A number of the larger houses in New Hartford were used as summer houses in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. These houses would routinely host guests for a weeks or months. They were close friends, family, and business acquaintances. New Hartford was easily reached by train from New York City, Boston, and Washington D.C.
Tennis, swimming, croquet, card games, billiards, recitals, lectures, long walks, fishing in West Hill Pond, a wide variety of pursuits.
This photograph taken in 1880 shows that people did not dress for tennis the way we do today! Only a few people can be definitely identified in this photograph: the man seated on the right is Morris Smith, a businessman with interests in Hartford and New Orleans, the woman seated next to him in the dark dress is his daughter, Carlotta Norton Smith. Beyond that it is difficult to say, though that particular event was attended by the noted actor William Gillette, so he may be in the photograph.