After more than 60 years operating as an inn, Hampton Terrace’s guest rooms finally have names. It is not that they needed names…Wynnstay Cottage 2 was pretty descriptive…but we decided that this was an opportunity to help tell the history of the property in a colorful way.
Since the 1920s, our sports heroes have swung bats, thrown touchdowns, or squared off in a ring. But prior to Henry Ford, when all local transportation involved a carriage and a horse the most idolized American heroes were those who could pull a carriage and its rider one mile down a track in as close to two minutes as possible.
In its day, this was Corvette verses GTO. Every town had a fair, and every fair had a race track. These horses, called “Trotters,” were railed hundreds of thousands of miles to race legendary mares and stallions from other regions. Their names became as household as that of “the Babe.”
Robert Bonner and his children (owners of Hampton Terrace from 1917-1937) were considered the premier Trotter owners in American history. The purest line begins with Hambletonian (1849-1876), who sired many of the Bonner’s most prized horses, and even Hambletonian spent his final years under Mr. Bonner’s expert and benevolent care.
“Queen of the Turf,” Maud S. was foaled in 1874 in Kentucky, a light-red chestnut. She was sold to Capt. George M. Stone in 1877 for $350. After trotting a mile in 2:17 1/2 at Lexington, KY in 1878, she was immediately bought by William H. Vanderbilt for $21,000. She was used as Vanderbilt’s roadhorse until 1884, when she was returned to the turf to lower the record to 2:10 and was sold to Robert Bonner for $40,000. It was well documented that Vanderbilt turned down $100,000 from a racing syndicate in order that his favorite and most famous horse spend the rest of her days in Bonner’s benevolent care. While in his stable she trotted her record mile in 2:08 3/4 at Cleveland, OH, this being the seventh time she had lowered the world record in six years. In 1885 she was permanently retired as a road horse and died on March 17, 1901, her obituary appearing on the front page of the New York Times. She is buried in Tarrytown, NY, next to the immortal, Dexter.
Broke world record seven times between 1880 and 1885, lowering it from
2:11 3/4 to 2:08 3/4. She retired with the record, which was subsequently lowered by Sunol, a Bonner horse.
This room features hand-ragged walls and a queen iron bed with fluffy down comforter, gas-flame corner fireplace, television/VCR with cable, air conditioning in-season, CD player and private bath with 72″ Jacuzzi whirlpool tub. Total Room Size: 17ft. x 15 ft.( including bath)
“It is said that with the exception of General Grant and P. T. Barnum, Robert Bonner is known to more people than any man in America.”
Illustrated Weekly Magazine, 1897