23, Claire Antoinette Knapp is born to Sylvia T. & Joseph
Palmer Knapp joins Westminster Kennel Club and attends many of
the gun / bird dog meets held at the Babylon LI clubhouse. He
remains a lifelong member.
Clubhouse Babylon, LI 1890's
Claire's mother Sylvia T. Knapp starts entering Boston Terriers
at the Westminster Dog Show in NYC & a Joseph P. Knapp silver
cup is offered as a prize
1910 : Claire
Knapp is living mainly in Bellport, LI and breeding & attending
dog shows. She is also heavily involved with show horses at this
1911 -12 :
Claire starts to concentrate on Chows and moves to Greenlawn,
LI. She keeps her riding stable there.
1916 - 1925
: Claire's brother Joseph F. Knapp buys the 200 acre Lawrence
estate in Mastic, LI (now
known as Mastic Beach)
Claire moves there and in 1922 the name "Clairedale"
appears in print.
: Claire marries Willis Oliver Penney and moves Clairedale to
Yaphank. She starts a family and is rapidly becoming known as
an expert on the Chow breed
1929 - 1933
The Penney Family (by now there are two daughters ) & Kennel
move to Stony Brook, LI. They also have a Winter home on Johns
1933 : After
her entire Chow Kennel is destroyed in South Carolina due to heartworms,
Claire returns to Long Island. She purchases property at Red Cedar
Point on the Peconic Bay in Hampton Bays. There she starts from
scratch with a new breed Sealyham Terriers.
THE GLORY YEARS FOR CLAIREDALE KENNELS. HER SEALYHAM TERRIERS
BRING MUCH FAME TO CLAIREDALE WITH THE BIG WIN OF
BEST IN SHOW
AT THE 1936
Penneys divorce and Claire marries Thomas Dixon. Claire starts
to expand her breeds most notably with Highland Terriers. Her
eldest daughter Margaret who has obviously inherited Claire's
flair with dogs starts her own kennel at Hampton Bays. Pennyworth
Kennels will also go into the record books and great success.
Clairedale continues winning with several different breeds. Claire's
marriage to Mr. Dixon, whom she had known since the very early
1900's, does not fare as well and they seperate.
1950's : Both
Clairedale & Pennyworth continue with success in the show
arena. By mid '50's Claire's health starts to decline. Some shows
are entered with jointly Mother/Daughter owned dogs. After a long
illness , Mrs. Claire Knapp Dixon dies October 25, 1959.
Property at Red Cedar Point, Hampton Bays is put up for sale
daughter Margaret Penney Newcombe wins Best In Show at Wesminster.
They are the only mother & daughter to have done that in the
128 year history of the show. Pennyworth carries the Clairedale
flame with a long and distiguished breeding career.
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