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The Hill District: Homestead Grays

Email from Monica Gayton-Tanksley

Date: 29 August 1998; Subject: The Homestead Grays; edited by blc.

In researching the Homestead Grays Negro Baseball team, I saw photos of the team players from the Pennsylvania Dept. of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, which has sparked me to write your department. My father, Herman Gayton, lived during the era of the Homestead Grays and of interest to your department may be the fact that the entire Homestead Grays team stayed at our home during their "barnstorming" of traveling to other towns to play games. My father told me that one of the towns the Homestead Grays used to play games in was Wellsville, New York, in a park (called Island Park when I was growing up--but it could have been named something different when they played in it). He told me that the whites in our town would not rent accommodations to the Homestead Grays when they came to town to play, so the entire team stayed at our home, sitting on the porch, drinking lemonade and sharing stories. The home is now 133 years old--built in 1865 and I would like very much to have it preserved as a landmark or a historical African-American cultural history site, especially if the Homestead Grays did stay there when they came to town. Monica Gayton-Tanksley.

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