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, April 14, 2010

Col. Delancey Kane Changes the Timing and Route of The Pelham Coach in 1876

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Over the last few years I have written a great deal about Col. Delancey Kane's "Pelham Coach," also known as the Tally-Ho.  For just a few of the many, many examples of such writings, see, e.g.: 

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 posting to the Historic Pelham Blog transcribes the text of a lengthy, but interesting article about the coach and a change in its route that occurred in 1876.  The text of the article is followed by a citation to its source.

Extending a Pleasant Drive to Historical Grounds.

Col. Delancey Kane mounted the box of his canary-colored coach at 7:30 yesterday morning, after every seat was filled with passengers, on the lawn in front of the Neptune House, New Rochelle, and started on the new route for his four-in-hand to the Hotel Brunswick.  The time table now reads:  'On and after July 5 the New Rochelle and Pelham coach will make a single trip daily (Sundays excepted), between New York and New Rochelle:  leaving the Neptune House, New Rochelle, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 7:30 A.M., will arrive at the Hotel Brunswick every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 4:45 P.M., will arrive at the Neptune House, New Rochelle, at 6:45 P.M.'

Three changes of horses are made, in Mott Haven, Union Port, and Pelham Bridge.  The fare each way is $2, with a proportionately less amount to intermediate stations.  A pleasant feature will be in leaving New York on Saturday afternoon, remaining over Sunday in New Rochelle, and returning on Monday morning in time for business. 

The extended route abounds in historical and local interest.  The Neptune House is on a wooded island facing New Rochelle Bay.  In the distance the white caps of Long Island Sound are seen as they dash on the shores of several islands that obstruct the passage way to the bay.  The house was built by Philip Rhinelander Underhill, a descendant of the Rhinelander who fled to this country with the Huguenots from La Rochelle, France, and landed on Davenport's neck in 1689.  Thje neck is across the bay to the left of the hotel.  Facing the hotel is Locust Island, a secluded spot, where Edgar A. Poe spent some time when he lived in Fordham.  Further out in the sound is David's Island, a garrison post during the civil war, and nearby is Huckleberry Island, which tradition gives as a rendevous for Capt. Kidd.  The surface of the island has been dug over several times by the superstitious colored people of New Rochelle in search of the pirate's treasure.  It was last inhabited by a man who speculated in hogs for the garrison on David's Island.  At the close of the war he had a large drove of hogs, but no food for them.  They grew thin, and ran almost wild over the island.  One morning the hogs attacked the man, drove him into the house, battered down the door, and chased him to the roof.  The hogs surrounded the building and kept him there for three days.  Their wildness and squealing attracted persons from the main shore, and the speculator was rescued. 

A hedged roadway leads from the rear of the Neptune House to a stone bridge connecting with the mainland.  A short distance from the shore Col. Kane's route takes the road along the shore to Pelham Bridge.  On either side the roadway is lined with costly stone mansions, surrounded by large fields and beautiful lawns.  The word Pelham is of uncertain origin.  New Rochelle was formerly a part of Pelham Manor.

The tract of land on the sound shore was originally included in the grant by the Indians in 1640 to the Dutch West India Company.  Sire Richard Nicolls, Governor of the province, granted it to Thomas Pell, gentleman, Oct. 6, 1666, and he, in 1669, granted it to John Pell, commonly called Lord Pell, the first Judge that sat in Westchester county.  The tract extended for six miles along the coast, and about eight miles into the interior.  The settlement of the Huguenots founded New Rochelle.  The remainder of the tract was sometimes called Pell Hamlet, but local historians say that Pelham is derived from Pel (remote) and Ham (mansion).  It is one of the most beautiful suburbs of New York.  The roadway, after crossing the stone bridge, ascends a rocky ridge, and from there is a view across the Sound to Long Island.  Descending from the hill, Sheffield Island (sometimes called Emmet's Island) is seen.  It is connected by a rustic bridge with the main land.  A small stone mansion, built in a grove of tall elm trees, is occupied by Mr. Wm. Hoyt, a New York merchant, whose wife is a daughter of Chief Justice Chase, and was formerly tenanted by Wm. H. Leroy (brother-in-law of Daniel Webster), who married the daughter of Thomas Addis Emmet.  On the west side of the road is a large mansion, the residence of the family of Judge Robert Emmet, and the scene of a daring raid by the masked burglars two years ago.

A turn in the road brings the coach riders in sight of Col. Kane's first resting place, 'The Priory.'  It is an immense stone mansion; two large square turrets rise from either end, the roofs are quaint, and the outbuildings are old style.  This was the residence of the Rev. Robt. Bolton, an Episcopal minister.  It is on land that was granted to the Church of England.  The walls of the mansion are hung with family pictures by Etty, of the Royal Academy.  An original portrait of Bunyan is among them.  The library contains the original italian edition of Piranesi, collected by Napoleon I., and bearing his initial, surmounted by the imperial crown.  There is also a copy of Macklin's Bible, printed in six royal quarto volumes, a copy of Elliot's Indian Testament, said to be the first work 'written and published in the present United States.'  There is a valuable cabinet of coins and autographs, the oldest of which is that of Henry VII, and Elizabeth, Queen Mary, and Oliver and Richard Cromwell.

'The Priory' is used as a young ladies' seminary, conducted by Miss N. Bolton.  A wide terrace surrounds the house, and the gardens are laid out in elaborate designs.  The walks lead to several natural curiosities, among them a 'rocking stone, of full twenty tons in weight, so nicely poised that 'a stripling's arm can sway a mass no host could move.'

Col. Kane's route then passes through a stretch of forest trees, and Hunter's Island seen in the distance, and the residence of Dr. R. L. Morris, grandson of Robert Morris, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.  The last mansion on the Pelham road before reaching Bartow's, is occupied by Mrs. Bartow in the midst of over 200 acres of fields and meadow lands.

At Bartow the road leads to Pelham Bridge, and a Arcularius Hotel the coach route extends over the same boulevard that Col. Kane has driven for the past few months."

Source:  Col. Kane's Coach Route, The Sun [New York], Vol. XLIII, No. 297, Jul. 6, 1876, p. 1, col. 2.

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