Trotters at Weequahic Park


I already own a few black & white post cards depicting trotters racing on the half mile track in Weequahic Park. The track was actually older than the park itself having existed when the Waverly Fairgrounds , site of an annual agricultural fair, from 1859-1899, was active. The newly formed Essex County Park Commission(1895) began acquiring land for Weequahic Park in 1896 culminating with the purchase of the fairgrounds in 1899.The pre-eminent landscape design firm The Olmsted Brothers was hired in 1899 by the Park Commission to design and develop the park. Of the existing structures that remained from the Waverly Fairgrounds the Olmsted Brothers chose to retain the track, the grandstand and a small cottage, this primarily because of the Essex County Park Commissioners who had exerted considerable pressure for them to do so. The track was  popular for many years.Bicycle races, car races and trotters all used the track at various times in its existence. The track was closed in 1960. The grandstand remained another thirty three years,  finally being demolished in 1993.

This post card depicts a race circa 1907. I bought it because the colors of the card are so beautiful. Made in Germany, the card , if viewed in person, shows why post cards printed in Germany were so highly esteemed. It has the quality of a hand colored Currier and Ives print. I only wish my photo had been able to capture that.

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