One Century Ago: Fire Company Tournament Outcome, Excitement on Ice

Headlines from Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow, 100 years ago.


Welcome back to One Century Ago, a collaboration between Patch and the .

Each week we're bringing you the front page of a local newspaper that covered the news in Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow (North Tarrytown) one hundred years ago. This front page comes from the Tarrytown Press-Record. The Press-Record was published as a weekly from 1893 to 1946 and has been preserved by the Historical Society on microfilm.

February 2nd, 1912:

Hope Victorious, but Friction in Final Round of Tournament

In the fifth and final round of the mixed card and game tournament between Hose and Hook and Ladder Fire Companies, Hope dramatically expanded their three point lead by 25 points, winning the whole tournament by an impressive 28 points. They won overall in every game category, except dominoes, which was tied.

Hope was awarded with the prize, a silver cup, but the victory was dampened by the fact that the Hope Company checkers players had, strangely, refused to play. The Press-Record speculated that this was because throughout the whole tournament Conqueror had seemed superior in checkers. Nevertheless, it was a close and exciting tournament, enjoyed throughout by both teams, and it was unlikely that the checkers score would have dramatically changed the outcome.

Races on the Hudson

One hundred years ago the Press-Record reported on the “most unique and interesting spectacle that was probably ever witnessed by the people of Tarrytown”. The ice on the Hudson River remained thick enough for cars, horses and an ice boat to race between the Tarrytown Boat Club and Miss Helen Gould’s dock, watched by excited crowds and reporters from New York City.

The first race was between three automobiles, owned by Frederick Koenig, Robert E. Hopkins, and Paul M. Pierson. Frederick Koenig in his Mercedes won the race, going at a rate of 62 miles per hour. He tore right over the ice, and at the turns was almost completely enveloped in the snow and ice flying up around him. When the drivers emerged from their cars afterwards, they were almost frozen and had to run up and down for a few minutes to restore circulation.

Even more thrilling was the “free for all”, in which the cars, two horses attached to light cutters, and an ice boat raced against each other. The horses were allowed a time allowance, but the rest started on even terms. It was a close call but the ice-boat forged ahead at the last moment and won by a narrow margin.

After the racing was over the cars remained on the ice, astonishing the spectators by doing hair-raising turns and dramatic skids. It seems that each daring ice act encouraged yet another more spectacular, as a couple of days after the races, Robert E. Hopkins drove his car along the frozen Hudson all the way from Tarrytown to Newburgh, and back again. In total this was about 60 miles, and at times the car traversed thin ice which seemed about to crack, forcing Hopkins to remain at top speed to skim right over the treacherous areas.

New and Unusual Sermon a Hit at the First Baptist Church

On the Sunday before the Press-Record went to press, Pastor Brooks experimented with a unique form of “musical sermon” at the First Baptist Church, which pleased his congregation greatly.

The subject of the sermon was “The Doubter”, and the Pastor began by explaining the progressiveness of the honest, scientific doubter. But, he declared, there were doubters in the ranks of the church who were neither honest nor scientific, and the best cure for them would be energetic work in the Kingdom’s service. At this moment in the sermon the organ peeled out, and to emphasize his point the Pastor sang “Let the Lower Lights be Burning”, and then resumed his thought. The rest of the sermon was also punctuated by impromptu solo hymns by the Pastor, and the congregation found the new style “very acceptable” and effective.

Bruce Buckley February 06, 2012 at 03:35 PM
Wow, what a great story! And what a contrast with this winter, when even the Tarrytown Lakes have had little ice cover.
Krista Madsen February 06, 2012 at 03:43 PM
It really is astounding! Not even one day here for us to skate on a lake, and they are driving up and down the Hudson. Bonkers.


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