Alice Austen

Staten Island Cricket & Tennis Club

September 20, 1885

In 1874, young Ms. Mary Ewing Outerbridge arrived from Bermuda at the Staten Island Cricket and Baseball Club bearing some strange looking paraphernalia under her arm.  With permission from the club she set up a net on the lawn, marked off a court and prevailed on several club members to try the English amusement, tennis. 

This image shows the club's courts in Livingston around 1885. Arranging the players in carefully held poses,  Alice Austen, an early player, has a friend release the shutter, after she herself joins the scene. Alice is at the right of the net in the third court from the camera, wearing a dark jacket and white skirt -- and watching intently to see that her friend takes the photograph properly. 

To America on Staten Island in 1874 by Miss Outerbrigdge who brought it up from Bermuda. Starting on the eastern seaboard. It spread westward until in the 80's it was a popular game in polite circles all over the country.

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society