William P. Dow, president of the Lake George Steamboat Company, died September 13th at the age of 86 at his home in Lake George. [Read more…] about Remembering Lake George Steamboat Company’s Bill Dow
I was awfully glad when a friend proposed a trip to Saratoga. I had been awfully jolly in New York, but New York had gone out of town, leaving nothing but its streets and its tram-cars behind it. In London we have such a perpetual flow of visitors — over one hundred thousand daily — that a fellow doesn’t so much miss the “big crowd” as here, consequently when Saratoga was decided upon I felt extremely pleased indeed. I had heard much of the palatial river steamers, and expected much. [Read more…] about Aboard the Hudson River Steamer Drew to Saratoga in 1878
Dr. Gilbert R. Spalding was a pharmacist who operated a drug store in Albany, NY. Gilbert’s father, Guy Spalding, had operated the drug store starting about 1810. The Spaldings sold different varieties of chemicals, oils and alcohol that they would blend into medicinal drugs, paint, stains, varnish, cleaning fluids, and popular drinks.
They could make up a cure for almost anything from a headache to piles, consumption to lumbago. Their ability to blend medicines led their Albany neighbors to nickname both Guy Spalding and, later his son Gilbert, “Doc” Spalding. Gilbert Spalding operated the drug store from about 1840 to 1845. [Read more…] about Dan Rice & Spalding’s North American Circus Steamboats
Fort Ticonderoga has announced the completion of the $9 million restoration of the 1826 National Historic Landmark, the Pavilion.
The Pavilion was built as a summer home in 1826 by William Ferris Pell. He and his family occupied it through the 1830s. By 1840 the house had begun to be used as a hotel, its primary function through 1900. As a hotel, the house welcomed travelers passing through Ticonderoga while traveling by steamboat on Lake George and Lake Champlain. [Read more…] about Fort Ticonderoga Completes $9M Pavilion Project
When the sidewheel steamboat Horicon II was launched on Lake George in 1910, she was both the longest and fastest passenger vessel to ever sail the lake. Over the next 29 years, she would be used for transportation of cargo and residents around the lake, as well as cruises for tourists.
The construction of a road on the west side of the lake, as well as the region’s rapidly increasing mobility with the introduction of the automobile, brought a dramatic decline in passengers. In response to this trend, in 1932 the Delaware & Hudson Railroad, owners of the steamboats on the lake through the Lake George Steamboat Company, announced that they would not be running boats that year. [Read more…] about The Showboat Era on Lake George 1933-1937
Hampered by rules about railroads crossing state lines, the Erie built a pier nearly a mile long across the marshy bay at Piermont and out to the deeper parts of the Hudson River, where steamboats could pick up passengers and take them on to New York City. [Read more…] about Hudson River Railroad & Steamboat History: Piermont Pier
Hudson Highlands residents Barry and Mary Jean (MJ) Ross have donated their collection of Hudson River postcards to the Putnam History Museum.
The collection is comprised of 240 distinct early 20th century postcards with scenes of the Hudson River Valley – and related views, activities, landmarks, and landscapes – from New York Harbor to the Adirondacks. [Read more…] about Putnam History Museum Acquires Hudson River Postcard Collection
The name Francis Mallaby may not be familiar in New York history but sailing master Mallaby served at the Sackets Harbor navy yard in a prosperous time of lake shipping and community growth. He helped make a difference by initiating purchase of land which is cherished today as the Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site.
This War of 1812 veteran received high compliments from Lake Ontario navy commander Isaac Chauncey and Captain Woolsey that helped influence Mallaby’s 1817 appointment as master of the first steamboat on Lake Ontario, based in Sackets Harbor in Jefferson County, NY. [Read more…] about Francis Mallaby: Witness to Sackets Harbor History
For thousands of years prior to the early 1800s maritime transportation was dependent on sailing ships. In the first few decades of the 19th century however, entrepreneurs in New York helped revolutionize the industry so that one hundred years later sailing ships were an anachronism that hardly existed, except for show.
In the latter part of the 1700s the development of the Boulton & Watt steam engine in England made it theoretically possible to power a boat. Before 1800 a number of inventors, including New Yorkers such as Nicholas Roosevelt, John Fitch, Robert R. Livingston, John Stevens III and others, experimented with boats that used such steam engines. Before Robert Fulton made his first run in the North River steamboat (later renamed Clermont) in 1807 more than a dozen steamboats had been constructed in the United States with varying degrees of success. There were difficulties in making such craft commercially viable. [Read more…] about Fulton’s Steamboat, The Black Ball Line & The Erie Canal
Some of tragic accidents have occurred in the Adirondack region.
Here is a list of the ten believed to have been among the deadliest: [Read more…] about The 10 Deadliest Accidents in the Adirondack Region