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, June 22, 2016

1904 Newspaper Photograph of Pelham Manor Horse Fountain on Boston Post Road

For far longer than automobiles have ruled the roads of Pelham, horses once did.  More than one hundred and seventeen years ago, a notable member of the local community took pity on the poor beasts of burden that carried travelers and pulled horse-drawn vehicles up and down Boston Post Road.  She decided to help. She certainly could help. She was Hope Iselin, the wife of Charles Oliver Iselin. 

Charles Oliver Iselin was a wealthy American banker and one of the greatest American yachtsmen of his time.  He participated in and won six consecutive America’s Cup races: 1887, 1893, 1895, 1899, 1901 and 1903. He maintained a massive, lovely waterfront estate in New Rochelle where he docked such famous yachts as ‘’Defender,’’ ‘’Reliance,’’ and ‘’Columbia.’’ 

Hope Iselin donated a lovely horse drinking fountain to quench equine thirsts.  Constructed of stone, it stood for many years on Boston Post Road at the intersection with Esplanade. 

In its early years, the fountain had running water and was lighted with a lovely electric lamp.  It was a popular rest stop for horse riders and horse-drawn vehicles whose beasts of burden needed some refreshment.

I have written before about the Pelham Manor horse fountain located at the Esplanade.  See:  

Fri., Aug. 15, 2014:  The Old Horse Fountain on Boston Post Road at the Esplanade

Thu., Nov. 05, 2015:  The Earliest Days of the Automobile in Pelham.

Tue., Dec. 30, 2014:  Article from April 23, 1910 Issue of The Pellham Sun.

Today's posting to the Historic Pelham Blog publishes a 1904 newspaper photograph of the Pelham Manor Horse Fountain.  For comparison, I have included a number of other such photographs previously published here, as well as additional ones.  These photographs show the Manor at a transitional time when residents wanted to encourage the older days of horse transportation while recognizing that the modern era of automobiles was at its threshold.  

The photograph of the Pelham Manor horse fountain immediately below was published in the September 4, 1904 issue of the New York Tribune.  The photograph is interesting because it is a rather "wide angle" view of the area that shows not only the fountain that once stood where today's Boston Post Road 17-Mile Marker Memorial now stands, but also the columns that framed the Esplanade there at the time.  

Pelham Manor, a part of Westchester that will profit greatly by
the $8,000,000 improvements of the New-York, New-Haven
and Hartford Railroad."  Source:  Pelham Manor [Photograph]
N.Y. Tribune, Sep. 4, 1904, p. 12, cols. 2-4 (NOTE:  Paid subscription
required to access via this link).  NOTE:  Click on Image to Enlarge.

The undated post card image of the Pelham Manor horse fountain immediately below is thought to date to about 1920.  It shows the same view, skewed slightly toward the right so that the lovely horse fountain is on the left side of the image and one of the matching stone columns that framed the Esplanade is visible on the right.  

Undated Post Card View of the Pelham Manor Horse Fountain, Ca. 1920.
NOTE:  Click on Image to Enlarge.

There also is a later photograph of the Pelham Manor horse fountain that is quite fascinating and that I have published before.  It shows the horse fountain in its later years after many efforts to protect it, resurrect it, preserve it, and document it.  

Pelham Manor Horse Fountain at Boston Post Road and Esplanade
in an Undated Photograph.  Source: Courtesy of The Office of The
Historian of The Town of Pelham.  NOTE:  Click on Image to Enlarge.

Though efforts were made in 1922 to preserve the lovely Pelham Manor horse fountain, those efforts failed.  Pelham is left today with nothing but a few images of the famed horse fountain.  It was important then.  It is even important today as part of Pelham's fascinating history.

"Fountain and Esplanade.  Pelham Manor, N. Y."
Undated Postcard View of the Horse Fountain at
Esplanade and Boston Post Road, Circa 1910.
NOTE:  Click on Image to Enlarge.

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