By Ellie Burhans, Social Media Manager and Membership Coordinator
This week the Kingston High School Varsity Crew Team and the Rondout Rowing Club took to the museum courtyard! Our good friends worked hard inspecting their boats for the season. Our special team of volunteers also put our docks in the water - possibly as early as they have ever been in the water! The Hudson River Maritime Museum is getting ready for the fast approaching summer season. Make sure to book your docking accommodations as they will likely fill up quickly this year. Thanks to Lana Chassman who took the photos below.
By: Ellie Burhans, Social Media Manager and Membership Coordinator
Tuesday, March 15th, the Hudson River Maritime Museum welcomed new and returning volunteers for orientation, training and a potluck luncheon. Our volunteers got a sneak peak of brand new exhibits and some of the improvements we’ve made to old favorites. After training, we all had a fantastic lunch in the new classroom at the Riverport River Boat School.
This was the first of the two or three or sometimes even four volunteer events we have yearly. If you would like to volunteer, please sign up here or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to all of those who attended and to those who brought so many delicious dishes!
The Onrust, a replica 1614 Dutch yacht, is now at the Hudson River Maritime Museum, where she will spend the winter. HRMM is proud to partner with the Onrust Project to help promote Dutch and maritime history throughout the Mohawk and Hudson River valleys.
New NY Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie holds a press conference at the Hudson River Maritime Museum as part of his tour of all the districts of New York state.
The Hudson River Maritime Museum will tentatively close on Wednesday, September 2nd for the installation of brand new solar panels on the roof. During this time the museum will be without power, but the Kingston Home Port and Education Center will still have power and the 7 pm lecture with Frank Almquist will still be held that evening.
This closure date has not yet been confirmed by Central Hudson. Please check our website, our Facebook page, or call before visiting in the event that the date is changed.
Thank you for your patience and we look forward to reopening on Thursday, September 3rd on solar power!
KINGSTON, NY --- If you come down to the historic waterfront district, known as the Rondout or the Strand to locals, and walk past 50 Rondout Landing, you will be impressed with the amount of activity going on, even though the temperatures have not become steady yet.
Courtyard gardens have been pruned; sturdy docks are being built or installed; entryway window boxes have been planted; the Museum’s Gift Shop is being stocked with historical books, children’s favorites, a variety of postcards and keepsakes of the Hudson, t-shirts and hats with HRMM logos, and even repurposed sailcloth transformed into chic totes are ready to become a favorite carry-all.
Saturday, May 2, at 11:00 am, marks the official opening to the 2015 season, and judging from the enthusiastic response thus far (from periodic drop-ins, the board, volunteers and staff) 2015 is sure to be one to remember for many reasons. Not only is it the Museum’s 35th anniversary (1980-2015), this year marks the 100th anniversary of the Rondout Light (1915-2015), owned by the City of Kingston and maintained, in partnership, with the Hudson River Maritime Museum.
Lighthouses of the Hudson, sponsored solely by Rondout Savings Bank, is the featured exhibit, and depicts thirteen lighthouses that once populated the river; there are only seven of these structures standing today. Rondout Savings Bank President and CEO Jim Davenport states that its 2015 sponsorship of the “Lighthouses of the Hudson” exhibit “takes the bank’s long-term relationship with the Hudson River Maritime Museum to an even higher level” adding, “what a perfect match – a special exhibit sponsorship that joins three entities with a rich and common history …” Cheryl Bowers, Vice President and COO notes that Rondout’s “Dividend to the Community Program”… assigns special value to programs that educate, enlighten and build pride in the communities it serves. Our lighthouse logo has served the Bank well as it represents each of the core traits and values we embrace and live by.”
Since the Hudson River was the main highway between New York and Albany, for many years, everything was transported by way of the river. It became necessary for dangerous places to be designated with warning lights or lanterns on poles. These lights eventually translated into actual structures or lighthouses, some with residential keepers and their families.
These lighthouse keepers had a noble mission – “to never let the light go out”. The keeper also had to record the supplies used, the sun’s rise and setting, weather conditions, any visitors, rescues or unusual events. The government issued very specific orders for the lighthouse keeper’s routine, actions to take under certain circumstances, and specific rations. As a result, we are provided with a first-hand glimpse into 19th and 20th century history, and to a long-gone but not forgotten way of life on the Hudson.
Depicted in this exhibit are the Stuyvesant Lighthouse; Coxsackie Lighthouse; Four-Mile Point Lighthouse; Hudson-Athens Lighthouse; Saugerties Lighthouse; Rondout Lighthouse; Esopus Meadows Lighthouse; West Point Lighthouse; Stony Point Lighthouse; Rockland Lake Lighthouse; Tarrytown (Sleepy Hollow) Lighthouse; and the Little Red Lighthouse, made famous by Hildegarde Swift’s 1942 book, “The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge”. A reproduction of Woodstock artist Charles Rosen’s 1937 mural map of the Hudson River, which is displayed in the Beacon, NY post office, serves as a picturesque backdrop and site map to the lighthouse display.
A photo-collage shows the “before restoration” and “present day” images of Saugerties, Hudson-Athens, Rondout and Esopus Meadows Lighthouses. Four-Mile Point Preserve, Stuyvesant and Coxsackie were replaced with a light on an iron skeleton frame. Archival photographs of the keepers and their families, sometimes accompanied by the pet rooster or dog, also bring a certain humanity to these lone architectural structures on the water.
One of the more fascinating archival items in the exhibit is the well-known Rondout Light-keeper Mrs. Catherine Murdock’s scrapbook (represented by a replica since the upright installation of the actual book would be too risky for the aging artifact). Seeing her newspaper clippings arranged spatially like a jigsaw puzzle rather than in “date order” is fascinating.
A handcrafted model of the second Rondout Lighthouse, literally created from a visual blueprint by volunteer and master carpenter Ron Searl, is one of the highpoints of the exhibition. Searl, who was a master carpenter at the American Museum of Natural History for twenty-five years before retiring, used an archival photo in the Museum’s collection is to re-create a structure much like that of the second Rondout Light during Mrs. Murdock’s heyday as female light-keeper. All that remains today at the Rondout Creek’s mouth is the circular footprint of this second lighthouse’s bluestone foundation.
Even a bit of “hands-on” science and physics is incorporated into the exhibit; Russell Lange, Executive Director, has installed a display about the Fresnel lens, prisms and light magnification.
As a compliment, five of the ten scheduled “Follow the River Lecture and Film Series” presentations will focus on regional lighthouses. Esopus Meadows Lighthouse President Barbara J. Ralston will present the first lecture of the season: “Scrape & Paint: The Story of Saving Esopus Meadows Lighthouse” on Wednesday, May 6, at 7:00 pm. Ralston’s presentation will be held in the Kingston Home Port and Education Center at the Hudson River Maritime Museum, 50 Rondout Landing, Kingston, NY 12401.
For more information, visit www.hrmm.org or call 845.338.0071, ext. 15.
Hudson River Maritime Museum
Notice of Request for Proposals
The Hudson River Maritime Museum (HRMM) is inviting proposals from qualified firms for the design and installation of a fully operational photovoltaic (solar) energy system for the East Gallery roof of the Museum.
The proposals shall be received by May 8, 2015, by mail or in person at the Hudson River Maritime Museum Offices at 50 Rondout Landing, Kingston, New York, 12401, until 4:00 PM.
A detailed Request for Proposals, which includes a process to schedule site visits and ask clarifying questions, is available at the offices of the Hudson River Maritime Museum, 50 Rondout Landing, Kingston, New York, 12401, or on this page (see below). Inquiries should be made to Heidi Kitlas, Development Director, at 845-338-0071, ext 17.
Funding for this project comes in part from an Environmental Protection Fund grant administered by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (OPRHP). Under Article 15A, Executive Law, the State of New York is committed to providing Minority and Women Owned Business (MWBE) equal opportunity to participate in government contracts. The following goals have been set for this project: 9% of the grant value of MBE’s and 6% of the grant value for WBE’s.
Proposals will be ranked on the basis of responsiveness of the proposals to the Request and work specified therein. The HRMM reserves the right to reject any or all proposals, as well as incomplete proposals.
The Hudson River Maritime Museum is featured twice in the April, 2015 issue of Boating on the Hudson!
Check out this article on the new Riverport Wooden Boat Building School, "Wooden Boat Building Returns to the Rondout."
This issue also features an article by HRMM board member Peter Kane, "Ever Thought of Becoming a Licensed Captain?" on pages 12 and 13.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Lana Chassman
Director of Public Relations email@example.com 845.338.0071, ext. 15
SHARE YOUR MEMORIES ON ESOPUS HISTORY DAY
Saturday, March 21 from 1:00 – 5:00 pm
KINGSTON, NY -- Through the generosity of a grant recently given by the Kingston Lions Club Foundation to the Hudson River Maritime Museum and The Reher Center of Immigrant Culture and History, jointly, the first in a series of oral history programs is scheduled to be held on Saturday, March 21, 2015, from 1:00 – 5:00 pm at the Esopus Town Hall.
The Hudson River Maritime Museum has been working with the Town of Esopus, the Klyne Esopus Museum and the Esopus Town Historian to organize this event.
Current or one-time residents of Esopus are asked to bring any photos, objects and especially their memories related to the history of the Hudson River, Rondout Creek and any river-related industries to the Town Hall. The equipment purchased with the foundation grant will be used to record these precious memories on “Esopus History Day”.
Among the topics that may be focused on by attendees could be: tugboats, commercial fishing, ice harvesting and ice houses, brick making, steamboats, ice boating, Hudson River sloops, ferry services, agriculture, and even living and shopping on the Rondout.
More in-depth oral history recordings can be scheduled at a later date.
A topic of special interest is the Rondout Lighthouses since 2015 marks the third Rondout Lighthouse’s 100th birthday. The Museum will be featuring the Rondout Lighthouse as well as all Hudson River Lighthouses in its annual exhibition, “Lighthouses of the Hudson”, opening to the public on Saturday, May 2, at 11:00 am.
Any images of the 1837 and 1867 lighthouses (both near or on the Port Ewen side) would be especially useful as the Museum has only a few photographs of the 1867 structure and only one image of the 1837 lighthouse. A scanner will be available for anyone who wishes to share digital images, and the Museum’s Curator, Allynne Lange, will be present to accept any donations which would supplement the Museum’s collections.
Coffee and light refreshments will be provided. For more information, please contact Education Director,Sarah Wassberg, at 845.338.0071, ext. 16 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
KINGSTON, NY – On Friday, January 30, 2015, the Hudson River Maritime Museum made a fortuitous acquisition of the property at 86 Rondout Landing, the former Rosita’s Restaurant. This enabled the Museum to turn a “someday” dream of thoughtfully expanding its footprint on the Rondout, into a bona fide reality, creating a more vibrant working and teaching waterfront as well as a year round tourist destination.
The Riverport Wooden Boat Building School of the Hudson River Maritime Museum and additional year round educational space will be the end result.
Museum Board President, Allan Bowdery, states that all the necessary components were present with this property and location. “We just needed a coherent mission joined with an impassioned vision, which was ably coordinated by Executive Director, Russell Lange.” After much deliberation amongst Board members and Museum staff about the realities of creek flooding, researching the positive economic impact of a boatbuilding school on other similar waterfront communities, and contact with wooden boat builders and shipwrights, plans began in earnest.
Funding always rises to the forefront with projects such as these. Lange notes that “through a major gift from private individuals who deeply believe in the Museum’s mission, we were fortunate enough to be able to move ahead with this project. The Hudson River Foundation also has contributed to the operation of the Riverport Wooden Boat Building School. Acquiring 86 Rondout Landing will now allow us to transition into a year-round facility, and to provide the City of Kingston and the Hudson Valley, a unique ‘Riverport Experience’. We are continuing to work on other sources of revenue in order to help off-set this investment, and to fund continued operations of the Museum’s existing programs.”
The Museum, now poised to celebrate its 35th anniversary this season, has accomplished yet another milestone in its development. In 2012, Hudson Valley residents may remember joining with Pete Seeger on September 15, 2012 to “barn raise”. Three months later to the day, the Kingston Home Port and Education Center stood as a proud testament to this passion for the river, and for interpreting its rich maritime history. The iconic Hudson River sloop Clearwater now has a winter home port and maintenance hub.
Board member and Project Supervisor Dr. Jack Weeks remarks on what this acquisition means not only to the Museum but to the region: “Having this boat building school adds a significant additional educational component to the museum’s programming, further enhancing the cultural vitality and economic development of the City as a whole and the historic Rondout waterfront district in particular.” Lange adds, “The school will also increase the attractiveness and lure of year-round heritage tourism, strengthen our community partnerships, and offer even more docking for visiting heritage vessels and cruise ships. The possibilities are exciting.”
Interviews available upon request.
Contact: Lana Chassman
Director of Public Relations
Hudson River Maritime Museum
845.338.0071 ext. 15
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.