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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Hawk set up on the eve of a New Year....


We met this morning at the Wallace Center, at the FDR Library in Hyde Park, to once again set up FDR's personal ice yacht Hawk. This is the 3rd time we have had the privilege to work with the National Park Service to display FDR's ice yacht. It will be on display through the end of January 2017. Members of the HRIYC will be available to talk briefly about FDR and his passion for ice yachting prior to the guided tours of his home. We are also excited to find out that funding has been made available to go toward the restoration of Hawk. Club members will be working with NPS to inventory parts and acquire, fashion, or build missing  parts. A new sail, gammon strap, sheer leg poles are a few of the items needed.
I've previously posted a bit about history of Hawk HERE.

Boat parts, brought out of warehouse storage at the FDR Historic Site.

Rudder post and stern runner. Finely crafted by George Buckhout, of Poughkeepsie.

Many hands make light work, especially when most of the backs out there are over 50...

28' backbone was brought to the visitors center on top of a pickup; very carefully tied down.
It travelled all of 1.5 miles from nearby NPS storage warehouse. 

Installing the rudder.

Challenge pennants from the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club. 

Hat's off to FDR, and his support of Ice Yachting!

Sheer legs could only be raised about 80% of the way.  Ceilings aren't high enough in the Visitors Center.

Not all parts exist; diamond stays will need to be made.

Detailed sketch of fittings for the bow, where the spars meet, by Club member Reid B.

Motley set up crew, with NPS staff. (photo thanks to Frank Wall)


The FDR library has only known of one photo of Hawk - one in which FDR is sailing it on the Crum Elbow stretch of the River. Years ago I acquired a copy of the shot below (from the FDR archives) of a line up before a 1911 race off Hyde Park. I have always assumed the lateen in this photo was a Hyde Park yacht named Dutchess (owned and sailed by Mark Reeves at that point). I had seen a list of the names of the yachts in the photo and the lateen was identified there as Dutchess.  Some talk arose about the photo at the set up. As I look more closely at the photo, I'm more convinced that this is Hawk, not Dutchess. An older photo of Dutchess reveals features that I don't seem to see here. Hawk was built within a year of Dutchess (George Buckhout built both yachts) to the same dimensions. Can't be 100% sure (yet) but I feel this is indeed Hawk, ready to race.
Is it likely FDR is nearby in this picture?  I'd say it is NOT likely.  All race records ( from 1901-1910) I've seen of Hawk have yet to show FDR at the helm of his boat.

Ice yacht line up, off Hyde Park landing, 1911. FDR's Hawk, far left.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Happy Holidays All!!

Fair Winds & Smooth Ice in the New Year!!

(Victorian Christmas Greetings, circa late - 1800s.  These images are taken from John A. Roosevelt's ice boat scrapbook.)

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Ice Boating Art & Illustrations

Through the years I've come across more beautiful paintings and illustrations of ice yachting scenes. Magazine covers, book covers, calendars, and more.
A collection of images follow....

cover illustration 1900

H. Percy Ashley's sketch, for Rudder Magazine. December 1901.

Detail from antique print, circa 1878.

Detail of sketch from print, circa 1876.

Hand colored print from  John A. Roosevelt's scrapbook, 1899.
This was the cover illustration from an issue of Harpers Weekly, January 7, 1899.
From the scrapbook of John A. Roosevelt.

The Slee Brothers were photographers out of Poughkeepsie. The photos would be used to create illustrations and prints.
I haven't found a lot about the Slee Bros. yet. This is also from Roosevelt's collection. circa 1876.




An old print, circa 1881.  I found this in John A. Roosevelt's scrapbook. Ice yachts were a nuisance to those who preferred taking their Horses & sleighs out for a ride on the river. The speeding yachts would frighten the trotters, at times upsetting the sleigh and passengers onto the ice. As the iceboat men said at the time: "The river was made for boats, not for horses." 






Detail of print above. This print often comes up for sale on Ebay.






I'm fairly certain this illustration came from observations on Orange Lake in the early 1900s. These are the 250 sq ft class yachts that Percy Ashley was designing and of which were being built at Orange Lake. Ashley promoted his designs through the pages of Rudder magazine.

Insurance calendar out of Vermont, 1917.

Detail of the calendar artwork above. I love this picture. 

Magazine cover 1927. 

This came from Ray Ruge's collection at the HRMM.

Magazine cover 1921. 

Detail of cover above. The hollow backbone North Wind still sails with the HRIYC. 

Iceboats have appeared in many advertisements from the early 1900s through today.
They have their fair share of alcohol related promotion!







Book Jacket cover art.


Who knew ice boats are featured in a recent Clive Cussler novel?
This illustration is adapted from photo images of Vixen, a Hudson River yacht and
a lateen yacht from Canada, images of which have been shown racing a motorcycle in the early 1900s.



Magazine cover 1927.

Cover of a German book on ice yachts.
This is from Ray Ruge's collection. 


Hallmark co-opts ice yachts too!

-I'll continue to add to this over time; enjoy.  Comments, other images welcome.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Annual meeting yields some more history.

There was a fine  meeting of the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club at the Maritime Museum in Kingston this past weekend.  A lot of new faces and members. Good food and drink as usual as well as a couple of unusual items brought along.... I'm always excited to see some new artifacts, or reworkings of artifacts connected to the  glorious history of ice yachting on the Hudson. 

Long time club member and past-commodore Bob Bard brought along a silver cup he recently got as a birthday present from a friend, who had picked it up at a yard sale. Quite a find! 



A trophy from iceboat races of the Hyde Park Ice Yacht Club, 1903. 

This is the Rogers Cup, sailed for 6th class ice yachts.
Races were held on  Feb. 9. 1903 -  yachts entered were: 
Mystic, Cecil Parker, owner, sailed by Samuel Rogers;   Bluestreak, J. Sterling Bird;  
Trouble, Samuel Rogers, owner, sailed by F.B. Weaver;  Allons, H.B. Sleight.  
Won by Mystic, 39m 40s, club course - 10 miles. 
Cecil Parker,  is listed as a club member and Mystic owner in the 
1908 Club Book of the HRIYC; though not in the 1909 HPIYC book.

 A great shot of Mystic, from the Ruge collection at the HRMM. Mystic was 23' in length, with 199 sq ft of sail.

Interestingly, Sam Rogers sailed Mystic to victory that day, while NOT skippering his own boat Trouble.  Perhaps he & Parker knew Mystic was the faster yacht. 

I found the photo of Mystic owner Cecil Parker, below, 
in the extensive collection of 
photos at Hudson River Valley Heritage Collection. 

Cecil Parker in the Bodenstein Ice Tool Factory

Past-commodore Chris Kendall sails 999, which came from the 
Bodenstein Ice Tool Factory sometime in the early 1980s.  
Looks like an ice boat plank to the lower right.


S.R. Rogers built ice yachts in the Hyde Park area, including Beatrice, which belonged to Ogden Mills, of Staatsburgh. Beatrice still is in storage at the old Mills Mansion barns. Mills Mansion is the  Staatsburgh State Historic Site.  

S.R. Rogers
S. R. Rogers also skippered Eclipse to victory, in a 1908 race of 5th class yachts of the HRIYC.
This silver cup is in storage at the FDR Library in Hyde Park. 

His old tool box, still in storage in the old Barns at Staatsburgh.

Beatrice. We set this boat up in 2013 on the 2nd level of one of the barns at
the Mills Mansion site in Staatsburgh. Fully Rigged.





Past commodore Reid Beilenberg brought the cockpit of Archie Roger's Otter to the gathering.
 He has been working on the restoration of this old Hyde Park ice yacht. 


Fourth Class Ice Yacht Otter - one of Archie Rogers Fleet;
built by George Buckhout;  she was 34'11" with 344 sq ft of sail.   
February 18th, 1908: 4th class race, 8 miles. Otter, owned and sailed by A. Rogers; 
Storm King owned and sailed by Silas Lane. Otter won with a time of 35 minutes. 
(from the 1908 HRIYC club book)


Here's a part of the old rail. 

The old bronze fittings are designed to bolt the cockpit onto the hollow box-construction backbone.
The backbone is awaiting restoration work.  

Beautiful work by Reid. Bent oak side rails with a cherry veneer. Tulip Poplar flooring.

Otter has changed hands a few times. Here's what I can figure:

Here's the ad for the 1942 auction that divided up the contents of Crumwold Hall, Archie Rogers home in Hyde Park, NY. He died in 1928; His wife Anne Coleman Rogers died in 1934.  Note the 2nd to last sentence. Frost was not sold; I believe this is when Ariel, Otter and my boat Cyclone were sold. Cyclone and Ariel went to the Port Ewen area. Otter was purchased by Kunzie Todd, a neighbor. He bought up several boats. Todd tried to revitalize the HRIYC in the early 1940s. He died and his mother eventually sold Otter to John Childs of New Rochelle. Childs helped found the Westchester Ice Sailing Club and was an officer with the Eastern Ice Yacht Association in the 40s and 50s. He collected many ice boats over the years. He eventually relocated to Maine. That is where Ricky Aldrich and Lynn Lown acquired parts of Otter. Ricky recalls going to Hyde Park in the 60s and trying to buy Otter from Mrs Todd. She wouldn't sell. He recalls it in being in perfect condition then. He did acquire several other boats from the Todd family.