Boxing site is significant

Dear Cris,

I am proud to say I was born and raised in Speculator, have always loved this community, am proud of its history and support the proposal to expand the Osborne Point park.

The point has held a prominent position in Speculator since 1901 when William and Nora Osborne built the beautiful Osborne Inn there overlooking Lake Pleasant. That hotel remained on the point for 68 years, until it was torn down in 1969.

The Osborne Inn became significant through the years not only as a beautiful resort hotel but because it became world famous due to the professional boxers who trained on the Osborne complex in the late 1920s and the 1930s.

The first boxer who had a training ring on property adjoining the Osborne Inn was Gene Tunney. He trained in Speculator 1926 through 1928 in preparation for his two boxing matches against Jack Dempsey for the heavyweight boxing championship of the world. Gene Tunney won both matches.

This August Gene Tunney's son, Jay Tunney, visited Speculator through the invitation of The Friends of the Lake Pleasant Library. He came to talk about the book he authored, "The Prizefighter and the Playwright: Gene Tunney and Bernard Shaw." After completing his presentation and booksigning Jay Tunney and his wife, Kelly, visited Osborne Point, and looked at the adjoining property where Gene Tunney's training ring once stood.

That property is now for sale. A group of year-round and seasonal residents are trying to acquire enough funding to purchase the property commemorate a special part of Speculator's history by planting some beautiful gardens there in memory of Gene Tunney and other boxers.

Jay and Kelly Tunney have pledged matching funds to help us meet our goal and ask for your assistance with our fundraising. Any contribution, no matter the amount, made toward this purchase would be very appreciated. Tax-deductible checks may be made out to the Village of Speculator with a note on the memo line reading "Osborne Point" and mailed to POB 396, Speculator NY 12164.

The purchase of this property will help us honor a significant time in the history of the village.

Barbara Schoonmaker