Tuesday, March 31, 2015

An afternoon at the Roosevelt Library in Hyde Park

John A. Roosevelt's ice yacht  Icicle won the race for the
Ice Yacht Challenge Pennant of America on Feb. 25, 1889

I had an opportunity to check out some of the iceboating artifacts at the FDR library this week. FDR was keen on including items in the Presidential Museum from all his interests in life. Ice yachting was one of those interests. The majority of the items came from his uncle, John A. Roosevelt.  John A. Roosevelt (JAR)  was a charter member of the Poughkeepsie Ice Yacht Club, which was established in 1861. He was an avid sportsman, a competitive sailor and a collector of ice boat items. He left several scrapbooks of news articles on ice yachting, from 1862 through 1902. His Ice Yacht Challenge Pennant medals for the 4 victories his yacht Icicle claimed are also housed at the Museum. Icicle was originally displayed at the museum until renovations in the 1990s led to its removal. It is now on display (partially) at the Hudson River Maritime Museum in Kingston. Here are a few of the items I documented on the visit.  (The next several blog posts will feature other items)

The pennant JAR flew on Icicle. This pennant signified the club commodore.
His name appears to the left of the red stripe.

The Club signal of the HRIYC. This flew from JAR's yacht Vixen.

The private signal of JAR. According to club by-laws, the private signal was flown
 from the top of ice yachts in regattas.  This flew at the top of
Icicle's mast.

The 4 medals JAR won between 1888 & 1899.
The 30 foot silk Challenge Pennant transferred from winner to winner.

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