Lecture: Merriment & Mayhem on the Hudson

Date(s) - 08/11/2018
2:00 pm-3:30 pm

Hudson River Maritime Museum


“Merriment and Mayhem on the Hudson: Excursion Steamboats in the Nineteenth Century” with Marika Plater, doctoral candidate at Rutgers University. Steamboats decked out in banners, with music blasting and dancing people twirling on the decks, were a familiar sight on the Hudson by the late 1860s on sunny summer days. Aboard were working-class residents of New York City who had saved their pennies in order to—along with members of their churches, unions, sports clubs, and ethnic associations—rent boats and barges to carry them outside of the city during their rare days off. Called “excursions,” these trips exposed urbanites to sights and smells that were very different from the crowded neighborhoods where they lived and worked. Yet excursion fun carried risks and conflicts, as steamboats and groves lacked safety features and wealthier New Yorkers and residents of the Hudson Valley viewed excursions as riots waiting to happen. 2:00 PM in the Riverport Wooden Boat School classroom. Suggested donation $5.

Sponsored by Rondout Savings Bank.


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