Travers Island, New York

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Travers Island and New Rochelle Harbor Management Area

Travers Island is a former island located on Long Island Sound in city of New Rochelle in Westchester County, New York.[1][2][3] The Island, originally united by a causeway to the mainland, comprises a tract of thirty acres in the Lower Harbor of New Rochelle, situated between Neptune Island, Glen Island and Hunter Island in New York City's Pelham Bay Park. The narrow strip of water originally making it an island was eventually filled in, converting this tract into a peninsula.

Travers Island currently serves as the New York Athletic Club's summer home.


Unnamed on the maps of Long Island Sound, it was originally called 'Sheffield Island', and lies just north of Hunter Island. On early maps of this section is shown 'Hogg Island', being part of the original grant to Thomas Pell.[4] Having been sold by one of the descendants of John Pell, 2nd Lord of the Manor, this Island passed through several hands. On August 10, 1836, the island was sold by William E. Sheffield and his wife, Mary, and Rhoda Silliman, to Elias D. Hunter, son of John Hunter of Hunter's Island. Subsequently, John Hunter acquired Hogg Island from his son, Elias, for in the will of John Hunter dated May 13, 1852, it provided that ". . . I give and devise unto Mary Mills, now residing with me, the use and enjoyment of the Island formerly called Hogg Island, purchased by me from Capt. Sheffield, and the land purchased by me from Elbert Roosevelt, contiguous thereto, up to the Post Road, as long as she shall remain unmarried, and upon her death or marriage, I give and devise the same unto my grandson, John Hunter forever. ..."

The New York Athletic Club purchased the island and some acreage on the adjacent mainland from the estate of John Hunter, on January 13, 1887.[5] The name was changed to Travers Island, in honor of William Riggin Travers, who was president of the club for many years and helped establish facilitate the purchase of the island as the clubs summer residence. The Hunter mansion was used as the first club house, however it burned down shortly after the property was purchased. The present elaborate clubhouse was speedily built, and the formal opening took place in 1888. Since then, countless improvements have been made to the property such as the reduction of some of the island's hills and the leveling of an athletic field and track.[6] Centered around the Main House are an Olympic-sized salt water pool and accompanying cabanas. Travers Island extends the range of NYAC sports to include tennis, rowing, yachting, outdoor swimming and diving, a children's Day Camp, rugby, soccer, croquet and lacrosse.[7]


  1. ^ King's how to See New York: A Complete Trustworthy Guide Book Moses King Publishers, 1914, Page 133
  2. ^ Approves New Ferry Line: Westchester Engineer Favors New Rochelle Long Island Service, New York Times, June 12, 1930
  3. ^ CARNIVAL IS HELD AT TRAVERS ISLAND; 1,500 Persons Attend Event of New York Athletic Club at Clubhouse on Sound, The New York Times, June 25, 1933
  4. ^ The Island Home of Athletics, Munsey's Magazine, 1892
  5. ^ "Travers Island". New York Times. June 9, 1889. Retrieved 2010-12-31. The now Summer home of the New-York Athletic Club on Travers Island, near Pelham Manor, on the Sound, was opened yesterday for inspection by the members and their friends. The building, designed by Douglas Smythe, is a handsome structure of wood in the prevailing... 
  6. ^ Edwards, Duncan, Life At The Athletic Clubs, 18(1) Scribner's Magazine pp. 4-24 (Charles Scribner's Sons; July 1895), pg. 8-15
  7. ^ "Frolic On Travers Island; Amateur Athletes Enjoy Themselves. Victories Celebrated In A Hilarious Way On Saturday Night. A Great Day For Amateur Athletics". New York Times. September 16, 1889. Retrieved 2010-12-31. There was a glorious time on Travers Island Saturday night. To say that it was glorious is even putting it mildly, for it is seldom that fun and hilarity hold such absolute away as they did then over the proceedings at the Summer home of the New-York Athletic Club. 

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