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  • Writer's pictureLocal History Collection

Fourth of July at Harbor Hill


Clarence Mackay and son John "Willie" Mackay attend the event.

In the summer of 1911, Katherine and Clarence Mackay hosted their first annual Fourth of July Boy Scouts Field Meet which welcomed Roslyn Troop No. 1 to Harbor Hill for a day of athletic activities. The “mascot” of the event was Master John W. Mackay, the son of Katherine and Clarence who was known to the family as “Willie.”


Four years old at the time, Willie was given the honor of unfurling the flag at the opening ceremony. Clarence Mackay awarded prizes to the winners of events like the Running Broad Jump, 100 Yard Dash, Tug of War, and a baseball game.


The Scouts were treated to a catered lunch of ham or chicken sandwiches, Neapolitan, chocolate, or strawberry ice cream, fresh strawberries, assorted cakes, with orangeade, lemonade, coffee or tea to drink.


Participants included children from some of Roslyn’s oldest families such as Arnold Craft, the Pickering sons, William Mott, Howard Hicks, and Walter and Robert Conklin.


Despite the reportedly hot weather, it must have been a splendid day for all in attendance and one that highlights the Mackay family’s personal engagement with the community of Early 20th Century Roslyn.


You can learn more details about this event by visiting the “Boy Scouts at Harbor Hill” gallery of the Mackay Family digital exhibit, which includes an article clipped from the Roslyn News and a program of the day’s festivities.


Happy Fourth of July from The Bryant Library Local History Collection!


#Mackay #Harbor Hill #Boy Scouts #Fourth of July #Independence Day


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