Saturday, August 31, 2013

Cortland Bicycle Parade

1883 Bicycle parade in New York City.

Stearns tandem bicycle
Cortland Evening Standard, Saturday, July 18, 1896.


Was a Success. Many Riders in Line. Fine Roads.

   Cortland's second bicycle parade occurred last night. While not so many wheels were out as before the parade was just as enjoyable.

   Shortly before 7 o'clock every street leading to Church-st. was lined with wheels, all headed toward a common center. The parade moved at 7 o'clock over the course previously published in The STANDAND. The number of wheels was between 330 and 350. They were counted by several different persons at various places. At Homer a large crowd was out to see the riders as they rode to the Windsor hotel and there countermarched on Main-st., making a very pretty sight.

   The parade was headed by Messrs. L. E. Edgcomb and Frank Hilligus on old style high wheels. They were followed by what was the prettiest sight ever seen in Cortland in the bicycle line. It consisted of two Stearns tandems side by side over which was carried a huge white canvas roof with a border of yellow and on each corner was a small Stearns bannerette. The riders, Miss Ada Seaman, Mr. Harry Henry and Miss Shepard and Mr. Ralph Wright were dressed in white. Credit is given Mr. G. F. Beaudry for this feature of the parade.

   After the countermarch on Tompkins-st. the riders dismounted in front of the C. A. A. clubhouse. Here was an immense crowd. Standing room was almost at a premium. The grounds were very beautifully decorated with Chinese lanterns. The Cortland City band rendered a choice musical programe from a stand near the house. A canvas was stretched on the north side of the grounds and here Mr. A .B. Rumsey of Homer gave a fine stereopticon entertainment. Over 200 views were shown. They consisted of views of natural scenery in America and Europe, statuary, comic pictures, advertisements of local business men and several views advertising  “A Tramp's Daughter" which will be presented at the Opera House July 22, under the direction of Mr. Edward B. Kelly. While all this was going on the members of the C. A. A. were serving ice cream to a large number on small tables on the lawn and from which a nice sum was realized.

Cortland Evening Standard, Tuesday, November 17, 1896.


The Cortland Athletic Association Located in Taylor Hall.

   This afternoon final arrangements were made by which the Cortland Athletic association, which has been located in the Randall house on Tompkins-st., took possession of Taylor hall, which will be the headquarters of the club for the next year. The entire third and fourth floors of the building have been leased. The anterooms will be carpeted and furnished for sitting and reading rooms for the use of the members. The main hall will be handsomely decorated and put in condition for use for balls, parties and receptions, and when not so used will be fitted up for a gymnasium.

   The latest and most improved apparatus will be put in, making the gymnasium one of the best and most complete in Central New York. The association intends giving a series of entertainments this winter. The rooms are admirably arranged for the use of the association, and the work of moving and getting settled will begin at once.

   A meeting of the association has been called for to-morrow evening at 8 o'clock in the new quarters and every member is asked to be present as business of great importance is to be considered.


C. A. A. officers and board members in 1899.
Taylor block building at 50-54 Main Street. Fire burned this building in 1960.

Taylor block building at 44-46 Main Street stands adjacent and north of the old C. A. A. clubhouse building. Mr. Taylor was a bachelor and lived on the second floor. Butler photo.
Editor’s note:

   The historic Roswell Randall Mansion was situated on a wedge-shaped city plot with access to Tompkins, Main and Clayton. The current address is 7 Clayton Avenue. The Cortland Athletic Association transferred its clubhouse from the Randall Mansion to Taylor Hall on October 30, 1896, and a one year lease for Taylor Hall was signed by November 17, 1896. Taylor Hall and the Taylor block were located at 50-54 and 44-46 Main Street between West Court Street and Orchard Street. Benjamin Taylor was the superintendent of the Cortland Water Works Co.
   A high wheel bicycle was also known as a penny farthing. Open link: High Wheel Race  and click on the YouTube video of the Frederick, Maryland high wheel race held on August 17, 2013.
   Grip's Historical Souvenir of Cortland: 

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