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  • Writer's pictureLocal History Collection

Winter in Roslyn: Recollection of Stewart W. Donaldson

A snowy sleighride down East Broadway c.1900

In 1968, Stewart Donaldson (1907-1994) wrote of boyhood memories of winter fun in Roslyn in the early decades of the twentieth century:

"In winter after a good snow fall, we would take our sleighs and walk up to the Heights - meet the other kids, walk up the hill past the Wee Tappen Tavern in the Roslyn Estates. When we reached the top of the hill board our sleighs and ride down the hill to Willis Ave and on down Willis Ave past Thomas’ Hotel, depending on how hard the snow was packed. There were very few cars in those days so they didn’t bother us.

We also went “bob” sledding on Clarence Speedling's bob sled on Henderson's hill (The Pierce Day school now 1968). There would be 7 or 8 kids on a bob sled and one night Clarence did not steer it properly and crashed into a big pine tree with all of us kids being pushed forward onto him and he broke his arm.

Another good sleighing spot was the Willis farm east of the Wheatley Gardens in North Roslyn. When the weather was cold and clear there was good skating on the Mill Pond, Roslyn or on the “Black Ink” pond in the Roslyn Estates. Another good pond was the one north of the North Shore Country Club in Glenwood, but the best pond was the Mill Pond or “Silver Lake” as it was later called in Roslyn.

I remember some of the kids use to go on hay rides on bright moonlight nights in “Tine” Williams sleigh, drawn by a team of horses. They would be all wrapped up in blankets and ride over to Port Washington or to Glenwood and North Roslyn. I didn’t care very much for this, I would rather go sleighing down the hills myself."

Do you have memories of snowy days in Roslyn? Send us your recollections via our contact form, Instagram or Facebook DM, or emailing!


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