El Galeón Seeks Volunteer Sailors
Museum Expands Hours and Lighthouse Tours During El Galeón Visit
KINGSTON, NY – The replica Spanish galleon El Galeón is seeking five intrepid volunteer sailors to accompany them on their voyage from Kingston, NY to Ocean City, MD. Volunteer crew members will eat, sleep, and work on the ship for several days as she travels south along the Atlantic seaboard. Volunteers will learn to sail the ship as they go. All prospective volunteers must be in good physical condition and over the age of 18. Interest parties may contact El Galeón Project Manager Fernando Viota at Fernando@fundacionnaovictoria.org.
In addition, the crew is seeking volunteers to sail across the Atlantic with El Galeón on her voyage home from Ocean City, MD to Spain. The voyage will last approximately one month, with tentative dates of August 28 to September 28, 2017. Interested parties can contact Ulises Custido at Ulises@fundacionnaovictoria.org or call 904-826-7327 or fill out a request for information form at: www.fundacionnaovictoria.org/cross-atlantic-ocean-board-el-galeon/.
Finally, during El Galeón’s stay at the Hudson River Maritime Museum, the museum will be open extended hours on Saturday, August 5 and Sunday, August 6 from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Also that weekend, HRMM will offer more frequent lighthouse tours, with tours every half hour beginning at noon with the last tour leaving at 5:00 PM. Tickets are $20 for adults and $12 for children (5-12). Children under 5 are free but each child must be accompanied by an adult.
Lighthouse tours are on weekends only. Monday, August 7 and Tuesday, August 8 the museum will return to its regular schedule, 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily.
The Hudson River Maritime Museum page of the Hudson River Valley Heritage website now includes a section on tugboats. Tugboats- The Workhorses of the Hudson - The Hudson River was the great natural highway into the interior of New York State for centuries. Transportation for people and goods was by boat for over two hundred years after the arrival of European, mostly Dutch, settlers in the early 17th century.
Because of the growth of New York City into a major port and population center as immigrants poured into the city in the 19th century, the need there for food and building materials soared. The Hudson Valley produced many of the products needed, and shipped them by sailing vessels called sloops and schooners for at least two hundred years from the beginning of settlement in the 1600s. Steamboats came on the scene gradually after 1807 carrying mostly passengers for many decades. Eventually steam towboats pulling multiple barges and canal boats took over the freight traffic on the Hudson. Though not speedy, these long tows were the cheapest way to ship bulk cargoes. Older passenger steamboats such as the Norwich were used at first as towboats. Sidewheel steamboats such as the Oswego were built as towboats starting around 1850. Propeller driven tugboats in the familiar shape that we know today began to be seen in the 1860s.
Rondout, the port of Kingston, was a major shipping point, and the busiest port on the Hudson for most of the 19th century (1800s). The major product shipped from Rondout was coal brought here from eastern Pennsylvania over the Delaware & Hudson Canal from 1828 to 1898. Coal was the main fuel of the steam age of the 19th century, so Rondout boomed from coal transport. Local products also shipped from Rondout during the same time were Ulster County bluestone shipped widely for use as sidewalks; Rosendale cement, a sturdy natural cement used in building New York City; and bricks from local brickyards also used to build New York City. Ice cut from the Hudson River was shipped to New York City on barges to be used for food preservation. Food products were also shipped, including grain from the Midwest brought to the Hudson over the Erie Canal, and hay for the many horses in the City.
The Cornell Steamboat Company of Rondout became the largest towing company on the Hudson by the 1880s because of the enormous amount of freight to be transported to New York City from the Hudson Valley, especially from Rondout. Towboats and tugs pulling long strings of barges could be seen day and night on the Hudson from the 1850s through the 1930s. The Cornell Steamboat Company had a virtual monopoly on towing on the river from the 1880s through the 1930s. The company had a fleet of up to sixty tugboats of all sizes at one time. There is much less tug and barge activity on the Hudson today than there was even in the 1950s as freight was being shipped by rail and later truck, and the old cargoes like bluestone, ice, and cement had mostly disappeared from the scene. Today the main cargoes shipped by tug and barge are oil, crushed rock, and some cement.
Visit the website regularly to see new additions from the HRMM collection: www.hrvh.org/hrmmkingston
Friday, July 14, 2017, the Hudson River Maritime Museum lost an important volunteer and friend. Ralph Allen died at 88 from complications from cancer.
Ralph started volunteering at the Hudson River Maritime Museum in the mid-1990s. He was on the museum board for at least one year, but where he really left his mark was in the building and growing of the museum over the past twenty years as a hands-on volunteer.
Ralph was a dairy farmer. He was not afraid of hard work, and because of the nature of that profession, he was proficient in carpentry, welding, and electrical work, not to mention the thousands of small things necessary to keep the farm going. When he retired from farming, he brought these skills to the museum. Nearly every structure on the museum campus, including the docks and bulkhead, reflects his thought and work, be it building, installing, fixing, moving or electrifying. But what impressed us most were his problem-solving abilities. When someone was confronted with a difficult task, and was about to make an ill-advised decision, Ralph would calmly say, “Well… you could try it that way, but that is not how I would do it” and proceed to find an excellent solution, safely getting the job done without bruising any egos.
Ralph was a quiet man with a wry sense of humor. He didn’t have much patience for the spotlight. In fact, he’d probably think a public article like this one, all about him, was a waste of time. But it isn’t.
Ralph continued to work at the museum well into the last month of his life. His final project was a dust collector for the Riverport Wooden Boat School which, as usual, works to perfection. When someone like Ralph dies, we are reminded just how lucky we were to have spent time with him and learn from him. His legacy will live on at the museum, from the darkest nooks and crannies of the museum to the best floating docks on the Rondout. Next time you’re at the museum and you appreciate something built or working well, take some time to thank Ralph, because he probably had a hand in it. We say thank you all the time.
Thanks Ralph, for everything.
The Board, staff, and volunteers of the HRMM
The Hudson River Maritime Museum is seeking volunteer docents at the Rondout Lighthouse. Qualified applicants will spend a weekend afternoon from noon to 4 p.m. enjoying the river views while teaching visitors about the Rondout Lighthouse and its keepers. Training is provided.The lighthouse is accessible only by ferry, which operates from the museum’s dock. Tour groups are small, with a maximum of six visitors per trip. Tours last about 30 minutes.
Applicants should be able to handle boarding the ferry and climbing the stairs at the lighthouse, be able to read and retain detailed information, and be comfortable speaking to the public. For a volunteer application, visit www.hrmm.org/volunteer or email Director of Education Sarah Wassberg at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (845) 338-0071, ext. 16. The museum also has other tour guide opportunities as well.
The Hudson River Maritime Museum is excited to announce that Emily Chichon, of our Riverport Wooden Boat School, is featured in an article in the July issue of Chronogram! Emily is an original member of HRMM's team of shipwrights and a competitor in the Hudson River National Boat Building Challenge on Hudson River Day.
Emily has extensive boatbuilding experience, having worked on some very impressive and iconic vessels: the Hudson River sloop Clearwater, the Beacon Sloop Club’s beloved Woody Guthrie and the Commander, the oldest surviving wooden boat to have served in World War I as a balloon-spotter.
The July issue of Chronogram is on newsstands now, or you can read the article online.
Hudson River Maritime Museum
50 Rondout Landing
Kingston, NY 12401
The Hudson River Maritime Museum is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the maritime history of the Hudson River, its tributaries, and related industries.
Become a member and receive benefits like unlimited free museum admission, discounts on classes, programs, and in the museum store, plus invitations to members-only events.
The Hudson River Maritime Museum receives no federal, state, or municipal funding except through competitive, project-based grants. Your donation helps support our mission of education and preservation.