Blake A., Col. Delancey Kane and "The Pelham Coach" (Sep. 2003).

Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2008: Brief "History of Coaching" Published in 1891 Shows Ties of Sport to Pelham, New York

Wednesday, July 27, 2005: 1882 Engraving Shows Opening of Coaching Season From Hotel Brunswick to Pelham Bridge.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005: Taunting the Tantivy Coach on its Way to Pelham: 1886.

Thursday, August 3, 2006: Images of Colonel Delancey Kane and His "Pelham Coach" Published in 1878.

Today's Historic Pelham Blog posting transcribes the text of an article that appeared in the April 18, 1886 issue of the New-York Tribune. That article described two of the coaching successors to Col. Delancey Kane's "Tally-Ho": The Greyhound and the Tantivy.








Those who still love the music of the three-foot-horn, who think that a journey behind four spirited horses through forest and field, beneath the clear sky of May or in the gorgeous sunshine of October, is more healthful and far better sport than to watch the dissolving views of nature obtained through a cloud of dust and cinders from the window of a railroad car, have laid their heads together and have formed their plans for the coming season. On the 22d day of next month the annual parade of the Coaching Club will take place in Central Park. It will be a brilliant occasion, for there are nowhere in the world handsomer or better appointed drags, drawn by finer coaching horses, than in New-York. This was quite evident at the Horse Show last November, when Pierre Lorillard's four beautiful bays received the first prize. It is not yet known how many drags will be in line, but it is certain that there will be enough to make a fine showing. The parade will pass through the drives of the Park, and on this great day of the season will not astonish the goats and other inhabitants of Westchester County by unveiling its beauty before their unwonted eyes. Westchester, however, is not long to be left to its rustic tranquility. The old Tally-Ho which Colonel Kane used to drive daily between the Brunswick Hotel and Pelham during a whole season proved so successful that it has not been without successors. These coaches, with their daily trips into the country bringing their passengers back in the evening invigorated by a day in the open air, were always filled, and it was always with the greatest difficulty that places could be obtained by application many days in advance. Parties were made up every day for the round trip, and loud were the praises betowed upon the coaching dinner which was spread before the hungry passengers at Pelham. The Tantivy and the Greyhound succeeded the Tally-Ho. The Greyhound was run on the Pelham route under the joint management of J. R. Roosevelt and C. O. Iselin. The Tatnivy [sic] made daily trips to Tarrytown once season and to Yonkers the next. The Tantivy is to be put on the road again this season. The terminus of the route will be the shady home of the Country Club, whose windows look out upon the Sound; and where if the drive has been hot and dusty, the travelers will find a cool and refreshing noon-day halting place. The Country Club is in the village of Bartow, whence the distance to the Brunswick is eighteen miles. Twenty-five horses have been selected for hire along the route, and they are to be of such metal that passengers on the Tantivy will never grumble at their pace. The roads are excellent for coaching purposes and the hills are neither long nor steep. Four changes will be made along the route -- at One-hundred-and-tenth-st., at Unionport, at Westchester and at Pelham.

The Tantivy will be driven by J. R. Roosevelt and Frederick Bronson on alternate days. Both these gentlemen are experienced whips, and their handling of the ribbons may be relied on as an exponent of all that is graceful and scientific in the art of driving. When the Tantivy ran to Tarrytown and to Yonkers Mr. Bronson was one of the drivers. Mr. Roosevelt's experience is international. The team which is a well-known nobleman used to drive between Brighton and London was never more beautifully handled than that which Mr. Roosevelt conducted from Brighton to Eastbourne, and it is said that he still possesses a large collection of shillings given by thankful and admiring passengers to the driver at the end of each day's trip. The Tantivy will make its first trip on April 26.

It has been a pleasant custom in the Coaching Club for the club in a body to visit one of its members every spring and another in the autumn. Many if not all the members have large country places not far from the city. The club meets at some designated point and thence drives to the place of the member to whose lot has fallen the agreeable duty of acting as host. After a day or so of merry-making the club drives back again. There is never a lack of hospitable offers when the time comes round for one of these pleasant excursions. The club has in this way already been entertained by Pierre Lorillard at Rancocas, by Colonel Jay at Bedford, N. Y.; by W. K. Vanderbilt at Oakdale, L. K.; by Mr. Roosevelt to Hyde Park, by Theodore Havemeyer at Mahwah, N. J., and by Mr. Bronson at Greenfield Hill, Conn. This year Neilson Brown invited the club to be his guests at his breeding farm at Torresdale, Penn. Hence it was proposed to pay a visit to A. J. Cassatt's stud farm, near Philadelphia. This plan, however, has been changed, and it has been finally decided that Mr. Bronson shall again have the honor of entertaining the club in Connecticut. Mr. Bronson's farm, near Greenfield Hill, is about sixty miles from the city, a distance which will easily be covered in a day. The start will be made on May 15 at 9 a.m., from the Brunswick. The road passes through Unionport, Pelham, Portchester, Greenwich, Stamford and Norwalk, at each of which towns horses will be changed. A day will be passed with Mr. Brown in looking over the fine Jersey cattle which he breeds on his farm, and on May 18 the club will return to the city. In the autumn the club will visit Prescott Lawrence at Groton, Mass. The club will meet at Newport in September. Hence the road lies through Fall River and New-Bedford to Boston and on to Groton. The distance is about 100 miles, and six hours are considered a sufficient allowance for the journey.

With such a pleasant outlook before them the members of the Coaching Club are in high spirits and anxious for the return of the bright warm days which will permit them again to take their places on the box, crack the whip and feel the ready response from their gallant teams."

Source: The Season for Sports, New-York Tribune, Apr. 18, 1886, p. 15, col. 1.

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