Photos and Poems


Besides Coffeedrome.com, I maintain another web site, Rumbledrome.com, which is devoted to the history of championship auto racing in America in the 20th Century.

To find material for Rumbledrome (photos, old programs, tickets, etc.), I regularly visit eBay and search, using the search term "speedway." It often happens that pictures or postcards are available featuring the Speedway, in New York City.

This Speedway has nothing to do with auto racing. Instead, it was a stretch of road running along the west edge of the Harlem River from 155th Street to 208th Street where trotting horses exercised and raced at the turn of the last century.

Today the Speedway is part of the Harlem River Drive and the scene in the postcards below is a familiar one to me. I see it driving home almost every night.

A note from Coffeedrome visitor Don on Feb. 6, 2012:

From the Dec 10, 1919 Horse Review:

The Harlem River speedway, New York, has passed as an exclusive pleasure ground for harness horses. For years the automobile interests have tried to gather it into their fold, always being defeated by the faithful followers of the trotter until last spring, when a bill was passed in the New York legislature throwing it open to the autos, which was formally done about a week ago.

Regards Don



Map from Scientific American, February 6, 1897, showing the location of the Harlem River Speedway, then under construction.

Read the article.


Card printed in Germany, about 1905.


Mailed Feb. 25, 1905


Card printed in Germany, about 1908.

Undated photograph.


Mailed from New York to Petaluma, Calif., Aug. 4, 1914


Not dated, not mailed.


Printed in Germany. Date uncertain.



Printed in 1905. Not mailed.


Mailed in 1906 from Brooklyn to Brooklyn.


Printed in 1901. Not mailed.


Postcard printed after 1908. Not mailed.


Postmarked in Lakeville, Ohio, December 31, 1910.


Mailed from Hoboken, N.J., to Norton, N.J., Feb. 19, 1906.



Postcard printed in 1903. Not mailed.


Mailed from New York to Mount Union, Pa., May 26, 1905


Mailed from New York to Elgin, Ill., Jan. 27, 1914


Mailed from New York to Cooksburg, N.Y., March 26, 1906


Undated. Never mailed.


Mailed April 11, 1905, from Hoboken, N.J., to Le Havre, France


Mailed from Albany, N.Y., to Ipswich, Mass., June 24, 1904


Mailed from Albany, N.Y., to Ipswich, Mass., June 24, 1904


Printed after 1908. Not mailed.


Date uncertain (but those are cars on the Speedway, not horses).


March 28, 2004


 Comments or Questions? Send an Email to:



Main Entrance
Diner Room
The Hiawatha Room
The Neighborhood