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, October 28, 2009

Article About the June 10, 1888 Opening of Travers Island Facility of the New York Athletic Club

The New York Athletic Club opened its Travers Island facility in Pelham Manor on June 10, 1888.  A brief article about the opening appeared in the magazine "Outing".  The article is transcribed below, followed by a citation to its source.


THE New York Athletic Club took possession of its new summer home on Travers Island, Sunday, June 10.  Travers Island, named after W. R. Travers, the man who did more than any other member of the club to make it what it is, is beautifully situated in Long Island Sound, and is within easy distance of the city.  When all improvements have been completed it is doubtful if there is another spot of the kind in the world to equal it.  Last January the club decided that a country home would be a pleasant adjunct, and purchased the island.  It was then known as Hog Island.  This delightful retreat for weary athletes is situated between Glen Island and the mainland.  It has been known as Emmett Island, Sedgwick Island, Sedgmere and Hog Island, and was last occupied by Arthur Hunter.  In March last Thomas Crimmins, who is also a member of the club, undertook the contract for converting the comparative barren strip of land into a pleasant place.  Although much has yet to be accomplished, all the members of the club are loud in their praises of the spot.  The island consists of about seventeen acres of land, in addition to which the club has purchased about eight acres on the mainland.  The latter property is designed to be sold to members for the erection of villa residences for the summer.

On the island are two old-fashioned but comfortable frame houses, looking very cheerful and bright in their new coats of red and olive-green paint.  The larger of the two is, for the time being, the club-house proper, abounding with quaint closets and nooks, and a fine old chimney-piece in the entrance hall.  On the ground floor are dining-rooms, library and offices, while the upper floors are devoted to bedrooms.  To the latter purpose the whole of the second house is given up.  Alongside this second house is the site for the new and handsome club-house, which the club has decided to erect.  Workmen are already engaged on this, but it is not expected that it will be finished for occupancy before next spring.  What was formerly an apple orchard and a ridge of rocks directly in front of the present club-house, has been leveled, and made into a beautiful lawn, while the site of Mr. Hunter's kennels has been converted into an excellent tennis lawn.  On that side of the island which faces Glen Island, piers have already been built to support a commodious boat-house.  The committee in charge of the improvements at Travers Island consists of Eugene H. Pomeroy, Jennings S. Cox, Walter G. Schuyler, Otto Ruhl, Arthur Sullivan and R. W. Rathbone."

Source:  Athletes' Summer Home, Outing, Vol. XII, p. 463 (Aug. 1888) (published in Outing An Illustrated Monthly Magazine of Recreation, Vol. XII, Apr. - Sep. 1888 (NY, NY:  The Outing Company, Limited 1888)).

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