The Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum to host a display of authentic Hudson Valley Ice Yachts
December 21, 2023 through January 7, 2024
Henry A. Wallace Center at the FDR Presidential Library and Home
Ice yachts on display will include KRISS, built for FDR’s uncle John Aspinwall Roosevelt, CYCLONE, built for Herman Livingston Rogers, son of the Roosevelt’s Hyde Park neighbor Archibald Rogers, and 999, built for the owners of the J. G. Bodenstein Ice Tool Company in Staatsburgh, New York in the 1870s.
The display is presented by the Hudson River Ice Yacht Preservation Trust and Hudson River Ice Yacht Club. The boats can be seen — with full rigging — in the Henry A. Wallace Center at the FDR Presidential Library and Home, during regular operating hours (9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.), with free admission. The facilities are closed on Christmas and New Years Day.
In his internet travels, Henry Bossett came across a library site of oral histories from Liverpool, New York. The interviews with Ken Wentworth prompted Henry (a now retired North Sails New Jersey sail maker) to recall an old boat builder “who would come in to show me his hand-designed and built model boats… I asked him about the North Shrewsbury Ice Yacht Club… He replied with a story of how he used to hang out there as a kid and listen to the “Captains” sitting around their potbelly stove, spinning yarns of days gone by, and impressing him with wild tales. Anyway, this guy obviously knows how to spin a tale also, but he does have direct knowledge of some interesting iceboat history.”
Each video runs about 3 minutes and are an entertaining listen.
Ice boats, ‘faster than any motorcycle,’ are part of Hudson history
Robert Wills Vice Commodore of the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club tells the story of ice yachting, an ‘increasingly fickle sport’
PUBLISHED JAN 13, 2018 AT 12:28 PM (UPDATED JAN 10, 2018)
But ice yachting wasn’t always a sport. Wills explained that there were iceboats in the region as far back as the earliest Dutch settlements. Those boats were utilitarian vessels for moving goods in the winter. One early record of ice boats dates back to the Revolutionary War and involves a plan to blow up British ships on Lake Champlain. There’s also an 1812 record of using an iceboat to deliver people and sheep from Athens to Albany.