Last week we learned about the steamboat Rip Van Winkle and learned a wonderful story about Samuel Schuyler. But what really happened to the Rip? This newspaper article, originally published on August 23, 1872 in the Hudson Daily Star gives us some insights.
On Tuesday afternoon the old steamer Rip Van Winkle was towed from Port Ewen, where she had been moored since her collision with the bridge at Albany last spring, and by which she sustained such serious injuries it was not considered desirable to repair her, to the dock in front of Major Cornell’s repairing shops, where her state-rooms and other upper works are being removed preparatory to removing the engine and boilers, purchased a few days since by Mr. Isaac Hirsch of this city, and the conversion of the hull into a barge.
The Rip Van Winkle was built in New York in 1845 for the Schuylers of Albany, and was a steamer of 640 tons burthen, with an engine of 54 inches diameter of cylinder and 10 feet stroke of piston. She was furnished with forty-three state-rooms a great number in those days, and one hundred and ninety-two berths. She ran on the through night line between New York, Albany and Troy, until 1852, when she was purchased by Anderson, Romer & Co., then engaged in the freighting business in the place where Romer & Tremper now are.
The “Rip” ran between this place and New York one season, commanded by Captain A. L. Anderson, now of the Mary Powell. The Andersons, father and son, disposed of their interest in the concern to Messrs. Tremper & Gillette in 1853, when the firm became Romer, Tremper & Gillette, and the Rip Van Winkle was by them again placed on the route between New York and Troy, where they continued to run her for two years, when she was sold to the Troy Company, then being managed by a man named Haywood, we believe. In 1862, we think it was, the boat was purchased by the Simmonses of Saugerties, and plied for some years between that place and New York. She was rebuilt in 1864, and finally taken off the Saugerties route and used as an excursion boat, principally to the Fishing Banks until 1870, when Major Cornell purchased her. In the spring of ’71, she ran in place of the Thomas Cornell for a time, and during the summer was chartered by Ovid Simmons to run to the Fishing Banks. This spring she was chartered to run to troy in place of the Thomas Powell until that vessel was ready, and it was while on that route she received her death blow by coming in contact with the Albany Bridge during a freshet. – Rondout Freeman.
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