Boxing and Wrestling

In the late 19th century  bare-knuckle fighting was a favorite sport of the working classes, in particular of the large immigrant Irish population. From Wikipedia:

Bare-knuckle boxing (also known as bare-knuckle,prizefighting, or fisticuffs) is the original form of boxing, closely related to ancient combat sports.

Read more.


Note that handball was played all year round. In this case, in December. It’s unclear if the game was played indoors or, what is more likely, outdoors.


Taken from the city newspapers from 1879-1885, reports on sporting events provide some insight into competitive sports.


[[Handball]] [[Iceskating]] [[Boxing and Wrestling]] [[Archery and Tennis]] [[Hares and Hounds]] [[Rowing]]

The Bowery

Bowery,_New_York_City,_ca._1898The Bowery is a street that runs in a northeasterly direction through the lower east side. It starts at the Brooklyn Bridge, where it is called Park Row, and ends at Cooper Square at Fourth Street in the north. Originally  a part of the old Boston Post Road.
Read more.

Vanderbilt Costume Ball

On Monday, March 26, 1883 the Ball of the Decade took place at the home of William K. and Alva Vanderbilt, in celebration of their newly finished mansion at 660 Fifth Avenue (referred to as the ). The announcement of the Vanderbilt ball went out about a week before the beginning of Lent and was then was the only topic of discussion among the city’s elite and wealthy … Invitations (about 1,200 were issued) were in great demand, even by such personages as Mrs.… Read more.

Madison Square

Madison Square and Madison Square Garden are, as is clear from this map, two different destinations. Madison Square was commercial, and home to many of the city’s most exclusive stores.   From Wikipedia:

On May 10, 1847 Madison Square Park opened to the public.

Read more.