Sunday, October 21, 2018

Ice Yachts sketches

I love the old sketches/drawings/prints of ice yachts from the late 1800s.  Magazines, Newspapers, and other publications employed illustrators to capture the action on the ice. Often the sketch was made from a photograph. Here are a collection of ice yachting sketches from the 1860s through 1900 or so.  Not complete, and I will continue to add to these as I stumble upon more.  Many of these are images I took directly from John A. Roosevelt's (JAR) scrapbooks, which are housed at the FDR Library in Hyde Park, NY.

Probably the oldest of these sketches - this dates to Nov. 1861 and accompanied an article in Scientific American.
This is John A. Roosevelt's Icicle.

Well, it is JAR's scrapbook, so many Icicle references can be found. 
This is from a publication called "Spirit of the Times" from 1877. 

 Likely Avalanche - E. Harrison Sandford's lateen yacht.

 Sketch of Aaron Innis' Haze;  curious note JAR added - "Now Gracie - 1875"  -- appears Roosevelt acquired Haze & renamed it Gracie.
 Apparently Ice sailing was popular on lakes and ponds in Brooklyn!   More Brooklyn next:

 Ice Boating perils near Poughkeepsie!!

 Not exactly ice boating, but love this idea....

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Jessie B. off the Poughkeepsie waterfront

I love this shot of the Poughkeepsie waterfront - circa 1890. It is a not-so-common photo of an ice yacht with the Poughkeepsie Railroad bridge in the background, along with the Poughkeepsie Waterfront.  The Vassar Brewery is one of the white buildings beyond the steamboat.
This is also one of the only pictures I've found of the Jessie BJessie B. was owned by Charles Lumb  and named after his daughter Jessie.  She sailed in 4 races for the Ice Yacht Challenge Pennant of America, always sailing with the Poughkeepsie Ice Yacht Club: February 1884; Feb. 14 1885;  Feb. 18, 1885 &   Feb. 14, 1887. In that 1887 race Jessie B. was 12th of 12 yachts entered. I find no entries of the boat in any of the club books, and Pennant race summaries do not note who sailed her.

Photo courtesy of the Poughkeepsie Public Library District; from their Main & Market Collection.  

Here is one other picture that captures the RR Bridge in the background. 

                                       Circa 1900?   Courtesy of Rick Lawrence 

Another great photo from the Poughkeepsie Library collection:   

Ice yachts off Roosevelt's Point, Feb. 1881   
Icicle (John A. Roosevelt)     Uncle Jake     Virginia (H.A. Gildersleeve)     Gypsie (James Winslow)     Fairy (E. Harrison Sanford)     Avalanche (No5)  (E. Harrison Sanford)     Viva  (J.C. Barron)

I have had a copy of this which I had printed up at the FDR library about 20 years ago. 
That photo was labeled as above.     The PPL photo had different boat names, but I believe the above is accurate. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Race of the Ice Yachts - Hurrah for the race! Hurrah!

Photo courtesy of the Poughkeepsie Public Library; from their Main & Market Collection. 

135 years ago this month... 

Ho!  For the Yachts! Hoho!
The ice is smooth,
The breeze is fair,
The day is bright,
Crisp is the air;
Ho for the Yachts! Hoho! 

Hurrah for the race! Hurrah!
Eager they come to win the prize,
Flitting about like butterflies;
Gliding along to try their speed --
Going about (take heed, take heed)
So quickly that each one must need 
A cool head in the willer,
A strong hand on the tiller: 
For perils and dangers
Surround these swift rangers--
Hurrah for the race! Hurrah! 

Read on here for the rest of this cheery poem from March of 1883. 
Who will win?? Scud? Icicle? Aeolus? Jack Frost?.....

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Orange Lake through the years....

As this season seems to be done, here are a few images over the past 100 years of sailing on Orange Lake.

Ice Yachts Gale & North Wind, on Orange Lake circa 1930s.
Thanks to Ray Chipault for sharing this image.

Here is Gale on the Lake  December 12, 1937 

Circa 1900

February 1939 - regatta at Orange Lkae

Captain Drake - still racing in 1944

Races - 1940

Launch day crew - 1973 - rebuilt Jack Frost is put on ice for first time.

Jack Frost 1973

Big gathering of antique stern steerers, circa 1973.

Races circa 1968.

(most pictures here are from the Ruge Archives, courtesy of the Ruge collection at the Hudson River Maritime Museum)

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

NEW!! aerial footage of Orange Lake Sailing

Jordy Matthews just uploaded footage he shot at Orange Lake on 2/17/18: Jordy grew up round iceboating and now shoots video via his drone.  Nice work Jordy!    (updated 3/22/18)
More Orange Lake drone views

Drone video captured by Jake Clapp, on Feb. 17, 2018.  Would like to have seen video of when his dad & he did a fly by with Rocket hiking on 2 runners.... quite awesome...
Orange Lake drone video

Monday, February 19, 2018

Boats off the ice - Great day of sailing Saturday

All of the old ice yachts are off the ice at Orange Lake as of Monday. Sunday's snow, Monday's rain & the upcoming heat wave this week led to wise removal of the largest fleet of boats out since 2014.

Last week's rain and subsequent warm up worked out beautifully to polish the lake's surface for this past weekend. Saturday's morning temps in the 20s made for hard ice and we just had to wait for the wind. It arrived about 1:00 and the lake was then full of "white wings" till the first flurries of snow blew in around 5pm.
The Grande Dame of the Shrewsbury - Rocket - flew around the lake, eventually flying its windward runner on several occasions.  There were multiple races between the "A" boats of the North Shrewsbury Ice Boat & Yacht Club and the fleet yachts of the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club.  Skipper Danny Lawrence and sailing master Eric Lawrence took lead boat honors in multiple races aboard Whirlwind. Georgie II proved to be the quickest yacht of the Shrewsbury boats.
Steady and sometimes gusty breezes had the entire fleet of stern steerers ( and assorted bow steering boats) out for a glorious afternoon.

That could well be the end of the season, but late February cold in the past has led to March sailing.

(following pictures courtesy of Jack Norton)

"A" boat races... lead boat hiking as it heads upwind. 

Rides for friends and spectators. Marge gets a ride with Reid on Vixen.

Georgie II - she's a fast yacht - and has been sailing for over 100 years...

Largest ice yacht of the Shrewsbury Club - Rocket.

Always good food - grilling burgers & dogs;  clams are often part of the menu.  Thanks to Rick Lawrence for sandwiches and the Jersey crew for lots more. No one went hungry...

Two Orange Lake veterans - Peter Zendt - scooter sailor from Bayport L.I. (now sailing a J-14) and Johnny Vargo. John tore up the ice here at Orange Lake 50 years ago.  Past commodore of the HRIYC; follow his publication - Boating on the Hudson  Rumor has it there will be an ice boating feature in next issue.