Walt Whitman at Pfaff's Beer Cellar - 1856 (Public Domain)
earlier piece of Mrs. G. H. Story (Eunice Emerson Kimball Story) being a
childhood friend of the American Humorist “Artemis Ward”, I have since found a
connection of George H. Story to a documented regular at the famous artist
hangout of the 1860’s Beer Cellar – Pfaff’s.
It is little
wonder Story’s connection to that Bohemian art scene of writers, actors, artists
and poets, the most famous of them being Walt Whitman is lost. Not a lot of historical references to check out. Just a lot of collateral evidence of who used to frequent this once popular scene in antebellum and postbellum NYC.
And having an art studio a few doors away is not proof but I can say with certainty Story was no teetotaler.
A who’s who of young and artsy New Yorkers or “Bohemians”
as some of them were called happened around that happening place of Broadway
and Bleecker Street in Manhattan.
period of “Bohemia” around Pfaff’s beer cellar, artist G.H. Story has his studio
located at "643 Broadway" near two addresses identified with Pfaff’s as 647 and
1865 NYC Directory
Story’s home address is listed as “18 Cottage Place” which is no longer there.
It was located between W. Houston and Bleecker and west of MacDougal and
absorbed into the Sixth Avenue extension linking uptown with downtown in the
1920s. Part of it exists as part of a small triangle of a park in front of the “Little
Red School House” complex – the original older building on the corner still
exists and part of the east side of Cottage Place now part of Sixth and or “Avenue
of the Americas”. The west side of Cottage Place where the Storys resided in now in the middle of busy Sixth Avenue. I don’t know if those apartment
buildings in the picture below go back to the 1860s btw.
One poet who
has some documented connections to the Storys is the poet William Winter,
quite famous in his day and a key player in his youth at the Pfaff’s art scene.
William Winter - 1876 (Public Domain)
connection is some name cards of George and Eunice Story being mailed to the
Winter family in acknowledgement of the death of Winter's son William, aged 14 in
card of George H. Story with a manuscript note: "With heartfelt sympathy
my dear Mr. Winter." With accompanying envelope addressed to Winter at No.
17 Third Avenue, Tompkinsville, Staten Island. Also with a visiting card of
Mrs. George H. Story and a small clipping on Arthur Winter's death. Date from
postmark on envelope.
The other is
a later in life testimonial to William Winter with a regret posted on not being
able to attend the ceremony by an aged, reclusive and infirmed G.H. Story of
1909, the year after the death of his wife following a long and lingering illness.
George Henry Story lived at 230 W. 59th Street and or Central Park
South at The Hubert Co-op Apartments. Even the NYT obit on Story misspelled his
residence as the “Huber”, the French pronunciation, without the correct English
of 17 Third Ave in Tomkinsville in Staten Island NY of William Winter in 1886 has changed to Alden Place
and number 17 is acknowledged by Google Maps but I cannot attach that number to
any property at the moment with any certainty. The address is the end of a
street entering a park on the top of a hill overlooking New York
Harbor. Winter in later life also had a
Staten Island home on the top of a hill further east on the north shore overlooking
the Verrazano Narrows toward Brooklyn, half a century before they built the
Verrazano Narrows Bridge there.