When The Coachman Was A Millionare

In the last quarter of the nineteenth century you could ride in a handsome coach-and-four from a fashionable hotel on Fifth Avenue to Tuxedo Park or even to Philadelphia. The fare was just three dollars, and your driver might be a Roosevelt or a Vanderbilt.

The annual report for the 1906 season of the New York-to-Ardsley run of the public coach Pioneer, operated by the Coaching Club of New York, was both dismal and disconcerting. It showed a net deficit of $6,845.98, and while this was a slight improvement over the previous year (when the deficit had soared to $7,309.01), the seemingly inexplicable downward trend of passenger traffic had continued unabated. The amount derived from the sale of seats had declined to an all-time low of $1,863. Read more »