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The sleighing was good on Broadway Previous | Next

January 23, 1887. "It seems to me that we had a great deal more snow then [in the 1840s], than we have now: there used to be good sleighing in Broadway for weeks at a time, and all the stage lines ran huge open sleighs in place of the usual stages.

Boy pulls girl on sled through Central Park
1898: Sledding in Central Park, NYC
(Photo by Byron, Museum of the City of New York)

"In the evenings large parties would get on the sleighs and ride down to the South Ferry and back and oh! what fun: such shouting and snowballing and such good times generally.

"The sleighs all had at least four horses and sometimes six, eight, or ten. I have known sixteen and twenty on some of the larger ones. People used to crowd in and hang on the outside, while there always seemed to be room for one more. Someone would shout, "Come right up here by the stove." Of course there was no stove but they would crowd up all the same. On the boxes were sometimes men dressed in fancy costumes of like old women. I remember once seeing some men with huge tin trumpets eight or ten feet long. Every small boy who could not ride, seemed to feel like taking it out on those who could by pelting them with snowballs, but no one seemed to mind it much."

-Gene Schermerhorn, b. 1842

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Taken from City Play, copyright ©1990. Used with permission by

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