Thomas Mott Osborne Film Premiere Theater Mack

Who is Thomas Mott Osborne? And what is The Castle? These questions will be answered at the Auburn, NY premiere of a new documentary about Thomas Mott Osborne on Sunday, October 14 at 2:00 p.m. at Theater Mack at the Cayuga Museum. Filmmaker Neil Novello and Osborne biographer, David Connelly, will discuss the film after the screening. This program is free and open to the public.

Thomas Mott Osborne’s statue stands in front of the Auburn, NY Police and Fire Departments. The Castle refers to the 105 year-old Portsmouth Naval prison that stands empty on a bluff in the Piscataqua River separating Maine and New Hampshire adjacent to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. But what do these two (Osborne & The Castle) have in common?

It is written in the Navy’s history of the Portsmouth Naval Prison aka The Castle that Thomas Mott Osborne “introduced a new era and a new viewpoint to the Naval prison.”  From 1917 to 1921, Auburn prison reformer and resident, Thomas Mott Osborne, was the only civilian commander of the Naval Prison. Osborne hadn’t served in the Navy.

“Osborne is either a nut or a visionary,” says Pulitzer Prize winner and Auburn resident, David Connelly, who worked with Award-winning filmmaker Neil Novello from Maine on what is the only video documentary ever made about the Auburn industrialist turned humanitarian in the early 20th Century. The always-controversial Thomas Mott Osborne brought scandal, prison reform and a movie crew to the Portsmouth Naval Prison aka The Castle. ”Osborne’s command of the Naval Prison just maybe the culmination of Osborne’s prison reform career,” says Mr. Novello who started on this documentary five years ago.

Novello’s filmmaking journey started with his visit to the Syracuse University’s Bird Library to do research on Osborne. He went through box after box of Osborne’s history at the Naval Prison, which provided many great photos, newspaper articles, as well as Osborne’s writings. It was the Bird Library librarian who told Novello about Osborne biographer, David Connelly.

In the course of a year, David Connelly generously gave of his research time and family time to be a part of this documentary. Connelly knew Frederik (Erik) Osborne, TMO’s grandson, who had the remaining two reels of the Osborne-produced propaganda prison silent feature movie. “The Right Way” was filmed at the Naval Prison using prisoners as extras.

The other important person who gave generously of her time to Novello was Eileen McHugh, Director of the Cayuga Museum of Art and History. The Museum had a copy of Osborne in a 1926 experimental sound movie filmed at the Case Laboratories in Auburn where Osborne mentions the Portsmouth Naval Prison and talks about his reform ideas.

McHugh provided Mr. Novello an area in the basement of the museum to videotape David Connelly’s interview and McHugh also secured, via the Cayuga Museum’s archive, photos of early Auburn as well as Osborne and his family.

To understand Commander Osborne’s Naval prison experience, Novello needed to include Osborne’s family and his work at Auburn and Sing Sing state prisons in New York where he disguised himself as a prisoner to find out what life was like inside. When Osborne went to the Naval Prison, he disguised himself as a prisoner for a report to the Secretary of the Navy. While Commander of the Naval Prison, again Osborne disguised himself as a sailor and was a coal shoveler on the USS North Dakota as a way to understand Navy life.

Osborne became known for his Mutual Welfare League system where prisoners manage prisoners. The Mutual Welfare League was used at Auburn State prison and in Sing Sing state prison as well as the Naval prison.

With the additional photos provided by Ossining Historical Society in New York, and movie film (of Naval sea exercises and World War One) provided by the National Archive, Novello had the visual ingredients for his documentary about Osborne’s experience at the Naval Prison which in a way, culminates his prison reform career.

“It’s all about Osborne’s perspective and his thinking”, says Novello. “I did not want to make a run-of- the-mill, academic-type documentary with pros and cons. It’s about Osborne but told through his letters, film and David Connelly’s wonderful interview.”

Novello wanted to premiere TMO@The Castle in Auburn at the Cayuga Museum of Art and History’s newly restored Theater Mack. “It’s most fitting to show my documentary right here,” says Novello.

Novello has also produced a DVD called, The Castle: Stories of the Portsmouth Naval Prison which includes TMO@The Castle and a commentary to go with the remaining reels of Osborne’s feature movie, The Right Way.

1812: The War That Should Not Have Been

Bob Wells speaks on &#8220The War That Should Not Have Been&#8221 as part of the War of 1812 Lecture Series on Monday, September 17, 7 p.m. at the St. Lawrence County Historical Association at the Silas Wright House, 3 East Main St., Canton.

The United States of America, a young nation with a scattered peacetime army of only 12,000 regulars and a comparatively small navy did not let these facts stand in the way of going to war with England in June of 1812. But did the War of 1812 have to happen?

In his program &#8220The War That Should Not Have Been,&#8221 Bob Wells will discuss reasons why the war was not inevitable or even particularly popular in New England and Northern New York, including St. Lawrence County. U.S. Justifications for the war, such as the annexation of Canada, the need to quell the hostile Native American tribes supposedly armed by the British, and the need to end the English naval practice of impressments of U.S. sailors could have all been handled differently. Another reason cited for war with England was the U.S. desire to be free to trade with France without the English blockading harbors or seizing merchant ships coming from French ports. This issue was actually settled in favor of the United States just prior to the beginning of the war.

The program will be presented by Bob Wells, who serves on the SLCHA’s War of 1812 Bicentennial Committee and Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission. He is an active member of the association’s Civil War Roundtable. Wells is a former Mayor of the Village of Canton and was a professor for over 34 years at St. Lawrence University. He retired from full-time teaching in 1999 as the emeritus Munsil Professor of Government.

This War of 1812 program is part of the St. Lawrence County Historical Association’s Commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, which was fought from 1812-1815. St. Lawrence County was one of the battlefields of the War of 1812. 

The SLCHA Gift Shop is a great way to learn about the War of 1812. Books include Major Battles of the War of 1812 and Famous People of the War of 1812. SLCHA members receive a 10% discount on these books and most other items in the gift shop.

The St. Lawrence County Historical Association at the Silas Wright House is open Tuesday through Saturday noon to 4 p.m., Friday noon to 8 p.m. Admission to the museum is free- admission to the archives is free for members and children, $2.50 for college students, and $5 for the general public. The St. Lawrence County Historical Association is located at 3 E. Main St., Canton. Parking is available in back of the SLCHA, next to the museum’s main entrance.

The St. Lawrence County Historical Association is a membership organization open to anyone interested in St. Lawrence County history. For more information, or to become a member, call the SLCHA at 315-386-8133 or e-mail info@slcha.org. Exhibits and programs are made possible in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency. Visit the SLCHA’s website, www.slcha.org, for more information on St. Lawrence County history

Illustration: Columbia Teaching John Bull his New Lesson from the Library of Congress by William Charles, 1813, a caricature presenting a U.S. view of the War of 1812. On the left, Columbia (the personification of the United States, holding a pole with a liberty cap on it, and with a stars-and-stripes shield behind her) says: ‘I tell you Johnny, you must learn to read Respect &#8212- Free Trade &#8212- Seaman’s Rights &c. &#8212- As for you, Mounseer Beau Napperty, when John gets his lesson by heart, I’ll teach you Respect, Retribution, &c &c.’ In the middle, a short-statured Napoleon says: ‘Ha Ha &#8212- Begar, me be glad to see Madam Columbia angry with dat dere John Bull &#8212- But me no learn respect &#8212- me no learn retribution &#8212- Me be de grand Emperor.’ On the right, John Bull says: ‘I don’t like that lesson, I’ll read this pretty lesson’ (holding a book with ‘Power constitutes Right’, i.e. ‘might makes right’).”
 

Battle of Plattsburgh: Countdown to Invasion (Sept 11)

On September 11, 1814, the American and British naval squadrons on Lake Champlain engage in a long awaited duel to the death, culminating in a decisive American victory.

Owing to the masterful strategic planning of Commodore Thomas Macdonough, the American fleet is able to defend Plattsburgh Bay and defeat the Royal Navy following a fierce 2 1/2 hour battle, the largest of the entire War.

On land, the British commander, General Sir George Prevost makes a monumental blunder when he allows his troops to wait for an hour before commencing the land attack while they finish breakfast. What should have been a simultaneous naval and land assault became delayed and although Prevost’s ground forces succeed in crossing the Saranac River at Pike’s Cantonment, a mile and a half above Plattsburgh, by this time, the naval battle had been decided.

Believing his forces could not hold Plattsburgh without naval superiority on the Lake, Prevost quickly issued orders to his commanders to withdraw. This order was met with shock and frustration by his veteran Generals, who clearly knew a land victory over the meager American Army and Militia was easily within their grasp&#8230-The grand British master plan of invasion from the north had been halted at Plattsburgh.

This Battle of Plattsburgh Countdown to Invasion fact is brought to you by the Greater Adirondack Ghost and Tour Company. If you enjoyed this fascinating snippet of North Country history, find them on Facebook

Waterford Tugboat Roundup This Weekend

More than two dozen boats are expected to participate in this year’s Tugboat Roundup in Waterford. The Roundup, cancelled last year due to damage caused by the storms Irene and Lee, is organized by the town of Waterford and runs from Friday, September 7 through Sunday, September 9.

Working tug boats from along the Hudson River including Kingston, Albany and Troy, from the Canal System, the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River are expected to converge in Waterford in time for Friday afternoon’s parade. The parade starts at the Port of Albany at 2:45 on Friday with boats arriving in Waterford as early as 5pm.

Live music will be performed throughout the event with at least nine different groups booked to play on board one of the tugs, the Grand Erie, docked in front of the Visitor’s Center along the canal at the foot of Tugboat Alley in the village.

Boat tours will be offered on both the Hudson River and the Waterford locks and kids activities will include face-painting, clown performances, puppet theaters, a bouncy-bounce, pony rides. and more throughout the weekend.

On Sunday, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) will be dedicating the Waterford flight of locks as a significant engineering achievement in America. This dedication will take place on Sunday.

A full schedule of performances and activities can be found on the Roundup’s website, www.tugboatroundup.com or on their Facebook page, www.facebook.com/tugboatroundup.com

Photo: The 2008 Tugboat Round-Up, Courtesy Duncan Hayes, NPS  (Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor).

Annual Waterford Tugboat Roundup Returns

Tugboats will Roundup the weekend after Labor Day in Waterford after taking last year off due the effects of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.

The Tugboat Roundup is an annual event in Waterford, celebrating the maritime heritage of upstate and interior New York at the confluence of the Hudson River and New York State Canal system. The Roundup begins on Friday, September 7 and concludes on Sunday afternoon, September 9.

More than 30 tugboats, workboats, barges and other craft are expected along the Waterford wall at the entrance to the Erie Canal. The festival takes place in front of the Visitor’s Center at the foot of Tugboat Alley and kicks off with the Tugboat Parade on Friday afternoon which starts at the Port of Albany, coming into Waterford in late afternoon.

The Mohawk-Hudson chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers will be recognizing the Waterford Flight of Locks as a significant American Engineering achievement on Sunday at noon during the Roundup. The flight is a two-mile long series of five locks, critical to the success of the “modern” Erie Canal when it was built in the Nineteen Teens (it opened in 1917).  Boats are raised from Hudson River level more than 180 feet into the Mohawk River above Cohoes.

Additional land displays include local crafters, artists, food tents, historical displays and local organizations. The American Red Cross, continuing in their efforts to help the region recover from last year’s storms, will have a tent at the festival for more information and donations. Local fire departments, always at the ready, will also have information areas.

Live music with local musicians will take place throughout the weekend, kicked off on Friday afternoon with canal and river balladeer George Ward and including other local bands such as “All Nite Long,” “Yesterday’s News,” “Flood Road,” Nixie Dixie Cats,” “Captain Squeeze and the Zydeco Moshers,” “Lawson,” “Scott Stockman with Big Blue Sun,” and wrapping up with the “Boys of Wexford” on Sunday afternoon.

Fireworks will take place on Saturday evening at 8:00.

More information on the event, and the complete schedule can be found online. Check out video just released by the Saratoga Chamber of Commerce: http://youtu.be/69rO-PkJwfA

The Tugboat Roundup is organized by the Town of Waterford with the support of sponsors.

Photo: The 2008 Tugboat Round-Up, Courtesy Duncan Hayes, NPS  (Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor).

Great Lakes Underwater Presents Historic Program

On Saturday, September 8, the Great Lakes Seaway Trail and New York Sea Grant will present Great Lakes Underwater at the Clayton Opera House, Clayton, NY. The 12pm-5pm program, co-sponsored by the NOAA National Weather Service, features four distinct speakers focused on history, shipwrecks and innovative technology for boaters.
 

 The event will run 12pm-5pm at the Clayton Opera House, 405 Riverside Drive, Clayton, NY, with vendors, information exhibits and networking time. The September 8 program includes the following presentations:
 
· “Historic Weather Patterns Impact on Lake Ontario Shipwrecks” with National Weather Service Forecaster Robert Hamilton

· “Between Two Nations: The British on Carleton Island (Fort Haldimand) from the American Revolution to the War of 1812” with Douglas J. Pippin, Ph.D., historical archaeology professor at SUNY Oswego

· Underwater explorer Jim Kennard on his “Discovery of the HMS Ontario” using deepwater sonar scanning to find the 80-foot-long, 22-gun sloop-of-war that sunk in 1780 in Lake Ontario on her way to Fort Haldimand

· “The Great Lakes Seaway Trail Blueway Water Trail & Innovations in Technology for Boaters, Canoeists and Kayakers” with New York Sea Grant Coastal Recreation and Tourism Specialist Dave White. Learn how new and future tools and apps based on the Great Lakes Observing System will benefit water trail users.

This Great Lakes Underwater theme program makes the start of a new Great Lakes Seaway Trail Byway-Blueway Seminar Series. Pre-registration is requested by September 3. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors age 62 or older and retired military with ID, $5 for children under 14, and free Blue Star admission for active military with ID. Day of the event seating is $15 for any remaining seats. This is a Yellow Ribbon event. For more information and to register, visit www.seawaytrail.com/dive
or call 315-646-1000 x203.
Robert “Bob” Hamilton
is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service at Buffalo, NY. He is noted for presenting his research of the meteorological conditions that have impacted historic events, including shipwrecks. He presented his study of the weather influencing the time of the foundering of the HMS Ontario at the spring 2012 Great Lakes Meteorological Operational Workshop in Chicago.

Douglas J. Pippin is an historical archaeologist who has studied the provisioning and frontier economy of the British military and displaced Loyalists during the American Revolution. He had conducted fieldwork at Fort Haldimand and at Loyalist settlements in the Exuma Islands in the Bahamas. He received his doctoral degree at Syracuse University.

Jim Kennard, known as “the Jacques Cousteau of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail,” has been featured in such publications National Geographic and Sea Technology magazines for the 200-plus rare and historic shipwrecks he has discovered in numerous waters in his 40-year career. The HMS Ontario is considered an “underwater Holy Grail.”

Dave White, a New York Sea Grant recreation and tourism specialist, has created several educational initiatives, including the “Dive the Seaway Trail” project. His Discover Clean & Safe Boating campaign earned White a BoatUS Foundation Environmental Leadership Commendation. This spring, he was among the invitation-only guests at the White House Community Leaders Briefing on the Great Lakes Region.

Photo courtesy Great Lakes Underwater.

Peter Feinman: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (2012)

Once upon a time, as all good stories begin, in the fair village of North Tarrytown (later to be renamed Sleepy Hollow), there was a beacon of light in the river that ran two ways.

Located a quarter mile from the shore of village on the river, this lighthouse had been built in 1882-1883 by strong and sturdy men back in the day when strong and sturdy men built and made things along the Hudson River and before it became a valley of ruins with a book of a similar name. Read more

Tom Hughes: The Champlain Memorial Lighthouse Centennial

What follows is a guest essay by Thomas Hughes, Director of the Crown Point State Historic Site on Lake Champlain in Essex County, NY. The site includes two National Historic Landmarks: the ruins of French-built Fort St. Frederic (1734-59) and the ruins of Crown Point’s British fort (1759-73).

Dedicated 100 years ago this month on July 5, 1912, and located at a prominent site that is steeped in history, the Champlain Memorial Lighthouse serves as a monument to the 1609 voyage on Lake Champlain by French explorer Samuel Champlain.

This Champlain Memorial rises from a small point of land just southeast of the Lake Champlain Bridge. In July 1609, Samuel Champlain was the first European to record seeing this majestic lake which he named for himself. Late that month, Algonquin, Huron, and Montagnais Indians in canoes guided Champlain and two fellow Frenchmen southward from the St. Lawrence River region onto Lake Champlain, so that the three Europeans might join the Algonquins in a military engagement against the Algonquin’s Iroquois enemies. A battle took place (perhaps near the present-day site of the lighthouse), the arquebus firearms used by the three Frenchmen proved decisive, and the Algonquins and French returned northward.

Over 100 years later, the French built a fortified windmill here (circa 1737), as part of their Fort St. Frederic military and civilian complex. The windmill ground grain for the fort garrison and for the nearby French civilian population but also served as an outer military defensive structure in that the windmill was fortified with cannons. The French blew up their windmill in late-July 1759, as the French military abandoned Fort St. Frederic to the advancing British army. In August 1759, when the British began to build a vast Crown Point fort, to be their primary fortification on Lake Champlain, the lighthouse site was chosen for one of their outer forts, the Grenadier Redoubt. Remains of part of the Grenadier Redoubt can still be seen today, immediately south of the lighthouse.

On May 12, 1775, during the outbreak of the War for Independence, a few British soldiers at Crown Point were captured by 100 “Green Mountain Boys” (from the Hampshire Grants) under the command of Seth Warner. In addition to taking the strategic location from the British, the rebels liberated a great prize: 111 British cannon.

In peacetime, commerce grew on Lake Champlain, as did the need for a lighthouse at the narrows at the point of the Crown Point peninsula. The Crown Point Lighthouse was built in 1858 as a 55-foot octagonal limestone tower. Trapezoidal windowpanes encased the lantern room, from where a fifth-order Fresnel lens beamed a fixed white light at a focal plane of eighty-three feet. The Crown Point Lighthouse faithfully served for over 70 years.

In time for the 300th anniversaries in 1909, the States of New York and Vermont each established tercentennial commissions to organize events to celebrate Champlain’s lake voyage. The festivities that the commissions organized commenced at Crown Point on Monday, July 5, 1909 with an address by New York State Governor (Glens Falls native and future U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice) Charles Evans Hughes, Indian pageants, and fireworks.

Besides planning the week-long celebration, the commissions from New York and Vermont also desired to erect a suitable and permanent memorial to Champlain. One suggestion that appeared in a local newspaper as a Letter to the Editor was to convert an existing lighthouse into a memorial. Incorporating the memorial with a lighthouse seemed a fitting way to commemorate an explorer and navigator of Champlain’s stature. Various sites on Lake Champlain (including Cumberland Head, Plattsburgh, Isle La Motte, Bluff Point, Split Rock, Rock Dunder, Ticonderoga, Mount Defiance, and Juniper Island) were considered for the memorial before the two commissions, with the blessing of the U.S. Lighthouse Service, agreed in 1910 on Crown Point.

According to the Ticonderoga Sentinel (page one, October 13, 1910), “The Memorial Committee of the Lake Champlain Tercentenary Commission, appointed from New York and Vermont, announced [on Wednesday, October 5, 1910] that the permanent memorial to Samuel Champlain, discoverer of Lake Champlain, would probably be a lighthouse instead of a memorial statue or monument …The expense of the memorial is $76,000. … The members of the committees were guests … Wednesday on board the steamer Vermont, and the members of the association viewed the proposed site that day.”

With $50,000 in funds set aside from the Tercentennial Commissions, work began on the memorial to Champlain and his exploration of the lake. The memorial was designed by Dillon, McClellan, and Beadel. The Champlain Memorial is classical and French Renaissance in style, with heavy stone columns, entablature, ornamental frieze and setbacks. The limestone exterior of the lighthouse was replaced with eight Roman Doric columns resting upon a conical base made of Fox Island granite from Maine. An ornate cornice, parapet, and lantern room were also added to complete the memorial. Parts of the foundation, the interior brick, and the cylindrical shaft holding the spiral stone staircase remain from the 1858 lighthouse.

In another page one article on June 27, 1912 the Ticonderoga Sentinel announced that “The Champlain memorial, erected on the site of the lighthouse at Crown Point, N.Y., by the states of Vermont and New York jointly through the commissions of the two states, will be dedicated Friday, July 5th. The Hon. H. Wallace Knapp, chairman of the New York commission and Dr. John M. Thomas, president of Middlebury College, a member of the Vermont commission, will present the memorial to the States …, and it will be accepted by Vermont Governor John A. Mead and by New York Governor John A. Dix [Glens Fallsnative]. &#8230- The exercises will begin with prayer by the Rev. Dr. Lewis Francis, of Port Henry. [In addition to the Governors’ remarks,] it is expected that representatives from the British and French embassies atWashington will also be present and make addresses.”

On the side of the memorial that faces Vermont, are bronze sculptures, the largest of which was crafted by German-American Carl A. Heber (1875-1956). It depicts, above the prow of a canoe which appears to be filled with furs, Champlain standing in the center, flanked by a crouching Huron guide and a French Voyageur. These larger-than-life-size figures were cast at the Roman Bronze Works in Brooklyn.

Two months before the July 1912 dedication, France had donated a bronze profile bust (for which sculptress Camille Claudel had been the model), sculpted by the great French artist Auguste Rodin, to be incorporated into the monument. At the dedication of the memorial, the leader of the visiting French delegation remarked “The United States is raising a monument to a Frenchman, and France sends you, through us, her tribute of gratitude.” The Rodin “La France” sculpture remains visible, as located on the memorial exterior, below the larger-than-life sculpture of Champlain.

The construction of the lighthouse memorial was a joint effort of the States of New York and Vermont (two small monuments flanking the lighthouse are inscribed with the names of the tercentenary commissioners) as part
of the 1909-1912 observance of Champlain’s voyage on the lake. On each side of the monument are coats of arms: New France (French North America, 1609-1763), the State of Vermont, France (at the time of Louis XIII), the United States of America, the State of New York, and Brouage (Champlain’s birthplace in France).

With the opening of the nearby Lake Champlain Bridge on August 26, 1929, the usefulness of the light as a navigational aid was short-lived. The lighthouse was taken out of active service circa 1930 and deeded to the State of New York. The light keeper’s wooden Cape Cod-style cottage, attached to the memorial lighthouse, was eventually removed. Today the Champlain Memorial lighthouse is part of the Crown Point Reservation Campground and is open to the public. The lighthouse is under the stewardship of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

A few years ago, government funds were used to repair the covered steamboat pier that was added during the 1930s and to restore the historic lighthouse, a symbol of Crown Point’s history. The restoration of the lighthouse exterior was completed in time for the 2009 quadricentennial celebration of Champlain’s historic voyage and the “La France” sculpture by Rodin was cleaned. On September 19, 2009, this Champlain Memorial was publicly re-dedicated by the states of Vermont and New York. Four weeks later, the Lake Champlain Bridge closed and during 2010 and 2011, a replacement bridge was constructed beside the lighthouse. The Champlain Memorial is visible from a sidewalk on the popular new bridge.

As a monument, the Champlain Memorial is a handsome and fitting tribute- as a lighthouse, the structure is extraordinarily ornamental and unique- as sculpture, the edifice enjoys an abundance of great works of art in bronze. This month, the Champlain Memorial begins its second century of proudly honoring Samuel Champlain, “The Father of New France.”

New Concise History of the Battles of Plattsburgh

Battle of PlattsburghLake Champlain was a corridor for warfare beginning with Samuel de Champlain’s exploration, but perhaps no moment in the Champlain Valley was as important as the Battle of Plattsburgh, something recognized by both Roosevelt and Churchill.

Although other, more famous, engagements of the War of 1812 were ruses meant to divert U.S. troops away from the prize &#8211 Plattsburgh. The Chesapeake Campaign for example, which included the British capture of Washington, DC, the bombardment of Fort McHenry captured in the National Anthem, was intended, as Donald Graves notes, &#8220as a large raid to draw off American troops from the northern theatre of the war.&#8221 Read more

Replica Ship Half Moon Opportunities Announced

William T. (Chip) Reynolds, Director, New Netherland Museum and Captain, Replica Ship Half Moon has announced that work is proceeding on fall programming and regular ship-board projects, and the ship will be holding an upcoming sail training opportunity.

On July 21-22 crew old and new alike will come together on the Half Moon to train in sail handling and ship operations. The two day program will depart from and return to Peckham Wharf in Athens, NY while anchoring out on the evening of the 21st. Crew will board 8am Saturday and depart late afternoon on Sunday.  No prior experience necessary- all training will be provided. Preference will be given to those who have volunteered with the Half Moon this season.

If you would like to participate in the sail training weekend, send an email with your name, phone number, location and the information for an emergency contact to: hmvolunteer@gmail.com

Dockside work continues on the Half Moon as they prepare for sail training and other programming through the summer and Fall of 2012. Crew have been working around the ship on various projects. Doug Lyke has been working on rewiring bilge pumps and radio wires- Gene Tozzi repaired the decorative anchor on the front of the ship- Woody Woodworth and Bob Hansen have installed new water pumps and other elements for the ship’s generator.

In addition to work around the ship, they’ve also said goodbye to bo’sun Wesley Jasper who spent three months living and working aboard the Half Moon, and who is headed to the Rotterdam Maritime Academy in the fall.

Work will continue weekdays throughout the summer. If you are interested in joining in and assisting with maintenance work around the ship, contact them at 518.443.1609 or by email at: hmvolunteer@gmail.com

This season, the Half Moon will be open for school and public tours in Albany NY Sept 22 & 23 and Sept 29 & 30 and public viewing in Connecticut.

Half Moon also offers school class tours. Educators looking to sign-up their class Sept 21, Sept 24-28 and Oct 1-4, should contact Carol Ann Margolis at the Albany Convention and Visitor’s Bureau: 518.434.0405

The 85-foot replica of the ship Henry Hudson sailed while exploring the Hudson River in 1609 has a volunteer crew of 15 and was built in Albany, N.Y. in 1989 to commemorate the Dutch role in exploring and colonizing America. The Half Moon replica has six sails on three masts, sporting 2,757 square feet of canvas. It’s equipped with six cannons and four anchors.

The original ship, called the Halve Maen, was commissioned on March 25, 1609 for the Dutch East India Company. The company hired Hudson, an Englishman, to search for a passageway between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. He thought he had found that passage when he sailed up the river that now bears his name. In making his trip up the river, Hudson claimed the area for the Dutch and opened the land for settlers who followed. His voyage came 10 years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. 

For general information about the replica Half Moon check their website.

Photo provided.