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, October 19, 2009

Polo at the Country Club in Pelham in 1887

Regular readers of the Historic Pelham Blog know that during the 1880s, New York City and Westchester County residents developed the "Country Club" in Pelham near the hamlet known as "Bartow-on-the-Sound".  There, the affluent enjoyed steeplechase races, tennis, baseball, riding to the hounds, and other such recreational activities.

Today's Historic Pelham Blog posting transcribes the text of an article published in 1887 describing a polo match played at the Country Club.  The article is followed by a citation to its source.



A match game of polo for a silver cup was played yesterday afternoon on the grounds of the Westchester Country Club, near Bartow, on the Sound, by the junior teams of the Country Club and the Essex County Club, of Orange, N.J.  Mr. E. C. Potter captained the Country Club team, which included Messrs Major Cooley, Percy Chubb, and Howard Potter.  R. F. Potter was substitute.  All these gentlemen wore bright red shirts, white duck trousers, and shiny riding boots adorned with massive spurs.  The men from Orange wore orange-colored shirts, but their trousers and boots were like those worn by their opponents.  The Essex County team consisted of Capt. Powers Farr, W. W. Tucker, C. Pfizer, Jr., and Douglas Robinson, Jr., with Robert Sedgwick, substitute.  Mr. H. L. Herbert was referee.

The game was ended in an hour's time, and was played in two innings of 20 minutes each with an intermission for rest between them.  The red shirted champions of the Country Cub won the first goal in 13 minutes mainly through the intrepid playing of Percy Chubb, who managed his black pony very cleverly.  Major Cooley and Edward C. Potter, who guarded the goals for the Country Club, also did some very clever work in the way of back hits and short stops.

The the Orange team went to work and won the second goal in 20 minutes by the headlong velocity of Douglas Robinson, one of the half backs. 

The third goal was hotly contested, both teams doing some splendid riding and sharp hitting.  For upward of five minutes it was anybody's game, and the dripping ponies looked as if they wished it would very soon be somebody's.  Then Capt. Powers Farr captured the ball, about midway between the goals, and with a sharp thwack sent it bounding toward Orange and victory, and finally between the stakes, thus securing the day for Orange by a score of 2 to 1.

After the match all hands adjourned to the comfortable clubhouse of the Country Club and had dinner.  Among those who witnessed the sport were Mr. and Mrs. James M. Waterbury, Mrs. Howard N. Potter, Mrs. John Zerega and Miss Zerega, Mr. and Mrs. C. Oliver Iselin, Mrs. and the Misses Havemeyer, Miss Belloni, the Misses Thorn, Mrs. Lorillard, Mr. and Mrs. E. T. Dyer, Miss Helen Iselin, Mr. and Mrs. Gordon McDonald, Mr. Jackson, and many others."

Source:  Won by the Visitors, N.Y. Times, Jul. 10, 1887, at p. 3.

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