Hudson River Day Line steamboat PETER STUYVESANT heading downriver from
Kingston, New York c.1933.
When the WASHINGTON IRVING sanked at New York Harbor June 1, 1926, no plans were made by the Hudson River Day Line to replace her. This decision came as a result of financial constraints to build a vessel of similiar size to the IRVING. However, upon vote, it was able to proceed with a smaller steamboat to serve routes in that portion of the Lower Hudson between New York and Pougkeepsie. Also, the company's vision was to expand its charter business.
PETER STUYVESANT was launched February 2, 1927, from the yard of Pusey and Jones at Wilmington, Delaware. Katharine Olcott, daughter of Day Line owner, Eben E. Olcott , sponsored and christened the vessel -giving her its name. Destined to be the last steamboat ever built for the Hudson River, she made her first round trip from New York to Newburgh on a Saturday afternoon, May 28, 1927.
PETER STUYVESANT berthed at her New York Day Line Pier c.1951
The PETER STUYVESANT was designed by J.W. Millard and Brother. Combining normal maritime requirements, with added ammenities, she was attractive to organizations wanting charters for various outings. On the second deck was a bandstand, positioned behind the smokestack wall and the cabin, from there, extended further aft to establish a dance floor. Also, tables could be placed in this room to provide extra dining space away from the regular dining area so that sizable groups could be served.
On the third deck, the carpeted saloon was slightly raised so that passengers could view the scenic river without the obstruction from those on the outside. Also arranged on either side of the saloon were eight parlors.
Port profile work-in-progress view of the 1:160 scale model of PETER STUYVESANT.
The Saloon Deck is being worked on.
Steel-hulled, she was propellor driven with a single screw. Her measurements were 269 ft. with a 60 ft. beam and a draft of 13 ft.5 inches. She was supplied with steam by four Babcock and Wilcox oil-fired, water-tube boilers.
In September 1932, as a result of the Depression, the Day Line made operational changes to employ PETER STUYVESANT, parttime on the New York-Albany run. Between the seasons of 1948 and '49, the Line was acquired by new owners who maintained regular service up the river as far as Poughkeepsie. In 1955, due to financial constraints, only two steamboats operated on the Hudson: ALEXANDER HAMILTON and PETER STUYVESANT.
Following the season of 1962, ownership changed and the vessels were purchased by New York's Circle Line. In 1963 PETER STUYVESANT was no longer placed in commission and was later acquired by Anthony Athanas, proprieter of a Boston waterfront restaurant, Anthony's Pier 4.
"The Delaware Steamboater" was a piblication that surfaced during the 1980s to bring both awareness and support to the steamboat community relative to vessels that needed preservation.
It was also instrumental in fundraising during a time when many citizens on the East Coast heralded these prolific vessels. Unfortunately, as the decade of the '90s arrived, interest in preserving the steamboat declined and many vessels were lost to the scrap-yards.
In 1968, after necessary conversion, the steamboat was placed in a underwater cradle constructed to provide maximum protection. She served as an annex to accommodate large groups and regular patrons whom were waiting for tables. Her final days ended when a great winter storm clipped the Northeast on February 7, 1978. There, at Boston Harbor, she sanked.
Author's scale model of PETER STUYVESANT showing her private parlors on
the promenade deck.
The model that I researched and constructed show the prolific steamboat as she appeared in 1944 during the war years. Travel on the Hudson River was popular and it gave many citizens the opportunity to enjoy their outings and view the scenic river during that troubled period.
Stern Port Profile of PETER STUYVESANT, Wood Model -Scratchbuilt
The model is produced in bass and pine woods. Scratchbuilt, it has an overall length of 20 inches.
For more information about commissioning a fine quality Hudson River or Northeast steamboat model email: Caseships@yahoo.com or call 1-774-757-7137. You may also visit http://www.rexstewartoriginals.com.